Touring the Great Northern and North-Eastern Uganda Main Towns

About Greater North and North-Eastern sites

Put on your walking shoes and experience the very best of life within these local towns, cultures, traditions, food, sites, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Memorial Site, the Stadium, and the nightlife around them in a different light with local hosts and guides.

Arrange a meeting with the ‘Rwot’, The King of Acholi, and be well knowledgeable of the history of the Acholi people that traces back to the people of South Sudan and deeper even, in ancient Egypt.

  • Transport
  • Drinks and Meals
  • Internet
  • Free Consultation

Will we explore the historic center and the Central Food Market?

Sure, a local guide while sampling delicious local specialties and delicacies, including food in the making, lunch, and even more surprises along the way!

Every aspect of social life, cultural sites, and villages will have the test of them.

Wipolo Catholic Shrine in Paimol, Agago District in Northern Uganda

About The Shrine

By the October 18th feast day celebration in the fall of 2015, the wiPolo shrine for the Paimol Martyrs, which serves as the location for the yearly commemoration of the martyrs’ feast day, had been built and finished. The annual pilgrimage to honor the catechists’ deaths as witnesses to Christ has been to Paimol, which is known to the Acholi as the location of the martyrdoms of Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa.

The Paimol Martyrs Shrine of wiPolo was built at the spiritual home of the martyred Ugandans under the direction of Fr. Joseph Okumu, with support from the Archdiocese of Gulu, sponsorship, Giuseppe Nicora’s architectural ideas, and the assistance of ARS Construction.

The undying light of martyrs Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa

The martyrs Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa were two young Acholi catechists at the beginning of the 20th century. They belonged to northern Uganda’s Acholi people – a subdivision of the larger Lwo group whose members even today live mostly in North Uganda, but are also present in Southern Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They lived and were martyred in the years immediately following the foundation of the mission station of Kitgum in 1915 by the Comboni Missionaries from Italy.

Okelo and Irwa reached the Kitgum mission station to become catechumens. Together with all the other young people, they first received the medals of Our Lady, signs that they were ready to undertake two years of instructions in the catechumenate, and they proudly wore them on their necks and committed themselves to learn the catechism of Pius X, translated into Acholi by Fr Pasquale Crazzolara. They took this period of preparation for the sacraments very seriously. Tommaso Alenga, who was their fellow catechumen in Kitgum, was to testify later that Okelo took the instructions seriously and always showed that he wanted to pass on to others the Christian faith he so much desired to learn about.

Irwa was an equally determined young lad. His Father Mr. Daniel Okeny nicknamed Tongfur testified that he himself had to take food to the catechumenate in Kitgum because his son was so much taken up in the very first instance that he did not care to return home to eat.

After receiving the sacrament of confirmation, Daudi and Jildo asked to be enlisted as catechists and to receive the required preparation. They returned to their homes in Ogom-payira and Labongo Bar-kituba but remained in direct contact with the missionaries of Kitgum for almost two years. They felt ready to be appointed as catechists themselves. The opportunity came when Antonio, the catechist responsible for the village of Paimol and a cousin of Okelo Daudi, passed away. Paimol was some 80 kilometers east of Kitgum. From the social point of view, Paimol was a group of organized villages ruled by Chief Lakidi. His deputy, Mukungu Ogal, lived there on a lovely high plain surrounded by mountains. Ogal’s house was proudly called Palamuku, “a place with many villages.” It was on an, lot or a flat grazing ground for cows and goats. It would be on this ground that the blood of the two martyrs would become like a seed for Christianity to germinate, water, grow and bear abundant fruits. Palamuku would become wi polo (in heaven) as it will be called by the Christians after the sacrifice of Okelo Daudi and Irwa Jildo.

The martyrdom of these two young catechists of northern Uganda is very meaningful for the current events the country is going through. It is a matter, first of all, of two young lay catechists who together carried out and remained faithful to their assignment to spread the Gospel by words and deeds. Secondly, by courageously accepting to go to a place without the confines of their own clan, they have become in their environment a sign of the catholicity and unity of the Church. Thirdly having lived during a period of tribal fighting forced colonial administration and still flourishing domestic slavery, they represent the integrity of the Gospel that always protects and safeguards personal dignity and promotes peace and reconciliation among peoples, ethnic groups, and cultures. For this, even today they are remembered in their land as Christ’s true “witnesses by blood”

Pope John Paul II now Saint John Paul II beatified the two in Rome in 2002, and the local church in Uganda celebrates their beatification every year on the 20th of October. Beautiful building construction is springing up in Paimol, the place of their martyrdom, and multitudes of people from all over the Great Lakes region of Africa come to this place every year to testify to the discipleship of Jesus and the apostleship of his Gospel to all mankind.

The wiPolo Shrine in Paimol in Agago district is still part of the Catholic Archdiocese of Gulu in the eastern end, at the border with Karamoja. wiPolo is easy to find; once in Gulu which is the regional capital of northern Uganda, you travel the tarmac road to Kitgum, some 100 kilometers to the north east; from there, you go straight to Kalongo parish, under which Paimol is Paimol its outstation. Or once in Lira you again take the Lira-Kitgum road to a 38 km point at Corner Kilak where you turn east and reach Patongo where at the 28th kilometer stone a slight curve on your left to the north presents the Kalongo mountain ranges in your face. Kalongo is just 25 kilometers from here and wiPolo Shrine in Paimol is about 15 kilometers. Easy.

Salient points of Beatification.

  • November 1917 Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa travel in the company of Head Catechists Bonifacio Okot to Paimol.
  • October 18th, 1918 or there about Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa are killed by spearing (Daudi Okelo was speared by Okedi Lunyomoi, and Jildo Irwa was speared by Opio Akadamoi two sons of Ogal Lowamoi). The news spread in the areas of Paimol, Omiya paCwaa, and up to Kitgum where in 1926 Monsignor Vignato in the company of seminarian Bala Donasiano plans a pastoral visit to Palamuku location of Paimol to collect the remains of the two catechists then left in a dead anthill to give them a decent burial in the parish Church of Kitgum.
  • 1933 July the first report on the killing of Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa by Fr Antonio Vignato comes out in Italy (La Nigrizia) entitled: Ricordando due giovani eroi in English, Remembering the two young heroes.
  • 1934 the Apostolic Prefecture of Equatorial Nile became Apostolic Vicariate with its own first bishop Monsignor Angelo Negri; Monsignor Vignato leaves Uganda and in 1937 becomes the General Superior of the Verona Fathers to serve the institute in this position until 1947.
  • 1935 Bishop Angelo Negri officially takes over the new Apostolic Vicariate of equatorial Nile; no bed of roses as World War II breaks out with Italy on the opposing side of England. Bishop Angelo Negri and all his priests get interned far down south of Uganda in Masaka for eighteen months. They will be released on parole but remain still under surveillance.
  • 1940 March Bishop Angelo Negri writes to assure Monsignor Vignato now Superior General in Rome he would take up the matter of instituting the canonical process investigating the asserted martyrdom of David Okelo and Jildo Irwa. In a separate letter to Fr Audisio, he regrets that he destroyed the brief notes he received not thinking they would one day be useful. From the notes, however, he had written his La tragedia di Paimol romanticized story of the martyrdom. In April of the same year, Monsignor Vignato writes to Bishop Angelo Negri he was convinced the death of the two catechists was not political. The Bishop dies in November 1949 while on a pastoral visit to Arua, the far western end of the Apostolic Vicariate but his wish to open a canonical process of beatification does not.
  • 1951 August 6, Fr Vincenzo Pellegrini writes to the new Bishop Monsignor John Baptist Cesana to tell him Monsignor Angelo Negri had asked him to collect and complete some testimonies he heard from the people of Kitgum under oath. Fr Pellegrini himself finds so well spread among the people of Kitgum the story about the killing of the two catechists. He collects the story into a book that would become an Acholi language composition text Acoli Macon (1951) for all Primary schools.
  • 1951 Fr Vittorio Albertini was posted to Gulu to teach in the seminary of the inter vicariate and begins to interrogate witnesses to the killing of the two catechists.
  • 1952- 1953 Professor Albertini collects all the existing testimonies including Fr Pellegrini’s collections in his Acholi Macon on the martyrdom of Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa
  • 1953 May 5 the collected testimonies, sent to Rome by Monsignor Cesana in all 300 pages and carefully studied by Mr. De Heredia who made his own positive observations in 32 pages favoring the beatification; Sneider the Advocate in the causes of saints in Rome who also analyzed carefully the first data collected whispered to Fr Agostino Capovilla Postulator and Procurator General of the Comboni Missionaries that the collected data were very much supportive of the credible case of martyrdom.
  • 1953 May Fr Capovilla procurator general and postulator who had already been much encouraged by the opinion of Mr. De Heredia and Sneider carefully guarded the data collected by Fr Vittorio Albertini and sent it back to Gulu in the hope that it would help institute the informative process of beatification. Unfortunately, the canonical informative process could not start for many reasons such as; a lack of additional competent personnel, and the political independence dust rising just after World War II. All did not augur well for the beatification process; Missionaries were mainly overtaken by trepidation and zealous territorial conquest.
  • 1968 Monsignor Cesana resigns due to ill health and in the following year, native Cypriano Kihangire succeeded him. The political situation grew worse and culminated in the expulsion in 1975 by Dictator Idi Amin Dada of some missionaries.
  • 1969 -1999: firmly in the hands of the indigenous Church, the process of beatification of Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa must survive three military dictatorships one after another.
  • 1969 Pope Paul VI visits Uganda and indeed Africa as a whole where he entrusts the Catholic Church in Uganda and all its missionary activities including beatification process to the Africans when he said: “Africa, be missionaries to your selves”.
  • 1994 twenty-six years later Pope Holy Father now St. John Paul II in his Apostolic letter Tertio Millenio Adveniente 37 that opened the door to the third millennium was more explicit: “In our century martyrs have reappeared, often unrecognized, almost ‘unknown soldiers’ of God’s great cause. Insofar as possible, their witness must not be lost to the Church. It is necessary that the local Churches do their utmost, by collecting the necessary documentation, not to let the memory of those who underwent martyrdom perish”.
  • 1996 held a diocesan synod that saw the reopening of the Paimol case that was somehow shelved in 1953.
  • 1997 opened with the new canonical process of beatification of Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa overseen by Monsignor Martin Luluga Ordinary of the Diocese of Gulu. In session 3 of the diocesan process of investigation, Bishop Martin Luluga approves the prayer of veneration of the two catechists on the feast of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven:
  • Transport for tour and travel
  • Site fees
  • Drinks and Meals
  • Internet
  • Free Consultation

What to expect more from Paimol?

Paimol Rock climbing and the Catholic Martyrs’ Shrine are the main dishes to eat in Paimol, Agago District. The Beautiful Culture and social being of the locals are amazing.

Kidepo Valley National Park sightseeing including unique Culture, Wilds and Birds

About Kidepo Valley National Park

Safari Advice: Kidepo Valley National Park is around 700 kilometers northeast of Kampala. The two-hour flight from Kajjansi airstrip, Kampala, or Entebbe International Airport is the quickest method to get there. It usually takes 10 hours to travel safely by vehicle. It is appropriate to stop in a town for the night while traveling. However, many who visit Uganda find a suitable home for adventure and escape after exploring the pristine nature there.

communicates largely about the tourism business with workers in the industry or members of extremely sensitive groups. Rest easy knowing that you will get immediate assistance if anything unexpected arises during your trip.

Kidepo Valley National Park is situated in the semi-arid Karamoja region. The daily average temperature is 270 C/810 F, and it has even reached 400 °C. One of the safari recommendations that visitors to Kidepo Valley National Park should be aware of is the necessity to pack drab, lightweight cotton clothing. Bright colors draw bugs and insects. Before and throughout your trip, drink enough non-alcoholic liquids to keep your body hydrated. Be sure to bring a safari tent, a cap, some flip-flops, some safari shorts, some sunglasses, and sunscreen.

The insects that spread malaria live in hot climates, making it the most lethal disease on the African continent. Most likely, tourists visiting Uganda never get to witness a single individual who has malaria. However, just because you see the insects does not mean they are carrying the malaria virus. Use caution, pack bug repellent, get vaccinated against malaria before leaving, dress in long pants, especially at night, and sleep with a mosquito net. Numerous hotels and safari lodges fumigate their rooms and take additional anti-mosquito procedures.

In whatever form, very short dresses are unsuitable. One safari tip that will keep you out of trouble is this. Some rural African populations are still conservative and hold onto their traditional beliefs. Uganda is a country with many different religions, and some populations openly profess Islam. Skimpy clothing is thought to indicate a lack of morals; it attracts attention and may cause some people to look down on you. Maintaining decorum is important.

Taking pictures when traveling is fantastic; it’s a fun activity that gives the traveler enduring memories of their trip. The feeling might be different for the individual in the picture since he is unsure of the intentions. Asking for permission from the subject you want to include in your photos is appropriate. To eliminate any doubt, it is more kind if you snap a photo with them. Keep in mind that they might not speak your language and will do so by acting rudely. If you don’t take these safari suggestions into account, a disagreement can result.

In the woods, traveling with a ranger guide is highly advised. They have the practical experience and are aware of recent events.

Taking pictures when traveling is fantastic; it’s a fun activity that gives the traveler enduring memories of their trip. The feeling might be different for the individual in the picture since he is unsure of the intentions, and asking for permission from the subject you want to include in your photos is appropriate. To eliminate any doubt, it is more kind if you snap a photo with them. Keep in mind that they might not speak your language and will do so by acting rudely. If you don’t take these safari suggestions into account, a disagreement can result.

In the woods, traveling with a ranger guide is highly advised. They have the practical experience and are aware of recent events.

Unless the ranger directs attention to it, always leave it in the car. To prevent idling behind the bush, use the restroom before you leave.

When watching animals, keep your distance from them. The animals become agitated by the motor noise and oil odors. Getting too close could restrict their movement and cause them to respond however they see fit.

In the national park, wildlife has the right of way. When they cross the tracks, be patient.

Car horn honking is punishable by a steep fine. It’s suicide to drive through an area where there are elephants or other wildlife.

Keep your voice low when viewing an attraction to maintain the tranquility of the wildlife. Speaking loudly disturbs wildlife, which seeks refuge. Remember that animals are constantly on the lookout for danger, which in this instance maybe you.

Keep a consistent distance from your guide when on a bushwalking adventure, and avoid forming a line of people behind the ranger.

If any animals charge at you, remain motionless. Never try to flee, scream, or display any symptoms of fear. The animals will calmly leave. Never turn your back on animals, and if it doesn’t retreat, steadily walk away.

When leaving the campsite, put out the fire. Never store food inside your tent since it invites animals. 

Burn a fire all night long to frighten animals away.

  • We connect you to the site
  • Drinks and Meals on request
  • Personalized services
  • Internet access
  • Transport

What is Kidepo Valley National Park’s major draw for visitors?

If any animals charge at you, remain motionless. Never try to flee, scream, or display any symptoms of fear. The animals will calmly leave. Never turn your back on animals, and if it doesn’t retreat, steadily walk away.

When leaving the campsite, put out the fire. Never store food inside your tent since it invites animals. Burn a fire all night long to frighten animals away.

What is unique about kidepo valley national park?

Image result for kidepo valley national park tips

Kidepo valley national park is an Important Birding Safaris Area in Uganda with close to 450 bird species and a dream Uganda tour destination for bird-watching expeditions. A dozen out of the 50 birds of prey species in Uganda are endemic in the Karamoja region.

Kidepo Valley National Park advice image

Elephants, zebras, bush pigs, Rothschild giraffes, elands, Jackson’s hartebeest, buffalo, oribi, lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, black-backed and side-backed jackals, and oribi is some of the common creatures. The best park in Africa to see large buffalo herds is Kidepo!

Murchison Falls National Game Park

About Murchison Falls National Game park

Why should you visit Murchison Falls Uganda? The answer is simply because you will be blown away by the waterfall’s mighty force and stunning beauty. Murchison Falls is the star attraction of Uganda’s largest national park, which is also named after the falls.

Considered the most powerful waterfall in the world, Murchison Falls is created by the great Nile River thrusting through a narrow gap in a violent roar before crashing down a 140-ft (43 meters) drop and flowing outward into Lake Albert.

You’ll probably also get to see colorful rainbows and a variety of birds at the falls, so make sure you have your camera ready!

How powerful is Murchison Falls? The outlet of Lake Victoria sends around 300 cubic meters per second (11,000 ft³/s) of water over the falls, squeezed into a gorge less than ten meters (30 ft) wide.

2. Where is Murchison Falls Located?

You will find this magnificent waterfall in the Murchison Falls National Park, which is located about 75 miles(46 km) from the town of Masindi in northwestern Uganda. A visit to this national park is much more than a breathtaking waterfall.

The park is also home to an abundance of African wildlife and exciting adventures which will be discussed in more detail further down in this article.

3. How to Get to Murchison Falls

From Kampala, you can take public bus transport to Murchison Falls National Park. This is a 5-hour trip. You can also drive your own car, and you will find that roads such as Kampala-Gulu highway are well-paved.

The closest main town to Murchison is Masindi, which is around 75 km (about 1 1/2-hour drive). Minibus transportation is also available from the town of Hoima (129 km away). For a quicker alternative, you can take a charter flight to the landing site at Pakuba.

Upon entering the Murchison Falls National Park through the Chobe Gate, you will access the launching area at Paraa, where you can take a boat cruise on the Nile River to see the bottom of the magnificent waterfall.

If you prefer, you can also drive your own car or opt for a 45-minute hike to the top of the falls.

Murchison Falls location in Uganda

5. Where to Stay in Murchison Falls

Here are the top 5 lodges in Murchison Falls National Park

  1. Paraa Safari Lodge
  2. Chobe Safari Lodge See more about this lodge in the video below.
  3. Pakuba Safari Lodge
  4. Budongo Eco Lodge
  5. Twiga Safari Lodge

6. A Little History about Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls was named after Roderick Murchison, a Royal Geographical Society president, by Sir Samuel and Florence Baker, who were two of the first Europeans to explore the fall area.

During the 1970s, the name of the falls was unofficially changed to Kabalega Falls, after the king of Bunyoro, under the Idi Amin regime.

Once that government collapsed, the name of the falls reverted back to Murchison, but you may still sometimes hear it called Kabalega Falls.

7. Murchison Falls Claims to Fame

In 1951, Murchison Falls served as the background setting of the John Huston movie, African Queen, which starred Humphrey Bogart.

Murchison Falls has been visited by many notable people such as Winston Churchill and members of the British Royal family.

The famous author, Ernest Hemingway was flying into Murchison Falls National Park for a visit in 1954 when his plane crashed. Hemingway survived and was treated at a local hospital.

8. Best Time to Visit Murchison Falls

The best time to visit Murchison Falls depends on what you plan to see and do. The national park can be visited throughout the year, but some months may be better than others.

  • Overall Best time: Generally speaking, the best time to visit Murchison Falls is between December and February as this is the dry season when it is much easier to spot wildlife. Just keep in mind that the temperatures can be unbearably hot during this time.
  • Low Season: During the months of April to May and October to November, the Murchison Falls area experiences heavy rains which can occasionally make roads inaccessible. On a brighter note, the wet season is one of the best times to see migratory birds, and you may find reduced travel expenses during the low season.
  • High Season: June through September is the high season when most tourists are visiting the national park. This is when you will be more likely to enjoy relief from both heavy rains and high temperatures.
Best time to visit Murchison Falls

9. Oh! The Animals You Can See!

When you come to visit Murchison Falls Uganda, you will find yourself right smack in the middle of a motley of amazing wildlife that you may never see anywhere else in the world.

The surrounding national park consists of wetlands, tropical forests, woodlands, and savannah grasslands, which all provide habitats for Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo) as well as giraffes, chimpanzees, antelopes, bushbucks, warthogs, hyenas, reedbucks, hartebeest, and more than 450 bird species.

Along the Nile River, you may spot hippos, crocodiles, and various water birds.

Saddle-billed stork in flight

10. Game Drives

One of the most popular activities in Murchison National Park is going on a game drive to see a variety of animals that include elephants, giraffes, velvet monkeys, jackals, lions, baboons and more.

While you can take a game drive any time of the year, the best time is during the dry season.

Game drives usually take place early in the morning and sometimes in the evening. Being accompanied by skilled guides will enhance your game drive experience because they know exactly where and how to track the animals.

11. Nature Walks

You will find designated trails throughout the national park where you can enjoy nature walks, from along the top of the falls and through the forest and along the delta, where you can meander among beautiful trees, plants, flowers, and butterflies.

You might catch a glimpse of red-tailed monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, and a diversity of birds like chocolate-backed kingfishers, hornbills, and maybe even the rare shoebill stork.

12. Hot Air Balloon Safari

One of the most unique ways you can explore Murchison Falls Uganda is by taking a hot air balloon safari.

You can opt for a sunrise or sunset launch that takes you high above the treetops to glimpse wildlife teeming below. This is probably one of the most memorable activities you can do here.

13. Boat Cruises

Another exciting way you can enjoy a Murchison Falls Uganda safari is by taking a boat cruise. From the launching area at Paraa, where the Nile River flows into Lake Albert, the boat will bring you to the bottom of the Murchison Falls and the Devil’s Cauldron.

Along the way, you can admire beautiful flora and spot hippos, Cape buffalos, crocodiles, waterbucks, and a variety of water birds such as cormorants, bee-eaters, and fish eagles.

14. Birdwatching

If you love birds, you will be in paradise at Murchison Falls Uganda. While there are hundreds of species here, some of the most common include the crested crane, blue-naped mousebird, spotted mourning thrush, bluff-bellied warbler, and white-rumped seedeater.

A nature walk at night might present you with the opportunity to see nocturnal birds such as standard-winged nightjars and Verreaux’s eagle owls.

15. Cultural Encounters

Interacting with different cultures often presents learning experiences and wonderful memories.

While in Murchison Falls Uganda, you have the opportunity to meet several different ethnic groups that live in different sections of the national park.

Some of these groups include Acholi, Banyoro, Alur, and Boomu. Not only can you learn about the different beliefs and customs of these ethnic groups, but you can take cooking and dancing lessons with them and buy their handicrafts that help support their livelihood and pay for their children’s schooling.

16. See Wild Rhinos

The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is en route to Murchison Falls Uganda in Nakasongola.

You will be happy to stop here and see a variety of birds and animals including the country’s only population of wild rhinos.

  • We connect you to the site
  • Provide food and drinks on request
  • Personalized services and local guides

Is Murchison Falls worth it?

Murchison Falls National Park is home to a wealth of species in addition to a range of stunning landscapes. Many huge creatures, including lions, elephants, giraffes, and leopards, can be seen. Additionally, the park is home to well-known birds including the grey crested crane and shoebill.

How many gates does Murchison Falls National Park have?

They are the chobe gate, wankar gate, tangi gate, mubako gate, kichumbanyobo gate, and bugungu gate. There are six gates in total. The majority typically use the Bugungu gate to enjoy stunning views of Lake Albert and the Budongo forest.

What is Murchison Falls National Game park famous for?

However, the most notable feature of Murchison Falls National Park is the world’s most powerful waterfall. 200 bathtubs worth of water is pushed through a gorge that is only seven paces wide per second. The ground surrounding it trembles because of the pressure.