Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is the most isolated and remote national park in Uganda, and yet is the most beautiful savannah national park that gives tourists the typical wilderness safari game drive experiences in the vast savannah plains of the park punctuated with giant acacia trees. Kidepo lies in rugged semi-arid valleys between the border of Uganda and South Sudan and Kenya. Kidepo has two river, the Narus River and Kidepo River which are a source of water to the animals in Kidepo.
Gazetted in 1962 which is also the year Uganda got her independence, Kidepo is the one place you can go for authentic African wilderness safaris in Uganda. Located in the north eastern part of Uganda, Kidepo is in the Karamajong region whose culture is similar to that of the Masai in Kenya and Tanzania.
Kidepo is a beautiful gem with abundant wildlife that it remains a true rendition of tourism in Uganda much as it is still little visited given its remoteness. Kidepo is the best destination for extensive game drives in Uganda given the vast inhabited wilderness that the park spans to, covering about 1442 square kilometres of space. There are a number of attractions in Kidepo Valley that shall have you enjoying your stay in the park, and taking part in a number of activities in the park.
Attractions in Kidepo that travellers can visit while on their wildlife safari in Kidepo include the Narus valley, Kidepo Valley and Kanagorok hot springs, Mount Morungule, the Lomej hills, not to mention the animals in Kidepo and birds which make game drives and birding safaris in Kidepo Valley National Park very worthwhile. Giant African elephants can be seen freely ranging in the savannah plains against commanding views of the landscape in the park and the acacia trees.
Kidepo Valley National Park Activities
There are a number of activities in Kidepo that travellers can do and they include;
Game drives in Kidepo Valley National Park are the most done activity in Kidepo, taking travellers through the vast savannah plains of the park with various animal species. With over 80 mammal species and 28 species endemic to the Karamajong region, game drives in Kidepo Park are surely bound to be satisfactory giving travellers an opportunity to see number of animals like zebras, waterbucks, jackals, hyenas, duikers, giant African elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions, cheetahs, among so many others.
There are over 450 bird species recorded in the park, making birding safaris worth a try while in the park. Birding safaris in Kidepo Valley National Park give travellers a keen to bird watching an opportunity to tick off a number of bird species off their bird list. There are a variety of birds in the park and they include the Egyptian vulture, Kori bustard, Karamajong appalis, and ostriches, among so many others. That pair of binoculars should come in handy.
Nature walks in Kidepo Valley Natiare done in the guidance of armed park rangers. Nature walks are a great way to explore the savannah plains of the Park and make personal discoveries of the hidden gems of the park which you may otherwise have missed on game drives. Take with you a good pair of binoculars and camera because the views are great and worth revisiting long after your wilderness safari in the Park.
Best time to visit Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park can be visited all throughout the year. The best time to visit The Park however is during the dry season, which is in the months of June through September, and December through February. The Park is generally a hot and semi-arid area which means most parts of the year are hot and dry, with rains seldom received. The dry season is the best time for game drives in Kidepo Valley national Park, with the animals congregating in the few waterholes for a drink to quench their thirst, while predators like lions take advantage to prey on them.
How to get to Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo park is about 700km away from Kampala the capital city of Uganda. The can be reached by both air and road. Whereas flying to skip the long drive to the park is better and most considered by a number of travellers, driving is most rewarding giving so much to see en-route especially the homesteads of the Karamajong people. By road, there are a number of routes used to get to the and they include;
Kampala-Karuma-Gulu-Kitgum-Kidepo which is about 571kms
Kampala-Karuma-Lira-Kotido-Kidepo which is about 705kms
Kampala-Mbale-Sironko-Kotido-Kaabong-Kidepo Valley National Park is about 740kms
Kampala-Mbale-Soroti-Moroto-Kidepo Valley national Park is the longest of about 792kms.
For those travellers not up for a long road drive to the Park, there are charter flights available for booking from Entebbe or Kajjansi to a number of airstrips in the Park, flights taking about 2 hours only.
Where to stay in Kidepo Valley National Park
Accommodation in Kidepo is not as readily available as is in other national parks of Uganda. The Park lodes and camps that travellers can stay in include Nga Moru Wilderness Camp, Kidepo Savannah Lodge, Apoka Safari Lodge and Apoka Rest Camp, which you may book for your much anticipated wilderness safari in the Park.
Kidepo Valley National Park though a remote national park is one of the best wilderness safari destinations in Africa: even the CNN Travel named Kidepo among the best places to visit in the world. Take time to visit Uganda on a Uganda wildlife safari for exceptional game drives in the Park, and more especially gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.