Interesting facts that may want you visit the IK people in Kidepo Valley National Park
According to history, when one talks about the IK, many people may think they backward forest dwellers, fruit gatherers, hunters, illegal encroachers and primitive human beings that once lived somewhere at one time.
The IK people are a small ethnic group situated in the mountains in the far north eastern Uganda in the Karamojong region and near the Kenya boarder in the Turkana region. The IK people total to about 10,000 in number. The word IK means “head” and they believe they were the head of migration of the Kuliak. The Kuliak-speaking people came either from Ethiopia or from as far north as Egypt and that on their way south they divided themselves into three groups. Upon arrival in this place where they stay, the IK roamed freely across the borders of Sudan, Kenya and Uganda, hunting and foraging in the Kidepo Valley.
The IK people stay in about twenty small villages arranged in clusters along the escarpment between Timu forest in the north and in one of the treasured parks in Uganda; Kidepo Valley National Park. The IK people live at the Peak of Morongole Mountains at about 2749m above sea level and hiking to this place is a 16km round trip which needs a fit person. During your trek there, you will find a simple stunning breathtaking scenery of the valleys below you and the rift valley of Kenya, a rocky narrow river in which women wash their beads, you will also sight scattering of granite rocks that rise out of the bush, and the surrounding cultivated mountain slopes.
Hiking up the mountains to visit the IK tribe will be one of the highlights of your time in Uganda; a memorable experience of your ultimate Africa safari memories. It is one of the rare opportunities that are worth experiencing while taking guided tours of the Morongole Mountains.
When you visit the IK People on your Uganda wildlife safari to Kidepo Valley National Park, visit them. The IK are warm hearted people who warmly welcome any visitor, greet you with a traditional dance. During your visit, you will have chance to see them display their potential by acting, singing and performing plays that depicted their lifestyle, identity, heritage and the challenges of development in the modern world.
The cultural uniqueness and marriage among the Ik
The Ik pay between 5 – 10 bee hives as bride price instead of commonly used cattle among other tribes that surround them like the Karamojong in Uganda and Turkana in Kenya. The number of beehives being the determinant; a man can marry as many wives as he wants.