Uganda’s most isolated and yet undiscovered wilderness park in the northern region of Karamoja. With a combination of rugged mountain scenery & virgin lands, Kidepo valley national park is one of Africa’s best safari destinations.
Kidepo valley national park is renowned for its amazing wild game and dry mountains, open savannas, large sand rivers, hilltops capped by rock kopjes. It is dominated by the 2,750m mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo & great Narus rivers.
The park is home to a great number of species including 77 mammal species and about 500 bird species. Visitors can visit Kidepo national park all year and the perennial rains make it an oasis in semi desert. Game viewing is common here and one of the most exciting activities, others include bird-watching, nature walks & hiking, mountain climbing. In the dry season, it is worth the drive just to visit the seasonal Kidepo River and stroll along its 50m wide bed of white sand between banks covered with Borassus palm trees.
The 1,442km² Kidepo national park is located in the Karamoja region of northern Uganda and borders the Sudan in the north-west and Kenya in the north east.
SAFARI ACTIVITIES IN KIDEPO VALLEY
Game drives can be done along Narus valley as the park’s wildlife congregates here much of the year. This area has adequate track circuits enabling visitors view the animals at a close range. The Katurum kopje provides superb views north across the valley towards Morungole mountain range.
Nature walks in Kidepo can be done around the Apoka camp any time of the day and visitors will be able to view different species of animals. Some of the wildlife seen include elephants, Bulbul, zebras and Reedbucks. At the eastern Kakine circuit, visitors can see wildlife at a close range of upto 50-70 meters. Nature walks can also be done along Rionomoe trail and around this hill where one can view the lower side of the Narus valley.
One of the best ways you can get to know more about the Karamajong lifestyle is through community walks. Their lifestyle is unique and this includes cultures, dressing style, dancing and the tools used. The Karamajong are traditionally cattle raiders and hunters. However, through community conservation education, their lifestyle is gradually changing and most of them now know the value of conservation of the park.
The Morungole mountain ranges rise from the plains a few kilometers north of Apoka. A Game safari to Kidepo valley national park will get you a chance to view the Morungole Mountain, the highest peak in Kidepo. Even at 2,749m, this peak is not easily seen from most vantage points in the Narus valley. This can be explored on foot with a ranger guide escort.
SAND ALONG RIVER KIDEPO
Kidepo River is an intermittent sand river found in the northern part of the park. It stands out because it is lined by Borassus palms, making it look like an oasis in the Sahara. The sand bed experience on river Kidepo can be very fascinating especially during the dry season. Many bird species can be found around this area and one can enjoy the wilderness experience while listening to the different bird calls.
This activity can be done either in the morning or afternoon and the park has got a variety of birds. The experienced guides will show you around.
ATTRACTIONS IN KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
The Kidepo conservation area supports a wide diversity of mammal species. Over 77 mammals are found here and some of these include Lions, Spotted Hyenas, stripped hyena, caracal, leopard, fox, Jackal and many others. Kidepo is also known as one of Africa’s best safari parks with a variety of wildlife attractions. The park is also home to chandlers, mountain reedbucks, elephants, buffaloes and the eland. The buffaloes are very common in Kidepo and it’s known as their home.
KIDEPO & NARRUS VALLEY
There are two valleys in this park which are Narus and Kidepo. The Narrus valley which means ‘muddy area’ among the locals was also known as the water provision point. This is the area that was always scrambled for by the native tribes, the nature and the mening Sudan. The Narrus valley today serves as the center for tourism due to presence of water throughout the year thus attracting a lot of wild animals.
Kidepo valley where the park get its name is known for the borassus tree plantations stretching approximately 100 meters wide. These trees also worked as the source of food during food crisis in the 17th & 18th century.
Kidepo valley N.p has quite a number of birds, over 475 bird species recorded here close to Queen’s 625 bird species. Some of the common birds seen in this park include; Ostrich, Kori bastard, secretary bird, red throated bee-eaters and the absynian ground hornbill. Also the birds of prey are famous in this park and about 58 species can be found including the verreaux eagle, Egyptian vulture and the pygmy falcon.
The only hot spring in the Karamoja region is the ‘Kanangorok’ meaning the place of black stones. They are located in Kidepo valley, 40km away from the Apoka camp near the south sudan border. The Kanangorok hot springs are a collection of natural hot springs. While driving through the park to the hot springs, you will be able to see wildlife like zebras, giraffes, elephangs, cheetahs, lions ostriches and many more.
Getting to Kidepo Valley National Park
There are four routes by road you can take to access Kidepo valley national park
- The 705km journey from Kampala via Lira, Kotido, Kaabong and then to Kidepo
- The 740km journey from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then Kidepo
- The 780km journey from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Matany, Kotido, Kaabong and on to Kidepo
- The 571 km journey from Kampala through Gulu, Kitgum and to Kidepo
Driving through the wilderness Kidepo is an exciting experience as one gets the chance of better scenery. One will need a good 4X4 vehicle especially during the rainy season and these can be provided by us.
Chartered air-crafts to Kidepo Valley national park may be arranged from Kajjansi or from Entebbe international airport to Lomej airstrip near the park headquarters. The flight normally takes two hours to Lomej. The Civil Aviation Authority plans in future to make Lomej airstrip, to the east of of Apoka tourism centre, an international airport to enable visitors fly in direct to Kidepo from abroad.