Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo valley national park is located in northeastern part of Uganda in Karamoja region between Uganda’s border with Kenya and Sudan. The park was gazetted in 1962 and it covers a total area of 1,442 square kilometers which comprised of Montane forest, open tree savannah grassland, woodland among others. Kidepo valley national park is a home of over 77 mamma species including the big four of the big five mammals and more than 475 bird species.
Attractions in Kidepo valley national park
Wildlife, Kidepo valley national park harbors over 77 mammal species which include buffaloes, lions, elephants, leopards, cheetah, aardwolf, caracal, giraffes, zebras, Uganda kobs, greater and lesser kudu, reedbucks, Guenthers Dik Dik, elands, klipspringer, Oribi, Jacksons hartebeest, side striped jackal, hyenas, bat eared fox among others.
Birds, Kidepo valley national park is a home of more than 475 bird species including Ostrich, Kori bustard, red and yellow barbet, Karamoja Apalis, pygmy falcon, white bellied go away bird, red throated bee-eater, Jacksons hornbill, black breasted barbet, chestnut weaver among others.
Things to do in Kidepo valley national park
Game drive is the most popular activity in Kidepo valley national park and it can either be done in the morning, in the afternoon or at nights. Game drives in the park are conducted in various areas such as Narus valley where you will be able to view large concentrations of animals which gather around the valley to drink water for example buffaloes, zebras, Uganda kobs, bushbucks, cheetahs, waterbucks, elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, hyenas among others. Game drives in Kidepo national park can also conducted in Kidepo valley where you will enjoy great views of animals like elands, kudus, leopards, cheetahs, reedbucks, Jacksons hartebeests, giraffes and bird species like ostriches.
Kidepo valley national park is a home of more than 475 recorded bird species including migratory birds, endemic birds which are not found anywhere in Uganda and near endemic birds which makes Kidepo national park the second best birding destination in Uganda after Queen Elizabeth national park. Bird watching in Kidepo valley national park can be done during the game drive or nature walk. During bird watching you will accompanied by an experienced bird guide who is knowledgeable about different bird species and conversant with different birding areas like Namamukwenyi valley, Apoka rest camp and Narus valley where you will view bird species like African grey flycatcher, Verreauxs eagle, white billed go away bird, black breasted barbet, red billed oxpecker, black coucal, pygmy falcon, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Karamoja apalis, superb starling, Egyptian vulture, purple grenadier, Ethiopian swallow, crimson rumped waxbill, dark chanting goshawk, little green bee-eater, long tailed nightjar, four banded sand grouse, chestnut-crowned sparrow weaver among others.
Cultural tour in Kidepo valley national Park is an interesting activity which gives you an opportunity to interact with the local people for example the Karamajong, Lorukul village and IK people who live in the neighboring villages. During the cultural tour you will be able to learn about their culture, tradition, way of living, visit their traditional homesteads also known as Manyattas, learn how to make their traditional items like beads, stools, bows, arrows, spears, learn about their bride price, enjoy their traditional entertainments in form of dances and songs, buy craft souvenirs among others.
Nature walks/ Hiking
Nature walk is an interesting and exciting activity in Kidepo valley national park where you will get out of the comfort of your safari vehicle and explore the park on foot in the company of an experienced guide and an armed park ranger to protect you from any danger. During the guided nature walk which are either done in the morning or in the evening you will follow different hiking trails to Narus valley where you will enjoy great views of animals such as buffaloes, elephants, waterbucks, zebras, warthogs, trails to Lamoj mountains, Idi Amins dream lodge, Morungole mountains where you will meet and interact with the IK people, hiking trails to Namamukweny valley where you will enjoy the views of the beautiful scenery among others. During the guided nature walk you will also view different bird species, enjoy the cool breeze, listen to sweet sounds of bird species singing in trees, relax your mind and breathe fresh air among others.
Where to stay during your safari in Kidepo valley national park
There are a number of accommodation facilities in Kidepo valley national park where you can stay during your safari. The accommodations range from campsites, budget, mid-range and luxury including Kidepo Savannah Lodge, Apoka Safari Lodge, Nga-Moru Wilderness Camp, Apoka Rest Camp, Adere Safari Lodge among others.
When to visit Kidepo valley national park
Kidepo valley national park can be visited all year round though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season there is little or less rainfall in the national park therefore access roads to the park and hiking trails will be passable, vegetation will be thin which gives you an opportunity to view animals clearly.
Getting to Kidepo valley national park
Kidepo valley national park is located in north eastern part of Uganda and can be accessed by both road and air transport means.
Road transport means, when using road transport there are various routes that you can use for example the route from Kampala via Mbale, Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then to the park headquarters which takes about 12 hours drive.
Route from Kampala, Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then to the park headquarters which takes about 13 hours drive.
Route from Kampala, Karuma, Gulu, Kitgum and then to Kidepo national park which takes about 10 hours drive.
Route from Kampala, Karuma, Lira, Kotido, Kaabong and then to the park headquarters which takes about 12 hours drive.
Air transport means, when using air transport means you will book charter or scheduled flights from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airfield to Apoka airstrip or Kidepo airstrip. Flights to Kidepo national park can be booked by your tour operator.