Kidepo Valley National Park
The Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda's most spectacular parks. It is 1,442 square kilometres and harbours scenery unsurpassed in any other park in East Africa. 'It could not be any better' is a common comment on the scenery by visitors who often promise and do come back to Kidepo. Tucked into the corner of Uganda's border with Sudan and Kenya, the park offers breathtaking Savannah landscapes, which end in rugged horizon. A huge latitudinal range and correspondingly wide climatic conditions have evolved an extremely diverse flora. As a result the variety of animal species in the park is equally abundant including many which are found no where else in Uganda.
Offering some of the most stunning scenery of any protected area in Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park is hidden away in a lost valley in the extreme northeast of Uganda. Lonely Planet
The vegetation can best be described as open tree Savannah which varies much in structure and composition. 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.
Where to stay
At the Park itself, there are 16 self-contained chalets at Apoka Rest Camp. There is also a hostel comprising of 14 bandas each with two beds; these bandas are not self contained. Both Apoka Lodge and the Bandas are managed by the park. Make your reservations through Uganda Wildlife Authority Headquarters in Kampala.
For visitors who like camping, the park has two 'Do it yourself' campsites. You must bring your tent and other camping equipment.
Neither the Rest Camp nor hostel stock food, visitors are therefore advised to carry sufficient food and drinks for the duration of their stay in the park. The Rest Camp staff can arrange for the cooking. However other supplementary diet such as chicken and goat meat can be arranged from the nearby community for visitors who intend to stay longer.
Kampala-Soroti -Kotido via Amuria 656 km
Driving is more rewarding as vast parts of Karamoja are scenic and total wilderness. However, road conditions are sometimes 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.
Chartered aircraft are available from Entebbe International Airport to the Park Headquarters. The Civil Aviation Authority manages an airstrip at Lomej about 3 km south of the Park Headquarters.
For your chartered flights please contact:
Unfortunately no tours were found.
The park harbours a great diversity of animal species than other parks. Of the 80 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, aardwolf, caracal, cheetah and hunting dog. Less common ungulates include the greater and lesser kudu, Chandlers Mountain reedbuck, klipspringer, dikdik and bright gazelle; beisa oryx and roan antelope have been severely depleted by poachers in recent years. Among other large ungulates are elephant, Maneless zebra, bush pig, warthog, Nubian Giraffe, Savanna buffalo, eland, bushbuck, bush duiker, defassa waterbuck, bohor reed buck, Jackson's hartbeest and oribi. Five species of primate are found in the park.
Carnivores present include lion, leopard, several small cats, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal and side-striped jackal. The easiest to see being the jackals.
There are high chances of viewing tree climbing lions that always sits on sauces trees along Narus valley or on rock just as you enter the Apoka Park Headquarter. Other wildlife includes elephants, leopards, bush duiker, jackal, bushbuck, bush pig, buffalo and much more that are sometimes seen right from the veranda of Apoka Rest Camp.
The park boasts an extensive avifauna 465 species have been recorded (three new species were added to the list in 1995). Of particular interest, the ostrich and the Kori bustard are principally associated with arid regions.
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. The redbilled, the yellow-billed and Jackson's hornbill are peculiar to Kidepo, while the giant Abyssinaia ground hornbill is quite common.
Hiking and Scenery viewing
Hiking can be carried out on Lamoj Mountains just a few kilometres from the Park Headquarters. Visitors can also go to view the splendid Kidepo River Valley dominated by Borassus palm forest; its wide flatbed is dry for most of the year. From Kidepo Valley, you may also visit the Kanangorok Hot Springs, which are located only 11 km from the Kidepo river valley.
The mountain and Savannah landscape of the park is spectacular. The Narus valley is situated in the South West of the park; the rugged Napore-Nyagia mountain range forms its western boundary. Separating it from the Kidepo Valley in the northeast, are the Natira and Lokayot Hills. To the north in Sudan are the Lotukei mountains and the Morungole range marks the southern boundary of the park.
To add flavour to your visit to Kidepo River, take time and visit the picnic site located on the sand and you won't also miss the sound of palm leaves in constant motion in the wind.
The local community has a group of cultural entertainers who on request are always available to perform. The performers have a large menu for you, traditional dances such as the Emuya of the Naporre and Nyangia, ethnic groups and Larakaraka and Apiti dances of the Acholi are waiting for you. The money that this group earns is used for uplifting their welfare.
If you are interested in increasing your knowledge of African culture, visit to the Karamojong manyattas (homesteads) and probably kraals to see the traditional costumes, stools, spears headdresses, knives, bows and arrows and jewellery can be arranged. Some of the above-mentioned items can be purchased from the park tourist office. It's advisable that you make arrangements for the nature walk two days in advance. This booking can be done from the park headquarters in Apoka or from Uganda Wildlife Authority Headquarters in Kampala.
Visitors who choose to follow the Soroti-Moroto road will be enthralled by the view of the steep volcano of Alekilek about midway Moroti and Soroti. And for those who take the Lira-Kotido road will enjoy the scenery of the Labwor hills and in particular the massive and bare Alerek (Kidi Rwot) rock about 55 km to Kotido.