Kidepo valley National Park ranks among Africa’s true wilderness and is Uganda’s most isolated National Park covering an area of 1442sq km with an altitude ranging between 914m – 2750m above sea level.
Located in the north east corner of Uganda bordering with Sudan and Kenya. It lies in the rugged, semi-arid valleys of Narus river valley in the south receiving about 890mm of rain per year while just 635mm falls in the Kidepo river valley to the north.
The two valley systems of Kidepo and Narus lie between 910-1200m below sea level and divide the park into two sections with the climate of the park being divided into a short wet season being between April- October and the rest being a dry spell.
Both rivers that are kidepo and Narus disappear during the dry seasons leaving pools of water for the wildlife. During this period, the permanent supply of water is found in the wetlands and pools along the southern Narus valley near Apoka the heart of the park, a savannah grassland which extends beyond the gazzetted area and as a result, wildlife concentration is much in this area.
The open savannah with acacia woodlands and perennial grasses, dry thickets with short trees, shrubs and open valley makes it possible to sight a good variety of wildlife with about 86 mammal species in the park. 475 bird species, 692 plant species second to Queen Elizabeth National Park in plant diversity and 3rd to Queen Elizabeth and Murchison falls National Park in mammal and Bird diversity
Mammals hosted by the Park include caracal, cheetah, striped hyeana, zebras, greater and less kudu, dik-dik, gazette found only in the park. And big five game such as elephants, buffaloes, lions, etc. Bird species include known predators such as verreaux eagle, pygmy falcon, egyptian vulture, karamoja apalis common only in kidepo. Etc
Pastoralists and IK farmers lived in the area before it was turned into a game reserve in 1958. Due to reduced hunting and clearing of the bush because of tsetseflies, it was turned into a game reserve. In 1962 it was later gazzetted into a national park
What Activities to do?
- Game drives through the wilderness,
- Birding in the park,
- Hiking and nature walks.
How to get there?
The park can be accessed by both air and road but driving is more rewarding because much of Karamoja is vast and unspoiled wilderness just like kidepo.
It can be accessed through various road networks;
- Kampala-Karuma-Gulu-Kitgum-Kidepo road which is about 571km & 10 hr drive.
- Kampala – Mbale – Soroti – Moroto – Kotido – Kabong – Kidepo = 792km (13 hours) and much more