The Pakwach District is located in the Southwestern countryside of the West Nile region. The busiest gateway to the West Nile (Pakwach Bridge) can be found here as well as the biggest national park in Uganda- Kabalega National Park. Murchison Falls (Kabalega) National Park has an abundant community of wildlife including kobs, warthogs, giraffes, hippos, elephants, buffalos, baboons, and birds of many flocks. Visitors can also access the park by taking a refreshing drive through Karuma. Pakwach has one of the best venues among many at Owiny Primary School where the entire world watched the 7th Hybrid (Total Solar) Eclipse since Jesus Christ was on Sunday November 3, 2013.
For visitors who like to travel by water, it’s not a bad idea to take a short trip via the ferry in Masindi, with which you will get an opportunity to pass through the beautiful ‘Palm Tree-laden Paraa-dise’. Along the Pakwach Bridge, across the awesome Nile River before it meanders to Sudan, from the old London Bridge is indeed a sight to see. But we must warn you, you must seek for permission from soldiers guarding the Bridge or you will be arrested and taken to the Army Barracks nearby.
This Southern West Nile countryside is famous for Angara (Salty Fish). It’s also famous for the round sugary Simsim Bread (Open Sesame!).
This district is a great place to “Watch the Park” hence the name “Pakwach” which also means “Place of the Leopard”.
Places to visit in Pakwach District
Wadelai-Emin Pashas’ Fort Heritage
Located 47 Km from Pakwach Town along the River Nile bank, Wadelai-Emin Pashas’ Fort is a ruin of a military camp established by Sir. Edward Schnitzer (Emin Pasha) aimed to stop the slave trade and mutiny of 1885 (Mahdist revolt) in the Equatorial Province.
The main historic remains are the earthen ditches, observation mounds, ruins of Egyptian type red burnt bricks and a steamer docking site.
In the pre-colonial era, Northern Uganda and South Sudan areas suffered slave trade activities from the Arab traders. To encounter this inhuman suffering, many military forts among others were established by explorers such as Charles Gordon, Sir Samuel Baker and Emin Pasha.
The various Forts in Northern Uganda were Patiko 1872, Dufile 1880, Wadelai 1885 and Magungo established by Dr. Edward Schnitzer (Emin Pasha).
Amuru Pi Hot Spring
Amuru Pi Hot Spring is located at the confluence of Lake Albert and Albert- Nile near the Panyimuru landing site. Amuru Pi has hot water springs that have significant healing powers, just about 20 kilometers away from Pakwach town.
The presence of a long shoreline along Albert-Nile presents a big opportunity for developing beaches and hotels with a good view of the waters. Many have equally used the river for fishing and transport purposes.
The Epi-Center of the total solar eclipse took place at St. Jude Thadeo Owiny primary school playground in Otwikende village, Panyango Sub County, Jonam County in Pakwach district on November 3, 2013.
The government of Uganda later constructed a monument at the site of the Eclipse to mark the historical event which occurred some 501 years ago.
Wangalei – Puvungu
Wangalei – Puvungu Cultural site is located at Pakwach Bridge, a point where Nyipiri and Labong separated in 1450 AD. Ovugu was the elderly brother of the two.
The story goes like this:
Labongo’s son swallowed the bead of Nyipiri. Nyipiri asked to open the stomach of Labongo’s son, in order to get the bead, an act that led to the death of the innocent boy. Later, Labongo’s spear which Nyipiri had borrowed to kill an elephant got lost. Labongo also demanded for the replacement of the spear which Nyipiri couldn’t and in revenge, he also killed Labongo’s son.
At this point, the two brothers separated with Labongo moving across River Nile to Parapong in Acholi land while Nyipiri remained as the Ancestral father of the Alur and Jonam.