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Tour Leader: Mr Herbert Byaruhanga – Chairman Uganda Safari Guides Association)

 

Day 1

We departed from Uganda House at exactly 6:20am, and drove Northward to Kidepo valley natiol Park ,it was a very long journey but at the same time interesting, with a number of stopovers for refreshments and stretching. We had our lunch in lira town and there after proceeded. We arrived at Apoka bandas at 10;25 pm very exhausted but excited at the same time, the UWA team welcomed us very well and checked us in well considering that we were very tired. A simple diner was prepared by our chef and in an hour’s time we were eating. We went to bed at around mid night.

Day 2

We had breakfast and there after went on a game drive, up to Narusi valley, a good number of bird species was seen especially in the Crocodile pond 9 (see the list below). We returned for lunch, after lunch at leisure, then went for an evening game drive towards Boma, the high light of this evening was the beautiful sunset which members enjoyed.  We had had dinner at 8pm and at 9pm went for a night game drive, for those who didn’t want to do a night game drive stayed behing and enjoyed the Bond fire.


Day 3

The day started very early at 6:30am with breakfast, after we went for a game drive towards Kidepo valley, however due to limited we didn’t not reach the valley but we enjoyed the drive the highlight being the Nothern white crowned Shrike ( a lifer to most of the members). We returned had lunch and after after drove to the Karamajong communities, on this drive we by chance encountered a Lion and a Lioness laying just close to the road, it was such a wonderful thing to happen at that time the fact we were not expecting it . At about 5pm we drove back to Apoka, refreshed and later were called to the bond fire for free sharing, goats muchomo and fun. Here introductions were made and good words of wise counsel were given by Edwin Muzahura the marketing Manager UTB, Conservation Area Manager- Kidepo talked to us also, he gave a brief history of the park, where they are now and the future plans. He encouraged members to tell the whole world about the hidden treasures of kidepo valley national park.

Day 4

We had breakfast at 7:00am and after drove back, lunch was in Gulu town, we arrived Kampala at around 10:30am

Birds species seen

1.African Jacana
2.Hamerkoop
3.Cattle Egret
4.Knob billed duck
5.African black crake
6.Wood sand piper
7.white faced whistling duck
8.Grey headed heron
9.Grasshopper buzzard
10.Green sand piper
11.Red throated pipit
12.Little bee eater
13.Plain backed pipit
14.African Grey  Heron
15.Black headed lapwing
16.Black bellied bustard
17.Crested francolin
18.Abyssinian Roller
19.Clapperton's Francolin
20.White browed coucal
21.Whinchat
22.Yellow billed shrike

23.African hoopoe
24.Fork tailled drongo
25.Ground hornbill
26.Lapet faced vulture
27.Wood chat shrike
28.African open billed stork
29.Black chested snake eagle
30.African skimmer
31.Piapiac
32.Yellow billed stork
33.white billed vulture
34.Common squacco heron
35.Black crowned night heron
36.Sacred Ibis
37.Grey capped social weaver
38.African grey hornbill
39.White bellied go-away bird

40 .Stripped King fisher
41.African white billed vulture
42.Barn swallow
43.Ruppell's Griffon vulture
44.Rufous crowned Roller
45.Montagu's harrier (male and female)
46.Northern wheatear
47.Heughn's wheatear
48.Plain backed pipit
49..Foxy cisticola
50.African grey hornbill
51.White crowned shrike
52.Red pate Cisticola
53.Yellow billed kite
54.Sooty falcon
57.Speckled mouse bird
58.Long crested eagle1.Blue-napped Mousebird

59. Black-breasted Barbet

60. Lesser-spotted Eagle
61. Steppe Eagle
62. Parrot-billed Sparrow
63. Scissor-tailed Kite
64. Hemprich’s Hornbill
65. White-crested Turaco
66. Bruce’s Green Pigeon
67.  Mayer’s Parrot
68. Swamp Nightjar
69.  Scarlet-chested Sunbird
70. Bank-swallow
71. Red-billed Oxpecker
72.. Yellow-billed Oxpecker
73. Pallied Harrier
74. Lesser Kestrel
75. White-headed Vulture
76. African Palm Swift
77. Hadada Ibis
78. Eurasian Hoopoe (not African)
79. Little Weaver
80. Swallow-tailed Bee-eater
81. White-headed Buffalo-weaver
82. Black-billed Barbet
83. Augur Buzzard
81. African Firefinch
82. Fan-tailed Raven
83. Dark-chanting Goshawk
84. Vinaceous Dove
85. Laughing Dove
86. Black-headed Gonolek
87. Striped Kingfisher
88. White Stork
89. Buff-crested Bustard
90. White-bellied Bustard
91. Black-billed Barbet

Mammals

1. Bush Duiker
2. African Unstriped Grass Rat
3. Striped Ground Squirrel
4. Yellow-winged Bat

5. Cape buffalos
6. Buchelles Zebra ( menless)
7.Water bucks
8.Elephants
9. Wathogs
10 .Lions
11.Jackson's heart beast
12 .Elands
13. Uganda kobs (new specie)
14.Roth's child girrafe
15.Jackals
16.White tailed Mangoose
17.Hyena
18.Bohor reed buck
19.Oribi

A visit to the Karamojong community.

The Karamojong people is an ethnic group of pastrol herders living in the North East of Uganda. According to Julius our guide, the Karamojong were originally known as Jie, the name Karamojong derived from phase “Ekar ngimojong” “meaning old men can walk no further” the people’s now, According to tradition these people known as Karamojong cluster and Teso cluster are said to have migrated from Abssynia between 1600-1700 AD as a single group when they reached the area around modern Kenya and Ethiopian border, they are said to have fragmented into several groups including those of Turkana, Toposa and Dodoth.

Toposa continued to present day Sudan, Dodoth settled in Apule in the Northern part of present day Karamoja. The Turkana settled in Kenya where they are now and todays Jie of Uganda are said to have spilt from them, moving up the escarpment to Kotido district. The main body continued southwards, reportedly consisting of seven groups or clans who settled in today’s southern Karamoja, eventually merging to become the three clans now existing. The Matheniko in the east around Moroto Mountains, the Pian in the south and the Bakora in the West. However, significant sized group went west and formed Iteso, the Kumam and the Langi, it was the Langi group that used the phrase “the old men can walk no further” the old men could not walk further than Karamoja so they settled where they are now.

The Karamajong largely depend on herding livestock as their main livelihood activity, which has both social and cultural importance. Because of the climate which is semi-arid, they practice some kind of normadic pastrolism forexample the time we visited, we didn’t see any livestock, our guide Zachary  informed us that because of the drought, they had  moved in far places to look for water and pasture.

Crop cultivation is the secondary activity, these crops are grown for subsistence use. Crops grown are sorghum [largely depend on it], simsim, maize and yellow flowers. The Karamojong always stock a lot of food to survive on during the dry spells.

The Karamojong sleep in grass thatched huts called Manyattas. Their homestead are enclosed in fences made out wood and each enclosure has one entrance which is also very small and short, one has to first bed to go through it. All this is done for security purposes. The homestead we visited is has only two men, the owner of the homestead and the chairman of the place.

When a boy reaches marrying age, he is required to wrestle the woman he desires to marry, if he is successful in winning the wrestle, he is now considered a man and is permitted to marry a woman. This means that the man is strong enough and will protect his family.

This community danced for us a traditional dance which Zachary our guide translated us “conserve our Buffalos and Elephants so that our children tomorrow can see them “ we enjoy the dance as a group and participated in it.

Lessons learnt

  • The Karamojong stock a lot of food to take them throughout the drought
  • They still practice informal education, our guide showed us a place with in their homestead where every evening men together with their sons gather have dinner and receive education on sex, HIV, manhood extra. The woman also sit with their daughters in another corner tell them about sex, marriage, behaviors extra.
  • The Karamojong homesteads are very clean despite the harsh conditions they live in
  • The karamojong are security conscious this is evidenced by the fences surrounding their homesteads, narrow gates and doors to their houses, all this are to make it hard for the enemy to pass through

Acknowledgement

Special thanks go to Uganda Safari Guides club ( USAGA) for organizing such a memorable trip and in particular Herbert our President who did whatever it took to make it a success, bravo Herbert. Uganda Tourism Board for the support you rendered to us, thank you for supporting USAGA activities always, we owe you a lot, the UTB team that travelled along with us thank you for your participation especially Mr. Edwin Muzahura the Marketing Manager, your participation on our trips mean a lot to us as guides, Uganda Wildlife Authority ( UWA) we can’t thank you enough, thank you for giving us a wonderful stay while at Kidepo valley, you have always made us comfortable in Kidepo and most importantly thank you for keeping this wonderful resource- KIDEPO OUR JEWEL, we will continue selling you to the rest of the world, we have no choice. The media team thank you for being part of this discovery team, am sure the stories you wrote and the picture you took will make Uganda and Kidepo in particular shine on the globe. Last but not least, “The women of Valor” UGANDA WOMEN BIRDERS am proud of you ladies!!!, your participation on this trip gave it a meaning, yes we can….. who says women cannot make good Bird Guides? Watch the space, ladies we go…………we, go……………….not even the sky will be the limit. To our Sponsors, thank you for supporting Women Birders, we promise we shall not disappoint. Lastly, I wish to thank each and every person that participated on this Uganda Safari, you are the best team ever, thank you being good team players, each one of you contributed to this unforgettable experience. I look forward to travelling with you on the next trip.

FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY

 

Compiled By:

Adrine Nankunda

Chairperson Uganda Cultural Guides Club

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Uganda Safari Guides Association.

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Website: www.ugasaf.org

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