Ik people of Kidepo valley national park

Ik people of Kidepo valley national park: The Ik people are known to be the Marginalized ethnic group of people whose population is less thousand in number making them an endangered tribe just like the Batwa of Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in south western part of Uganda. The Ik people occupy the hills of Mount Morungole where they settled after being displaced from their original habitat Kidepo valley national park the most beautiful yet less visited savanna park in Uganda the pearl of Africa. The Ik people have severely suffered from famine since they are mainly dealing in substance farming where they grow crops and rare livestock specifically for own consumption. These people were the first tribe to migrate and settle in the North Eastern Uganda specifically in Kidepo valley national park where they were pushed out until they found new settlement at the top of mount Morungole where they reside in small clusters forming an entire community. The Ik people used to be cattle keepers but due to the raids from other tribes, most of them gave up on cattle keeping and adopted to raring goats and bee keeping.

Taking on an adventure to the North Eastern part of Uganda could be the best way to spend time and learn more about the Ik people. Learn about their history, their ways of living and many more.

How can one get to the IK people?

Being on top of Mount Morungole at 2,749M, one needs to be fit in order to manage the hike up to the mountain to get an opportunity of spending time with the Ik people in their homesteads. A visit to Ik people is always considered a full day activity since it requires a hike up to the Ik and descending back thus requires a particular level of fitness to cover about 16 kilometers for a round trip.

The good news is that during the hike to visit the Ik people on top of Mount Morungole, hikers are rewarded with stunning views of thrilling vegetation cover within Kidepo valley national park and the surroundings.

Getting to the top of mount Morungole, be sure to be warmly welcomed by these Ik people on a thrilling traditional performance, spend time with them listening to their stories of how they migrated to Kidepo valley and termed themselves as the heads of migration. 

Take a walk around their homesteads where you will learn more their life style, culture and many more. You are free to ask as many questions as possible, enjoy a freshly prepared meal, taste on their local beer and finally descend back as you close your day’s activity.

A visit to the Ik people is usually combined with a wildlife viewing safari in Kidepo valley national park the most remote but so rewarding park in Uganda.  Kidepo valley national park is least visited probably due to the fact that it requires long hour drives that most tourists find it difficult to do it especially while on a short uganda safari. However, whoever get a chance of visiting this park finds it the most beautiful destination worth a visit alongside the visit to Ik people.

What else can one do in Kidepo valley national park?

Kidepo valley national park as mentioned early is one of the best destinations to visit in Uganda. And with an added advantage of visiting the Ik people, Kidepo valley national park is indeed a place to tick off your bucket list at any given period of time. 

Game drive,

While in kidepo valley national park, tourist enjoy breath taking game drives to different parts of the park including along the rivers both Narus river and Kidepo river, with in the Narus and kidepo valleys, while sighting plenty of park dwellers including Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions, Cheetahs, aardwolf, dik-dik, both greater and lesser kudus, Rothschild giraffes, caracal, reedbucks, duikers, bush pigs, hartebeests, crocodiles, warthogs, antelopes, foes, black and white rhinos, leopards and many more. 


Kidepo valley national park as well thrills with abundant of birdlife including Ostriches, Abyssian roller, fox kestrel, Karamoja Apalis, Golden Pipit, Red-throated – bee-eater, pygmy falcon, Purple heron, Chestnut weaver and many more seen during birding adventure in the park thus making it as well an important birding area in Uganda. The best spots for birding in Kidepo valley national park include along Apoka Rest Camp, along the fringes of Narus valley, Namamukweny valley and many other spots in the park. Almost every corner of the park has birds to watch.

Nature walks and hiking,

Kidepo valley national park offers several hiking trails to different spots including a hike on mount Morungole to visit the Ik people, a hike to mount Lomej, a walk to Narus Valley and Namamukweny valley, a walk to the river and many more. Most of these hikes and walks commence from Apoka Rest Camp where the park headquarters for Kidepo valley national park are situated. Be sure to spot lots of attractions during the guided walk in Kidepo valley national park including stunning flora of the park and abundant of fauna species that call this park their home.

Cultural encounters,

Apart from a hike to visit Ik people as stated above, Kidepo valley national park also offers a breath taking cultural tour and encounter with the Karamojong people who are famous pastoralists in North eastern part of Uganda similar to the Masai people of Kenya. During this cultural tour to the Karamojong homesteads, you will visit their Manyattas, visit the Kraal and take part in in milking, learn about how milk is locally preserved and close your adventure with breath taking cultural performances to sum up the cultural tour.


A visit to Ik people is such a fascinating experience enjoyed mostly by travelers on an adventure to Kidepo valley national park. Let us know when you’re planning to visit this minority group of people and we shall surely avail you the quote. Check out our best safaris to Kidepo valley national park and any other destination in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.