Got Ngetta: Lira’s beautiful treasure in Uganda
Nestled on the rocky outer edge of Lira town, Got Ngetta is quite the site. A magnificent solid rock standing at whole 4,500ft above sea level. Imagine that! Legend has it that in the 16th century, the present-day tribes of Teso, Karamojong, Acholi, Langi, Kumam, and Japhadola all belonged to the Langi tribe. A legend many will beg to differ but does in fact hold some water. Because well, Ngetta zone was their home. And who wouldn’t want to have hailed from such beauty?
It is said that on one historic morning, this community awoke to the sight of a fear-provoking Rock that had imposed its self in the heart of their village. It had various fragments with faces that had striking resemblances with beastly creatures, dinosaurs to be exact. Even more confusing was the fact that where it had come from was a mystery.
Interestingly, no herbs, herbalists, or witch doctors could cast a spell that could move it. And, get this, neither could they give a satisfactory account of why it had landed in their community in particular. Many couldn’t help it conclude it was a fragment of the biggest rock in the skies which had broken off. It was that they named it the Got Ngetta; a Luo word to mean ‘the rock which had broken off. Interesting right!
Convinced that the falling of this feature was a bad omen to their land, they split and went separate ways. In the new settings where they settled, they met different tribes with whom they intermarried and gave birth to new ethnic groups.
Shelve its historical significance for a minute, did you also know that the hill is also home to over 100 vervet monkeys, different bird species, butterflies, and well, snakes? It also offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the Lango, Acholi and Teso areas. It is the place to be if you are into rock climbing.
Timothy Omara, a guide at the hill says that during the LRA insurgency, the hill’s spacious caves offered refuge/hideout to hundreds of refugees in its neighborhood. This helped in saving lots of lives that would have otherwise fallen victim to the brutality of the rebels. For this reason, it is revered by many Langi as a safe haven.
How to get there
For a minimum of Shs100.000, one can safely travel to and fro Lira, and also get to see this rock, and even book modest accommodation. To get to the Hill, boda-boda rides go for 3000shs and so does the u-turn back to the heart of the town. Budget accommodation in Lira ranges between 20,000shs-100,000shs.