Kidepo Valley National Park is Uganda’s most fascinating Park. The 1442Km2 park is the country’s most isolated protected area, situated on the borders with Sudan and Kenya in the Northeastern corner of the country, in the great Karamoja region. It is a wilderness treasure; dry and hot yet stunning and waiting to be discovered. The park boasts a strong wilderness atmosphere characterized by adorable rugged backdrop offering tempting photographic moments and fascinating safari encounters and in 2012, the CNN named the park one of the best 10 wild landscapes to visit in Africa. It is one of Africa’s most decorated site in terms of accolades.
The altitude ranges between 2750m and 914m above sea level with two rivers; the Narus and Kidepo which disappear during the dry season leaving only pools for the wildlife. The park has a semi-arid type of climate with just one light rainy season per year from April to September, the Narus valley in the South and Kidepo valley in the north receive some 890mm and 635mm of rain per year respectively, the perennial rains make Kidepo an oasis in the semi-desert.
The park can be accessed by use of a domestic flight to Lomej airstrip taking just about 2hours or by road; a distance requiring an overnight break in Gulu or Kitgum town.
People and the Park
The Karamajong are the biggest cultural group bordering the park; they are traditional pastoralists who have lived a nomadic life but are slowly adapting to the changes in their traditional lifestyle and are similar to the Masai of Kenya. The other include the Ik one of the most reclusive tribes in Uganda who still live in a very traditional way in relative seclusion high atop Morungole Mountain.
Flora and Fauna
Kidepo Valley National Park is a definition of a true African wilderness. The park is well-known for its distinctive composition of wild game existing in the dry Montane Forests, open savannas, Borassus Palm trees, Riparian woodland and hilltops capped by Rock Kopjes. It is a diverse wilderness destination; with over 77mammal species and 475 bird species. On its list are species not found elsewhere in a natural habitat in the country such as; Cheetahs, Greater Kudu, Ostriches and others you will discover on your safari to the park.
It is home to various carnivorous species like the; Bat-eared Foxes, Stripped Hyena, Caracel, Lion, Leopard, Spotted Hyena, Small Cats, Black-backed and Side-stripped Jackal among others. The park is home to a strong number of Buffalos and Elephants, with other mammals like Chandlers, Mountain Reedbucks, Burchells Zebras, Bush Pigs, Rothschild’s Giraffes, Lesser Kudu and Bushbucks among others. The park also shelters Five Primate species including the localized Patas Monkey.
Birds of prey are well represented with more than 50 species including the; Verreaux Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Palm-nut Vulture, Pygmy Falcon and many others. The park’s extensive bird list is only overshadowed by Queen Elizabeth’s list of more than 600species, others present in the park include; Kori-bustard, Secretary bird, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Red-throated Bee-eaters, Karamoja Apalis and Black Breasted Barbet among others.
All these can be traced while on Game drives, and Nature walks while Hiking and Community walks are also excellent to discover the beauty in the park.
Things to do
- Game viewing/drives
- Bird watching
- Hiking the Morungole ranges
- Nature and Community walks
Safaris to see Kidepo Valley
3 Days Fly-in Express wildlife safari
5 Days Wildlife Experience