Nyero rock paintings are pre-historical rock art paintings which are located in Kumi district in Eastern Uganda about 250km from Kampala city. These oldest rock art paintings are part of the many cultural and tourist sites in Uganda. The Nyero rock paintings are believed to have been the work of the ancient group of people who settled in this area many years ago, mostly the Karamajongo. (The semi-nomadic animal keepers who are native to this part of Uganda.)
According to research the Nyero rock paintings are similar to those rock caves of the east, central and south Africa and some people believe that the Pygmies (Batwa) who were the hunter gatherers who lived in rock caves painted them. Recent studies have proposed that rock shelters were used by the semi-nomadic people who entirely depended on keeping herds of animals and used these points in the landscape.
Nyero rock paintings is a unique cultural and historical heritage site in Uganda soon to be confirmed as UNESCO Heritage site. The place has three tiered rock shelters just a few meters apart that have primitive paintings which are fading away due to natural factors such as sunshine and rain. Some paintings are in white color and others in red pigments. The paintings are in form of concentric circles, Zebras, canoes, acacia pods and more.
Visitors to Nyero rock painting will take a hiking tour in order to see most of the paintings while exploring some beautiful landscapes, learning the rock formation and experiencing the way of living among the local people.
Nyero rock paintings is in form of 6 Shelters /Chambers named Nyero 1 up to Nyero 6 as explained below;
Nyero 1: This is a small rock shelter formed by one rock that hangs above three other supporting rocks on whose outer edge is painted 6 concentric circles in white and other shapes of acacia pods.
Nyero 2: A 10 m vertical rock lying against a back wall and an overhang that weighs up to 20,000 tons which protects the paintings from direct rain and sunshine. There are over 40 drawings that have been identified and most of these are concentric circles. There is another large acacia pod that was identified as a canoe. Further on the south eastern side is a pocket (small hole) where people came to offer gifts to gods in appreciation of the help and achievement got. The practice is still done.
Nyero 3: Located far north of inselberg about 8-minute walk from Nyero 2. The rocks are perched on top of other supporting rocks leaving no standing space so visitors here, you have to crawl inside. The paintings are white concentric circles with the outer circles surrounded by double curved designs.
Nyero 4: Located on south western side of the hill with few concentric circles and lines.
Nyero 5: On the western side of the hill, the images here have been damaged by erosion and so they are difficult to read.
Nyero 6: Located on the top of the hill, the painting is fading away due to a lot of rain and sunshine that hits them direct. There are paintings of oval shapes, a cross and small circle below it.
The tour to Nyero rock paintings are amazing and offer good historical experience. So if you are interested in tour to Nyero rock paintings inform your tour counsultant to add it on your tour itinerary. This is specifically for those using tour agency in Uganda and planning tour Eastern Uganda and those heading to Kidepo valley national park via Kumi district.
There are no public buses from Kumi town to nyero rock, therefore you will need to hire a private car to take you for Nyero rock paintings which is 8 km west of Kumi town and bring you back after the tour. Visitors will be required to pay a small fee for a mandatory guided tour and if you will need to use Camera, you will also be requested to pay a small fee. Great views can be got when you climb on top of these rocks but it’s always advisable to be careful as the rocks are usually slippery. People interested in archeology need to visit these art paintings.