Kidepo Valley National Park

Malachite Kingfisher

A hidden Gem in Uganda-CNN. Is located in Karamoja and is one of Uganda’s major parks. There are eye-rousing savannah tree stretches and landscapes that run afar and into the horizon. It is home to 500 plus bird species. This semi-desert park is also home to over 80 mammal species. On your game drive you are likely to see the black-backed jackal and side-striped jackals, bat-eared foxes, lions, giraffes, spotted hyenas, cheetahs, Ostriches (only in this park) and over 500 bird species. You can also go hiking on Mt Molungole .

Mt Molungole, the natural wild habitat is home to the Ik people.

The Ik look very much like the Karimojong. They are a small tribe of about 11,000.The only difference is in language and culture. They are subsistence farmers whose language belongs to the highly divergent Kuliak sub-group of Nilo-Saharan languages. They were hunter-gatherers until the 1960s when their land was declared a national park. They withdrew into the mountains and took up cultivation, hunting and bee keeping. “The Ik have, therefore, chosen not to keep livestock to reduce the risk of raiding.

The Ik are polygamous. Men marry as many wives as they want, sometimes depending on the number of beehives one has. A respectable man owns as many as 50 beehives and can give about five to 10 hives as bride price.The first wife has a ‘husband’ status over other wives and wife inheritance after divorce or widowhood is practiced.

The Ik People say they were the first people to migrate to Northeastern Uganda. Ik means “head of migration” .

You have to be physically fit to climb the mountains – the peak of Mount Murongole is 2,749 meters above sea level and hike up here is a torture for those who are not fit.  The trail is 8 kilometers long (16 kilometer round trip) and quite a tough climb to the villages.