Walumbe Tanda Pits
Walumbe Tand Pits: comprises of around 240 pits scattered in a 10ha rectangle of ancient forest and some of the pits are quite shallow, narrow while others are deep. Legend holds that this shady enclave served as the stage for much of the formative earthly action whereby the rock shelters only 500m from Tanda is supposedly where Kintu, the first man on earth settled down with his wife Nambi. As for the pits, they were excavated by Nambi’s brother Kayikuzi in an unsuccessful attempt to capture their third sibling Walumbe (the spirit of death and disease) and rid the world of his malevolent presence. Today Tanda ranks as probably the most important Bachwezi shrine in Buganda and eighteen of the pits at Tanda are revered as sacrificial sites, each one dedicated in several layers of back cloth and surrounded by massive clusters of five fingered spears and gourds.
In traditional with Ganda culture, Walumbe as a brother of the bride, insisted that he be given one of their children to help with his household chores, heedful of father-in-law’s warning, Kintu refused Walumbe who was deeply angered and avenged himself by killing Kintu’s eldest son. Later Kayikuzi was sent by Ggulu to aid Kintu in sending Walumbe back to heaven but Walumbe refused to leave Earth. After refusing to accompany Kayikuzi back to heaven, Walumbe retreats by hiding in craters in the ground that he creates by stamping his foot. This is said to have created the 240 Walumbe Tanda pits and two shrines with one entrance having spears, shields, calabashes and fireplaces named after different gods that are still in Uganda today. Kayikuzi soon tires of pursuing Walumbe and asks all of mankind to be silent for two days to lure Walumbe out. When Walumbe finally emerges, some of Kintu’s children started screaming, giving Walumbe the opportunity to duck back into his subterranean refuge. Upon Kintu’s dismissal, Kayikuzi then returns to Ggulu and explains the situation and upon hearing of this, Ggulu allows Walumbe to remain on earth. Walumbe is therefore blamed as the reason for death on earth. Though every descendant of Kintu is eventually claimed by Walumbe, Kintu continues to fight Walumbe by constantly having more descendants than Walumbe can steal.
Tourists are welcome provided they stick to photographing the actual shrines rather than the locals who come to place sacrifices at the shrines. When coming for your next trip, Tanda pit is worth including on your bucket list visit in the next stay in Uganda. Entrance fee is reasonable and educative and tour guides are also available to help direct you to this charming place.
Tanda Archaeological Archives and Walumbe Tombs lies on the south side of the Fort Portal Road about 48km west of Kampala’s Busega Roundabout and 9km east of the Enro Hotel in Mityana. It’s 2km from the junction to the entrance gate. If you are using public transport, you can catch a taxi between Kampala and Mityana and walk from the junction or take on a boda boda in Mityana.