Kara-Tunga Foundation (KTF) fosters peace, prosperity and conservation through ecotourism development in Uganda’s Karamoja region. Born from the commercially successful tour operator Kara-Tunga Tours Ltd., KTF aims to improve community livelihoods, protect nature, and preserve cultural heritage
KTF was founded in 2021 to develop, manage and monitor the community-based enterprises of Kara-Tunga Tours Ltd., a tour operator run by Karamoja-born Florence and her son Theo. Kara-Tunga Tours Ltd. has been heavily involved in such enterprises since the operator was founded in 2016, with 75% of tour proceeds going directly to host communities, local guides and local businesses. This income is invested in small businesses, livestock, agriculture, education, healthcare and emergency support.
WLT partnered with KTF in 2022 to assist with its work at the Mt Moroto and Mt Kadam Central Forest Reserves. KTF is prioritising these reserves as restoration hotspots to pilot a new conservation model. The model in each location will consist of:
- A core zone of approximately 5 ha located both inside and outside Central Forest Reserve borders, purchased and owned by KTF
- An additional 3 ha as part of the core zone that will house ecotourism activities and be a hub for conservation and agroforestry efforts
- A buffer zone consisting of a 2,500 ha community-owned conservation area, in which reforestation and agroforestry efforts will take place
- 1,500 ha managed by KTF within the Central Forest Reserves where reforestation, ecotourism and conservation activities will take place
WLT will be providing the funding for these actions while also supporting four community rangers and the planting of 76,000 trees.
Karamoja Conservation Zones
The WLT-KTF project will protect against unsustainable agricultural expansion and charcoal production, the two main threats facing Karamoja’s forest cover. The project will act as a physical buffer while also providing alternative livelihoods for local communities. KTF will involve these communities in conservation management with schemes such as training for agro-forestry, ecotourism, renewable energy, and fuel-efficient cooking stoves and other employment opportunities.
This region of forests, savannah grasslands and thorny deciduous shrubs is home to rare and range-restricted species that are not found in other parts of Uganda, including Leopard Orchid and Karamoja Apalis (both Vulnerable). The most recent biodiversity assessment recorded key species like Lesser Kudu (Near Threatened), Cheetah and Wild Mango (Vulnerable), and Painted Dog and Egyptian Vulture (Endangered).
Chairperson of the Board: Theodorus Joshua Vos