Nyero Rock Paintings

We are stepping away from the more known grand attractions of Uganda; the giant Silver back gorillas that you encounter on a gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi Impenetrable Park, the grandeur of the Gadhafi National Mosque you’ll see while on a one day tour of Kampala or the the massive falls in Murchison falls national park with great boat safaris and wildlife on game drives. For a moment, we are delving into the small yet intriguing feature that the Nyero Rock Paintings site is which would be of much interest to those interested in history and culture experiences.

First, you will need to travel east of Uganda to Kumi district and into the small town of Nyero to find the site. UNESCO chose to describe it as three tiered rock shelters with primitive paintings on their inner surfaces. There are six shelters each called Nyero accompanied with a number 1 to 6; say Nyero 1 or Nyero 4. Nyero may be the most protected rock art site in East Africa and justifiably so given its prehistoric value to Uganda and Africa at large.

To some, Nyero Rock Paintings are just beautiful rock art, or just another tourism site yet it should be more than that. Intriguing is the fact that these are inscriptions, paintings made by our ancestors. The Batwa, a pygmy tribe are said to have inscribed these concentric circles or acacia shaped pods in Nyero an area whose present population is dominated by the Itesot people. The meaning of these paintings is yet to be demystified since 1250 AD the era in which it is said they were made. The Nyero Rock Paintings are the place where the Stone Age we read about comes to life, manifesting what we shared with those who lived over 750 years ago. Art lived then, and it lives on now probably more on canvas that it does on rocks as it did back then. It is a common heritage, a link to our ancestors and even more, a site worth visiting on a Safari in Uganda.

There are other rock art sites such as Mukongoro which is also located in Kumi, Dolwe Island on Lake Victoria in Namayingo District, Komuge in Bukedea District, Kapiri and Kakoro in Pallisa District. The common theme of the paintings on the rocks is concentric circles in red pigment. While at the sites, it would be considerate of you not to add your own paintings to the rocks or inscribe your name on them and touch them. This would maintain the state of the paintings for visitors yet to come not only this year but many more.  It is our hope that you will consider it a worthwhile destination while on your Safari in Uganda to explore and learn more about the history of this place.

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