Kidepo Valley National Park is the most isolated Park in Uganda. It was declared a national park in 1962 and currently inhabits some of the unique Wildlife species.
Its decent location at the core of Savannah landscapes nearby by numerous mountainous sceneries thrills most of tourists with sweeping views of rolling hills, sunrise/sunset, wilderness and more. With its ever-taking charm, reasons for planning a Safari to this Wildlife packed park are endless.
Besides Wildlife, Kidepo National Park is another Uganda’s great spot for cultural encounters. Multiple tribes dwell and inhabit the suburbs of this Park such as Karamajongs, Ike and more
Kidepo’s fauna consists of over 75 species of mammals together with 470 species of birds including the endemic and non-endemic species.
How to get there
This Park can be reached by road or air transport means. By road, there are numerous options which grant access to it as listed below.
Kampala- Karuma- Gulu- Kitgum- Kidepo route is about 571km and it takes about 10 hours for the drive.
Kampala- Karuma- Lira- Kotido- Kaabong- Kidepo is about 705km and takes about 12 hours on a good tarmac road.
Then routes passing through Karamoja east of Lake Kyoga include Kampala- Mbale- Sironko- Moroto- Kotido- Kaabong to Kidepo, its 740km taking about 12 hours for the drive and lastly you can go via Kampala – Mbale – Soroti- Moroto – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo, its 792km and drive for 13 hours.
The most recommended and usual route used is Kampala – Gulu – Kitgum with a stopover either in Gulu or Kitgum for an overnight stay.
For this route, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary stopover is also possible or spend a day in Murchison Falls National Park and after continue to Kidepo, whatsoever your itinerary is.
By Air – Private charters are arranged from Kajjansi airstrip on daily basis up to Apoka airstrip in the suburbs of Kidepo Valley National Park.
Activities to do in the Park
Game drives in Kidepo rewards magical African Wildlife encounters without the crowds. Several wild animals sighted include elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, Jackson’s hartebeests, Zebras and more.
If you are travelling on your own, you can arrange the game driving with the lodge like Apoka Safari lodge. A ranger guide is often on board for an added insight about the Park’s Wildlife.
With a local tour operator, all the game driving is done by your Safari guide using suitable pop up Safari vehicle.
Kidepo Valley National Park is surrounded by a number of different cultural tribes suitable for cultural encounters including cultural performances like dancing, singing and more. These tribe include Naporre ethnic group, Matheniko people, Ik, the Emuya of Nyangia, Larakaraka and more.
Kidepo Valley National Park is not only suitable for game driving but also for Nature walks. Nothing inspires than to enjoy wildlife on foot. Outside the Park, there are several places for hiking such as a hike up to Morungole Mountains for the unique culture of Ik people.
You can also do the climb up to uncompleted Idi Amin’s dream lodge started when he was still a president of Uganda. All nature walks and hikes within the Park are guided by Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers.
If you are a birder, Kidepo is for you. It’s known for its birds of prey. 14 of the 56 species recorded are endemic to the Park and Karamoja region. These endemic species include Egyptian vulture, Pygmy Falcon, Verreaux’s eagle and more. Additionally, Kidepo is the only park in Uganda where you can find the Ostrich.