Central African Republic

The Pygmy Villages Around Mbaiki

With nothing to do in Bangui I decided to rent a motorbike taxi for yet another day. This time to look for pygmies south of the capital.

Pygmies are tiny people living in small settlements, usually far away from cities and civilization. My host Desire took me to a chief he knew who were sitting by the road as we arrived. He had taken tourists on the two hour hike to his village before, but he said that he didn’t want to take people there on weekends as that was the time that men were out hunting with bows and arrows, dressed only in leafs. We therefore continued south to Mbaiki, on the edge of the rainforest and famous for its pygmy population.

We asked people on the way and finally arrived at a village where a woman chief came to greet us. She said that the men were out hunting pigs, dogs, caterpillars and whatever they could find and would be back by the evening. She was fine with us taking some pictures and answering some questions for a small donation to the community. She said that most people didn’t know their own age and that school classes consisted of young and old people. The only problem was that the teacher had suddenly left two months ago without telling anyone when/if he would be back.

We didn’t stay many minutes though, as I didn’t want to feel intrusive, but I was happy to find them and to get a little peek into their lives before we headed back home to Bangui.