Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated park nestled in the country’s distant north-eastern corner, close to Kenya and South Sudan in the farthest extremity of the remote, sparse, close to Kenya and South Sudan in the farthest extremity of the remote, sparse, close to Kenya and South Sudan in the farthest extremity of the remote, sparsely populated Karamoja region.
One of Africa’s most fantastic-wilderness, the Kidepo landscape is one of tremendous drama with grasslands roamed by big game favorites extending towards rugged mountains in all points of the compass. For travelers visiting Eastern Uganda always combine there Uganda Tours with Kidepo and Murchison Falls National Park.
A road trip to Kidepo is an exciting adventure with various road conditions; therefore, contact your tour company to provide you with a good-quality 4-wheel drive vehicle. The quickest and most popular route from Kampala runs via Gulu and Kitgum (571 kilometers). If traveling via Kitgum, try to return to Kampala through the vast, undeveloped Karamoja region (661 kilometers) passing through Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve and close to Mountain Elgon National Park. However, Kidepo can also be accessed by air; the charter and scheduled flights fly to Kidepo airstrip from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airstrip.
Wildlife species to see in Kidepo
An impressive variety of wildlife species survive in the Park’s harsh and semi-arid environment. In Uganda, Kidepo is the only refuge for; cheetahs, striped hyenas, caracals, and the bat-eared foxes, well as the elands and zebras can only be spotted in this Park and in Uganda’s closest Park to the capital (Kampala) – Lake Mburo National Park. Other game to view in Kidepo include; lions, buffaloes, elephants, leopards, spotted hyenas, Rothschild’s giraffes, black backed and side striped jackals, Jackson’s hartebeests, Oribis, Lesser Kudus, mountain reed bucks, hunting dogs, aardwolves, Grant’s gazelles, warthogs, dik dik, bush pigs, hippos, crocodiles, and white-tailed mongooses, among others.
With almost 500 bird species, Kidepo is only next to Queen Elizabeth National Park to reside the highest number of bird species thus being an ideal destination for the serious birders. Some of the bird species to see in Kidepo include; Rose ringed parakeets, Clapperton’s francolin, Karamoja apalis, Ostriches, Secretary birds, Kori bustard, Red-throated bee-eaters, the Abyssinian roller and the Abyssinian ground horn bill, rare lappet-faced vultures, lesser kestrel, and Denham’s bustard.
Activities to do in Kidepo
Kidepo is an area of rich cultural interest for the plains around the Park are dotted with the manyatta (homesteads) of Karamoja’s fiercely traditional pastoralists. Besides the cultural encounters, the other activities to do in the Park include; bird watching, nature walks, and game viewing. The Narus valley game drive, in the south of the Park, boasts the Park’s only permanent water points and wildlife congregates in this area for much of the year; look for buffaloes and elephants in the swamps along the valley floor, giraffes and elands on the drier slopes above and scan the rock-outcrops for lions. The Kidepo valley drive is short on big game but massive on scenery.
Where to stay
There is various accommodation within and around Kidepo national park for the visitors to base in, and some of them include; Apoka safari lodge, Kidepo savanna lodge, Apoka rest camp, Kakine self-catering campsite, and Ng’amoru wilderness camp, among others.