Did you ever imagine that the west Nile region would have impressive attractions worth visiting? If not, then be prepared to receive the most surprising news ever. Although neglected and with low visitor turn-up, the region is a haven of a number of tourist attractions worth exploring and one of them is the striking Mount Wati.
Mount Wati is considered the highest point (mountain) in the West Nile region standing at an elevation of 1250 meters above sea level. It is found within Erea Parish in Ayivu sub-county, Terego County in Arua district close to Maracha border. The mountain ranges stand close to the Offude Hills.
Sadly, Mount Wati used to be the hiding place for several rebels who used it as an escape point or to monitor the advancing government soldiers. It is believed that the Mountain shelters huge snakes that utilize lights to attack their prey during hunting at night.
This mountain is not just an ordinary mountain as you may see or think of it but rather a place where mysteries unfold. According to the legends, Oli Banyale the ancestor of the Lugbara people lived within the Mountain after being excommunicated from East of the Albert Nile. It is said that he always saw smoke rising from close by the Mountain and on approaching the place he believed the smoke was coming from, he saw a woman cooking. Banyale later made her his wife and therefore the Lugbara people were believed to have started from Mount Wati. Several myths also describe a small hill named Ojuqua that used to be within the Madi region. Mysteriously, a huge flock of birds began to roost on the Hill and it is said that they would spend most of the days destroying people’s crops and then go back to the Ojuqua Hill for their overnight.
The locals started hating and cursing the Hill for being the origin of the birds to the land to destroy their crops. Therefore one night, a rumbling was heard and the people of Madi woke to the shock of their lives when the Ojuqua Hill no longer existed. Strangely, the Hill was moved to Terego during the rumbling at night because it is believed that the Hill feared the people that hated it. Ojuqua Hill thereby asked Mount Wati if he would stay in his land of which Wati accepted hence when you visit the area, you will see Ojuqua Hill that stands under the protection and shadow of Mount Wati.
For years, piles of stones, four poles of a granary, a grinding stone and a pot-shaped Calabash were placed on Oli Banyale’s Grave, at the top of Mount Wati. These items were things he used for his lifetime. Nonetheless, the grave is a shadow of what is described to have been the sequences of things that happened in the early 2000s.
Would you like to climb Mount Wati while on a Uganda safari, there are a few tour packages that can be tailormade to include a visit to this mysterious mountain in the West Nile of Uganda. There are some trails/paths through the Mountain to the peak of the Mountain where tourists are rewarded with the breathtaking views of the surrounding areas. For one hour or more, the hike leads climbers through caves, steep rocks, cliffs, bushes and thickets where venomous reptile prowls and wild foxes can be spotted.
In conclusion, Mount Wati is an important tourist site to explore within the West Nile region during safaris in Uganda. This site is where some of the culture of the Lugbara people can be uncovered.