Kidepo Valley National Park is Uganda’s hidden gem, covering an area of about 1,442 sq kms and stands unrivaled in offering an authentic off the beaten path African experience on a Uganda Safari. The area is semi-arid and lies at Uganda’s border with Sudan and Kenya, well endowed with plenty of wildlife.
The Karamonjong and IK people are the natives of Kidepo Valley surround areas and a visit to meet them and see their life style is the highlight of any visit to this region. Kidepo Valley National Park is not easily accessible but is worthwhile visiting for its uniqueness.
The vegetation is dominated by an open Savannah, with dry mountain forest and acacia forest. The park hosts at least 77 mammal species which include: elephants, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, bush pigs, and many predators, like black backed jackal, African hunting dog, bat eared fox, cheetah, caracal, lions, and leopards among others. There are at least 17 antelope species. The bird checklist is at about 475 species including 56 raptors, like pygmy falcon, Ostriches’, tawny eagle, secretary bird, vultures.
What to do
A number of game drive loops direct visitors to wildlife viewing locations in the Narus valley in the South West of the Park besides, mountain hiking, bird watching, camping, community visits and cultural performances participation.
Recommended Safari: 5 Days Kidepo Valley Wildlife Safari
How to get to Kidepo Valley National Park
The park can be reached by both road and air but driving is definitely more rewarding, as much of Karamoja, like Kidepo Valley National Park itself, is a vast and unspoiled wilderness. The road conditions are however sometimes difficult and 4WD vehicles are essential.
There are four possible routes by road: routes via Mbale pass to the east of Lake Kyoga to reach northern Uganda; routes via Karuma pass to the west.
- Kampala – Karuma – Gulu – Kitgum – Kidepo = 571kms
- Kampala – Karuma – Lira – Kotido – Kidepo = 705kms
- Kampala – Mbale – Sironko – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo = 740kms
- Kampala – Mbale – Soroti – Moroto – Kidepo = 792kms
Visitors should note that the road mainly in use from Kotido to Kaabong passes via Kanawat not via Losilang as indicated on most maps. Enquire at Kotido.
Prospective visitors should contact Uganda Wildlife Authority Headquarters or Wild places (the Apoka lodge operator) to obtain up-to-date advice about road conditions and safety to identify the preferred choice of route.
Scheduled flights to Kidepo Valley National Park, are now available from Entebbe International Airport every Wednesday, Friday and Sundays