Exploring Moroto: Karamoja’s Bustling Metropolis

boda driver moroto uganda

As far as cities/towns that I’ve visited go, Moroto is up there as “most unique”. On one hand it’s a testament to the developing world, with a mixture of NGO’s and government agencies propped up to share their agenda with the residents. On the other hand it’s a town that has been cut off from the rest of the world for a very long time, and just now catching up to speed. So you will find the old village huts next to multimillion dollar churches. The markets are labyrinthian corridors that mostly all sell the same things; yet seem to be plenty busy throughout the day.

The following is a series of photos I took while around Moroto. I often was in town with my camera but became shy to pull it out. It’s a shame because there were so many photogenic moments; however I did not want to offend anyone. Anyone where I got a portrait I offered them a bit of money. But it’s always afterward that I wish I could do more, that I just took the time to ask more people for a shot. But nevertheless, I got quite a few good ones worth sharing. I hope you enjoy them!

The Moroto Market

Every Monday, traders would gather to exchange all kinds of things: Cows, corn, beans, clothing, and even bikes. It made me jealous of the freedom people had: anyone could walk up and sell something. That’s a privilege we don’t have in the west, in a supposedly “free” society. There was a lot of energy there that felt cool to be a part of.

[envira-gallery id=”45420″]


Moroto Town

It was an interesting contrast. Only about 4 main streets make up the town center, but within those blocks are so many twists and turns with all sorts of commercial enterprise. I didn’t take the camera out much during these times but I did have the camera running as I passed through one of the back alley markets:

I managed to get a few blankets and a handmade necklace for under $20. You can get the recycled rubber tire shoes that everyone wears for 15,000 shillings… or less than $4.

Random Golden Hour Shots of Moroto

I did manage to spend an hour or so session around Moroto shooting random street scenes. Here are a few of those shots:

[envira-gallery id=”45443″]

If you go…

You’ll want to stay at Kara-Tunga guest house and cafe. They also have safari-style tents that are incredibly posh… and I don’t think i’ve ever used that word. They have an amazing cafe that attracts every Muzungu in a 50km radius. here’s a shot from my safari tent:

kara tunga moroto
not a bad place to have as a base!

And here’s a shot of the outside, underneath an amazing rainbow:

rainbow in moroto at karatunga