Karamoja

Mount Moroto

Mount Moroto is an ancient volcano whose name means “westward mountain” to the Karamojong people, signifying the mountain they initially saw when settling in this remote corner of Uganda.

The mountain lies on an escarpment of the Eastern Rift Valley. The slopes of Mount Moroto are populated by the Tepeth. The Tepeth still maintain cattle herds in their kraals, their thatched huts, which can be spotted across the ridges. This hike will give you a glimpse into the still wild parts of Uganda’s northeastern corner.

Description

Mt. Moroto is Karamoja’s most easily accessible mountain. Several trails take you up to the beautiful ridges of this volcanic mountain, allowing you to spend one or several days exploring its beauty. This guide explains the 2-day trip that includes one stunning night of camping under the stars.

Trip Highlights

  • 2-day trek to Moroto’s third-highest peak: Imagit
  • Stunning panoramic views of less explored forest and peaks of Uganda
  • Visit and engage with the Karamojong and Tepeth people

Photos: Meital Kupfer

While there are multiple routes up Mount Moroto, this one goes to Imagit, the third highest peak on the mountain. We recommend you arrive in Moroto town the day before your hike to organise food, water and check out the stunning vista the mountain provides over this bustling town!

Day 1:

You will begin your journey about 12 km outside Moroto town near Kodonyo HC II by taking the murram road eastwards from the town centre. After meeting your local guides and greeting the people you pass, begin your hike on the footpath behind the health centre. You will start walking on a flat expanse of homesteads and sunflower fields, the mountain’s ridges and exposed granite walls ahead of you. Starting the hike early is recommended; the sun can be intense once it has risen!

Steadily begin climbing up the first ridge, passing terraced homesteads rife with colourful flowers, watching your ankles for loose rocks and roots. 

After pitching your tent on the designated campsite on the ridge, continue up, scrambling up rocks and wading through deep grass. Keep close with your guide, as it is easy to get lost and end up walking down the wrong side of the ridge. 

Day 2:

After watching the sun set and then rise with the expanse of Karamoja below you, enjoy the misty morning. Have a cup of coffee or tea around the fire, and pack up your tents and shoulder your packs. Enjoy the relatively fast scramble and hike down to Kodonyo, waving at the people you passed the day before. It should take approximately 2 – 3 hours. Have a well-deserved hot shower and wash the dust off!

Keep in mind, many people choose to do more than two days on Moroto due to its alluring beauty or combine it with other mountains. Inquire with the contacts below to find out more!

Key Details

Location
Karamoja, Uganda

Difficulty level
Intermediate

Trip length
2 days, though longer trips can be arranged.

Distance
18 kilometres

Altitude gain
1,500 m

Season
Dry season is preferable

Need to know

Moroto and the Karamoja region is less developed than other hiking areas. When camping in the mountain, you will have to carry everything you need (drinking and washing water inclusive). We also recommend self-catering (carry and cook your food). You will also have to carry your camping gear.

In the dry season, the grass is short. However, if you go in cooler months, wear long sleeves to avoid getting scratched by the grass – some reach up to your waist.

Carry enough water! While the nights are cool, the days can get relatively hot, especially above the tree line. Make sure to carry at least 3 litres with additional water if you are camping overnight.

What it does offer are some of the best sunsets and views of the stars that you are likely ever to experience!

Please make sure to follow the mantra: Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints!

practical details

Where to stay

DNA Cafe
Google maps
+256 (0) 785 250 890

Kara-Tunga
Google maps
+256 (0) 781 079 049

Tour company/local contact

Paul Anyakun
DNA Café
+256 (0) 785250890

Kara-Tunga Adventures 
+256 (0) 781 079 049

Relevant links

Similar works

Mount Muhabura

Southwestern Uganda

Mount Elgon – Wagagai Peak

Eastern Uganda

Mount Kadam

Karamoja