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The Nyero Rock paintings are some of the historical/ancient sites found in the Eastern side of Uganda. Situated near Kumi Town (former South Teso), just a stone throw near the small village of Nyero is where you will find the three Rock Caves-known as the Nyero Rocks that protect some of the ancient Rock paintings in Uganda that date back to the Stone Age period before 1250 CE). It is believed that the type of rock is part of the similar traditions often displayed in red pigment, extending across the Central, East and parts of Southern Africa, corresponding to the distribution of the Stone Age hunter-gatherer culture. It is also interesting to know that the art is attributed to the Batwa-who were also hunter-gatherers.

These Rock paintings were first documented in the year 1913 and later described by scientists as largely being of geometric nature. The main site is Nyero 2 and is characterized by large white wall covered by red circles, boats and unclear animal and human forms. This overhanging Rock was made by the breakaway of a massive boulder that weighs approximately 20,000 tons. There is also a huge acacia pod design that was called a canoe. On the Southern side of the Nyero 2 is a small passage between the boulders that leads to a narrow, dark shelter where there is a small cavity known as the Pocket. It is believed that the ancient inhabitants used to offer gifts to their gods from the pocket after receiving help from the gods. Up to date, the local community members follow the tradition of putting money and other things before and after receiving blessings from their ancestral spirits. Nyero 1 has few more circles and is found just beneath the main site and perched above other supporting rocks.

Even though the painters of the Rocks have never been identified, these features have shown a high degree of recognition and appreciation of their attractive and interesting significance. These Paintings have shown the value of Teso identity and Africa and a whole, and offer exceptional recognition, ornamental art and inscription on natural remote inselbergs in landscape with breathtaking scenery for tourists to relish hence increasing more activities to Ugandan safaris.

The Nyero Rock paintings were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites tentative list on the 10th of September 1997 in the Cultural category, hence displaying how the site is very significant to Ugandan Safaris as well as east Africa which draws several tourists to Uganda. The United States donated some money in 2010 to ensure the conservation of the Nyero Rock Paintings and the entire surrounding sites due to the high danger they face due to erosion and the fact that the site is gradually fading from Uganda’s history. When you climb to the top of the Rocks, you will be rewarded with the magnificent views of the countryside and may spot some monkeys such as the Black and white Colobus monkeys and the Vervet monkeys, several bird species and sometimes reptiles like snakes and Monitor lizards as they are sunbathing.

The best time to visit the Nyero Rock Paintings is the dry season because the rocks are always slippery during the rainy season. However, tourists can also visit in the rainy season but have to move slowly and carefully to avoid slipping and falling.

Where to find the Nyero Rock Paintings

As earlier mentioned, the Nyero rock paintings are found in Kumi district, eastern Uganda at about 8 kilometers/5 miles west of Kumi Town Center and approximately 200 kilometers/124 miles from Kampala City. Other rock paintings include the rock paintings at Dolwe Island on Lake Victoria in Namayingo district, Mukongoro rocks found in Kumi, Komuge rock in Bukedea district and Kapiri and Kakoro in Pallisa district among others.

In conclusion, the Nyero Rock Paintings is one of the most wonderful sites that tourists can visit in Eastern Uganda because of the rich history that this Stone Age site holds. The paintings are inform of human and animal shapes and concentric circles among others.