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Kidepo National Park

30
Apr 2014

 

Kidepo National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is located in the far North East of Uganda sharing a border with both Sudan and Kenya. It is one of the most spectacular parks where visitors will experience a real feeling of wilderness. It’s the fifth largest National Park in Uganda covering an area of 1,442 square kms. The park offers some wonderful scenery with varied terrain consisting of mountains and savannah landscapes. The vegetation can be described as open tree savannah which varies much in structure and composition, dry mountain forest dominates some of the hills, while areas along the Narus river supports dense acacia forest.

Wildlife

The park harbours the greatest diversity of animal species in Uganda. These include: Bateared fox, striped hyena, Aardwolf, Caracal, and Cheetah. Less common ungulates include greater and lessor kudu, chandler’s mountain reedbuck, Klipspringer and dik dik. Other large ungulates are the bush pigs, bush elephants, burchell’s zebra, warthogs, cape buffalo, eland, bushbuck, Rothschild giraffe, bushduikers. Other carnivores present include lion, leopard, several small cats, spotted hyena, black-backed jackals and side- striped jackal.

The park also boasts an extensive number of species of birds offering a good opportunity for bird watching activities. 465 species have been recorded among them being birds like the Ostrich to be found nowhere else in the country and the Kori birds.
Birds of prey include the Egyptian vulture, Verreaux’s eagle and the pygmy falcon.

The Narus river valley that rolls out in front of the lodge contains much of the wildlife species to be found here where visitors will focus their game drive activities.

Hiking of the Morungole mountain some few kilometres from the park headquarters is a spectacular trek. The Lonyili mountain is another possible trek.

The Karimajong culture is of special interest as a cultural tourist attraction. Their simple lifestyle that harbours traditional customs, use of stools, spears, headdresses, knives, bows, arrows, and decorative jewellery is very interesting to witness.

Tourist activities

  • Game drives
  • Walking safaris
  • Trekking
  • Bird watching
  • Cultural visits

Accommodation

The park also runs a self catering hostel comprising of 14 bandas each with two beds. There is a cooking facilities. Visitors are advised to bring sufficient food and drinks for a full duration of their stay.

The Apoka Lodge is managed by Wild Places Africa - Upmarket

Access to Kidepo

The park can be reached by road or by air. But driving is more rewarding as vast parts of karamoja are scenic and total wilderness. And 4WD vehicles are the only ones required because of the nature of the roads and the distance is very long.

There are three routes by roads:

  • Kampala via Karuma - Lira – Kotido – Kidepo - 705kms
  • Kampala via Mbale - Soroti - Moroto - Kidepo - 792kms
  • Kampala via Mbale - Sironko - Kotido - Kidepo - 740kms.

Most tourists travelling to Kidepo do so on the Friday scheduled service from Entebbe International Airport returning on Mondays operated by Eagle Air. It is also possible to arrange a private aircraft charter from Kajansi Airfield (close to Entebbe) to Kidpeo. The Civil Aviation Authority manages an airstrip at Lomej about 3kms south of the park headquarters.

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