KIDEPO VALLEY CULTURE ENCOUNTER-The Karamojong and IK tribes
KIDEPO VALLEY CULTURE ENCOUNTER
Uganda has got over 56 tribes in all the ethnic groups that we have in the country the Nilotic and Bantu though the Bantu dominate and it only has 9 indigenous tribes. All these have got different ideas, social behavior, and customs and have a diverse practice that makes each different and unique from one another.
The one-of-a-kind safari to North Eastern Uganda makes you discover the cultural secrets in the true wilderness. Through community experiences music dance and folks told by the locals as you take a guided walk in the communities that live in the northeastern plateau savannas.
The Nilotic communities in the northeastern part of Uganda (Kidepo) are majorly the Karamojong, the Ik people, Acholi, and Langi. Though in the same cluster, they have different norms, customs, and values that distinguish them.
As other tribes’ culture is slowly fading due to modernity in religion, education and technology, the societies in Kidepo Valley national park have stayed on to their culture and have remained untamed. They still live their traditional life and this gives you a chance as the traveler and culture lover to experience the best, magical, and encounter on your safari to the northern part of the country.
Living in the districts of Kotido and Moroto in the North Eastern plateau and believed to be a group that split from Masai of Kenya. The cattle-herding community located in the outskirts of Kidepo Valley national park has got a unique culture.
It is said that they were known as the Jei. And the name Karamojong is derived from the phrase “ekar ngimonjong” which means “old men cannot walk further” and so I come to think that they couldn’t move further that’s why they split from the said to be their fellow Masai despite being nomads.
To be a man (marry a woman) among the Karamojong, you are required to wrestle the woman that you desire to marry and you must win to be considered a man and to permit you to marry and if you lose you choose from other tribes but the men desire their tribe. Cattle are their pride although they also do subsistence farming. A guided walk through the Manyattas (homesteads) and the vast kraals all enclosed will give the best experience as you enter Kidepo valley national park and they can also enhance your knowledge about nomadic life.
Visiting the Ik people
It’s rare but can be a lifetime experience visiting the smallest tribe and believed to be one of the most remote tribes in Africa with about 10000 people. It all starts with an early morning hike up the Morungole hills as you gain a great perspective of the beautiful scenery of Kidepo valley national park but it’s not for the faint-hearted.
You have to be fit enough to climb to the peak of Morungole (2749m) in an 8km trail that’s 16km to and from enjoying the breathtaking scenery and traditional dances by the formerly hunters, gatherer and cattle keepers who turned to subsistence farming due to gazetting of the area as a national park. This is something out of the ordinary. You are guided around the community as you ask questions about the lifestyle.
The Culture encounter can be part of your safari to One of Africa’s best national parks as ranked by CNN. Get your souvenir from the artifacts made by the locals and don’t miss out on the traditional dances and get insights into the African culture.