INDIGENOUS
PEOPLE

The wonders of Uganda safaris into Kidepo Valley go
extra miles beyond merely sighting the large herds of wildlife and the
beautiful birds flying in the air. The lifestyles, characters and the cultural
beliefs of the indigenous people around the Karamoja region are a whole package
of Uganda tourism attraction altogether. These are an example of African people
that have a strong attachment to their ancestors’ lifestyle and for decades
have resisted “unneccessary” influence into their livelihood from foreigners.

The Karimojong are a nomadic livestockherding
community that have roamed the Kidepo plain grasslands all their lifetime
following the flugal rains for fresh pastures and watering spots. They have
coexisted with the wild mammals. Their large herds of livestock graze besides and
share watering points with the herds of herbivorous wildlife species. The harsh
weather conditions of high temperatures and low rainfall leading to semi arid
vegetation affect them evenly the way the wild mammals affected. The logic and
science of how the Karimojong protect their livestock from the carnivoreous
predator attacks is an amazing story that many travelers find it heard to believe.
Visiting the Karimojong manyatta, to imitate lifestyle as a livestock herdsman,
dance to the music and listen to their historic stories, are extremely exciting
Uganda safari experiences.

 The Ik community,
numbering just thousands of individuals, are traditional neighbors to the
Karimojong residing on the edges of the Morungole Mountain range. The Ik are
traditional game hunters, gathering people that roamed the wilderness.
Traditionary, the Ik have no economic assets and wealth so to speak of. The Ik
married in early teens and were a highly polygamous community.  The Ik roamed large parts of Kidepo Valley including
the park, in search of edible fruits, tubers, leaves, wild game and bee
colonies. Ability to provide basics for survival like constant supply of bush
meat, honey, makeshift shelter and others raised the profile of males in
society and were enough guarante to get an extra wife. Part of the Ik community
traditional home range was gazetted into wildlife protection area, were
evacuated and settled in a “strange” mountainous environment. The Ik were
taught just basic knowledge of survival with other communities. They were not
fully intergrated to live an “alien” lifestyle of growing food crops and their
traditional wilderness lifestyle was altered. Travelers on tour of Kidepo
valley visit the Ik community and get their traditional life experiences.