Mount Moroto is 483 km in size excluding the surrounding areas,located in moroto/Karamoja province. It lies in the extreme eastern corner of Uganda and lies 920-3084m above sea level. Mount Moroto is a Forest Reserve and public land with 225 bird species. Her habitats are; dry Combretum , Acacia savanna plus dry montane forest.
Mount Moroto is the most accessible place one can see some of the ‘unique’ dry northeastern features typical of the Karamoja province. These include a chain of volcanoes along the Kenyan border that begins with Mount Elgon in south and includes Mountains Kadama and Morungole. Although you require a long hike to reach the higher areas, beutiful arid thorn savanna and rocky slopes are accessible from the town at the foot of the mountain.
Moroto/Karamoja province is home to a variety of birds that are a great attraction. On the list are; the African Grey-Fly-catcher, Stone Partridge, White-headed Buffalo Weaver, Black-headed Plover, White-bellied Go-away Bird, Bristle-crowned and Superb Starlings, Jackson’s Hornbill, Hemp Rich’s Hornbill, Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird,handsome Silver bird, Grey-headed and Pygmy Batises, Purple Grenadier and the Straw-tailed Whydah.
The eastern extension of Kyoga system has Lake Bisina and Lake Opeta are home to Fox’s Weaver Uganda’s only endemic bird. These lakes can be covered en route from Mount Elgon to Moroto or visited for a day from a base in Mbale or Soroti.
Of the two, Lake Bisina is more accessible hence easy to reach via a good but dusty road that branches north, off the main Mbale-Soroti road at Kapiri(20km southeast of Soroti). Go up 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 nests in the waterside vegetation. Numbers peak in March and April but there are at least a few present year-round. The Quiet areas of water lilies support African Pygmy Goose and Lesser Jacana plus the Shoebill that is fairly frequently seen at the edge of the extensive papyrus.
Around the T-junction with the Mbale road 11 km from town the dense thorn savanna supports the Fawn-colored Lark, White-bellied Go-away Bird, the handsome Silver bird, Jackson’s Hornbill, African Grey Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Eastern Vilet-backed Sunbird ,Mouse-colored Penduline Tit, and Pygmy Batis, Brubru. At the roadside 5 km south from the junction ,are the Yellow-necked Spur fowl, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Crested Bustard, the smart Black-headed Plover. The Plovers and Temminck’s, Pairs of D’Arnaud’s Barbet and the Grey Wren Warbler are all present in the region.
Wildlife in Moroto Game Reserve
Moroto and the Karamoja region has barea but few wild life ,these include; Monkey, Potos, or the Golden Cat.
Attractions outside the park
The Bokora Game Reserve 50 km from town through which the road from Moroto to Soroti crosses has dry thorn bush at the roadside that supports a variety of birds such as; the Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Northern White-crowned Shrike, Mouse-Colorado Penduline Tit, Beautiful Sunbird and Grey-capped Social Weaver. Common on the Bokora Plains is the Hartlaub’s Bustard where as the Red-fronted Warbler, a scarce species in Uganda, is seen between Kangole and Iriri villages 30 -65km from Moroto, in the arid scrub at the roadside.
The routes to Moroto; one from Mbale, are excellent birding spots. Between Nakapiripit and Moroto is known for Pygmy Falcon,White- headed Buffalo, Weaver and Jackson’s Hornbill are common along the roadsides.
Where to Stay
Moroto Hotel has affordable descent accommodation, in addition to two more basic yet clean hotels on the main road. There are Restaurants that serve local foods as well as super markets that provide basic life requirements.
By road;You can access Moroto from Mbale via Soroti following the 90 km tarmarc, or 170 km dusty road, a 6 hours journey or via the 230 km. 7 hr drive direct eastern dusty route.
Along both way, travelers enjoy a good sight birds till they reach Moroto which is a bonus enjoyed before they set for their main menu-Moroto.
Best Time to visit
Year all round.