A wilderness park; dry, hot and isolated, yet spectacular, magnificent and virgin, waiting to be discovered, Traversed by large sand rivers the park is renowned for its distinctive composition of wild game co-existing with the dry mountain forests, open savanna and hilltops capped by rock Kopjes. Enjoy the isolated wilderness dominated by the 2,750m Mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo and great Narus rivers. Perennial rains may make Kidepo an oasis in the semi-desert but its tract of rugged savanna is home to 77 mammal species and almost 500 birds. Game viewing is exciting all year round and so is bird watching, foot safaris and mountain climbing. And even in the dry season, it is worth the drive just to visit the seasonal Kidepo river and stroll along its wide bed of white sand between banks covered with Borassus palm trees. The 1,442km2 is located in the Karamoja region of Northern Uganda and borders South Sudan in the North West and Kenya in the North East.
Most of the people bordering the park are Karamajong, traditional pastoralists. Interested visitors may be able to visit the Karamajong Manyatas (cow dung homesteads) to learn about their traditional customs and dances as well crafts like stools, knives, bows, arrows and jewelry.
Visitors can also visit the lk, one of the most reclusive tribes in Uganda who still live in a very traditional manner in relative seclusion high atop Morungole Mountain.
The park consists of two valleys; Narus and Kidepo. The Narus Valley, which means ‘muddy area’ among the locals, was also formally known as the water provision point. This area that was always scrambled for by the native tribes, the Napore and the Mening of South Sudan during the dry season, today serves as the heart of tourism due to the presence of water throughout the year thus attracting a lot of wild animals. Kidepo valley where the park gets its name is known for the borassus tree plantations stretching approximately 100 meters wide naturally planted by elephant droppings through the years. These trees also worked as the source of food during food crisis in the seventeenth and eighteenth century.
Kidepo conservation area supports a wide diversity of mammal species several of which, like the cheetah, are only found in this park. Among the 77 species of mammals include localized carnivores like the bat-eared fox, stripped hyena and caracal. The tree-climbing lion, leopard, spotted hyena and the black-backed and side-stripped jackal, The Park is also home to chandlers, mountain reedbucks, elephants, Burchell’s zebra, bushpig, rothschild giraffe, bushbucks, buffalo and the eland.
Kidepo prides of an extensive bird list of over 475 species of birds, a number only second to Queen Elizabeth National Park‘s 625 species. Highlighted ones include the ostrich, kori bustard, secretary bird, red throated bee eaters and the Abyssinian ground hornbill. Kidepo is also notable for its S8 species of birds of prey including the Verreaux eagle, Egyptian vulture and the pygmy falcon.
The Kanangorok, meaning ‘the place of black stones’ is the only hot spring in Karamoja it is 40km away from Apoka camp The Kanagorok hot springs are a small collection of natural hot springs located in Kidepo valley near the South Sudan border. The drive to the Hot Springs cuts through the two main biomes of Kidepo Valley National Park allows visitors to see zebras, elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, lions, ostriches and the kudos while embarking on this memorable ride.
Game Drives, Nature Walks, Community Walks, Mountain Hiking, Sand along River Kidepo, Bird Watching
There are four routes by road 705km journey from Kampala via Lira, Kotido. Kaabong and then to Kidepo. The 740km journey from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then Kidepo The 780km journey f rom Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Matany, Kotido, Kaabong and on to Kidepo and The 571km journey from Kampala through Gulu, Kitgum and to Kidepo. One will need a good 4X4 vehicle especially during the rainy season.
Chartered aircrafts to Kidepo may be arranged from Kajjansi, or Entebbe international airport to Lomej airstrip near the park headquarters. Flights take two hours.
SPECIALIZED TOUR OPERATORS
- Kjong Uganda Safaris
- House of Uganda Safaris
- Maranatha Tours and Travel
- Home to Africa Tours and Travel Company