Visit the Karamoja Region

Visit the Karamoja Region

Visit the Karamoja Region

Visit the Karamoja Region and get a chance to explore the beauty of Culture Fused with Wildlife and nature adventurous safaris. Visiting the Karamoja Region is one of the top Uganda Budget safaris that any traveler would be able to engage because it is not costly. This Karamoja region is situated in the North-Eastern part of Uganda close to the border of Sudan & Kenya. It consists of 7 districts including Amudat, Naka-Pirpirit, Moroto, Abim, Kaabong, Napak & Kotido. The Karamoja region is a semi-arid area well-known for Agro-Nomadic Pastoralism. Nomadic Pastoralism is a form of rearing of cattle herds whereby the Karamojong move with their cattle to different areas looking for greener pastures and water sources since the are is semi-arid and this kind of pastoralism includes the pastoralists whereas for Agro-nomadic pastoralism it consists of cattle keepers who rarely move from place to place unless the climate is critically terrible.

The Karamoja region is still the most underdeveloped region in the Pearl of Africa ”Uganda”. The livelihoods of the Karamajong people in the Region entirely depend on their livestock for food. As you visit the Karamoja region, you will notice that the Karamajong rear cattle, goats, sheep, donkeys, and they tend to make use of all the products from the animals for example; milk and blood for food, cow dung for construction and for smoking their cattle to keep away dangerous insects, hides and skins for clothing and for sleeping on. The region is located in the plateau between the mountains of Sudan and the Eastern Rift Valley. 

The region is dry, windy with a very high scarcity of water and pasture for grazing with open stunning landscapes/sceneries of towering mountains e.g. Moroto & many weathering features like Isleburgs.

Culture and Traditions in Karamoja

Karamoja is a multi-cultural region with pastoral tribes believed to have emerged from the abbysian highlands present-day Ethiopian Highlands searching for grazing land for their livestock. Ethnically Karamojongs are of a Nilotic background. Their language is of a Nilo-Saharan Kalenjin origin. Below are some of the Ethic Groups of Karamoja: 

Ethnic Groups of Karamoja

  • Dodoth: The Dodoth mainly occupy the Kabongo Region, however; there is a small marginalized group of people called the Ik who live in the mountains of Morungole. This mountain is about 2700 metres above the Karamajongo plane. The Dodoth are basically Pastoralists that have traversed the areas of Morungole as they feed their cattle.
  • Ik People: The Ik People are also called the Tueso is a small group of about 10,000 people that live in the mountainous areas of North Eastern Uganda bordering Kenya. They are also a group of pastoralists that traverse the areas of Mount morungole. The Ik are a marginalized group of people in Uganda who the government has recognized that need special attention. Their language is different from that of the Karamojong and their language and culture is threatened by the Karamojong. Because of this, the government has recognized the IK and it has given them a special status of representation in the Parliament of Uganda. They directly send a special representative of their area to the parliament.
  • Tepeth: The Tepeth are a group of pastoralists that traverse the areas and occupy areas of Moroto district and they are believed to be the original inhabitants of the Karamoja Region. Mountain Moroto is highest in the region with about 3000 meters high towering Moroto town. The tepeth are pastoralists and they also move with their cattle as they move in the mountainous areas of moroto.
  • Jei: The Jei are a group of cattle Keepers that occupy the areas of Kotido district. Kotido area is mainly occupied by the Jei who are warriors and greatly participated in cattle wrastling. However, today the government has brought down the practice through disarming projects. In the Eastern part of Kotido town is where you find the largest pastoral-traditional village in East Africa called Nakapelumoru. They tend to survive on the products they harvest from their cows like milk and blood.
  •  Pokot: The Pokot people are a group of cattle keepers that live in West Baringo in North-Western Kenya and also in Pokot district in North Eastern Uganda and Eastern Karamoja Region. They form a section of the Kalenjin ethnic group and they speak the Pokoot Language. They have their own groupings in men whereby the boys are called the Karachona, the circumcised men are called the Muren, and the Old men are the Poi. Once you visit the Karamoja region you will have a chance to explore more of these cultures.
Karamajong Pastoralists
Karamajong Pastoralists

These Karamojong people do live in villages called Manyattas meaning bounded residential areas using thorns and shrubs with an entry for people and one big one for animals.

They live in manyattas during rainy seasons, as soon as the weather conditions are appropriate for Agriculture & livestock. So during dry seasons, men move nearer to water points/springs where they can find grazing land for their animals whereas women and children endure in the manyattas as they prepare to farming and other income generating activities like; weaving baskets, ropes mats etc. 

The men put up Kraals which are temporary camps where they temporarily stay with their animals during the nights and transfer the animals during day time in search of grazing land. In the kraal, a lot of activities is carried out by male Karamojongs both young and old for example; milking of cattle in the morning, smoking of the animals, taking care of the young animals and those that are about to deliver.  

While in the Kraals, some women and their children do go & join their men (husbands & fathers) to execute household activities plus also attending to the animals. Other activities conducted in the Kraals include Milking, Blood collection, Fire making, Rustling, Storytelling, Animal grazing, etc. 

Attractions in this region

There is a series of lures in this sub-region so unique that it can entice you to plan the safari/tour the Karamoja region. It contains lures like, Kidepo Valley National Park, Matheniko Game Reserve, Pian Upe Game Park, Mountains, There Traditional Cultures, uniqueness of the climate etc.

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is found in the far North-Eastern part of Uganda bound by both Kenya and Sudan. It is known for its beautiful sceneries and specific species like Cheater, ostrich, elands. It is one of Africa’s magnificent wilderness. 

While in Kidepo Valley National Park a traveller can conduct a number of activities like Game drives, Bird watching, hiking, Nature walks, Cultural visits and entertainments, Visiting the IK People. Getting advice & practical information about the safari trip.

In the far North close to the Sudan Border you find the Kangoloroko Hot- Springs which is some good kilometres from the Kidepo River one of the best spots in Kidepo wilderness. 

Kidepo National park hosts a number of Mammals species, Bird species  including eagle, Egyptian vulture, African Bush Elephants, Nile crocodiles (during the dry season they are restricted to a 10km long section of the Narus river), Leopards, side-stripped jackal, Buffalos, etc. 

Mount Morungole-This Mountain does occupy the largest portion of the South borders of Kidepo Valley National Park. It’s positioned in the North east of Apoka and Hiking is among the activities conducted here and probably you can also embark on some safaris here. Mount Moroto is the highest mountain of Karamoja region positioned in the Northeast. Hiking is among the activities conducted in this area. Matheniko Game Reserve ranks the 5th place in the most threatened conservation areas and has a semi-desert Savannah grassland. Activities like viewing of wildlife, hunting and nature walks are conducted in this Game reserve. Mount Kadam-It is the 2nd highest mountain of the Karamoja region having the highest peak called Libo.

Travel options

Of recent, there has been a great improvement in the road network in this sub-region. Most roads have been graded, and some have been constructed for example the Moroto – Katakwi – Soroti road has been paved, the Moroto- Kotido – Kabongo road has been graded. Most of the roads in the sub-region are Marram with a few paved roads close to the big town of Moroto. However; most of the roads are accessible throughout the year except particular spots during very heavy rainy seasons. 

Alternatively, a visitor can take a charter plane from Entebbe international airport and lands at Kidepo Air field which is within Kidepo valley National park.  

Activities in Karamoja

Visiting the Karamoja sub region as a tourist, will expose you to a variety of activities and experiences in the region including; Game Drives in the park, conducting community/cultural visits, hiking to the maintains, visiting kraals, and experiencing the pastoral lifestyle. Etc.

Game drives in Kidepo national park on your Uganda Cultural Safari will help you explore the vast national park that consists of a number of wildlife species like Elephants, cheetahs, large herds of Buffaloes, lions, and much more. Such Game Drive Safaris in Uganda will expose you to unique wildlife species like the cheetah, since Kidepo national park is the only national park in Uganda with cheetahs.

Conducting community/cultural visits: While you conduct our Uganda Cultural tour in the Karamoja region you will be able to participate in Community tours and activities where you will learn from the locals. You will be able to engage in activities like Milking cattle, preparing meals like the unique blood meal that the love to prepare. You will engage in dances, games like restling, and many other activities.

Visit the Karamoja Region
Wrestling Games amongst the Karamojong – Visit the Karamoja Region

With Achieve Global Safaris you can be able to book a number of Karamoja Region Safaris as you Visit the Karamoja Region where you will get a chance to explore all of these interesting features. Below are some o the best Safari Packages for a traveller that is interested in a Wildlife and Cultural Safari in Northern Uganda and Kidepo National Park in General.