The Kidepo Valley National Park is among Uganda’s most magnificent parks along the border of Uganda with Southern Sudan in the northeast. It covers 1,442 sq kilometers and offers scenery unparalleled in any other national park within East Africa. What is talked about by the visitors in regards to its scenery is that “It couldn’t be any better!”, and repeatedly the visitors promise and actually return to Kidepo. Hidden into the corner of the border of Uganda with Kenya and South Sudan, this park offers spectacular Savannah landscapes that end in rocky horizon.
Park activity highlights:
- Hiking and Sightseeing, Game viewing, Bird watching, Visit to hot springs
- Kidepo Valley Elephant Family
- Kidepo Valley Elephant Family. Photo Source: CNN
- Tourist activities in Kidepo Valley National Park
Hiking and Sightseeing in Kidepo
Hiking may be conducted on Lamoj Mountains only a couple of kilometers from the Headquarters of the Park. Visitors may as well go to see the marvelous Kidepo River Valley covered with Borassus palm forest; its broad flat bed is dried out through the biggest part of the year. From the Kidepo Valley, also you can visit Kanangorok Hot Springs that are situated just 11 km from the Kidepo river valley.
Game viewing in Kidepo
Among the various species to see within this park are: the Hunting dog, Bat-eared Fox, Cheetah, Striped Hyena, Caracal, the aard Wolf, elephants, oribi, burchell’s zebras, Jackson’s hartebeests, bush pigs, bohor reed buck, warthogs, rothschild giraffes, defassa water bucks, cape buffaloes, elands, bush duskier, bush bucks, lions, side-striped jackals, leopards, black-backed jackals, various small cats as well as spotted hyenas.
Bird Watching in Kidepo
The park is renowned for its exceptional variety of birds. Out of the Fifty eight recorded birds of prey, fourteen are thought to be specifically endemic to the Kidepo as well as the Karamoja region. Included in these are: the pygmy Falcon, Varreaux’s Eagle plus the Egyptian Vulture and many other species.
The nearby local communities possess teams of cultural entertainers that are normally accessible to offer performances on request. These performers have a wide range of traditional dances as well as songs such as the Emuya of the Nyangia as well as the Naporre ethnic groups along with Larakaraka plus Apiti dances performed by the native Acholi people.
Attractions in Kidepo
Apoka Tourism Centre
Looking over the game filled Narus Valley and habitat to a luxury lodge and the standard UWA managed cottages; the Apoka is the tourism centre of the park. Ranger guides are positioned at Apoka to accompany tourists on their game drives plus nature walks. For people not having their private transport, there are park trucks offered for hired. In addition, there is a craft shop having books plus souvenirs, alcoholic beverages, bottled-water plus sodas which can as well be bought here. Food is prepared on request and also cooking gas as well as utensils may be hired by people who desire to cook on their own.
Narus Valley is a rising and falling grassland plain surrounded by faraway mountains. This valley provides permanent water, and through most of the year its wildlife gathers here. Therefore, this area is properly supplied with game tracks, having 4 loop circuits that explore the valley close to Apoka. Several creatures for example lions, reedbucks, Jackson’s hartebeests, oribis, buffaloes and giraffes are visible within the valley. Cheetahs plus leopards are as well seen but in smaller numbers. The Narus dam together with the water hole close to the Tourism Centre are ideal observation places for game, particularly throughout the dry season. At the far southern tip of the Katurum loop, there is the Katurum kopje (a site of an abandoned lodge) is an eye-catching destination with outstanding views north over the valley in the direction of the Morungule mountain range.
Kidepo Valley and Kanangorok Hot Springs
Through most of the year, shortage of surface water implies that less wildlife is seen within Kidepo Valley, although it is still definitely worth the drive to go to the dried out Kidepo River to walk along its 50 meter wide river bed comprised of white sand in between the banks blanketed with borassus palms.
“Kidepo” means “to pick from below” and this valley was frequented by people traveling to collect fallen borassus fruits to use for fermenting when making palm beer. Kanangorok Hot Springs are located 11 kilometers past the Kidepo River along the Sudan border. It is a marvelous place to sit down and observe the mountains far past the frontier.
Mount Morungole towers to 2,750 meters and it is crossed by River Kidepo and River Narus which nourish the wildlife plus the natural habitat of this park. The Morungole Range defines the southern boundary of this park and soars from these plains a couple of kilometers north-east of Apoka. This area may be visited on foot in the company of a ranger. The slopes of the mountain are habitat to the IK people, who are the tiniest ethnic group found in Uganda, and have their own special culture.
“Namamukweny” is a native Napore word for “a place having no birds or perhaps a lonely place with very few people” – although concerning the birds, pretty the contrary is true! This valley is populated by a huge amount of bird species for example the Eastern Paradise Whydah, Green Wood Hoopoe, White-crested Turaco, Abyssinian Roller and the Common Bulbul, among others. It’s found in the northwest part of the park and may be accessed on foot or using a car.
The Lomej Hills are found just a brief drive from the park headquarters. These hills are a great viewing point to see wild animals and birds such as the mountain reedbucks.
Safari Lodges, Hotels and Accommodations in Kidepo
Apoka Safari Lodge
Apoka Safari Lodge is among the very best safari lodges within Uganda. Wild animals come to your door-steps, you are in the middle of beautiful wonders, wild animals in abundance yet you’re in what is known as the Pearl of Africa. Within this distant part of Uganda, Apoka Lodge has established a heaven experience here on earth just for you. The convenience, the luxury, the fashion and class encompasses you in the middle of this African Wild.
Apoka Rest Camp
Sixteen self contained chalets are offered at Apoka Rest Camp which is a hostel consisting of Fourteen Bandas each having 2 beds; the Bandas are actually not self contained. With regard to visitors who choose camping, this park has 2 ‘Do it yourself’ camping grounds. You have to carry your own tent along with other camping gear.
Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp
Nga’Moru is found at the border of Kidepo Valley National Park that is situated 320 kilometers north of Kampala the capital city of Uganda. You may choose to fly up to Kidepo from Entebbe International Airport and in less than Two hours you will be there, alternatively, you may choose to take an exciting drive by using the Gulu to Kitgum road and in 10 hours you will as well be arriving. A number of the wild animals which often visit the camp include: Elephants, Lions, Hyenas, Zebras and Waterbucks.
Quick Kidepo Valley Facts
Size: 1,442 square kilometres (557 sq mi)
Location: Karamoja region in northeast Uganda.
Desc: Kidepo is rugged savannah, dominated by the 2,750 metres (9,020 ft) Mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo and Narus rivers.
Areas of interest: Kidepo Valley, Narus, Apoka
When to Visit: The prime time to visit Kidepo Valley NP is during the Dry season (September to March) although it can be visited throughout the year.