Kidepo Valley National Park
Enjoy a visit to the Karamojong Manyatta while on a safari to Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is located in Karamoja and is one of Uganda’s major parks. It has 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.
Karamojong tribe community experience
The Karamojong are known as fierce warrior pastoralists found in the north eastern Uganda bordering Southern Sudan and Kenya. The region is was rarely visited, although recently with the peaceful situation and infrastructure development, the area is welcoming guests in earnest.
The Karamojong or Karimojong are an ethnic group of agro-pastoral herders living mainly in the north-east of Uganda. Their language is also known as Karamojong or iKarimojong, and is part of the Nilo-Saharan language group.
The name Karamojong derived from phrase “ekar ngimojong”, meaning “the old men can walk no farther”. According to tradition, the peoples now known as the Karamojong migrated from Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia).
Karamojongs were previously considered to be unfriendly people with rude behaviors because of their way of life.They used to move with guns while rearing the cows in the plains so as to protect their cows from thieves and they would not hesitate to shoot the cattle raider.
However, today the region is peaceful,thanks to other stakeholders and government efforts of disarming them.
Karamojong Manyattas are interesting to visit because they are one of a kind. You will not find one anywhere else in Uganda. A visit to a Manyatta is such an enlightening and refreshing experience. The rich culture in the villages has not been eroded by civilization.
Visiting a Manyatta is a unique experience everything from the structure of the village, the homesteads, to the people and the language, all gives you a sense of community and togetherness.
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 and the only difference is in language and culture. Ik people took up cultivation, hunting and bee keeping after their land was declared a National park and have chosen to keep livestock to reduce the risk of raiding.
Ik people 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” .
The peak of Mount Murongole is 2,749 meters above sea level. You have to be physically fit to climb the mountains. The trail is 8 kilometers long (16 kilometer round trip) and is quite a tough climb to the villages.