Fort Portal which is located about 249kms out of Kampala, Uganda is commonly known for its crater lakes (52), Kibale National Park, Rwenzori Mountain Ranges and also home to the world’s youngest King, his majesty King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV.
In the midst of all the stories that still being told or written about this great destination, one dates back hundreds of years when the Batembuzi dynasty still ruled over the grounds. The story of Amabere Ga’ Nyinamwiru which is loosely translated as breasts of Nyinamwiru, is one filled with myths but definitely worth to tell.
Located about 8km from Fort Portal town (Bundibugyo road) is a gem called Amabeere caves which are believed to be the place where Nyina Mwiru was held captive by her father Bukuku.
The entrance to this historical place costs Ugandans 7,000 UGX but it’s worth every penny because the stories trigger your imagination and keep you wondering long after you are gone.
After 7 full moons, hundreds of years ago (just felt like the right introduction) Isaza who was the ground king at the time failed to “keep calm” when his cows went missing to the underground which was run by Nyamiyonga. He attempted to go and rescue his cows from the underground, leaving Bukuku in charge of the kingdom but as fate would have it, he never returned.
It’s believed when an earthquake hits within the region, it’s Isaza trying to escape from the underground. So please don’t go talking about tectonic plate movement in Fort Portal 🙂
Bukuku is said to have had the most beautiful daughter who ever graced the land. Nyinamwiru was admired by many but due to her fathers’ paranoia, she ended being held captive in the caves.
Bukuku who was a gateman turned king wanted to hold on to power and this led him to consult fortune-tellers of the time about his fate. They said his daughter would give birth to a son that would overthrow him.
Wanting to control the future and his fortune, he held his daughter captive in the caves, cut off one of her breasts and took out one eye all in the name of making her look less attractive to men.
However, Isaza’s son Isimbwa who is said to have had a wandering spirit found the caves where Nyina Mwiru was hidden and it was the beginning of their love story. In his eyes, she still was the most beautiful lady he had ever laid his eyes on and eventually they had a son, Ndahura.
Fearing for his life, Bukuku ordered the capture of Ndahura who was just a baby and threw him in the river. But as the saying goes “if it’s not your day, its sure isn’t.” Ndahura managed to stay afloat on the river and was later rescued by one of the king’s porters.
When Nyina Mwiru found out about her child’s rescue, she asked the porter to raise him as one of his own. But it’s also believed that the gods saw the conundrum the porter was in, they shaped the ceilings of the caves in form of Nyina Mwiru’s breasts and made them drip with milk so that he can feed the baby.
Ndahura eventually grew up and fulfilled the prophesy that tormented Bukuku, he overthrew his grandfather and became king.
Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru
Apart from the captivating story, these caves are truly a hidden gem, they have their own waterfalls, a forest, and unique wild bananas. Seeing them brought back memories of that famous scene in coming to America, where Lisa’s dad excitedly told her “the boy has his own money.”
The caves have both stalactites and stalagmites which the locals call the Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru and they give off a white-ish fluid which is considered to be milk. Unfortunately, no one is allowed to touch these precious rocks nor is anyone allowed to shout because it would disturb the ecosystem.
The caves are also a good camping ground, for just 21,000 UGX a night, one can sleep off to the sounds of water gushing down the valley and rise to birds chirping.
Accommodation in the cottages has been booked out throughout the year, that’s how stunning this place is.
Amabare Ga’ Nyina Mwiru has a lot to offer and it’s definitely worth the visit if you want to immerse yourself in the rich history and beauty.