Safari to Kidepo, Murchison Falls National Park, Sipi Falls & Culture in Karamoja
For those who fancy a blend of cultural encounters in Karamoja, game viewing, relaxing excursions and culinary adventures, this Uganda safari in the northeastern region is for you.
The start was just amazing. Driving from Entebbe airport to the capital city of the east via Kampala – Jinja highway is an expedition like no other.
Who am I not to appreciate the never-ending spectacular views of the pretty town centers, stretching tea and sugar cane plantations in Lugazi, Mabira forest, and the great bridge which aids you to cross the notable streaming River Nile.
If you have a chance to stop over in Namawojjolo don’t hesitate to taste the roasted chicken and grilled bananas. It is more fantastic for foodies.
You hear about Jinja as others do but do you know what’s in this thrilling spot? To be honest this place has a lot for you.
Basing on my interest, the list of things to do in Jinja includes a boat cruise, rafting, and city tour. Of all things make sure not to leave Jinja without seeing the natural science around the source of River Nile.
After a stunning night in Jinja, the drive continues. I didn’t know that Jinja – Sipi drive via Iganga road is an incredible ride to enjoy without even minding the time taken.
Finishing this 194 km journey, you reach the home of the famed Sipi falls. Located some kilometers from Mbale town, these cascading falls are one of the reasons for most trips to northeastern Uganda.
Arriving in the Sebei sub-region, it all starts with checking in at Sipi river lodge. Such a nice place to stay. You are welcomed by their friendly staff. Later on, enjoy an evening walk for spectacular views of the falls and sunset.
The next day is fully packed. If you need a stress reliever Sipi waterfall hiking adventure is the best. It is great not only for mind refreshment but also for body fitness.
It feels awesome to spend some hours bustling with the rugged trails that traverse the towering hills, farmlands, and deep valleys in the mesmerizing Sipi village.
The trek is a half-day and has no shortage of awe-inspiring views. It as well exposes you to multiple natural allures including the kaptum cave. The after-lunch period delights with beautiful moments of a coffee tour.
Some people go to cafes and ask for coffee but don’t know how to make it. If you are one of them and wish to have a hint, don’t hesitate to try a coffee tour in Sipi.
It takes you through the all process of making it locally right from pounding, winnowing, roasting, grinding, and the final step. Mix with hot water, then you are free to taste.
Apart from that, local beer sucking is another interesting experience. You sit together in a circle and enjoy local beer from a bucket placed just in the middle using pipes. All-day is fantastic and thanks to our local guide peter.
Because of the comforting environment, and friendly locals it is hard to say bye to Sipi, but we had to leave for our next stop.
Early in the morning, start the drive through Pian upe wildlife reserve up to Nakapiripiriti town.
Meet the local guide here and continue to a certain homestead of the Karamojong in Kangole. The main activity here is to experience the local life of these people.
Our guide Thomas from this tribe took us around the Manyattas explaining how these humans spend most of their time.
It is unique, interesting, and worth the time taken for the drive. A different way of living, unusual house structures, and unique activities carried out.
Do you know that these people eat once a day and that’s dinner? For breakfast, they just take beer or milk.
According to their tradition men stay out of the homesteads during the day, look after cattle and protect family members. Women search for what to eat and do all the construction of houses for shelter.
It is rare to find people who mind more about the life of the cows than their lives and it’s the Karamojong. They have a saying “you rather kill me than taking my cows”.
The next day, it took us 2-3 hours driving to reach Nakapelimoru for a simple climb up to the top of Mogos rock.
From the peak, you admire spectacular views of Nakapelimoru village, the biggest Karamajong settlement in East Africa.
With the local guide James, you enjoy a walk around this pretty village. There is plenty of things to appreciate and information to know.
From there drive to Kotido where you continue to reach Kaabong for an evening walk to the Kraal. Spend a night in the town.
Our next day in the morning, the top highlight was the close association with the Ike people. Located near Timu forest reserve along Uganda’s border with Kenya, this tribe is the opposite of the Karamojong.
For them think that owning cows is the cause of insecurities. Therefore, these people prefer agriculture to cattle keeping.
After Ike, start the jaw-dropping drive to Kidepo National Park, one of the top photogenic spots in East Africa. Once in Kidepo, you feel like you are in a world of your own.
Adding to a wealth of wild animals, the place enchants with inspirational views of crystal clear clouds, sunset/rise, and stretching savannah that’s dotted by sausage trees and girdled by smoke erupting volcanoes.
If you like landscape photographs, this is the best place for you. The evening drives around is enough to understand why it is called the true African wilderness.
After an impressive night stay at Savannah lodge, a morning game drive pushed us from the park through Lokumoit gate to Gulu
From Gulu, on the next day, it was our pleasure to start a 2-3 hour drive to Murchison, the largest and oldest park in the country.
With its beauty, it’s no surprise that most tourists include it on their wish list for Uganda. It has a lot of things to make your days.
The list of the park’s thrilling activities includes a boat cruise, game viewing, chimpanzee tracking, and a hike to the top of the falls.
With all that offering, Murchison is undoubtedly a magical place you shouldn’t omit in Uganda.
Make sure not to leave the park without visiting the top of the falls. It is a breathtaking experience.
Once you are on the last day of this trip, you can’t believe it is ending. Beautiful moments to remember.
Big thanks to Nature Adventure Africa Safaris and Emma, a number one professional guide to take you around Uganda. He is informed, friendly, and loving the job.
In case you need to soak up the unending charms of northeastern Uganda, don’t wait to book this 10-day safari to Kidepo and Murchison Falls.
You visit Kidepo, Murchison falls national park, hike Sipi waterfalls, coffee tour, taste local beer and explore the rich culture in the Karamoja sub-region.