Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is among the best wilderness destinations in Uganda and Africa at large. It has a couple of extinct wildlife species that are not found elsewhere in Uganda. The park is a home to over 470 bird species and 75 impressive mammal species. Kidepo Valley National Park was gazette as a National Park in 1962 and lies right at the core of savannah landscape next to few mountain bodies with dry and hot season. Kidepo valley national park is a mountainous area surrounded by the ethnic group of people called the Ike who live in the Murungole Mountain where travelers go and carry out hiking and climbing sight the scenic view of the mountain. This hiking is guided by the armed Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers for your protection. The park harbors different mammal and bird species including the endemic common Ostriches plus animals such as the Zebras, cheetah, Rothschild Giraffes, antelopes among the rest.

kidepo valley national park

Location of Kidepo Valley National Park

The park is located found in the North Eastern region of Uganda in Karamoja region Kaabong district bordering south Sudan in the northwest and Kenya in the northeast. Kidepo Valley National Park covers a distance of 461.8 kilometers therefore it can take you 8-9 hours from Kampala to the park. The park is surrounded by the karamonjong people are referred to as the “wild west of Uganda” and are warrior Nomads.

Wildlife in Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park harbors different colorful birds and mammal species that is over 470 bird species and 75 mammal species. Mammals in Kidepo valley national park include the following Burchell’s zebra, antelopes, Rothschild’s giraffe, lions, elephants, hyena, and cheetah while birds include the Ostrich, Pygmy falcon, francolin, silver bird, yellow-rumped seedeater, yellow-billed shrike, crimson-rumped waxbill among the rest. But twelve antelope species are present in Kidepo valley national park.

Activities in Kidepo Valley National Park

Game drive

Delight in a scenery game drive through the Narus Valley in the Park’s wildlife. You can experience the perfect wildlife such as the buffaloes, giraffes, leopards, lions, zebras, Jackson hartebeest, Elands, oribs Chita among others. Kidepo valley is a flat terrain and has a scenic undulating hills which is scattered in few spots and the eye catching grassland.

Nature walk

Kidepo valley national park has almost all the features of the authentic African wilderness. You can have a nature walk in the thrilling Lamoji hills where you can grab a chance to view wildlife in the adjacent valleys, take memorable photographs. You can also drive to Apoka and encounter the Kanangorok hot springs which is a natural spa in the wilderness. Therefore you can book a game ranger at Apoka park offices for your interesting nature walk in the wilderness.

Mountain hiking

The mountain hiking activity is done morning where you will begin with climbing up mountain Murungole while visiting the neighboring tribes who are the ethnic people. Mountain hiking can be done on foot with the help of the ranger guide.

Attractions in Kidepo Valley National Park

Apoka tourism center

Apoka tourism center is where the park offices are located where visitors make the clearances for all the park tourism services plus other administrative issues. Since it’s the heart of tourism in Kidepo valley national park, every traveler can’t miss to go and explore this area. You have to book a game ranger to guide you during a game drive, camping safari, nature walk, birding and community tour. Apoka hill has the man-made dam where wildlife species gather from to cool the irritating heat of the day.

Narus Valley 

The phrase Narus in Karamonjong language means muddy ground. The valley keeps the oases even during the long drought. The wild life come here to cool off from the irritating heat making you to grab a chance to and view the wildlife. Here there is a clear track system leading you to secret spots which make wildlife viewing easy. You can spot wildlife like leopard, zebras, cheetah, giraffes, waterbuck plus beautiful bird species.

The karamonjong herdsmen      

The karamonjong are the local people living in Karamoja region. They are nomads roaming the vast plains of Karamoja with their large herds of livestock like cattle, goats, sheep and chicken. The karamonjong have pride in their livestock hence the large number of the livestock is a proof of their health.

Getting to Kidepo Valley National Park

The park is about 700 kilometer from Kampala city and can be accessed by both road and the flight. You can chose air transport means by using the Aero link Uganda a domestic airline which operates scheduled and chartered flights to Kidepo valley national park. The airline flies on every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from Entebbe International Airport and Kajjansi airfield to Kidepo Valley airport or at Apoka airstrip. The flights take 1 hour and 30 minutes. Though when going to Kidepo valley national park you can use the road transport through various routes like the eastern route, western route which passes through Murchison falls national park. The road transport is a long journey and tiresome but filled with beautiful views of the landscape, animal viewing, Rhino tracking in Ziwa rhino sanctuary. In the nut shell Kidepo valley national park can be accessed using the public transport like buses which travel day and night.

Best time to visit Kidepo Valley National Park          

The best time to visit Kidepo Valley National Park is in dry season which is characterized by the sunny days and thin vegetation from the months of September to march. Since the park receives no heavy rain in the wet season, it can be visited throughout the year. The park is less crowded from the months of September to march. For travelers who are interested in wildlife experience you are advised to visit Kidepo valley national Park in the dry season because you can spot and view a good number of wildlife since they tend to come to water sources to take water. It’s this period when you can get a chance to spot the migratory birds.

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