Kidepo Valley National Park – Wildlife Viewing Destination
Kidepo Valley National Park is one magical wilderness area that never goes unmentioned when it comes to authentic African experiences. This park is lonely lying in Kabong district, Karamoja region on the extreme Northeastern side of Uganda, approximately 9-10 hours’ drive from Kampala.
The 1442sq.kms protected area is situated adjacent to South Sudan and it is regarded as remotest park largely dominated by rugged savanna grassland, amazing valleys and surrounded by stunning Morungole Mountains. Kidepo Valley National Park was initially a designated as a game reserve in 1958 during the colonial era and in 1962, it became a national park.
Kidepo Valley National Park is well-known for its breathtaking landscape characterized by 2 magnificent valleys where its huge profusion of wildlife can easily be spotted on Uganda safari. These include the Narus and Kidepo Valleys, each of which features a scenic river.
Wildlife in Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is an outstanding wildlife safari destination attracting most of Uganda safari visitors to enjoy great sights of the big game, birds, flora and a lot more. It was rated among the best 3 most attractive national parks by CNN Travel.
The different wildlife species to expect to view on Uganda tour in Kidepo Valley National Park include the cheetahs, elephants, cape buffaloes, zebras, Rothschild giraffes, bohor reed bucks, hyenas, jackals, wildlife dogs, oribis, dik-diks, mongoose, Uganda Kobs, water bucks, eland, Jackson’s hartebeests, leopards, lions and many more. Game viewing in Kidepo Valley National Park is best conducted mostly through the Narus Valley and Kidepo Valley.
Birdlife in Kidepo National Park
There are many birding spots where some of the 474 different bird species in Kidepo Valley National Park can be spotted. They include Apoka Rest Camp, Kidepo park headquarters, Narus Valley and others. Some of the exceptional birds to expect to identify on birding tour in Kidepo Valley National Park include the yellow billed shrike, Nubian woodpeckers, superb starling, black breasted barbet, Karamoja apalis, yellow rumped seed-eaters, broad tailed warblers, black coucal, marsh Tchagra, Clapperton’s francolins, red cheeked cordon bleu, mosque swallows, Vinaceous dove, scarlet chested sunbird, crimson rumped waxbill, ostriches, African swallow tailed kite, pygmy falcon, stone partridge, eastern pale chanting goshawk, yellow necked spurfowl, violet tipped courser, white bellied & hartlaub’s bustards, four banded san grouse, rose ringed parakeet, white crested turaco to mention but a few.
Other tourist sites/attractions to expect to explore on Uganda safari include Kanangorok hot springs, Mount Morungole, Namamukweny valley (this is best spot to identify birds such as the eastern paradise whydah, white crested turaco, common bulbul, Abyssinian roller, green wood hoopoe), Lomej hills and Mount Lonyili.
Trip activities to do in Kidepo Valley National Park
Game drives in Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the best savanna safari parks in Uganda that are worth visiting for game drives. A visit to this stunning park presents you opportunity to see diversity of wildlife most especially the big game like the African bush elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions as well as cheetahs, hyenas, antelopes, birds and many more.
Birding in Kidepo Valley National Park
A birding tour in Kidepo National Park lets you enjoy great sight of resident and those endemic to this park alone. Among the many bird species to expect to identify on Uganda birding safari in this conservancy area include ostriches, pygmy falcons, Egyptian vultures, yellow billed shrike, Nubian woodpeckers, superb starling, black breasted barbet, Karamoja apalis, yellow rumped seed-eaters, broad tailed warblers, black coucal, marsh Tchagra, Clapperton’s francolins, red cheeked cordon bleu, mosque swallows, Vinaceous dove, scarlet chested sunbird, crimson rumped waxbill, African swallow tailed kite, stone partridge, eastern pale chanting goshawk, yellow necked spurfowl, violet tipped courser, white bellied & hartlaub’s bustards, four banded san grouse, rose ringed parakeet.
Nature walks/hikes in Kidepo Valley National Park
Guided nature walk/hiking offers the best foot experience to any enthusiastic nature lover on Uganda safari. Hikers are escorted by an experienced park guide. If you are interested in thrilling hiking adventures then Mount Morungole has you covered.
Cultural tour in Kidepo Valley National Park
A cultural tour in one of the nearby communities at Kidepo National Park lets you have a memorable Uganda safari holiday. Most cultural safaris are carried out in the Karamojong Manyattas, IK community on top of Mount Morungole. You will enjoy the best traditional dances, music performances and you also stand a chance to learn more about their unique cultures, traditions, lifestyles and others.
Best time to visit Kidepo Valley National Park
The dry and wet seasons are 2 important seasons you should consider when planning a Uganda safari holiday to Kidepo Valley National Park. If you are interested in game drives then the dry season is the best for you to travel to this park. It starts from June to September and December to Mid-March. Note, the Narus and Kidepo Rivers being the season rivers dry up during the dry season then small oases are left attracting huge concentration of wildlife thus offering excellent view of diverse species of wild animals.
Being an open park all year round, it is also possible visiting Kidepo National Park during the wet or rainy season. This commences from March to May and October to November. Most parts of the park are characterized by green vegetation and it the best period for bird watching since most birds breed during this time.
Accommodation in Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is comprised of fewer lodges compared to Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park or even Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Most tourists spend a night in include Apoka Safari Lodge, Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp, Apoka Rest Camp and Kidepo Savanna Lodge.
How to get to Kidepo Valley National Park
Like most Uganda safari parks, Kidepo Valley National Park is reachable by road or by air. By road, you will spend longer hours approximately 9-10 hours from Kampala to reach Northeastern Uganda where this park is situated.
By air, you can be in position to save time by taking a flight from Kajjansi airfield or Entebbe airport to Apoka airstrip.