Kidepo National Park, Wildlife Safaris in Uganda
Covering an area of 1,442 square kilometres (557 sq mi), Kidepo Valley National park is situated North East of Uganda in the Karamoja Region-Kaabong District. The park is over shadowed by the 2,750 metres (9,020 ft) Mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo and Narus rivers. By road, the park is situated 220 kilometers (140 mi) North West of Moroto and 520 kilometres (320 mi) North East of Kampala Capital City.
There are two major valley systems in the park and these include; the Kidepo and Narus rivers lying between 3,000 feet (910 m) and 4,000 feet (1,200 m) AMSL with the North Western Border of the park casting along the border of South Sudan.
The park consists of the Kanangarok a luke warm permanent hot spring situated in the distant Northern region of the park near the border of South Sudan. It is the permanent water source in the park and wildlife animals transfer here to drink water.
The park is dominated with open tree Savannah vegetation due to the variations in rainfall i.e annual averages of 89 centimetres (35 in) in Narus and 64 centimetres (25 in) in the Kidepo basin with wildlife animals that inhabit both regions of the park.
The vegetation in the Narus Valley are shorter red oat grass and taller bunchy Guinea grass as well as fine thatching grass. In the drier regions of the park are red thorn acacias, drumstick trees and desert dates where as the wet areas comprise of sausage trees and fan palms.
River Kidepo is a very relevant source of water during the semi desert climate due to the multitudes of wildlife animals that visit the River to sip water and these include; spotted hyenas, lions, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, elephants, giraffes, zebras, Cape buffaloes, bat-eared foxes, Rothschild’s giraffes and about 500 bird species.
There are also Streams in the park dotted with palms.
Activities to do in the park
These are amazing to all travelers looking to experience Africa’s prime wildlife safaris as they watch wildlife wandering and enjoying their natural Savannah Vegetation habitat. The Narus Valley in the park has most of the wildlife animals in big numbers and you are advised to visit the park for the game drive at 6:00 am in the morning as well as late afternoon at 4:00 pm. You will transfer along the trails with a park ranger who will take you around showing you where the various wildlife animals are due to their experience over the years. You will view lions relaxed on the various rocks as well as other animals like the elephants, leopard, bush duiker, jackal, bushbuck, bush pig, ostrich, buffalo, Kavirondo bush baby. Ostriches are prominently spotted around the beautiful Kanangorok Hot Springs.
Kidepo National park offers unique amazing bird watching experiences to all travelers around the world that transfer to Uganda to adventure its beautiful bird species. Birding can be carried out around Apoka Rest Camp, Narus Valley and Namamukweny Valley. The bird species you can watch in the park include; Black-breasted Barbet and Karamoja Apalis, Verreaux’s Eagle, Egyptian Vulture and Pygmy Falcon, Silverbird and small bands of Yellow-billed Shrike, Vinaceous Dove, Hoopoe, Nubian Woodpecker, Mosque Swallow, the Ruppell’s and Superb Starlings, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Little Weaver and Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Vinaceous Dove, Hoopoe, Nubian Woodpecker, Mosque Swallow, the Ruppell’s, Yellow-rumped Seedeater, Clapperton’s Francolin, Black Coucal, African Moustached and the Broad-tailed Warblers, Marsh Tchagra and Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Common Ostrich, Secretary Bird, African Swallow-tailed Kite.
Hiking and Nature Walks
Kidepo National Park offers amazing hiking and Nature Walk adventures to all travelers interested. The hikes proceed to the Lomej Mountains as well as the Narus Valley. You will transfer to discover the culture and traditions of the remote tribe of the IK people and be amazed about the beautiful Kidepo River Valley which flows between the banks of borassus palm forest.
Hike to Lomej Mountains
The hike to the Lomej Mountains will take a period of 4 hours and starts in the morning at 7:00 am where as the shorter guided walks through the Narus Valley take about 2 hours stretching over 5 kilometers from the Apoka Tourism Center.
Nature Walk to Kidepo River Valley & Namamkweny Valley
The hike to the Kidepo River Valley takes you between the banks of the beautiful Borassus palm forest offering unique views at nature.
The hike to the Namamkweny Valley is also remarkable for it requires 1 hour from Apoka.
Take on a guided Hike and nature walk to visit the remote Ik tribe.
Kidepo National park offers remarkable cultural encounters as you transfer to visit and discover the Lorokul Cultural Group who are the cattle herding Karamajong who occupy the distant North Eastern region of Uganda. Visit the Lorukul Cultural Group located outside the park to learn the traditions & culture of these amazing people.
Herding livestock is their main activity and their social, cultural and way of life is fully explained when you go visiting them. Proceed on your journey as you explore the Karamajong Manyattas-Homesteads, cattle enclosures as well as granaries.