Kidepo Valley National Park.

Kidepo Valley National Park is a rugged savannah in Uganda’s northeast. The Park provides spectacular views of huge beasts and unusual birds. Grassy plains interrupted only by distant, calm blue mountains. Rather than the ant-crawl of safari cars, you would rather observe the blur of stray buffalo on remote horizons. Kidepo valley national park may be found in the extreme northeast of Uganda by frontier scouts.

The 1,442km2 Kidepo Valley National Park is a large semi-arid plain expanse of land in the far north east of Uganda, bordering Kenya and South Sudan. It was designated a national park in 1962 due to the outstanding quality and large quantity of animal species, some of which are not found anywhere else in Uganda. The park is home to over 77 animal species, including four of Africa’s Big 5: lions, elephants, buffalo, and leopards.

Take a Uganda safari into the highly gorgeous savannah grassland plains, filled with fairly uniformly spaced acacia trees and borassus palms, and encounter very colorful creatures with amazing color patterns, such as cheetah, zebra, giraffe, and leopard, up close. This magnificently beautiful national park is home to over 425 bird species, the most notable of which is the Ostrich, the world’s biggest bird, which can only be found in Uganda.

By road, Kidepo Valley National Park is more than 700 kilometers from Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, and is not near to major urban centers. It is one of those pristine regions whose great natural beauty has been less encroached upon by human activity, is less congested, and is a destination for individuals who enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, nature, and adventure.  Kidepo is one of Africa’s wilder areas, with clean air devoid of contaminants.

The height of the Kidepo Valley ranges from 914m at the Narus and Kidepo riverbeds to 2,750m at Morungole. It is a semi-arid flat plain that stretches as far as the eye can see, and it is one of the few sites in untamed Africa where animal viewing and nature interpretation are less difficult.

Take note of the surrounding villages; a pastoral Karamojong people have lived in the bush, grazing their large herds of domestic animals alongside wild creatures. They have always relied on domestic animals for all of their fundamental household requirements and have had little touch with European society.  Their cultural and traditional practices contribute to animal conservation in some way.  Take an organized safari into manyatta’s homesteads to come face to face with the root of African civilization in its raw and natural form.

What to see and do in Kidepo Valley National Park?

Wildlife in Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda’s third-largest national park, with greater biodiversity than only Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kidepo is home to 77 different animal species, and there are several possibilities to observe game.

In Kidepo, Uganda, there are 20 distinct varieties of predators, including lions, leopards, and spotted hyenas. Aardwolf, cheetah, caracal, bat-eared fox, and black-backed jackal are all local. The elephant population has grown to about 650 (from 200 in the mid-1990s), the buffalo population is estimated to be over 10,000, and there are over 50 Rothschild’s giraffes, a population that is important on a worldwide scale.

The deep woodlands are home to both huge and little kudu, while zebra graze on the plains. Adventurers who are lucky enough may even encounter a white-eared Kob, which is more commonly seen in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Birds in Kidepo

There are presently 470 bird species on the list. There are 60 of them in no other Ugandan national park. In East Africa, only Clapperton’s francolins and rose-ringed parakeets may be found in Kidepo valley national park. There are 56 distinct raptor species in the region, and the vultures are prospering. Furthermore, bird enthusiasts may only observe the spectacular Common Ostrich in Kidepo valley national park in Uganda.

Game Drives in Kidepo Valley National Park.

Apoka game drives are the best way to swiftly visit the most remote sections of the wild in the Valley. It’s a fantastic experience to see massive monsters and predators up close while secure in your automobile.

Cars typically follow one of two 20-kilometer roads across the densely forested Narus Valley. Large herds of buffalo, thirsty elephants, and antelope are lured to this location because a little amount of water remains even throughout the dry season. When herbivores cluster, predators are drawn to them, resulting in a wide range of spectacular creatures.

During the hot, dry season, game drives depart in the early morning and late afternoon. This allows you to see the animals in their most energetic state and capture memories in optimal photo-taking lighting circumstances.

The drier Kidepo Valley has fewer species, but it is nonetheless well worth viewing for its wild splendor. Avoid being naïve by focusing on the Kanagorok hot springs, which are located 30 kilometers north of Apoka. Drive gradually, meandering by grasslands backed by mountains and across the Kidepo River, which has a massive sand bank during the dry season. Ostriches and secretary birds thrive here, and kudu benefit from the shade provided by the thicker vegetation.

Nature Walks and Hiking Excursions.

When you walk on a path, notice the sense of vulnerability that pervades every step. You may enjoy the wilderness in all its majesty, assuaged by your guide’s knowledge. The Narus Valley is the setting for the majority of the two- to three-hour walking trails. The Narus Valley walk is especially popular since the short (5 km) radius makes it convenient for most tourists. It gives you several opportunities to see a broad array of beautiful critters and birds against the backdrop of breathtaking surroundings.

Birders routinely seek the Narus and Namamukweny Valleys for the Abyssinian Roller, Purple Heron, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, and Clapperton’s Francolin, which is only found in Kidepo.

For those looking for a more challenging challenge, a 15-kilometer route that follows the ridge line into the hills is offered. There are several possible paths, however some may have not been used in a long time and may even be temporarily closed.

Cultural Community Tours in Kidepo Valley National Park.

The Karamojong are a Nilotic language-speaking ethnic group of nomadic agro-pastoralists who adore cattle who migrated from Ethiopia to what is now north-eastern Uganda more than 500 years ago. The Karamojong, like their counterparts in northern Kenya and south-western Ethiopia, have mostly resisted modernization (though this is changing) and continue to live traditional lives that haven’t altered much since their arrival.

The Ik people suffered the most as a result of the park’s creation. The Ik were originally pastoralists who lost their animals to Karamojong, Turkana, and Pokot tribes. They are said to be the earliest Ethiopian migrants. After returning to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle on the lower slopes of the Morungole Mountains, they were evicted from the park in 1962. They didn’t have much option except to try subsistence farming in the highlands beyond the park, far up.

Where to stay in Kidepo Valley National Park?

Kidepo Valley National Park has a few of hotel options that provide travelers exceptional amenities ranging from budget to mid-range to luxury. Tourists can stay at Apoka Safari Lodge, Apoka Rest Camp, Kakine Self-catering Campsite, Kidepo Savannah Lodge, Adere Safari Lodge, and Nga Moru Wilderness Camp, among other places.

How to get to Kidepo Valley National Park.

Kidepo Valley National Park may be reached by road or air. Driving to Kidepo National Park in Uganda is a wonderful experience since it allows visitors to see the grandeur of the Karamoja area, which is located in the country’s north.

The Kidepo Valley National Park is accessible from Kampala through the Kampala-Gulu Highway, which passes through Kitgum district. This trek is 571 kilometers long and takes around 10 hours to reach the national park.

Tourists can also travel to Kidepo Valley National Park from Kampala through the Lira-Kotido road. This path will take visitors via the beautiful Karuma falls, right through the districts of Lira-Kotido and Kaabong, and ultimately to Kidepo National Park. It will take 12 hours and 705 kilometers for visitors to reach the national park on this route.

Tourists can also reach the national park through Uganda’s eastern region. Visitors must drive from Kampala through the regions of Mbale-Sironko-Moroto-Kotido-Kaabong before arriving at Kidepo Valley National Park. This trip spans a total distance of 740km and takes around 12 hours to reach the national park.

Another option for the eastern route to Kidepo National Park would be to go from Kampala to Mbale, then through Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, and lastly to Kidepo National Park. Travelers taking this route will take around 13 hours to travel the 792km journey to the national park.

Alternatively, people can fly to the national park. This is a very quick and handy mode of transportation for guests who are on a tight schedule or do not want to make the long journey to the national park. Charter flights from Entebbe Airport to Lomej airfield near Apoka are available, and these flights are handled by flying firms such as Kampala AreoLink and Eagle Aviation. Visitors that fly to Kidepo Valley National Park are typically recommended to drive back to Kampala in order to enjoy the stunning views and terrain from the national park all the way to Kampala City.

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