Kidepo Valley National Park, covering about 1,442 square kilometers is located in Kaabong District, in the Northeastern part of Uganda. The park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya at about 700km from Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Kidepo Valley National Park is the most isolated Uganda Wildlife Park and yet one of the most outstanding national parks in the whole of Africa.
The Kidepo area was once inhabited by farmers and hunters known as Ketebo in the 1800s and was later gazette by the British Colonial Government as a game reserve in 1958, to protect the animals from hunting and to prevent further clearing of the bush. In 1962, the newly independent government of Uganda under Milton Obote converted the reserve into the Kidepo Valley National Park.
The best way to visit Kidepo Valley National Park is through booking through a reliable Uganda Tour Company which will do all the necessary arrangements, bookings and provide reliable safari vehicles to take tourists to Kidepo and back without any problems.
The two rivers of Kidepo and Narus form two valley systems whose floors lie between 3,000feet and 4,000feet. The permanent source of water in Kidepo Valley National park is the Kanangorok hot spring, located in the northern part of Kidepo on the boundary with South Sudan.
The vegetation cover and animal populations vary between the Narus Valley and the Kidepo basin. The vegetation in most parts of Kidepo Valley National Park is open tree Savannah due to the differences in rainfall.
Wildlife in Kidepo
Kidepo Valley National Park is home to over eighty animal species, some of which do not exist in any other Uganda national park. Some of the rare animal species found in Kidepo include; cheetah, bat-eared fox, hunting dogs, striped hyena, roan antelopes, klipspringer, beisa oryx among others. Other animal species in Kidepo Valley National Park include; lions, leopards, cape buffaloes, elands, bush duskier, elephants, bush pigs, bohor reed buck, rothschild giraffes, defassa water bucks, warthogs, oribi, burchell’s zebras, Jackson’s hartebeests among many others. Most Uganda Safaris present sighting of rare animal species and visiting Kidepo Valley National Park is a sure way of encountering these and much more.
Bird Watching in Kidepo
Kidepo valley National Park is home to over 460 species of birds, notable among which are the ostrich and the kori bustard. Some of the bird species in Kidepo include; the Egyptian vulture, the pygmy falcon, varreaux’s eagle, abbyssinian ground hornbill, yellow-billed hornbill among many others.
Where to stay in Kidepo
Accommodation facilities in Kidepo Valley National Park include; Apoka Safari Lodge that offers luxury accommodation, Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp that offers mid-range accommodation, Apoka Rest Camp that offers budget accommodation and Kidepo Savannah Lodge. The hidden nature of Kidepo Valley National Park is why chances of finding accommodation in any of the lodges in the park are very high. It is advisable none the less to book accommodation in advance while planning a Uganda Safari to Kidepo Valley National Park.