In the far northeast, north of Mount Elgon, Kidepo Valley National Park is Uganda’s second biggest National Park yet undiscovered by the mass safari market. The provides refuge to a long list of dry-country species not found elsewhere in the country.’It doent get more remote than this’ is the draw card for Kidepos’ unsurpassed scenery.
SIZE: 1,442 sq km
On the Sudanese border in the northeast
WHERE TO STAY:
At the Park itself is the upmarket Apoka safari Lodge and N’gamoru Wilderness Camp just outside the park.There are also bandas and two ‘Do it yourself’ campsites run by Uganda Wildlife Authority. You must bring your tent and other camping equipment and food on ‘Do It Yourself’ basis.
Getting there: Road Transport: It is 792Km on the Kampala-Mbale- Soroti- Kidepo route.
Air Transport: There is an airstrip at Lomej within the park.
The park harbours a great diversity of animal species than other parks. Of the 80 species of mammals listed in 1971, 28 were not known to occur in any other Ugandan park. Carnivore species unique to Kidepo and Karamoja region include the bat-eared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf, caracal, and cheetah and hunting dog. Less common ungulates include the greater and lesser kudu, Chandlers Mountain Reedbuck, Klipspringer, Dikdik And Bright Gazelle. Among Other Large Ungulates Are Elephant, Burchell’s Zebra, Bush Pig, Warthog, Rothschild Giraffe, Cape Buffalo, Eland, Bushbuck, Bush Duikier, Waterbuck Defasa, Bohors Reedbuck, Jackson’s Hartbeest And Oribi.
Five species of primate are found in the park of which the Kavirondo bush baby is endemic. Carnivores present include lion, leopard, several small cats, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal and side-striped jackal.
There are high chances of viewing tree-climbing lions that always sits on sausage trees along Narus valley or on kophes along the kakine and Katarum circuits. Other wildlife include Elephants, Leopard, Bush Duiker, Jackal, Bush Buck, Bush Pig, Kavirondo Bush Baby, Buffalo usually seen right from the veranda of your cottage.
The park boasts an extensive avifauna. 465 species have been recorded (three new species were added to the list in 1995). Of particular interest, the ostrich and the Kori bustard are principally associated with arid regions. Hiking can be carried out on Morungole Mountains just a few kilometers from the Park Headquarters. Visitors can also go to view the splendid Kidepo River Valley dominated by Borassus palm forest; its wide flat bed is dry for most of the year. From Kidepo Valley, you may also visit the Kanangorok Hot Springs, which are located only 11 km from Kidepo river valley Ostriches toward the Sudan border.
Other activities include cultural performances visits to the little know tribe of the Ik,Karimajong manyattas (homesteads) costume, stools, spears headdress, knives, bows and arrows.