Kidepo Valley National Park

About Kidepo Valley National Park

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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.

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Activities to do in Kidepo Valley National Park

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Game-Drive-Kidepo

Game Drives in Kidepo

A park ranger will help you spot the lions that may be sitting on the valley’s various rocks. Other wildlife includes elephants, leopard, bush duiker, jackal, bushbuck, bush pig, ostrich, buffalo and much more, in the wild Narus Valley. Wildlife is most active in the Narus Valley during early mornings and late afternoon – 6am and 4pm are optimum times to set off on game drives. You are advised to use a ranger at all times; they will help you spot some of the park’s lions that may be sitting on the valley’s various rocks. Other wildlife includes elephants, leopard, bush duiker, jackal, bushbuck, bush pig, Kavirondo bush baby, buffalo and much more.
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Birding in Kidepo Valley Park

Kidepo Valley Park is a great place for birders that also would like to enjoy wildlife. Kidepo is notable for its birds of prey. Of the 56 species recorded, 14 – including Verreaux’s Eagle, Egyptian Vulture and Pygmy Falcon. There has, however, been no comprehensive survey of birds in Kidepo and visitors stand a good chance of adding to the current list. 
Kidepo Valley Park is the only park in Uganda where you can find the common ostrich which is certainly a sight to see.  Ostrich Eggs are harvested for breeding purposes by Uganda Wildlife Authority in order to increase number ostriches in 
Kidepo walk

Hiking/Nature Walks in Kidepo

The Lomej Mountains can be reached on foot in four hours, the hike starts at 7am. Shorter guided walks of around two hours can be taken through the Narus Valley extending over a 5km radius from Apoka Tourism Centre. Visitors can also wander along the splendid Kidepo River Valley between banks of attractive borassus palm forest. Namamkweny Valley can be reached in one hour from Apoka.  All Nature Walks and Hikes within the Park will guided by Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers, you cannot wander off on your own in this remote park.
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Kidepo Valley Cultural Encounters

Lorokul Cultural Group: The notorious, cattle-herding Karamojong occupy northeastern Uganda, in an area covering one tenth of the country. Discover the unique culture of this remote tribe with the Lorukul Cultural Group, located just outside Kidepo Valley National Park.

Their main livelihood is herding livestock, and the social and cultural importance will be explained as you walk with the guides to the traditional Karamojong manyattas (homesteads), granaries and cattle enclosures. Learn how the villagers make their distinctive beads, sample the local cuisine, and even meet the Karamojong King, who will narrate the tribe’s folklore and beliefs.

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Visit to the IK People of Uganda

You will need an early morning start to climb up into the Monrungole Mountains for a visit with the Ik Tribe.  One of the original tribes in the in the Northeast Uganda area. They were here long the Karamojong entered their land.  Today they number around 10,000.  Colin Turnbull wrote a somewhat negative book entitled “The Mountain People” about the Ik which has been disproved – he had tried to prove that the Ik people were incapable of loving.

This will be one of the highlights of your time in Uganda – learn the ways and culture of the Ik People. This activity will add one day to your safari to Kidepo Valley Park.

Kidepo Valley National Park

Wildlife Experience in Kidepo

We think that Kidepo Valley Park is the best all-around wildlife Park in Uganda. Few come here, but they that do rave about their Safari Experience in this remote Park. Kidepo Valley Park is a magnificent, remote, out of the ordinary African Wildlife Park – like Africa was over 50 plus years ago – we love to introduce you to the African Wild as it used to be on Safari to the park will include your choices when it comes to the Top Things to Do in Kidepo Valley Park – Northeast Uganda – a park where you will feel all alone – Africa without the Crowds – something that you can only experience in Uganda – the Pearl of Africa.

Travel to 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

  1. Kampala – Karuma – Gulu – Kitgum – Kidepo = 571km (10 hours)
  2. Kampala – Karuma – Lira – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo = 705km (12 hours)
  3. Routes passing east of Lake Kyoga through Karamoja
  4. Kampala – Mbale – Sironko – Moroto – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo = 740km (12 hours)
  5. 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.

Kidepo Valley National Park Highlights

  • Size: 1,442km2
  • The park’s altitude ranges between 914m and 2,750m above sea level.
  • The park contains two rivers – Kidepo and Narus – which disappear in the dry season, leaving just pools for the wildlife.
  • The local communities around the park include pastoral Karamojong people, similar to the Maasai of Kenya, and the IK, a hunter-gatherer tribe whose survival is threatened.