The Nyero Rock Paintings : There are many amazing sights and sites in Uganda, and some are found in the least expected places. When you think of a Uganda safari, the first things that come to mind are perhaps gorilla trekking, game drives, white water rafting or mountain climbing. Rarely will anyone think of Kumi district in the Eastern part of the country as a tourist destination, and yet it is. Near the town of Kumi town in Kumi i district close to a little village called Nyero, are three rock shelters. These shelters have some of the oldest art in the country. They have the oldest rock paintings in Uganda, as old as the Stone Age. For visitors who are interested in history and archaeology, this is one place worth visiting.

The Nyero Rock painting are the oldest rock art in Uganda consisting of 6 panels of prehistoric art, including many geometric and abstract patterns. Painted in red and black pigment on six granite rock shelters, estimates put the rock art anywhere between 3,000 and 12,000 years old. Researchers believe they may have been created by the Karamojong tribe, semi-nomadic animal herders native to this region of Uganda. Visitors will have to hike to see most of the paintings, exploring some wonderful landscapes and weird rock formations along the way, as well as people living the local way of life.

What is so special about the Nyero rock paintings?

The Nyero rock paintings are believed to have been made by the earlier settlers in the area. Currently it is the Itesot people who live in the area, but there are stories and tales that some little people, a bit like the Batwa who were in that area before the Itesots settled there.

The Nyero Rock Paintings
Nyero Rock Paintings

Regardless of who drew them, the rock paintings are simply amazing and a thing to admire. There are a number of people who travel t Nyero to look at these paintings and explore the three caves that contain the drawings. If you have an interest in archaeology, then the Nyero Rock Paintings are a site to be visited especially if you are driving by to or from Kidepo Valley National Park and we include the Nyero Rock Paintings Shelters Caves on some of our Safari Itineraries

In Nyero, you will get a guide who will show you around the caves, explain the local stories that are attached to the caves and the paintings and teach you a little bit of Ugandan ancient history and perhaps legend. It is also cultural tourism.

If you climb up onto the top of the shelter, you will see some great view of the surrounding area and might find a few monkeys, some birds, and a few reptiles.

If you visit the Nyero area and intend to visit the paintings, it is important that you be careful on especially on the rocky places during the rainy season because the rocks can be quite slippery.

The Nyero Rock Paintings
The Nyero Rock Paintings

The Nyero rock paintings are an amazing part of Uganda’s tourism. It is a site that you need to visit if you are on Uganda wildlife safari.

The place needs some support to keep it afloat. The USA, in 2010, donates some money to preserve the rock paintings. The rock paintings need to be preserved since they are in danger of eroding and fading into society

What to know before you go

There are no vehicles that go to Nyero rock paintings unless you hire from Kumi town or best if you travel with a Uganda tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris on a combined safari to Kidepo national park. Ensure to inform the site management about your visit. A guided tour is mandatory, which will cost 30,000 UGX. You will also have to pay for your camera and/or video equipment, but this costs only a few dollars.

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