Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is a typical classic Africa safari destination. Kidepo Valley National Park is a 1,442 square kilometre wide Uganda national park that was established in 1958. Located in the Karamoja region in the north eastern part of Uganda, Kidepo is a typical rugged savannah dominated by Mount Morungole that stands at a 2,750 meters above sea level, and trisected by both Kidepo River and Narus River. Kidepo National Park gives travellers a true wilderness feel, giving adventurous travellers one of the best experiences they would ever have while on a Uganda safari tour.
Kidepo National Park is a semi-arid region with temperatures averaging 30 degrees Celsius. The nights and early morning hours in Kidepo Valley National are rather freezing cold, contrary to the high temperatures during the day in the dry season especially where you don’t even need to dry yourself after a shower for before you could do it, you are already almost dry. Kidepo National Park receives rainy seasons too just like any other part of Uganda, usually in the months of April and May. Game drives in the rainy season are rather hard, they are best done during the dry season when the grasslands are patched and there is barely any water for the wildlife, thus converging in the slowly drying seasonal rivers of Kidepo National Park.
Attractions in Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo National Park is a true African wilderness gem with vast savannah plains stretching for miles on end. These grasslands inhabit some of the very rare birds and countless numbers of wildlife including predators like lions. The savannah of Kidepo National Park is another attraction to the tourists who venture into its wilderness. Kidepo National Park vegetation is described as open savannah with various structure and composition say with mountain forest and dense acacia forest.
There are over 75 mammal species and well over 470 species of birds that Kidepo National Park inhabits. Twenty species of predators are resident in Kidepo Valley National Park, many of which are not found elsewhere in Uganda say cheetahs and the black-backed jackal. Some of the wild animals travellers can see in Kidepo Valley National Park include lions, leopards, elephants, Burchell’s zebra, buffaloes, giraffes, antelopes (12 antelope species), oribis, Senegal Galago, and white-tailed mongoose among so many others. Birds like koris, white-crested Turaco, white-faced scoops owl, little green bee-eater, Abyssinian ground among so many other bird species can be seen in Kidepo National Park. Game viewing and bird watching are therefore a must do while in Kidepo National Park, as well as bird watching.
The landscape of Kidepo National Park is studded with small hills, rocky outcrops from where tourists can stand on to have spectacular views of the vast savannah plains of the park. The Narus Valley gives distinctly stunning views from many vantage points.
Kidepo National Park Activities
There are a number of activities in Kidepo National Park that tourists can do when on a Uganda safari tour visiting this amazing Uganda national park. These include game viewing on game drives, guided nature walks, bird watching, and visiting the local Karamojong community.
When to visit Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo National Park can be visited all year long. The best time to visit Kidepo National Park, however, is during the dry season (September to March) when the roads are easy to pass through and also when game drives are most rewarding. The wet season can also be good enough for those travellers after some bit of adventure.
Getting to Kidepo National Park
Tourists can get to Kidepo National Park by both air and road. By road, there are a number of routes that can be chosen from and they include;
- Kampala-Karuma-Gulu-Kitgum-Kidepo which is only 571km
- Kampala-Karuma-Lira-Kotido-Kidepo route is a 705km road drive.
- Kampala-Mbale-Soroti-Moroto-Kidepo is a 740km drive and
- Kampala –Soroti-Katipos via Amuria which is only 656km.
Getting to Kidepo Valley National Park by road is an experience that has tourists seeing the countryside, as well as enjoy the scenic views of the Karamojong wilderness despite some poor road network in a few areas, depending on the route chosen. Having a 4WD vehicle is very important for a transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park, and for use while inside the park. A road transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park can take up to 12 hours, with some travellers spending a night in Gulu and then continue with the journey the next day.
By air, tourists can get to Kidepo National Park by flying from Entebbe or Kajjansi to Lomej airstrip which is about 3km south of Kidepo Valley National Park headquarters. Regular scheduled flights by Aerolink are available and can take about 2 hours from Entebbe to the park. Prior booking is required, and could be quite costly too.
Accommodation in Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park does not have so many accommodation options that tourists can choose from, as compared to other Uganda national parks. Apoka Safari Lodge, Nga Moru Wilderness Camp and Apoka Rest Camp which is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, as well as some camps that require travellers to come with their own camping equipment and food stuffs are what travellers can choose from when visiting Kidepo National Park.
Visiting Kidepo National Park shall fulfil your Africa safari expectations in every sense. Kidepo Valley National Park can be visited alone, and it is recommended to visit for at the very least 3 days, or combine it with a Murchison Falls National Park safari or maybe even crown your Kidepo safari with a gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park! Get in touch with a reputable tour operator to help you create a perfect Uganda safari tour on which you shall have the most memorable memories.