nakayima tree - cultural safaris in ugandaPositioned on Mubende hill approximately 3 ½ hours’ drive from Kampala – the Uganda’s capital, Nakayima tree is a rich heritage site that should not be missed by travellers on safaris in Uganda.
Dating back to the Chwezi era, the Nakayima heritage site has got great connotation to Ndahura and the entire great Chwezi fraternity that have other sites of historical significance across Uganda such as Bigo By’ Mugyenyi which pull various travellers to plan safari tours to Uganda.
The Fig tree derives its name from the lineage of princesses belonging to the royal family and is a worship center where traditionalists come and pray for whatever they want and is given to them. The tree has got huge buttress roots and is estimated to be 650 years old following the tests that were carried out in 1989 by researchers. The large tree roots form 18 rooms of which four of them are noted to have belonged to Ndahura and can be seen while on safari tour in Uganda.
The traditions have it that before the coming of the Bachwezi, a muhima sorceress named Kamawenge migrated from Butiti and settled at Mubende hill with her two sons who later became dominant as local leaders and turned the hill into a significant center which later attracted the interest of the Bachwezi and the residence of their last leader Ndahura.
Following the emergence of small pox and the collapse of the Bachwezi rule, the hill reverted to its former state as the sorceress abode though with a distinction. The Ndahura’s memory who had become defied as the god of small pox was perpetrated at the site through this woman who then took up the name of Nakayima (Nyakhima) giving every successive priestess that name other than own name up to the last holder (Nyanjara) who faced the demise in 1907.
Over the centuries, Nakayima and always a Muhima had great power and was recognized across the borders of Bunyoro – Kitara and the when the priestess distributed water from the well, It was believed to heal small pox. This entire heritage that is summarized in the ancient Nakayima tree in Mubende can be encountered while on your Uganda safari.
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