Located a the base of Mt Moroto is our Karamoja Safari Lodge, kara-tunga.com This video shows you the scale of the mountain and it is a part of a range extending along the Ugandan, Kenyan border from Mt. Elgon through to the South Sudan. The yellow ridge lines are foot trails in place today. Everything else is your landscape to allow you to build the trails you would like to lay down, name , ride and have your friends come and ride your trails.
Karamoja is one of the most beautiful places on earth, it's people make it a very special to visit and to partner. This quick video will give you an overview of this incredible region. We know it is a place you willl love to explore, ride and build trails . Where else can you have the adventure of a lifetime and create world firsts as a mountain biker. Please come visit us and join our Warrior Trailbuilding Program.
Paul instructing a local in how to build a bush camp.
We knew when we first got to Karamoja and delivered bicycles that it had the potential to be a world class mountain biking destination. An incredible mountain range for all kinds of trails and riding, , single track decent of more than 9,000 feet and not a bit of it has been ridden.
In the developed world, it is impossible to go and just build a trail, there are all kinds of red tape, approvals, engineering reports, site inspections and sign off, plus it is incredible expensive, with many trails costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. In Karamoja, there are no approvals required, government welcomes you with open arms, they know mountain biking brings tourism and they want local jobs that can lead to a sustainable enterprise to support the local community. The Warrior Trailbuilding Program is aimed at creating a win/win scenario, while giving you a chance to do something incredible and exciting.
You get the adventure of a lifetime, staying at our guest house and eating and socializing from our safari lodge at the base of Mt Moroto. To cover our costs and to provide you a first class stay, we have a fee of $350 per month that includes your room and board.Ride the network of trails we have in place, explore the Warrior Trails that have been used for thousands of years and once you decide your signature trail, we encourage you to build it. Karamoja has no real economy other than tourism and the local people are keen to work. For $150 per week, you get all the tools you will need, a crew of 5 local trail builders and a guide, interpreter who speaks English to work with you and the crew to make it happen. Once done, ride it, GPS it, upload it to Trailforks and best of all, you get to name it.
If you are a cycling club, mountain bike association, or a corporation, why not send a team, sponsor a trailbuilding project and name the trails. We believe this is a great way to give back to the mountain biking world.
Imagine going to one of the world's best new mountain bike region, riding and laying out and building your own trails with the local people, all for less than $1,000 which includes your room and board for a month, plus a crew of 6 people to work with you for a month to lay down your signature lines, ride and name them.
Most people would pay multiple times that to just be able to go and ride the region for a week, you get to be our guest at our incredible Salafi Lodge and Guest House. You get to meet and work with an incredible people and culture and best of all, you get to do a first, build and name your own trail and you will l forever be a part of Karamojong lore and history.
We encourage everyone to come join us and the Warrior Trail Building program and be a part of positive change empowering indigeneous communities with the gift of together with them building a world class mountain biking facility and region. for more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For the last 7 years, Paul and I kept looking at Mt Moroto and thinking that it had the potential to be a world class mountain biking and gravel bike area and destination. Great trails, incredible culture and the most beautiful game park in Africa , Kidepo Valley national Park would attract a new generation of people to come , explore and enjoy Africa in a new way. While driving through the region south of Moroto, we climbed onto a ridge and we knew, it was the perfect place for a camp and the start of a trail network. Paul sat in the truck enjoying the vast spectacular scenery and I hiked up to the top of Mt Moroto, exploring the potential of the region for mountain biking. I knew we had found the right terrain and Paul had found the perfect camping place for the second Tour of Karamoja and a base camp that would inspire all, while becoming a working and empowering legacy for the local Tepeth people.
Paul is about doing things right, being professional, respecting and honoring the people, their culture and way of life. The Tepeth, were not Karamojong, but members of the Teso tribe and as the Karamojong expanded thier terrain in search of better pasture lands, they forced the Tepeth to move up into the mountains and they only started to come back to the lowlands once peace came to the region. More than any group in Uganda or Africa, they were the most marginalized and had the least opportunity to create a better life. It just so happens that their lands were some of the very best for mountain biking in all of Africa.
Once we decided that the location was right, we began meetings with the chiefs, the elders and the local community members to explain that we wanted to come and bring others to their lands to share it's beauty. We did not want to take the land, mine it or cut the tree's, only to ride, enjoy the beauty and to pay them for the privilege . We then talked about how it would create jobs for the people building trails, youth could develop the skills to guide and all riders entering the area would pay a fee to the community. The camp we would set up would be managed by them, and again, we would pay and others that would come would pay for the privilege to ride Tepeth and the Warrior Trails.
Paul was at his best, explaining, telling stories in Swahili and his limited knowledge of Karamojong, it took a while, but the elders and then the community finally understood, but they remained confused, why we would ride over the mountain when there was a perfectly good road around the bottom of the mountain. With having built Bicycles for Humanity and experienced the power of mobility and the impact on rural communities, iEmpowerment and the power of education and healthcare delivered on phones and tablets, we knew that mountain biking and the spin off effects of trail building and tourism would help empower a very marginalized tribe and help them on the road to a better life. More than anything, this was the most important thing to Paul, to respect their culture and provide opportunity that would empower them for generations to come.
With the second Tour of Karamoja about to start, we thought it might be a good idea to show up early, map out and build the trail network. I asked a friend Steve Andrews from Whistler to come over and help me lay out trails, teach the skills to build the trails and in 2 weeks, create a riding area everyone would be proud of. We arrived, with the locals we walked the trails, we hired about 60 of them, they were incredible workers and the more they saw us riding the better they got at understanding how to build trials.
The second tour was an incredible success, the local people loved being a part of the event. Watching my friend Paul Sherwen work with everyone from the chief down to the youth cutting the grass, watching him train people, encourage them to be the best and acknowledge their efforts was one of the highlights of my life. I have never seen Paul happier than when we had completed the riding facility, the camp and everyone, community and riders shared an incredible never to be forgotten experience.
To fund the initial trail build, we sold Tour of Karamoja jerseys and the profit from every jersey paid a trail builder for a week. To put things in perspective, we were paying $2.00 a day, a very big wage in this area, we needed about 60 people and over 400 showed up wanting to work. Since October, Steve and the local team have started a mountain bike association, Karamojabike.org and the Warrior Trailbuilding Program will work closely with this new montani bike association.
Who would have imagined, a world class indigenous mountain bike facility, in the middle of nowhere, with a people and culture second to none and the world's best game park, Kidepo Valley in the north of the region. Riders are already coming from all over the world to ride the region and we have only just started.
We invite you to come , stay with us ,ride the region and explore its beauty. if you are inclined for the adventure of a lifetime, than we encourage you and your friends to come, join our Warrior Trailbuilding Program and lay out a few of your own signature world class lines that you can showcase and be proud of.
Paul and I believed that Karamoja would , Lead Africa Forward and bringing tourists and mountain bikers here, while exporting skills and a model of grassroots empowerment to all in Africa I believe it is a fitting tribute to Paul and a legacy all of us that love cycling can be proud of.
Incredible terrain, start immediately and build your signature trail, or support the building of one. If you are interested in empowerment through trail building, please sign up here
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