Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda
Kidepo valley national park Uganda is Uganda’s third-largest national park seated at about 1442 square kilometers after Murchison falls national park and Queen Elizabeth national park. It is considered one of the best Uganda safari destinations with a lot of incredible wildlife which can be enjoyed on a game drive on Uganda wildlife safari.
It is located in the Karamoja region in northeast Uganda approximately 220 km by road northwest of Moroto which is the largest town in the region. 520 km by road northwest of Kampala the capital city. It borders South Sudan in the northwest.
Kidepo valley national park is acquiescence by bumpy savannah, mount Morungole and transacted by the Kidepo and Narus Rivers. Most of the park is open tree savannah due to differences in rainfall.
History of Kidepo valley national park
The word Kidepo comes from a Dodoth verb ‘akidep’ which means to pick up. Do both pastoralists and the IK farmers inhabited this land before it was gazetted as a game reserve by the British colonial government in 1958. Gazetting intended to protect wildlife and prevent further clearing of the bush due to tsetse flies.
The evicted people from this area suffered famine, especially the Katebo people who were forcefully relocated.
The game reserve in 1962 was converted into Kidepo valley national park by the government of Uganda under the leadership of Milton Obote
Location of Kidepo valley national park?
The park is located on the Sudanese border in the northeastern part of Uganda and has a remote location in the Karamoja sub-region, more than 500km from Kampala, bordering South Sudan to the North West and only 5km from the eastern border with Kenya.
Kidepo valley claims over 86 mammal species. Animals like lions, side-striped jackal, cheetah, leopard, spotted hyenas, elephants, giraffes, African buffalos, zebras, waterbucks and hartebeests, and many more. Also recorded five primates including localized patas monkeys which are often seen in and around Apoka safari lodge.
- Birding in Kidepo valley national park.
The birds’ checklist consists of over 500 bird species. It supports east Africa’s population of clapper ton’s francolin and a spectacular rose-ringed parakeet.
Birds like dark chanting goshawk, pygmy falcon, common ostrich, secretary bird, fox kestrel, Abyssinian roller, red and yellow barbet, hornbills among others have made Kidepo valley national park the best Uganda birding safari destination.
How to get there?
The park has three gates regularly used, the main direct route through Gulu to Lokumoit Gate and the two other long routes through Karamoja remote area arriving at Nataba Gate.
Traveling by car is advantageous where you will pass by Ziwa rhino sanctuary for exploration. Traveling by road has also the challenges of poor roads and long-distance.
It has also got an airstrip where travelers can opt to travel by air which is fast, comfortable. The airstrip is located 3km southeast of the eponymous safari lodge and rests camp that takes two hours. Flights between the parks are usually scheduled by the tour operator.
Activities in the park.
- Safari Game drives.
Game drives in Kidepo valley national park are done both early morning and late evening. Unlike other Uganda national parks, Kidepo valley national park has got a variety of wild animals in the largest populations which makes it the best Uganda wildlife safari destination for game viewing.
The Narus valley claims the Narus River which attracts large numbers of animals in the valley. These animals include the savanna elephants, buffalos, giraffes, Uganda cobs, waterbucks, lions and hippopotamuses, cheetahs, ostriches, hyenas among others.
- Bird watching experiences.
Birding in this mighty park is another interesting activity that is best done at the Narus valley and Kidepo valley sections. Ostriches, dark chanting goshawk, red and yellow barbets are among birds to be sported on this mighty land.
Other activities include community walks which involve guided hiking through the Karamoja region, cultural activities with the local people.
Self-drive game drives, camping, walks around the Apoka area. Uganda wildlife authority also offers an exciting 15km hike across the ridges of Narus valley with no minimum group size.
Cultural performances were done by the local entertainers on request which has a large number of traditional dancers such as the Emuyu of Naporre and Nyangia ethnic group, the Lara karaka and Apiti dances of the Acholi
- Accommodation in and around the park.
Kidepo valley national park offers visitors a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from high, mid-range on a low budget.
Accommodation within and around the park are currently limited to the lodges and camps, among them; stunning located Cliffside Katurum lodge which was constructed and abandoned during the Idi Amin era but it’s now reportedly being revamped by a private investor.
Uganda Safari Trips – Book at a Discount
The 4 days Murchison Falls Safari Uganda Wildlife Tour takes you to Murchison falls National Park which is the largest park in Uganda. Here you find the rushing waters of the Nile forced through a 7-meter narrow gorge forming the Murchison falls, which have fascinated the world for centuries. On the way to Murchison falls national park, we make a stopover at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – track Rhinos.
While in the park – gaze in wonder at the herds of giraffes on the game drive, families of Elephants while on the launch trip to the bottom of the falls. Look out for the Nile crocodiles basking in the sun and Schools of Hippos. We end with chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest which is partly located in Murchison falls national park. Book This Trip
This 6 Days Wildlife Safari in Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safaris Tour combines gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest with a wildlife safari in Queen Eilzabeth National Park. The 6 Days Wildlife Safari in Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safaris Tour starts with a visit to Queen Eilzabeth National Park, Uganda’s largest protected area home to a wide range of flora and fauna.
Wild animals that can be seen in this park include some of the big five such as elephants, buffaloes and lions; as well as giraffes, antelopes, crocodiles, hippos etc. The 6 Days Wildlife Safari in Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safaris Tour takes you further through the Albertine Rift to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to more than half of the remaining total population of the mountain gorillas. Book This Trip