About Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Kidepo national park is a true gem with huge abundance in wildlife. It remains a true rendition of tourism in Uganda but remains unknown to many! Kidepo Valley National Park was gazetted into a national park in the year 1962 and currently hosts over 75 species of mammals and 470 species of birds. All these fall in a prime game viewing location. This national park is situated in Kaabong district in Northeastern Uganda. By estimate, it is about 510 Kilometers by road form Kampala – Uganda’s capital and Moroto is apparently the largest town in the sub region. Being named the 3rd best national park in Africa, this national park is definitely a must visit for any traveler to Uganda.
Activities to do in Kidepo Valley National Park
Want to travel to Kidepo? The park can be reached by both road and air. Driving is rewarding, as much of Karamoja, like Kidepo itself, is a vast and unspoiled wilderness. However, road conditions are sometimes poor and a 4WD vehicle is essential. There are four possible routes by road as listed below. Optimum driving times are given
Routes passing west of Lake Kyoga through Acholiland
- Kampala – Karuma – Gulu – Kitgum – Kidepo = 571km (10 hours)
- Kampala – Karuma – Lira – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo = 705km (12 hours)
- Routes passing east of Lake Kyoga through Karamoja
- Kampala – Mbale – Sironko – Moroto – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo = 740km (12 hours)
- Kampala – Mbale – Soroti – Moroto – Kotido – Kabong – Kidepo = 792km (13 hours)
The most usual route passes through Gulu and Kitgum Ideally, travellers should plan to stay overnight in one of these towns or at Chobe, near Karuma in Murchison Falls National Park. Visitors should note that the road mainly in use from Kotido to Kaabong passes via Kanawat not via Losilang as indicated on most maps. Enquire at Kotido for details.
Charter flights to Kidepo may be arranged from Kampala (Kajjansi), Kampala Aeroclub, or Entebbe with Eagle Aviation. Flights take about two hours. The Civil Aviation Authority plans to make Lomej airstrip near Apoka, an international airport to enable visitors to fly direct to Kidepo from other countries. There are currently no scheduled flights to Apoka.
The facilities of accommodation in Kidepo Valley National Park are currently three; Apoka Safari Lodge, Apoka Rest Camp and Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp all distributed in Luxury (Apoka Safari Lodge), Mid-Range (Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp) & Budget (Apoka Rest Camp) safari settings.
Apoka Luxury Lodge
Apoka luxury lodge is located in the middle of Kidepo National Park with spacious rooms and private veranda. Each room has a sitting room and bathroom. A restaurant and swimming pool are available as well. Apoka Rest Camp, run by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, offers comfortable, affordable bandas within the national park, including bedding, mosquito netting and showers. It is suggested that you bring all your own food although it can be cooked for you if necessary.
Nga’moru Wilderness Camp
Nga’Moru Camp is situated on the border of the park only 4kms from the Katarum Gate. Here you will find comfortable accommodation in either Safari Tents under thatch or in Cabanas, and all accommodation is en-suite. Nga’Moru is located on a hill, and the camp offers spectacular views of the Narus valley and the savannah plains stretching all the way to the Morungole Mountains. Hyenas, Elephant, Waterbuck, Zebra and Lion are frequent visitors to the Camp.
It is recommended that a ranger-guide accompany you at all times whilst at Kidepo Valley National park and this can be arranged on arrival at Apoka. Park officials recommend that all vehicles travelling north into the Kidepo Valley be escorted by multiple armed guards due to the intermittent presence of poachers and cattle rustlers in the area. Kidepo Valley National Park is accessible either by road or by air.