Cultural Tourism: Kidepo valley national park is an amazing Uganda safari destination that has never runs of surprises. An authentic safari into Uganda is not merely about looking at beautiful wildlife species in breathtaking landscapes. We explore into the indigenous communities that have lived with wildlife species from time immemorial, discover the tricks of their coexistence. They could have hunted the wildlife species to extinction. Travelers on tour into Uganda often find out that African forefathers preached sustainable use of wildlife resources. Some wildlife species and places were sacred. Accessing certain places needed special permission, harming some wildlife species was a taboo and culprits were severely punished and cleansed. A traveler on tour of Uganda into Kidepo valley national park has many opportunities of visiting African homesteads and interacting with indigenous people. In many ways, the visitors grasp one or more of the mutual relationship that exists between wildlife and the people.
Cultural bands provide entertainment showcasing traditional songs, music and drama. The bands perform at hotels within the park and visitors get amazed at cultural costumes, traditional musical instruments and traditional music, songs and dance. To the indigenous people entertainment is a simple medium of passing on vital information to the audience; it is easier to grasp the content as the audience keeps reciting it hence preserving it for generations. The visitors get entertained and better understanding of the African culture. The cultural bands are multiracial and the visitors easily explore a balanced blend of amazing life experiences across different communities.
A visitor who tours the Karamojong manyatta gets first hand life experiences of a community that is often misunderstood and never given serious attention. The Karamojong are a nomadic pastoral community with a strong love for livestock; cattle in particular. True traditional Karamojong elders believe Akuj; their supreme god gave the Karimojong ancestors birthright to own and protect all cattle in the world. With a strong African background where it is a taboo to disobey the ancestors, the Karamojong formed warrior bands purposely to effect and protect their birthright. They were sensitized, are exposed to the trends of the world beyond their culture, are empowered to do other economic activities and they are abandoning some of the traditional customs that are not of socio-economic benefit. A visitor who tours the Karamojong homestead; manyatta, gets to interact with the worrisome Karamojong, explore their traditional customs; dress, homestead set up, jewelry, tools of use and discover a unique community in Africa.
The Ik tribe unlike the Karamojong have did not possess any wealth to speak of. The Ik is a tribe of traditional wilderness settlers who wandered into the Kidepo plains looking for game to hunt, edible fruits, leaves, root tubers and colonies of bees to harvest. The Ik tribe has unique custom of early child marriage and practice polygamy for prestige. The Ik tribe currently number 10,000- 14,000 individuals evacuated the Kidepo valley national park and settled in Morungole mountain ranges. They are a marginalized community caught in the mix between traditional culture and modern lifestyle. A visit to the Ik tribe is rich, rewarding and an opportunity to share life experiences with a rare community that truly lives an authentic African traditional lifestyle. The visit to the indigenous community needs special arrangement to get the communities ready to receive you. Bear in mind communities have their routine work and the visit though a necessary inconvenience tampers with their activities. It is very necessary to book a ranger escort who understands the language, culture and norms to be able to interpret and communicate with the community. The visit is a private arrangement and the cost is not fixed. Note that in African tradition gifts are a sign of friendship. A visitor with gifts on tour to the community gets better reception from the host community earns instant friendship from the community and the entertainment is equally good.