Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo valley National park is 1436km2. Isolated from the Uganda main stream by the harsh plains north of mountain Elgon, Kidepo valley National park is situated in karamoja region, North Eastern Uganda on the Sudanese border making the park one of the least explored.
This is Uganda’s most spectacular park. Kidepo is one of Africa’s last great wilderness areas with a tract of rugged/Arid savannah, dominated by the 2750m mountain Morungole and transected by the Rivers Kidepo and Narus. The land scape throughout the park is studded with small hills, rocky out crops and inselberg from which one can obtain stunning views in all directions.
The perennial waters make River Kidepo an oasis in the semi desert which hosts over 86
mammal species including lions, cheetahs, leopards, bat eared foxes, giraffes with 28 occurring nowhere else in Uganda as well as almost 500 outstanding bird species including the verreaux’s eagle, Egyptian vulture, pygmy falcon. Also there are species of horn bill like the red billed, yellow billed and Jackson’s hornbills; the giant Abyssinian ground hornbill is quite common. Predators are well represented not only lions, cheaters and leopards but also the delightful bat eared foxes and insectivorous hyena like aardwolf while a long list of dry country antelopes include the regal greater kudu and beisa Oryx. The lesser common Ungulates may also include the greater and lesser Kudu, Chandlers, Mountain red buck, klipspringer and dikdik. Five species of primates are found in the park of which the Kavirond bush baby is endemic.
This can be an excellent and thrilling experience due to the huge diversity of endemic species; Kidepo is the only park in Uganda where visitors are able to view both the Zebra and Giraffe. There is a sense of supreme isolation that distinguishes this rare slice of wild life in Africa and as yet undiscovered by the mass safari market. The park harbors a great diversity of other animal species than other parks concentrated within the Narus Valley. The carnivore species unique to Kidepo and Kilimanjaro can be viewed and the less common ungulates. Chances of viewing tree climbing lions along Narus valley and on the rocks as you enter the Apoka park headquarters are high.
Foot safari can be a rewarding activity across the Narus valley and enjoying the isolated wilderness
Hiking and scenery viewing
This can be carried out on Lamoji Mountains, Murongole Mountain and also Lonyili Mountain can be another possible hiking place. Visitors can view a splendid Kidepo river valley dominated by Borassus palm forest. Its wide flat bed is dry for most of the year.
Visitors can also enjoy a picnic on the sand located on the seasonal sand bed river. While enjoying the sound of palm leaves in constant motion in the wind
Nature walks/ guided walks
Visitors will be able to enjoy guided walks from Apoka enabling them to quietly appreciate the peace full atmosphere of the park and the beauty of the mountain scenery. Also, there is a great interest in the native flora and with many of smaller creatures of the park.
You can also visit the Karamojong Manyatta home steads as part of your guided walk hence increasing on the African culture and probably kraals for Karamojong pastoralists as well as seeing the traditional customers, stools, spears headdress, knives, bows and arrows and jewellery.
Local community groups of cultural entertainment, who on request are available to perform traditional dances of ethnic groups such as the Emuya dance of the Napore and Nyangea, the Larakaraka and Apiti dances of the Acholi are there for you. Money the community group earns from these cultural performances is used to uplift their welfare.
Kanangorok hot springs
From Kidepo valley one may be able to visit the Kanangorok hot springs that are located 11 kilometers from Kidepo river Valley
Kidepo national park can be reached by the road or by air.
Driving to the national park is a rewarding activity as vast parts of Karamoja are scenic and total wilderness though road conditions are at times difficult thus a 4 wheel drive vehicle is recommended. Roads that can take you to Kidepo valley national park can be through different routes;
Kampala via lira-Kotido-Kidepo is a 705 kilometers from Kampala to Kidepo valley
Kampala via Mbale –Soroti-Moroto-kidepo is 740 kilometers from Kampala to Kidepo valley national park.