Located in the North Eastern part of Uganda, Karamoja is unique. It hosts all the camels of the country. And in Kobebe area, north of Moroto town, a camel goes for about 1,500,000/= (one million five hundred thousand Uganda shillings only) equivalent to $395.
Camels are an important source of food in the region. People eat the meat of young camels, though it can be very tough. They melt fat from the animal’s hump and use it as butter. People drink camel’s milk and also make cheese from it.
Camels are considered alien by many Ugandans, but in Karamoja, these bewildering creatures are domesticated.
Camels are valuable animals. A calf costs between sh200, 000 and sh300, 000, while a mature female camel costs between sh1m and sh1.5m.
Camel meat is tastier than goat meat. The meat is both for home consumption and for sale. A female camel reaches reproductive age when it turns one year. A camel’s gestation period is twelve months and a female can bear up to 30 young ones in its life time. Unlike cattle, camels are almost never haunted by any ailment. Camels are known to have a stronger immune system than any domesticated animal.
A camel drinks 20 to 40 litres of water at once, but will go a week or two without another drink. Compared to cows, which cannot be milked when they have just conceived, camels can be milked throughout their life time. They are milked six times a day and can offer between 15 to 20 litres of milk a day.
Camels are also used for transport. Camels can run at up to 65 km/h (40 mph) in short bursts and sustain speeds of up to 40 km/h (25 mph)