Mount Moroto Lies in the extreme east of Uganda and is the
most accessible place to see some of the dry northeastern
"special", many at the western edge of their ranges
here in Karamoja province. One of a chain of volcanoes along
the Kenyan border that begins with Mount Elgon in south and
includes Mountains Kadam and Morungole, Moroto is a forest
reserve protecting a range of habitats from arid thorn savanna
to dry montane forest. Although a long hike is required to
reach the higher areas, excellent arid thorn savanna and rocky
slopes are accessible from the town at the foot of the mountain.
Timing All year round.
Time required: 1-2 days
Elevation: 920-3084m above sea level.
Status: Forest Reserve and public land.
Birds: 225 species.
Size: 483 km excluding surrounding areas.
Habitat: Dry Combretum and Acacia savanna, dry montane forest.
Stone Partridge, Black-headed Plover, White-bellied Go-away
Bird, Jackson's Hornbill, Hemp Rich's Hornbill, handsome Silver
bird, Grey-headed and Pygmy Batises, Bristle-crowned and Superb
Starlings, Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird, White-headed Buffalo
Weaver, Purple Grenadier and Straw-tailed Whydah, African
Lake Bisina and Lake Opeta from an eastern extension of Kyoga
system and are included as sites for Uganda's only endemic
bird, Fox's Weaver. Although no facilities are present, the
lakes can be covered en route from Mount Elgon to Moroto or
visited for a day from a base in Mbale or Soroti.
is more accessible of the two and is easily reached on a good
dirt road that branches north off the main Mbale-Soroti road
at Kapiri, 20km southeast of Soroti. Continue along this road
to the lake edge and arrange with a local fisherman to take
you across to the northwestern corner where a colony of Fox's
Weavers nest in the waterside vegetation. Numbers peak in
March and April but there are at least a few present year-round.
Quiet areas of water lilies support African Pygmy Goose and
Lesser Jacana and Shoebill is fairly frequently seen at the
edge of the extensive papyrus.
thorn savanna around the T-junction with the Mbale road 11
km from town supports White-bellied Go-away Bird, Jackson's
Hornbill, Fawn-colored Lark, African Grey Flycatcher, the
handsome Silver bird, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Mouse-colored
Penduline Tit, Pygmy Batis, Brubru and Eastern Vilet-backed
Sunbird. Drive south from the junction for 5 km, watching
for Dark Chanting Goshawk, Yellow-necked Spur fowl, Crested
Bustard and the smart Black-headed Plover at the roadside.
The Plovers and Temminck's Courser may also be seen on the
airstrip closer to town. Pairs of D'Arnaud's Barbet are frequently
seen engaged in their bizarre tail-wagging duets. Listen for
the distinctive sound of Pebbles being struck together that
may reveal the presence of the Grey Wren Warbler....
Other wildlife is not plentiful in the Moroto area but may
include Potos, Monkey or the spectacular Golden Cat.
Moroto can be reached from Mbale either via Soroti (90 km
tarmarc, or 170 km 2 WD dirt, drive time required 6 hours)
or via the direct eastern route ( 230 km. 2 WD dirt, drive
time required 7 hours ). There is good birding along both
routes. To reach the Seminary from Moroto, turn right at the
first roundabout in town and continue around the base of the
mountain for 7.5 km.
Attractions outside the park
The road from Moroto to Soroti crosses the Bokora Game Reserve
50 km from town and dry thorn bush at the
roadside supports, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Mouse-Colorado
Penduline Tit, Northern White-crowned Shrike, Beautiful Sunbird
and Grey-capped Social Weaver. Pink-breasted Lark favours
the arid Acacia savanna in this area. Hartlaub's Bustard has
been described as " common on the Bokora Plains ".and
Red-fronted Warbler, a scarce species in Uganda, is known
from arid scrub at the roadside between Kangole and Iriri
villages ( 30 -65km from Moroto ).
eastern route from Mbale to Moroto is an excellent birding
road although the journey takes longer than via Soroti. The
Nakapiripit and Moroto is particularly good with Pygmy Falcon,
Jackson's Hornbill and White- headed Buffalo Weaver common
at the roadside although a fair selection of dry country "
specials" may be found a mere 25km north of the Kapchorwa
Accomodation And Maels
The Moroto Hotel on the edge of town has double rooms for
$ 30 person, although there are two more basic yet clean hotels
on the main road. Restaurants serve local foods and basic
provisions are available from numerous stores.