To Moroto: The heart of Karamoja


I love Moroto for many reasons but the main one being the fact that it was the first town I visited on my quest to explore Karamoja about 6 years prior to this trip. It was a time when most of us (Ugandans) were still scared of Karamoja with stories of how the warriors were deadly, shooting whoever as a fun target activity. Of course over time the government initiated a disarming program which led to it recovering a lot of guns from them making it safer to travel for everyday people without convoys of the army.

The drive to Moroto from Pian-upe has some of the best scenery I have ever seen. I feel in love with this place over and over again. For the birders this was such a highlight as they got lifers upon lifers because they mostly have been birding the western circuit hence a lot of the birds on this eastern circuit were new and not found elsewhere in Uganda. We had so many stopovers almost wanting to take photos all the time because of the scenery. I am already planning my return trip to this place because I surely did not spend enough time.

NakapiripiriWe drove through the dirt roads enjoying the rock out crops, mountains and then flat Savannah lands before getting into the shrubs. After some hours we arrived in Nakapiripiriti district,  I had previously only heard about it in the news, it represented a faraway land. Shockingly the road from Nakapiripiriti to Moroto was made of tar. We were glad that at least the ride would be faster especially that the time was quickly getting into late afternoon yet we were to spend the night in Moroto.

After a few stops for birds and scenery viewing, we continued on our journey and arrived in Moroto as it was quickly getting dark. My brother lives here so I contacted him and he helped take us around in search of accommodation but warned us that we need to be quick because accommodation in Moroto is scarce. We laughed it off thinking that we would easily find until we started the search. We visited one guesthouse only 1 or 2 rooms available, left that one and visited another only to be told they were full, our 3rd choice was equally unavailable which took us to our first guesthouse we had refused. We were hosted here for 2 nights as we continued to explore Moroto. We then looked around for meals before retiring to bed ready to arise early and check out Bokora-Matheniko game reserve.

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