When it comes to cultural and Historical Sites, Uganda is the destination where you will fail to have a choice because of the interesting cultural sites to encounter while on most Uganda safaris through this beautiful country. Karegyeya Rock is one of the fascinating cultural sites you can visit in western Uganda and is locally known as “Eibare rya Karegyeya. This Rock is also known as the “entrance stone to the Underworld”.
It is found just 3 kilometers (1 mile) outside Ntungamo Town within Karegyeya Village, Kinoni Parish and Ntungamo sub-county on the road leading to the two-street Hilltop Town of Rukungiri. The myth of this fascinating Rock surrounds some local traditional of the Ancient Bachwezi, believed to be demigods who took human appearance yet never died.
It is believed that the Bachwezi would only disappear in to the Underworld instead of dying like other normal humans. It is also said that these people were the original traditional rulers of Bunyoro Empire, apparently legendary Kingdom that existed in the 14th and 15th Centuries and extended through the parts of present day Uganda (of course including Ntungamo), Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania.
The Bachwezi were also said to be related to the Batembuzi, a dynasty founded by Ruhanga, locally translated as “the Creator”. The last ruler of the Batembuzi dynasty known as Isaza is said in tradition to have married and sired a child with Nyamata, the daughter of King of the Underworld known as Nyamiyonga. Because of this, King Nyamiyonga later sought vengeance against King Isaza for attempting to lie and lure him into the Underwood from where he was never to return to the World of normal men.
This Historical Rock is said to form an entrance to the Underworld that the Bachwezi are believed to reside from. A legend is said that the fires seen at night emanate from the Karegyeya Rocks with ashes are Worldly items scattered around them at day break. In order to keep the locals away and prevent them from discovering the secrets of the Karegyeya Rocks and a further myth of a huge snake that wanders under the Rock also exists. This snake is so large and it is said that its stomach contains a Lake, large enough that when the Rock ever got destroyed, the waters from the mysterious Lake would also break free and destroy the surrounding area like you see a Dam breaking. It is also said that inside the Rock is where the people would find food and money in the morning when no one knew who owned it.
Today, the Karegyeya Rock is a popular stop-point for Uganda safaris to the western and south-western destinations such as Bwindi Impenetrable, Mgahinga and Queen Elizabeth National Parks. However, they are always preferred by tourists interested in studying about the Ancient life of the early man mainly the Bachwezi hence ideal for cultural tours, geological studies and research projects in Uganda.
The Bachwezi were among the popular and most honored Ancient leaders of the Chwezi Empire/dynasty which covered almost half of the whole country especially western, southern and central regions. According to myths, the Kitara and Chwezi Empire collapsed after the prophesy was said that it would collapse after the sacred Cow named Bihogo died and that’s what exactly happened. With all these interesting things about this place, it is worth exploring during Uganda safaris.