Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda Wildlife Safari Tour
Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda Wildlife Safari Tour – Kidepo Valley National park Is an isolated Uganda Safari park found in the rocky semi-arid of Karamoja bordering between Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya, located on a 1442 square meters dominated by rugged savannah and beautiful blue mountains such as Napore-Nyagia mountain, Morungole mountain, Lotukei mountain and many more others. The fact that it is in a semi-arid area, water supply is scarce and can be found along a few places such as Narus River and Kidepo River
Initially, Kidepo valley national park was not a national park as it was just another area inhabited by the Dodoth pastoralists who are famously known as the Karamajong and the IK farmers.
There were many Borassus palm trees that attracted so many people that came to pick the fruits and make things out of them such as beer, therefore the Dodoth pastoralist named it Kidepo from their verb a kidepo meaning ‘to pick up’.
In 1958 the area was gazetted because people were burning down the bushes as it was infested with tsetse flies and the fact that animals were attacking people and their livestock/homesteads, it was therefore gazetted to protect both the animals from being poached and attacking people with their livestock.
This was formally finalized in 1962 when it was converted into a national park, this left most inhabitants homeless as they were shifted from the park. These people almost became extinct and can only be found up the scenic Morungole Mountains that are near to Kidepo Valley National Park, if you opt to visit these areas, you will hear all these amazing stories. To have a clear image of what Kidepo was after transition is by watching a documentary film that was made, called ‘The wild and the brave’
Regardless that it is surrounded by beautiful hills and mountains, it has a semi-arid climate that is why it has one rainy season. The months in which rain could probably rain are from April to August, however, the rains are really light. These months are perfect for those that would love to bird watching activities on addition to their Uganda wildlife tour because in this season so many birds are migrating from one region to another in search of water.
Kidepo Valley National park temperatures can range from 21.5c to 34c annually, which goes to show that it is pretty hot. The months in which it’s pretty hot are from September to March, in these months taking game drives are common because you get to see most of the animals out in the wild mostly in search of water and that is why September to November is the peak season for the park. Watching a herd of buffaloes moving together is the most spectacular thing you can ever see and nowhere else.
The park is enriched with 77 mammals, 475 birds and 692 plant species of which 28 of those animals can only be found in this park such as cheetahs, striped hyena, the klipspringer well known for rock jumping, pigmy crocodiles that are 10 meters long etc making Uganda wildlife tour to Kidepo valley park an amazing decision.
The likes of the African elephants, zebra, lions that are commonly seen on top of rocks, the leopards that like to hide in perennial grasses, Hartebeest, a variety of antelopes and many more others can be found in other parks.
The park is not totally dry as there is some vegetation such as the acacia trees, short trees however the vegetation is more like the vegetation in Kenya, for the bird lovers, this is where you are most likely to see some bird species such as lammergeyer, Verreaux’s eagle, the most rare birds such as Karamoja pails and black-breasted barbet.
Safari Activities done in Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is undeniably picking up faster than other Uganda Safari parks because it has scenery like no other park in Uganda. Tourists on a Uganda Wildlife Tour that come to this park do not want to go back and those that go, leave with a promise to come back.
This is because there are a lot of safari activities that one can partake, such as hiking/scenery viewing the Kanangorok hot springs which are believed to have healing powers- these are situated just 11km from Kidepo river, bird watching trips is one of the common safari activities as there are many bird species that are commonly from Apoka rest camp, for those that love the quiet life, you can have a picnic situated on the sand and hear the sound of palm trees in harmony with each other.
Take a walk around the neighbourhood and get to witness how the remaining cultures go about life and lastly taking a game drive in the park early morning or in the evening hours, while taking these game drives you are probably going to see the bat-eared fox, a cheetah that is rarely seen elsewhere. The park is gifted with five primate species that can only be seen at night; Guenther’s dik-dik which are found in the north, the Senegal galago, white-tailed mongoose, Orbis and Kavirondo bush baby.
With such unmatched nature, you cannot fail to find accommodation, as there are many options based on different budgets. If you want a luxurious accommodation, Apoka rest camp got you covered as they aim to please with their services. If you are fazed by luxury things and just want to enjoy the wild, there are various accommodation options for you such as National Park Bandas.
The Kakine Campsite with these budget options, you are probably going to carry your own tent to be involved in the whole adventure experience however you will be provided with firewood, water etc but not food.
How to get to Kidepo Valley National Park
To go to the Park, you will either use road transport or air, the chartered aircraft at Entebbe airport will transport you if you are to be picked from the airport and fly you directly to Lomej which is about 3km south of the park headquarters. Another chartered aircraft that can fly you over if you are not at the airport is found at Kajjansi.
For those that prefer to use the road it takes about 11 hours to reach the final destination, most people prefer to use the road because it is cheaper and also the fact that they get to see a lot of things on their way. However, when choosing to use road transport, it’s advisable to use a 4wheel drive. The routes to Kidepo are as follows:
Kampala-Jinja-Mbale-Soroti-Moroto-Kidepo- Approximately792 km
Kampala-Gulu-Kitgum-Kidepo- Approximately 558 km
Kampala-Soroti -Kotido via Amuria 656 km
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