Kidepo Valley National Park

Wildlife Safaris in Kidepo

Kidepo Valley National Park is extremely remote and offers one of Uganda’s wildest and most spectacular scenery in conservation area in form of parks. It covers an area of 1,442 sq km with an altitude range of between 914m and 2,750m above sea level; and harbors scenery unmatched in any other park in East Africa. The Park lies in the far North East of the country, isolated from the country by sparsely populated, arid badlands of Karamoja region bordering with Sudan and Kenya.

The park offers breathtaking Savannah landscapes, which end in rugged horizon. Rarely visited by tourists due to the expense and difficulty of getting there, Kidepo nonetheless boasts as one of the most captivating destinations in the country, boosting a strong wilderness atmosphere, rugged mountain scenery and extraordinary game viewing and bird watching.

Game Viewing safaris

The park protects one of the most awesome faunas of Ugandan National Park although its total of 86 mammal species has been reduced to 77 after as rash local extinctions in recent years. Of these 86 species of mammals listed in 1971, 28 were not known to occur in any other Ugandan park. Carnivore species unique to Kidepo and Karamoja region include the bat-eared fox, striped hyena, ardwolf, caracal, cheetah, re and hunting dog. There are also high chances of viewing tree climbing lions that always sits on sauces trees along Narus valley or on rock just as you approach the Apoka Park Headquarter.

Other wildlife in Kidepo Valley National Park include elephants, leopard, bush duiker, jackal, bush buck, bush pig, kavirondo bush baby, buffalo and much more that are sometimes seen right from the veranda of Apoka Rest Camp. The park takes pride in an extensive avifauna. It has a bird checklist of 463 confirmed and 26 unconfirmed and more than 60 of the birds listed have been recorded in no other Ugandan national Park. The park is outstanding for its birds of prey. Of 58 species recorded 14 are believed to be endemic to Kidepo and the Karamoja region. These include Verreaux’s eagle, Egyptian vulture and pygmy falcon.

Also of note are four species of hornbills. The red billed, the yellow-billed and Jackson’s hornbill are peculiar to Kidepo, while the giant Abyssinaia ground hornbill is quite common. Five primate species have been recorded in Kidepo, including the localized patas monkey. Predators are well represented with 20 species resident. Of these, these, the black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, cheetah and caracal are found in no other Uganda national park. Twelve antelope species occur in Kidepo of which the greater kudu, lesser kudu, Guenther’s dik-dik and mountain reedbuck occur nowhere else in Uganda.

Vegetation in Kidepo Valley National Park

The vegetation can best be described as open wooden Savannah but varies much in structure and composition with patches of montane forest, riparian woodland, thick miombo woodland, borassus palms and rocky koppies. The Mountain forest dominates some of the high places, while areas along the Lorupei River support dense Acacia geradi forest. The flora and fauna of the park are more typical of Kenya than the rest of Uganda. The landscape throughout the park is studded with small hills, rocky outcrops and inselbergs from which one can obtain stunning views in all directions.

Getting there and away

Driving is more rewarding as vast parts of Karamoja are scenic and total wilderness. However road conditions are some times difficult and 4-wheel drive vehicles (4WD) are recommended. Visitors should note that the road mainly in use from Kotido to Kaabong passes via Kanawauat. Visitors intending to travel by road are advised to contact UWA headquarters to seek advice about conditions and safety on the roads. The small proportions of tourists who visit Kidepo generally do a fly-in safari from Kampala, which can be arranged through some of the local tour operators. By Air; Chartered aircrafts are available from Entebbe International Airport to the Park Headquarters. An airstrip at Lomej about 3 km south of the Park Headquarters is managed by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Activities Involved

Game viewing,Birding tours, cultural safaris, Wildlife tours and Flying safaris