Kidepo Valley National Park is located in the north-eastern part of Uganda bordering Kenya and Southern Sudan. It is 700km away from Kampala. It is found in the Karamoja region. Kidepo Valley National Park is isolated from other national parks in Uganda. However, if you travel to this park, will notice that this park in one of the finest spectacular national park in Africa. The has an area of 1,442 sq kilometers. The scenery here is of breathtaking Savannah and with mountain landscapes that end in rugged horizons. Kidepo Valley National Park has got a vast altitudinal range and diverse climatic conditions that have enabled a diverse flora and fauna to survive. As a result variety of wildlife safaris searching for lots of animals of which may not be found in other parks in Uganda. From Apoka the park headquarters going to all directions will encounter wildlife in plenty.
More information about Kidepo Valley National Park
The Park is a semi-arid and a climate of one rainy season per year in the months of April to September. The valley of Narus River in the south receives more rain than the northern part of the park- the Kidepo valley. Rivers here are seasonal, and will will wash away riverbeds in some seasons. Thus, during rainy season avoid camping in riverbeds. Permanent wetlands are near Apoka and these attract lots of wildlife throughout the year. The combination of open savannah grasslands with wide open valleys, dry mountain forest dominates the hills and, mountains while areas along Lorupei River support dense Acacia geradi forest that make good habitat for wildlife.
What are Wildlife animals found in Kidepo National Park
The park harbors many and a variety of wildlife animals than any other park in Uganda. Over 80 mammal species have been listed in this park and by the time these listed in 1971, 28 species were not known in other Ugandan National Parks. Among the carnivores found here not any other park include Batteared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf, caracal, cheetah and hunting dog. Less common include the greater and lesser kudu, Chandler’s mountain reedbuck, klipspringer and didik
Among other large wildlife include the bush elephant, Burchell’s zebra, Rothschild giraffe, cape buffalo, eland, bushbucks, bush duiker defassa waterbuck, bohor reedbuck, Jackson’s hartebeest, and oribi. Five species of primates are found in Kidepo National Park and they include the Kavirondo bush baby is endemic. Carnivores include the lion, leopard, and small cats spotted hyena black-backed jackals and side-striped jackal.
Over 70% of visitors coming to Kidepo in dry seasons will enjoy good views of lions and some do climb trees. Other wildlife animals will be viewed in the Narus valley, Hiking on the Morungole mountain just some few kilometers from the Apoka park headquarters.
Activities to do in Kidepo National Park
Birding safaris in Kidepo National Park.
The park has an outstanding birdlife. Over 465 species have been observed in Kidepo Valley National Park. 100 bird species were added in 1995 when another research was done in the parks other than that done in 1972. Popular birds of interest here are the Ostrich the biggest bird in this world, the kori bustard are found in this park. 58 species are endemic to Kidepo and Karamoja region. These include Verreaux’s eagle, Egyptian vulture and pygmy falcon. Uganda Birding safaris in Kidepo National park is exciting as you stand the chance of even discovering new species in this park not listed yet. The red-billed, yellow-billed and Jackson’s hornbills are peculiar to Kidepo. The giant Abyssinian ground hornbill is quite common here.
Guided Natural and cultural walks in Kidepo and Karamoja Region.
Visitors will be able to enjoy guided walks from Apoka enabling them to appreciate the peaceful atmosphere of the park and the beauty of mountain scenery. While on the natural walk , will find great interest in the native flora and fauna viewing the smaller creatures of this park.
The Splendid Kidepo valley is dominated by Borassus, palm forest, wide flat river bed dry most of the year. A picnic at the river sand beaches with calm sound of palm leaves in constant motion in the wind form another memorable spike of adrenaline in your body. From this Kidepo Valley may visit the Kanangorok hot springs which are located only 11 kms from Kidepo River valley. The mountain and savannah landscape of the park is very specular. The Narus valley is situated in the northwest of the park, the rugged Napore-Nyagea mountain ranges form western boundary of the park. It is separated from the Kidepo Valley in the northeast. To the North bordering South Sudan are the Lotukei Mountains and the Morungole range marks the southern boundary.
Guided Cultural Walks safaris in Karamoja,
Most of the people bordering Kidepo Valley National Park are the famous Karimajongo, a cattle – keppeing nomadic pastoralists people. Most of Karimanjong people still leave their traditional way of life and still practice their old traditional practices.
Visitors will be entertained by traditional dances such aas the Emuya dance of the Napore and Nyangea, ethnic groups and the Lakaraka and Apiti dances of Acholi. Visitors will who do cultural safaris will visit Karimonjong Manyattas (homesteads) and probably Kraals to see traditional customs, stools spears, headdresses, knives, bows and arrows and jewellery, some of which may also be obtained from the park tourist offices. Travel hemispheres will help you to arrange guided cultural safari in Karamajongo settlements. Its better at the time of booking to specify and is taken into account in time. All natural walks start from Apoka the park headquarters and can visit more of other areas in Karamoja.
Kidepo Park Flying Safaris
The is almost 800 km away from Kampala depending on taking either road accessof Kampala- Karuma- Lira-kitgum – Kidepo, or Kampala- Mabale- Moroto- Kidepo. However the kampala Karuma, Lira , Kidepo is easier and shorter to access Kidepo National Park. Because of this long distance travelling by air to those who can afford is a better alternative to avoid long distance and quick means to get there. Flying will take minimu of 1 ½ hours from Entebbe to Kidepo.
Kidepo National park is ranked as one of the best safari destinations in Africa for its breathtaking scenery and large composition of wild game co existing with the dry mountain forests, open savannah and hill tops capped by rock kopjes, Kidepo National park is a true African Wilderness in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with South Sudan and Kenya. Flying safaris to Kidepo National park are very fascinating.
How to get to Kidepo Valley National Park|Traveling to Kidepo Valley National Park
The park can be reached by both road and air. Driving is rewarding, as much of Karamoja, like Kidepo itself, is a vast and unspoiled wilderness. However, road conditions are sometimes poor and a 4WD vehicle is essential.
There are four possible routes by road as listed below. Optimum driving times are given
Routes passing west of Lake Kyoga through Acholiland
- Kampala – Karuma – Gulu – Kitgum – Kidepo = 571km (10 hours)
- Kampala – Karuma – Lira – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo = 705km (12 hours)
Routes passing east of Lake Kyoga through Karamoja
- Kampala – Mbale – Sironko – Moroto – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo = 740km (12 hours)
- Kampala – Mbale – Soroti – Moroto – Kotido – Kabong – Kidepo = 792km (13 hours)
Airlines & Ticket Prices
Please check Skyscanner, or for multiple-destination flights check Expedia, to see which airlines can take you to Entebbe International Airport (EBB), and what tickets would cost.
The most usual route passes through Gulu and Kitgum Ideally, travellers should plan to stay overnight in one of these towns or at Chobe, near Karuma in Murchison Falls National Park.
Visitors should note that the road mainly in use from Kotido to Kaabong passes via Kanawat not via Losilang as indicated on most maps. Enquire at Kotido for details.
Prospective visitors should contact UWA Headquarters or the Apoka Lodge operator Wild places to obtain up-to-date advice about road conditions and identify the preferred route, particularly if considering an approach through Karamoja.
Charter flights to Kidepo may be arranged from Kampala (Kajjansi), Kampala Aeroclub, or Entebbe with Eagle Aviation. Flights take about two hours. The Civil Aviation Authority plans to make Lomej airstrip near Apoka, an international airport to enable visitors to fly direct to Kidepo from other countries
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