By Namale Agnes. Following ‘The Bantu Migration’ a domestic tourism campaign, aimed at promoting local heritage, embedded in the historical sites across the country. The first expedition meant to unveil the mystery island called Dolwe whose ancient rock paintings still stands out unsolved to scholars and researchers. According to research conducted by National Geographic, civilizations
By Namale Agnes.
Following ‘The Bantu Migration’ a domestic tourism campaign, aimed at
promoting local heritage, embedded in the historical sites across the country. The
first expedition meant to unveil the mystery island called Dolwe whose ancient
rock paintings still stands out unsolved to scholars and researchers.
According to research conducted by National Geographic, civilizations first
appeared in Mesopotamia, what is modern day Iraq and later Egypt.
Civilizations thrived in the Indus Valley by about 2500 BCE, in China by about
1500 BCE and central America what is now known as Mexico by about 1200 BCE.
Civilizations ultimately developed on every continent except antarctica.
Every Society relates its cultural norms and political setting to the way of life of its
ancestral civilizations, but Dolwe islands’ ancestral lineage still remains a mystery
to researchers and scholars.
Located in the North Eastern part of Uganda, Busoga Sub-region, Namayingo
District, is Uganda’s kept secret.
The island stands on approximately 25- square kilometers, with a population of at-least 35,000 people, occupying about a quarter of the whole island. The rest of the island is a living museum made of rock boulders of different shapes and sizes piled upon each other in a fascinatingly artistic way, that makes you pose and wonder whether a giant once lived here and in his free time, he played with the rocks.
It has the amazing touch of artistry combined with cryptic mysteries. Its clear blue
waters make you think it’s a sea shore inside a landlocked country. The wind sings
sweet melodies as it runs past your ears making the grass in the vast plains swing
in a rhythmic dance.
The rock art found in different places, is believed to hold sacred values as some of
it is believed to be holding spiritual meanings.
The most fascinating rock art is found at Namugere rock boulder, where is believed to have been the ancient peoples’ worshiping place. We were required to kindly take off our shoes as we stepped on the smooth rock surface, not only believed to have healing powers, but also up until now offers the ability to heal to those who perform the rightful rituals attributed to the area.
Namugere also has the most intriguing set of rocks called gongs. These mysterious
rocks make musical sound, in different pitches depending on the exact place you
Trust for Africa Rock art (TARA) made a sensitization in 2016, which has helped
in promoting tourism and conservation of the rock island.
Since then, according to local tour guide and conservationist Gabriel Disharchi:
Tourism has stated to sprout on the island, creating jobs for locals who now work
as local guides and serve at the accommodations built in the area.
Dolwe is now home to a number of tribes, ranging from the intermarried Basoga
and so many other tribes, but before that, the original inhabitants of Dolwe before
the tsetse fly’s infestation in 1885 were called the Sigulians of Dolwe.
It is believed that in 1885 when a local chief in Busoga ordered the killing of
Bishop Hannington, the land was cursed with an unknown swarm of tsetse flies
that caused sickness and death. The original inhabitants were forced to flee the
islands to safer places until the island was safe for settlement again.
Even though the island is safe from tsetse flies as of recent, the people still suffer
with swarms of lake flies whose life span is considerably short. The highlight of our stay at Dolwe island was when we visited Mwangaaza Rock
island a few minutes from Mwango beach at Dolwe island.
Mwangaaza rock island stands tall in the waters of Lake Victoria. Her huge white
rocks complement the white blue waters with such majestic beauty.
Our boats docked in between two rocks whose view looked like a gate to paradise.
We stepped out of our wooden boats and started climbing the huge lime cream
rocks to the top of Mwangaaza.
It is believed that every January and late February, the rock emits a mysterious
light, and that’s why the locals refer to the island as Mwangaaza (meaning, one that emits light)
Dolwe island still remains a mystery of civilization and a huge potential for
tourism investment opportunities for the country.
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