THE KARAMOJONG CULTURE
Visiting Uganda rewards travelers with more than authentic African wilderness but also inspiring cultural experiences in life time. Are you looking for exciting cultural encounters in life time? Come and explore the Karamojong culture as you enjoy your wildlife safari at Kidepo Valley National Park, North Eastern part of Uganda. The natives are famous Nomad Warriors whose pride lies within the ancient life style of semi nomadic cattle keepers in remote areas of karamoja. The Karamojong life style is unique on its own and for time memorial many are left in suspense due to clingy behaviors of these natives to ancient practices, and hence many people regard them as backward people due to rigid minds towards modern life.
The Karamojong people are enormous cattle keepers who also believe that several herds of cattle within and around their community belong to them. This perception then cut across communities hence stimulating cattle rustling behaviors in the region. However, due to prevailing peace and security campaigns by government, cattle rustling have currently reduced.
The natives here practice communal way of life and the man has right to polygamous family provided the he is capable of paying the dowry. The extended families share responsibilities amongst themselves.
Historically, the cattle keepers originated from the Ethiopia way back at 1600 where they lived within Mount Moroto as some of the Nilotic groups remained in Kenya, South Sudan and several areas within Uganda.
Currently, these pastoralists are over 370,000 in the country and being the Nilotic ethnic group, they communicate using Karamojong language where the word Ngkaramojong means “The old tired men who stayed behind” at the time of migration.
What are the exciting things to enjoy while at safari in the Karamojong land?
Once you think about wildlife safari at Kidepo Valley National Park or while at hike in the Sipi falls Mount Elgon National Park, endeavor to spend time at Karamojong village famously called “Manyattas”. The village is the biggest in East Africa around Kotido town. The Karamojong village is culturally endowed with authentic African culture that enriches the travelers with memorable authentic experiences. Be there to encounter the Karamojong live!! One of the most interesting things for you not to miss is to bend down as you try entering the Manyattas with narrow entrance! Just the setting of Manyattas alone is a true African setting.
Travel to the village and encounter the unique life style with perfect traditional dances that will excite you as enjoy also fantastic high jumping dances. It can be very exciting if you visited the place personally and encounter the remarkable performance in the region as the Karamojong demonstrate their sign of respect for your visit in the village. The Karamojong culture is one of the incredible cultural experiences for you to discover and have lessons about the true African culture.
THE IK NATIVES
Just on Mount Morungole exists yet another unique group of creatures the Ik people. If you are planning to have trip to Kidepo Valley National Park (KVNP), it will be exciting to include cultural experiences in the Ik community, North Eastern Uganda. The Ik group is one of the smallest tribes in the country who form population of about 10000 to 11000. Like the Karamojong originated from the Ethiopia and lived in the Kenya then later found them selves around the wilderness of KVNP, the Ik people too originated the same way. The natives were originally hunters and gatherers but because of cattle rustling in the area from external groups like the Pokot and Turkana of Kenya, Karamojong of Uganda and the Tuposa of South Sudan, the Ik people therefore left cattle keeping and begun practicing small scale farming, goat farming and bee keeping.
The traditional practices of the Ik people were also destabilized due to government’s influence that changed the hunting area to wildlife reserve. To ensure they lived in peaceful life, the natives found themselves lonely on Morungole Mountains with outstanding scenic views in Uganda.
Your stay with Ik people
The Ik culture is another unique encounter to excite you as you discover the unique traditional practices like bride price payment where 5-10 beehives, goats, chicken money other than cattle is mode of paying dowry in the community. While at the village, discover the social habit of the Ik elderly people with their children. Above all enrich your learning with the polygamy practices in Africa with the Ik people on the mountain.
The Ik cultural encounter offers amazing encounters at the rarest tribes in Africa whose population is not more than 10000 but come when you are physically strong to hike. To reach the village, follow the trailhead marked by the US forest service or drive to the place. Hiking to the Morungole Mountains (2749 meters above sea level) takes you the whole day as you adventure through the Ik village (between 8 and 16 kilometer adventure). Visit the area and enjoy the most magnificent sceneries in Uganda then sight on the valleys down slopes and the great Eastern rift valley of Kenya. At the village, astonishing traditional dance will welcome you to the village! The Ik culture is embracing tourism as source of income just it is famous in the Batwa community. To discover the cultural potentials in Ik village requires you to plan it well; connect with Maranatha Tours and Travel to combine your wildlife safari at the Africa’s perfect national park according to CNN.
In conclusion, visiting Kidepo Valley National Park is the perfect destination that rewards travelers with more than authentic African wilderness but also unforgettable cultural experiences by the Karamojong and the Ik people. If you want to discover the authentic African culture after your wildlife safari in the park then never miss to visit Manyattas and Ik villages. Enjoy your time with the Karamojong and Ik people!!