Kidepo National Park is located furthest in the North Eastern parts of Uganda and bordering south of Sudan and Kenya. Kidepo Valley National Park covers an area of 1442 square Kilometers which is dominantly covered by savannah grassland and over looked mount molongore, Narus Valley and the seasonal kidepo valley river. The park was gazetted into a national park in 1958 to prevent the park from further poaching of animals and clearing bushes for tsetse fly control. The displaced communities faced a lot of famine in the region and many moved to neighboring areas of Kenya and Sudan while others moved to the designated communities for relocation, among the communities that lived here included the Ik and Karamajong communities.
Ever since gazetting the park it has blossomed with over 80 mammals species and of those 28 being indigenous to the region and over 450 birds species, which makes it a good spot for safari regardless of your interests. Kidepo Valley National Park is the only place in Uganda to see the bat-eared fox, caracal, striped hyena, while the Eland and Zebras occur in Kidepo and Lake Mburo National Park, cheetah in Kidepo and Pian Upe wildlife reserve. Other wildlife include elephants, buffaloes, lions, leoprds, spotted hyena and Rothschild’s giraffe and black backed and side stripped jackal which can be sighted in the beautiful endless wildernesses, grassland, bush and forest habitats.
Visiting the Ik people.
They stay further in the North and they are the indigenous people who occupied the ranges of mount Molongore. They were relocated when UNESCO gazzeted Kidepo Valley National Park as a National heritage, they are just numbered about thousands and endangered culture of people. They lived the life style of hunters, fruit gatherers, leaves and roots and bee keepers. They have quite a high number of teenage marriages and the ability to get a marriage partner is based on one being able to provide basic survival needs. They live in polygamous families and children as seen as a blessing from God.
The community being poor those planning to visit are encouraged to carry them gifts and presents to support them and also high an indigenous guide to take you through the community visit.
Best time to do game drives in Kidepo Valley National Park
The best time to do game drives in Kidepo Valley National Park is during dry season from June to September and December to February every year. The park can as well be visited all year around and you will be able to see the wildlife and do a safari in Kidepo Valley National Park, dry seasons offer great sighting of wildlife compared to wet seasons.
Where to stay in Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park has a variety of accommodation choices where you can stay while on your safari. The lodges range from high Market Luxurious to Budget Lodges. The luxury hotels/Lodges include Apoka Lodge, Adere Safari Lodge and range from USD200-400 per person per night, the budget/Midrange include Kidepo Savannah Lodge, Apoka Rest Camp, UWA Bandas and these cost range from USD70-100 per person per night. Contact us with a lodge of your choice and we tailor your itinerary or even suggest for you the best option depending on your budget.
How to get to Kidepo Valley National Park
By Road; A road trip to Kidepo National Park is one of the most great safaris for any tourist visiting Uganda, it is worth it given the fact there is much to see on your way to the park. The quickest and most popular route runs from Kampala via Gulu and Kitugum then connect to Kidepo National park which is 571km. However this will depend from where you will start the travel to the park given the fact the park can be accessed from anywhere depending on your itinerary
By Road you can as well visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for on foot Rhino tracking then proceed to the park; with this you need to have stop in Gulu for overnight to break the journey.
By Air; Flying Safari to Kidepo National Park is also available via charter and scheduled flights from Kajjansi and Entebbe International Airport, operators of these route include Aero Link Uganda and Fly Uganda among others. This however needs to be booked in advance given the fact the routing is mostly determined by the number of travelers aboard the flight with the minimum being 4 people.
Why Book Your Safari to Kidepo Valley National Park with Eco Adventure Safaris
We at Eco Adventure Safaris our mission is to create life-changing and impactful adventures which begin the moment you arrive in Africa. We are on a journey to transfer the normal way of how to explore Africa, that is on all our trips in Africa you have an optional opportunity to take part in activities mostly life-changing and giving hope to the communities as well conserving for future generations such as planting a tree, volunteering and Packing for A Purpose among others. From our airport meet and great, welcome services to our private and group transfers to safari destinations your Adventure safari is well planned and managed. We have a strong concern on conserving the environment on all our trip we discourage where possible no to pack non-recyclable items and carry reusable items like water bottles among other important aspects to protect the environment.
Activities in Kidepo Valley National Park
Game drives in Kidepo and Narus Valley
This is one of the most famous and never disappointing national parks in Uganda when it comes to game viewing with over 80 mammals’ species and 28 mammal species endemic to the karamoja region, travelers to Kidepo Valley National Park are in for a fist for the eyes. The terrine being flat, sighting is much easier here. There is no defined time to do games and it can be either morning evening or even night game drives to look for the nocturnal species. Among animals to spot are lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, Uganda Kobs, Oribs, kudus, buffalos, Oryx, elephants, giraffes, stripped hyenas, reedbucks, waterbucks, duikers and crocodiles among other animals.
Birding in Kidepo Valley National Park
The park is boosted with a variety of birds’ species and given the nature of terrine and vegetation, sighting is easier here. There are more than 450 bird’s species in the park making it a good spot for the bird lovers to visit. The birds to look out for include; Ostrich, Secretary bird, little Green Bee-eater, Kori Bustard, Pygmy Falcon and Karamoja Apalis. Kidepo is notable for its 58 species of birds of prey including the Verreaux’s eagle, Egyptian Vulture, and Pygmy Falcon, crews and owls.
Cultural encounter experiences
With the indigenous communities around the park, the cultural experience around this region is one of the best and undiluted to visit with the Karamajongs who are herdsmen’s and live a nomadic type of life style. They are cattle keeps and they roam around while grazing the cattle and stay in homesteads called Manyatas. They pride in keeping large herds of cattle and use it to symbolize wealth and prestige in the community. Also this cattle is used in customary ceremonies for marriage is bride price. While in Kidepo a day visit and experiencing there life style is something not to miss as it will get you close to the way of life and culture of Uganda, with a fee that is charged for this, it goes back to the community to provide clean water in form of construction of boreholes as water is a huge challenge here because of the semi-arid nature of climate in the region.