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Big Beyond

Culture & Arts

We aim to strengthen cultural values that can be lost in a changing world, raise pride and celebrate the mix of different cultures in the area.

About the Program
This little corner of Africa is amazingly rich in culture, yet little known and even less documented. The Batwa tribe are the indigenous forest people and sadly, often discriminated against and labelled as ‘Pygmies’. The Bakiga tribe also live in this area and their rich culture survives to this day, yet is mostly unwritten and unknown. We are trying to document and fill these gaps in knowledge, aiming to deeply understand the cultural heritage of southern Bwindi, the tribes’ connection with nature and conservation.

We aim to strengthen cultural values that are often lost in a changing world. We want to fill these people with a powerful sense of pride surrounding their regional and local culture. The Arts can be a powerful and engaging way to communicate critical messages, a way to creatively educate, and of course, great entertainment. There is also a lot of untapped talent in the local area we would love to see burst into action.

Big Beyond Uganda volunteers live within the Great Rift Valley on the edge of a mountain rainforest called Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in the far south west of the country. It's a breathtaking little corner of the world, home to one of the world's most endangered primates - the incredible Mountain Gorilla.

Green, lush, mountainous and remote, it's not dry dusty Africa some may know and you'll be travelling away from the masses, to a very friendly community we know you'll enjoy living in. We're nestled in a beautiful small village right on the southern borders of one of Africa's most impressive national parks, surrounded by rolling hills, majestic lakes, tropical rainforest, extinct volcanoes - it's an awesome landscape with immense biodiversity.

Projects are based in and around the "town" (or big village) which will sometimes involve walking to reach the people you're working with, particularly if it's the Batwa tribe who live right on the edges of the forest where there's no road. It's a place where you'll keep fit (if you like that sort of thing), but for those that don't, nothing is very far away. In your free time the hiking is brilliant, the wildlife surreal, you're surrounded by nature and you get to live and work with fun, inspiring local people. This unique opportunity offers you authentic immersion in rural Africa where you'll feel totally safe, relaxed and inspired every day.

Suitable for


Typical day

You will be working from Monday to Friday including the following activities.
  • Interviewing local people to further discover their insights into the cultural and natural heritage of southern Bwindi
  • Applying your creativity to help design engaging educational messages through different channels
  • Mentoring the cultural performers to improve their performances in order to communicate the story of southern Bwindi
  • Teaching art students or training teachers in new methods to entertain
  • Supporting the craft ladies in developing a higher quality and diverse tourist souvenir range, utilising local materials
  • Combining local talent, such as the blacksmith, tailors, weavers and carvers to create new products
  • Trying to instill the reduce, reuse and recycle mentality by creating inspiring goods from old materials
This is a hugely diverse program that doesn’t require qualifications or years of experience, just heaps of enthusiasm and a good bit of creativity. This project offers engaging and varied opportunities for people with a passion for drama, music, dance, arts and crafts, writing, history or anthropology, to bring their energy to this vibrant community in Uganda.

Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Rare mountain gorilla Chill out after a long day in the living room Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Culture & Arts Your Big Beyond room awaits Culture & Arts

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
Required Documents
Pre-trip organisation questionnaire
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
For this project, all we ask for is heaps of enthusiasm and equal measure of creativity. If you have experience, great, it will be put to effective use, but creativity is the name of the game here.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Any questions? Just ask. We at Big Beyond are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

You're well placed to explore one of the most beautiful regions of Africa! We can help organise incredible adventures, from cultural explorations to wildlife and wellness experiences. The local area is perfect for trail running, hiking, gentle strolls, bakiga dancing and learning new skills from the local people.

Of course one thing you shouldn't miss when you come to this part of the world is gorilla trekking. You need a permit to track gorillas in Bwindi and only 12 permits are issued per day per gorilla group, in order to limit human to animal contact. We can help organise your permit.
Day or weekend trips could also include climbing the Virunga Volcanoes, relaxing at Lakes Bunyoni or Mutanda, or perhaps safari at Queen Elizabeth National Park

Activities are not included in the programme, fee but we will help make arrangements for you in advance of your trip so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the excitement of what’s to come. If you’d prefer to decide once you’re out there - that’s no problem either, just speak to our expert team in Uganda and they’ll organise everything for you.

Water Sports

Included Services

What's included?
Accommodation - Three meals a day, Water - Transport to project location from Kigali - Transport to project sites for work - Ugandan SIM card -Big Beyond shirt
Airport Pickup

You’ll be escorted by one of the Big Beyond team from Kigali, across the border to your new home in Uganda. The journey is a combination of private vehicle and public transport. The journey takes about 5 hours door to door and goes past some beautiful scenery, so get a window seat and start getting excited!


Our cosy and rural retreat has bed space for ten people. Depending on how many volunteers are around, you may have your own room, although it’s more likely that you’ll be sharing. Some rooms have bunk beds, others singles and there’s a double bed for any resident couples. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided. We harvest water from rain and heat it over a fire, so you'll be able to indulge in hot showers. There's also a cosy, communal living and dining area, both inside and out.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

We will provide three vegetarian, nutritious and locally-sourced meals a day, sometimes traditionally Ugandan (chapatti, sweet potato and rice) and sometimes a little more international (pizza, homemade bread and lentil curry). There's not refrigeration and there's also not a wide range of food available here, as you may be used to, but we try to be creative at mealtimes.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
7 weeks
9 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Bwindi/Uganda between 2 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Big Beyond will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Big Beyond during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Uganda

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Uganda. Please check the visa regulations for Uganda.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Uganda and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Uganda.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Uganda.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Kigalin International (KGL) in Kigali. We assist you to find cheap flights to Uganda.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Uganda provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Uganda you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Uganda.
What can you do in leisure-time in Uganda while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Bwindi, Bwindi, Uganda

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