Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda.
There are quite a number of outstanding National Parks in Uganda and Kidepo is one of them. Covering over 1,442 square kilometers, the Kidepo Valley National Park sits in the Northern part of Uganda and borders Southern Sudan. Its scenery is unmatched with all the other national parks found within the East African borders and although it is hidden at the furthest corner of Uganda at the edge of Kenya and South Sudan, its Savannah setting with stony prospects is very impressive. In the park you will find an immense assortment of the animal species with over 80 of them put to book in the year 1971; of these, 28 are said to be non-existent in any other National Park in Uganda.
Animals typical of the Kidepo Valley National Park among others include; the stripped hyena, the hunting dog and the bat eared fox which are under the category of the carnivore species, the roan antelope, the klipspringer, bright’s gazelle and the greater and lesser kudu which are under the uncommon ungulates. These have over the years really reduced in number because of the poachers that are very much active within the park. Other much bigger ungulates comprise of the zebras, elephants, bush pigs, water bucks, elands, buffaloes, giraffes, warthogs and the bush duskier to mention but a few.
Inside the Kidepo Valley Park one can also be able to see the 5 species of primates, the most endemic being the Kavirondo Bush Baby. Stripped Jackals, Black Backed Jackals, Uganda Safari Lions, Spotted Hyenas, Leopards and a variety of small cats are some of the carnivores you might get a chance to see while in the park. Among all these the jackals are the most common and easiest to see time and again.
There are close to 465 wide ranging avifauna species recorded in the park. Birdlife is profuse in the Kidepo Valley National Park with 58 exceptional species and out of these, 14 are explicitly endemic to the Karamoja region and Kidepo as well. Some of the birds under this category are the Egyptian Vulture, the Pygmy Falcon and the Varreaux’s Eagle. The 4 Hornbill species; the Giant Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, the Jackson’s, Red billed and Yellow Billed are also present in the park. Since there has been no major study done within Kidepo, eager and excited visitors have the opportunity to include more kinds of birds on to the already existing list.
It is also said that when inside the Kidepo Valley National Park, the odds that you might see Tree Climbing Lions are so high. They can be seen around the Narus Valley sitting way up in the Sauce trees or as your entering the Headquarters of Apoka by the rock.
Getting to Kidepo is a bit tricky but you can take a pick out of the two options available.
- Flying in; it is a lot more costly but time saving.
- Driving in; it is cost friendly but the journey is pretty long.
Those that opt for the latter can branch off to the Sipi Falls and take a break from their lengthy journey. The scenery here is breathtaking and very amazing thus it is worth taking the long journey.
The accommodation facilities at the Kidepo Valley National Park are rather limited but since the park’s popularity is gaining momentum, sooner than later more facilities will be constructed. Here are a few available options for those interested in spending time in Kidepo;
- Apoka Rest Camp.
- Apoka Lodge.
- Nga’Moru Rest Camp.
There are a number of activities one can opt to do while at the Kidepo Valley National Park and these include;
- Game Drives.
- Visiting the Nyamata Villages.
- Nature Walks.
- Mountain hiking on the ranges of Morungole.
- Visiting the Sand River on River Kidepo.