Kidepo Valley National Park

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.

Kidepo National Park is one of the best safari parks to enjoy game viewing in Africa. Located in the remote north eastern corner of Uganda, Kidepo is isolated from the rest of the country by the sparsely populated, arid badlands of Karamoja Region. Kidepo is of the most alluring destinations in the country boasting a strong wilderness atmosphere, rugged mountain scenery and unique animals that are not found in the other national parks in Uganda. Voted by the CNN as the best place to see in 2013, Kidepo is a great place to enjoy wilderness safaris and it is an exceptional place to enjoy game viewing and bird watching. Today Kidepo is taking the lead to be Uganda virgin national park with almost all the attractions that one would wish to see on an African safari in Uganda. On a safari in Kidepo you will see exclusive wildlife including cheetahs, lions, elephants, buffaloes and more.

SIZE: 1,442 sq km

LOCATION: On the Sudanese border in the northeast

About Kidepo National Park

The Kidepo Valley National Park located in far north east of Uganda. It is one of the most spectacular national parks in Uganda covering 1,442 sq km and one of the few places in the world where one get a real feeling of wilderness on an Africa Safari. The park has a great range of flora and fauna having a total of 86 mammal species and a checklist of 463 confirmed birds and 26 unconfirmed birds. Main attractions include the cheetahs, the striped hyenas, leopards, lions, elephants, the Uganda Kob, buffaloes, jackals, hyenas and more.

On a safari through Kidepo National Park, you will also experience a cultural tour that will teach you about the people and culture in Uganda, most especially the Karimojong people who live near the park.

Why Enjoy a Safari in Kidepo National Park?

  • Kidepo Valley National Park has the most stunning scenery characterized by rugged mountains and strong wilderness.
  • The best variety of wildlife in Uganda including Zebras, Cheetahs and Ostrich, Lions, giraffes and Elephants
  • A tour to Kidepo offers a chance to visit the Karamojong Village, a pastoral society in Uganda.

Game Viewing:

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.

What is the Best time to Visit Kidepo National Park?

  • November to January – when you might see some of the biggest buffalo herds in Africa, are the best months to visit.
  • The rainy season (August to September) ha s long grass that impedes viewing and it can also be problematic accessing the park on muddy roads. But you are sure to see lots of animals at any time when you take a safari within the park.

Getting There

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.

By Road

Many travel guides and guide books advise against traveling to Kidepo Valley National Park by Road. However, we can confirm that it is safe to travel to Kidepo by road. Many travelers have taken both guided safaris and self drive road trips to the park. You can drive via Mbale and Moroto or Gulu and Kitgum.

By Air

There are charter flights to the Apoka Airstrip located within the park. You can take flights to Kidepo using Fly Uganda or AeroLink. AeroLink has scheduled flights on Mondays and Fridays.

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.