Karamoja Trail – The IK, The Lost Tribe


The IK, The Lost Tripe! Around the end of the 18th century, an acute drought struck highlands prompting many of her communities to migrate to other parts of Africa.

One such group is the IK, a fraternity of herders that moved into present day Kidepo Valley National Park.

There, they met a land that had it all from myriads of wildlife species to fertile soils that would yield results overnight, to abundant vegetation for grazing their cattle.

For a tribe that had moved from an over populated place whose resources were on the verge of depletion, this felt like the Garden of Eden.

Overwhelmed by this stability and plentiful of resources the IK experienced a population outburst saw her growth from a vulnerable tribe on the verge of extinction to a gallant kingdom.

Therefore, to experience this culture in Karamoja region take the Karamoja Uganda safari that will deeply immerse you into this culture in Africa.

On a low note though, the more successful they became, the more conflicts they registered. In times of scarcity, the rival tribes inclusive of the Dodoth, Karamojong and the Pokot turned to looking their possessions.

Worse still, the raids not only claimed their wealth but hundreds of lives as well, especially that of women and children.

In an effort to avert any such attacks in the future, they battered all the cattle they had left and embraced farming and hunter gathering as new way of life. In instances of marriage, they turned to using beehives as opposed to cattle for bridal dowery.

The trick worked. With no more cattle to loot, the raids stopped and things started to return to normal again.

With no more domestic meat to eat, they turned to wildlife with impunity, something that didn’t not go well with the then ruling Government of President Obote.

To this effect, they left with guns on their back and sought permanent refuge at Morungole, a spear shaped mountain at western wing of the park, not so far from the borders of South Sudan and Kenya.

Today, times might have changed. Seasons might have come and gone, but these mountains dwellers still the life of a bygone era. They dance at harvest and uphold seed planting rituals when the rains return.

They grind their grains on rocks. As nomadic warriors such as the Turkana and the Karamojong walk through their land to launch raids and counter raids, they barter weapons, honey and food.

Day in day out, they live a life that’s so hard to tell apart from the Karamojong yet again so different.

In a region where cattle rustling are the order of the day, they still live as farmers and hunter gathered.


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