The Kidepo valley national park is nestled in Uganda’s remote far north eastern corner in the Karamoja region on the verge of Uganda’s border with South Sudan.

Kidepo valley national park is amidst a pristine savannah land scape and ranks as one of Africa’s virgin destinations since its less explored.

This rugged isolated wilderness of the Kidepo valley was gazzeted into a national park in the year 1962 and the main reason was to reduce the poaching of animal from the people from South Sudan and the indigenous Karamojong that are permanent residents in this protected park.

The Kidepo valley national park land scape extends across 1,442square kilometers and an altitude range from 914m above sea level on the valley floor to 2,750m peak of mount Morungole which dominates the horizon.

The park is inhabited by the Karamojong and Ketebo people who currently live in Torit in South Sudan famously known as the mening people who had survived in the park as farmers and hunters since the year 1800.

This untouched and preserved wilderness with a backdrop view of the transecting mountain Morungole that beckon you as you approach this small piece of heaven and the Narus and Kidepo rivers which disappear in the dry season are the main source of water for the wildlife in this park.

Kidepo is an enthralling place of semi-arid savanna, seasonal rivers and beautiful majestic low mountains yet accessible at any time of the year. The destination has only recently become accessible by both air and road, this is blamed for its off the years conflict of varying forms but those who have witnessed the exceptional wildlife sightings on thrilling game drives can understand Kidepo valley national park is a true gem with huge abundance of wildlife for the wildlife enthusiasts.

Kidepo is shelter to numerous mammals that move earth wart within this wildlife sanctuary, with over 77 mammal species with some of which cannot be found elsewhere in Uganda hence the park offers great opportunities with game viewing.

20 species of predators are present with the lions, leopard and spotted hyena in other animals’ endemic to the Kidepo valley are the aardwolf, bat eared fox, cheetah, eland, caracal, black baked jackal. Kidepo also holds a population of over 650 elephants and buffalos are estimated to exceed 10,000 with 50 Rothschild giraffes with numerous zebras that wonder around the savanna as they feed along with the spectacular kudu roaming through the thick bushes.

If timed at the right time you may catch glimpse up close with a white eared kob which is commonly found in South Sudan and Ethiopia. Kidepo valley national park is not only blessed with wildlife but also a birders haven with specific Africa’s birds of prey of around 470 species as recorded currently.

East African collection of Clapperton’s fracolin as well as rose ringed parakeet are only endemic to this national park other birds you expected to see includes the vultures, raptors and the majestic ostrich can also be encountered in the Kidepo valley.

Kidepo is best visited in the dry season that runs from December to march because generally around this season the temperature is soar and around 40 degrees but you could also arrange your visit in the middle and end of the dry season.

The dry season is best time to visit this park because at this time you have the chance to view the wildlife since the park is arid the animals will then inhabit the reliable water streams and holes giving you the best

game sightings at this time you could spot a cheetah hunting its prey on the short grass plains of the park.

Animals are scares and difficult to spot during the wet season because then the animals will relocate to high grounds which automatically makes it difficult.

As I earlier on mentioned the park can only be reached by road and air and one could embark on a 7hr drive from Murchison falls on the sealed road and if your driving from the capital (Kampala) the distance is only a 10hrs drive and this is approximately 571km using gulu- kitgum road.

Kidepo is reached by air through a light aircraft that sets off from Entebbe airstrip to an airstrip close Apoka which is the park head quarters, it’s the best option over the circling drama of Murchison falls and the fastest means as well.

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Gazetted by the British colonial government in 1958 and later converted into a national park in 1962 by the independent government of Uganda, Kidepo Valley National park located in Northeastern Uganda in Kaabong district is a true African safari destination. With its valley floors lying between 3000ft and 4000ft, the most isolated National park in Uganda occupies an estimated 1442 Sqkm in size in the Karamoja region made of rugged savanna orchestrated by Mountain Morungole in the south of Kidepo which is 9020ft and crosscut by the Kidepo and Narus rivers. A 520km distance by road northeast of Uganda’s capital Kampala is what you move to come and visit one of the best virgin places with a lot of natural diversity yet to be explored. The Ketebo people are the natives in the area having stayed here ranging back in 1800 with farming and hunting as their main activities. However these were forcefully relocated in order to reduce hunting of animals and further clearing of the bush for tsetse fly control.

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The largest part of the national park is open tree savannah made up of two valley systems that is Kidepo River and Narus River. The Kidepo valley has clayed soil and annual average rains of 64cms well as the Narus valley has red clays and loam soils with annual average rains of 89cms. The Kanangorok hot spring on the northern edge of the park is the most permanent source of water in the park. Kidepo Valley National park boasts over 86 mammal species like giraffes, lions, wild dogs, elephants, spotted hyenas, cheetahs, zebras, foxes, buffalos and Rothschild’s giraffes with 28 mammal being endemic to this Karamoja region in Uganda. The park also bears over 500 bird species like Abyssinian roller, kori bustard, Jackson’s hornbill, ostriches, yellow billed hornbill, verreaux’s eagle etc. and is indeed a true haven for a keen birder.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Activities to do in Kidepo Valley National park” google_fonts=”font_family:Signika%3A300%2Cregular%2C600%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_custom_heading text=”1. Game viewing and game drives” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Signika%3A300%2Cregular%2C600%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This is the main activity in Kidepo Valley National park due to its vast nature and rugged savannah areas with incredibly spectacular views for visitors. Game driving /viewing can be best done during the dry season in the months of September to March on dirt roads that cross the western and southern parts of the park. This is because the roads are impassable during the wet season in months of April and May.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”2. Hiking and Nature walk” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Signika%3A300%2Cregular%2C600%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]

This can be done on the Lamoj Mountains a few kilometers from the headquarters of the park as well as in the Kidepo valley or the palm forest which is dry in most parts of the year. River Kidepo also provides an incredible experience due to its perennial waters and most animals in the park hangout on its banks as well as the magnificent Kanangoroki hot spring . The nature walks involve cultural visits to the nearby areas around the park mainly occupied by the Acholi and Karamajong people who normally live a nomadic lifestyle. These local people are great entertainers who can perform different cultural dances on request by the visitors. While on the nature walk, you can also see the houses built with cow manure (cow dung) and these are commonly known as “Karimajong Manyatas”

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Bird lovers can also experience an incredible treat at Kidepo Valley National park since the park already boasts over 500 bird species 14 of which are endemic to the Kidepo area. Such birds include Jackson’s hornbill, ostriches, kori bustard etc.

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Kidepo Valley National park being in semi-arid region with average temperatures of 290 degrees, there are not many accommodation facilities as like other national parks. This is because the park is very isolated with few people living around. However, there some affordable accommodation facilities at the park which provide great hospitality to visitors. These are;
Kidepo Savana Lodge
Apoka Rest Camp
Apoka Safari Lodge
Nga’Movu Wilderness Camp

[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Featured Safaris to Kidepo Valley National Park” google_fonts=”font_family:Signika%3A300%2Cregular%2C600%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]4 Days Kidepo National park Safari
4 Days Kidepo Valley Flying Safari[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]