Kidepo Valley National Park: Facts, Safaris, Reviews & Map

Kidepo Valley National Park: Facts, Safaris, Reviews & Map – True African Wilderness. Our complete guide on Kidepo National Park is all you need to know about this beautiful park. here we Give you the Latest Information on the Attractions, Activities, Best Time, Location, and Accommodation Facilities around the Park. Kidepo Valley National Park is the true African wilderness with its beauty that has mostly gone unnoticed as stated by CNN Travel. Kidepo National Park Uganda is a perfect wilderness to visit on any safari in Uganda.

Safari in Uganda – Kidepo Valley National Park – Karamoja Region

The Kidepo Valley National Park is about 1,442 sq. km, hosting about 77 mammal species, 475 bird species several reptiles, and flora. The Dik-Dik (smallest antelope), cheetahs, ostriches, and Karamoja Apalis are endemic to Kidepo Valley National Park. Kidepo National Park is 1,442 square kilometers (557 sq. mi) Kidepo Valley National Park is in the Karamoja region in northeast Uganda. Kidepo is rugged savannah, dominated by the 2,750 meters (9,020 ft) Mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo and Narus rivers.

Kidepo Valley National Park is located near Karenga in Kaabong District, in the northeastern corner of Uganda. The park is approximately 220 kilometers (140 mi), by road northwest of Moroto, the largest town in the sub-region. It is approximately 520 kilometers (320 mi), by road, northeast of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The northwestern boundary of the park runs along the international frontier with Bira, South Sudan, and abuts its Kidepo Game Reserve

The Ketebo or Mining is the Inhabitant’s farmers and hunters who lived in the area since 1800 before it was gazetted as a game reserve by the British colonial government in 1958. The purpose was both to protect the animals from hunting and to prevent further clearing of bush for tsetse fly control. The eviction of the resident people and the resultant famine, especially the Ketebo people who were forcefully relocated to other areas within Bira such as Napotpot, Kalo Kudo, Namosingo, Loriwo, and Naurkori in South Sudan, is cited in contemporary protected area management as an example of the unacceptable consequences of not taking community needs into account when designating reserves. The newly independent government of Uganda under Milton Obote converted the reserve into the Kidepo Valley National Park in 1962. The first chief warden of the park was Ian Ross, a Briton. In 1972, Paul Ssali, a Ugandan, replaced him. Their handover and training were the subjects of the 1974 American documentary film, “The Wild and the Brave”

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Activities & Attractions in Kidepo Valley National Park

Narus Valley Game Drive;

The southerly Narus Valley contains the park’s only permanent water points and wildlife congregates in this area for much of the year. Look for buffalo and elephants in the swamps along the valley floor, giraffe, and eland on the drier slopes above, and scan the rock outcrops for lions.

Kidepo Valley Drive;

The dry Kidepo Valley is short on the big game but massive on scenery 30km north of the park’s tourism hub at Apoka, the road crosses the dry, sandy bed of the Kidepo River to enter an expansive plain lined to the east by the Morungule mountain range and to the north by the looming, 2975m – high Jebel Lotuke in South Sudan. Mammals are rare in this area but ostriches and secretary birds are often seen.

Nature Walks;

Opportunities for guided walks range from short nature walks around Apoka Rest Camp to longer walks through the open grasslands of East Kakine, and a hike along part or all of the 15km Rionomoe Trail which follows the southern side of the Narus Valley. The Morungule range, which rises from the plains to the northeast of Apoka, can be explored on foot with a ranger guide escort.

Bird Watching;

Experienced ranger guides are available at Apoka to help locate and identify birdlife in the park’s various habitats.

Community Walks;

community walks outside the park provide the opportunity t learn about life in the local Karamojong manyattas (homesteads) at Kawalakol, Lorukul, and Karenga.

Kidepo Valley National Park Map

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Kidepo Valley National Park Reviews

L’Afrique Profonde

Kidepo is not easy to get to. Any overland drive from greater Kampala will realistically take two days with an overnight stop somewhere, and the second day from any direction will involve hours bouncing on unpaved laterite ‘murram’ roads. Kidepo is located in what could be called Uganda’s ‘empty quarter’, where Uganda, Kenya, and South Sudan come together. Other Uganda parks offer great wildlife viewing with more tourist-friendly logistics. But only a few places we have seen in our travels – Alaska, where we were privileged to live for over a dozen years, southern Utah, Chile’s Torres de Paine – offer the ‘dawn of creation’ landscape that Kidepo offers. At Kidepo you find top class wildlife (that includes Uganda’s only resident zebra and eland) in breathtaking and silent vistas. Sunset and sunrise scenes are uniquely haunting. The game drive tracks through the park are much less traveled than those at Murchison or at Queen Elizabeth. The accommodation options rival those anywhere in East Africa. Most any African park destination will meet the expectation framed in the words “once in a lifetime”. A visit to Kidepo just may redefine your whole bucket list.

Date of experience: April 12, 2021
Client: Richard R From GB

Still unspoilt!

On a family visit to Uganda, we were told about Kidepo. We have had an unforgettable visit to this amazing sanctuary tucked away in north Uganda. Its not as well known as its Kenyan or Tanzanian cousins, which means fewer tourists and a more enjoyable game watching experience. We stayed at the Apoka Rest Camp – a set of Uganda style circular rooms called ‘bandas’ with ensuite shower and toilet. It was delightful to step out of our room to see the pumbas trotting around, the jackals loping about at night and in the early mornings, the waterbucks drinking at the waterhole in the camp and, of course, the gorgeous African sunrise and sunset. Not to forget a memorable road-side leopard sighting in broad daylight.
Must do’s include game drives, including the drive to see the ostriches, and the guided walk with a ranger. This reserve has the largest number of Cape buffaloes anywhere, apart from the easily sighted antelopes and deer, elephants, giraffes, zebras and a huge variety of birds, and the not so easily sighted lions – we heard the lions roaring in the vicinity of the camp.
A must go when visiting Uganda.

Date of experience: Dec 2018
Client: sudsen From Mumbai, India

Go camping!

The Kidepo Valley National Park is quite unique when you compare it to the other Ugandan National Parks. This place is perfect for people who want to avoid mass tourism and who don’t have the big 5 as a priority (you can spot them all however).

Please take your time here and please camp outside to get the best experience. The nature is so stunning, you won’t be disappointed.

Next to game drives, you can also opt for a guided walk or a village tour. The village tour is quite interesting as you drive further into the park and you get to know the Karamojong people. I would not advise the guided walk.

Date of experience: Aug 2017
Client: ilpaulus From Udine, Italy

Kidepo Bush Camping is the best!

My wife and I drove ourselves from Kampala to Kidepo and camped out at the UWA campsite right in the middle of the park. An armed ranger spent the night to protect us from the lions we heard roaring not far away. The next morning we found them high on some rocks just over 2 km away. Over a thousand Cape Buffalo ran across the valley floor below us, and we found dozens of elephants with young ones in tow near the river. Best of all – we had the whole park to ourselves with only one other vehicle spotted in three days.
Simply put – even in the rainy season (May), we saw amazing wildlife and stunning beauty. This park is a few bars above all others in Uganda.

Date of experience: May 2018
Client: Clownfish33 From US

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