A Chance To Discover Kidepo Valley National Park

Discover Kidepo Valley National Park this is in north-eastern Uganda is known for its unique wildlife species, some of which aren’t even found in the other popular Parks of the country, dramatic savannah plains, spectacular Valleys like the Kidepo and Narus Valleys (Oases of the Park), seasonal and permanent Rivers and the stunning hills as well as nearby mountains. Simply driving through its game tracks or while undertaking a guided nature walk through the popular Narus Valley is an experience that will stay with you for the longest time. Other adventures that travelers don’t seem to get over include the visit to the local Karamojong pastoralist community, hiking the nearby Mount Morungole, birding tours, cycling, and Camping.

Travelers come from all over the World to have a thrill of the real and raw “African wilderness experience” that Kidepo Valley National Park offers. Spiced by staying at one of the Wilderness Camps/Safari Lodges, Campsites, and within its 1441-square kilometers areas, there is always something for everyone.

History of Kidepo Valley National Park

The phrase “Kidepo” came from the word “akidep” in the local Dodoth dialect to mean “pick up”. Before the British Colonial Government gazetted the area into a Game Reserve in 1958, it was initially occupied by the Dodoth pastoralists as well as the IK farmers who solely depended on clearing bushes for tsetse fly control. Being gazetted also meant the existed animal were protected from hunting and later in 1962, the Reserve gained its “National Park” status.

Getting to Kidepo Valley National Park

Getting to Kidepo Valley National Park by car from Kampala City is with a number of routes. It is a 10-hour drive through Gulu to Lokumoit Gate with en-route stops at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for Rhino tracking and Gulu/Kitgum for overnight. The drive through the Eastern and Karamoja sub-region is longer (about 13 hours) as you transverse Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, and Kaabong districts then access Kidepo Valley National Park vi Nataba Gate.

Scheduled and chartered flights from Entebbe Airport to Kidepo Airstrip can be organized, with transfers to and from the Safari Lodge. A nonstop flight will take about one hour and thirty minutes.

When to visit Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is visited all year round, but the most preferred time is the dry season when precipitation levels are low and temperatures are warmer. The months of January, February, June, July, August, September, and December are drier and animals converge at the few remaining watering points thus providing the best game viewing experiences. Also, it is easier to sight them in the open savannah plains.

At least one out of five travelers who have visited Kidepo Valley National Park during the rainy season have had their vehicle stuck in the mud as heavy rains make the Park roads muddy and difficult to access. However, this doesn’t mean that it rains every day, considering the fact that the area is even semi-arid.

Thrilling things to do

Game drives

More than 20 kilometers of game tracks through Kidepo’s game-filled areas provide seemingly endless opportunities for sighting some of the rarest wildlife species. Driving through Narus Valley rewards visitors with views of leopards, cheetahs, elephants, buffaloes, lions, impalas, giraffes, Ostriches, and many other unique wildlife species. Striped and spotted hyenas, Uganda Kobs, giant elands, Topis, and Defassa waterbucks are also common during these game drives.

Guided bush walks

Another way to discover the hidden beauty of Kidepo Valley National Park is by undertaking guided bush walks. Here, you will see hidden animals, and areas that are hard to reach via game tracks. The activity is done in the company of an armed Ranger who also gives details information on the Park’s attractions.

Mountain climbing

Mount Morungole is popular among climbers, who also desire to discover one of Uganda’s endangered tribes that calls it slopes home. The IK people are about 1000 in number and possess some of the most authentic cultures in Uganda.

Cycling

Cycling is possible through the surrounding communities of Kidepo Valley National Park and provides the chance to learn about the changing landscapes and discover why the Park is known as the “real African wilderness experience”.

Birding

Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the top birding destinations in the country, owing to its 475 bird species that include the World’s largest and heaviest bird- Ostrich. Surprisingly, it’s the only Park where you can see this bird species.

While on your journey to discover Kidepo Valley National Park, you can also add other popular and must-visit safari destinations like Mount Elgon National Park for its mountain climbing adventures, Murchison falls National Park for its spectacular landscapes and exciting wildlife viewing experiences, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for the exceptional Rhino tracking experiences. 

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