Kidepo Valley National Park

About Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park lies northeast of Uganda, bordering the Sudan in the northwest and Kenya in the northeast. The park is an isolated virgin wilderness, crisscrossed with 2 seasonal rivers and a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

The area is a semi-arid region dry for most of the year yet gifted with a varied species of game counting to about 77 mammals and 475 birds. The animals are hosted in the indigenous forests, savanna grasslands, rocks and hilltops.

The park covers 1442 square kilometers or 55 square miles and a remarkable area to view. Drives around the park are exciting, bringing visitor to see dry river bed and river banks lined with borassus palm trees.

In recent years CNN Travel a publication of CNN (cable News Network), a US television of global status listed Kidepo National Park one of the best 10 parks in Africa. Kidepo can be accessed through 4 routes on tar road right from Kampala.

Accessiblity to Kidepo Valley National Park

1. By Air:
The most convenient way to reach Kidepo Valley National Park is by air. There is an airstrip located within the park, known as Apoka Airstrip, which can accommodate small aircraft. Charter flights from Entebbe International Airport or other regional airports in Uganda can be arranged to fly directly to Kidepo Valley National Park. The flight duration from Entebbe to Kidepo is approximately 2 hours.

2. By Road:
For those who prefer overland travel, reaching Kidepo Valley National Park by road is also possible. However, it should be noted that the roads leading to the park can be challenging and require a 4x4 vehicle due to their rough and sometimes impassable conditions.

- From Kampala:
The journey from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, to Kidepo Valley National Park takes approximately 10-12 hours by road. The most common route is via Gulu and Kitgum towns. The road from Kampala to Gulu is paved, but from Gulu onwards, it becomes a dirt road that can be rough and bumpy.

- From Mbale:
Another option is to travel from Mbale in eastern Uganda to Kidepo Valley National Park. This route takes approximately 8-10 hours by road and passes through Soroti, Moroto, and Kotido towns. Similar to the Kampala route, the road conditions can vary, especially during the rainy season.

It is important to note that road travel times can vary depending on weather conditions, road maintenance, and other factors. It is advisable to check with local authorities or tour operators for the latest information on road conditions before embarking on a journey to Kidepo Valley National Park.

3. By Public Transport:
While it is possible to reach Kidepo Valley National Park using public transport, it is not the most common or convenient option. Public buses and taxis operate between major towns in Uganda, but they may not provide direct access to the park. Travelers would need to arrange for additional transportation, such as hiring a private vehicle or joining a guided tour, to reach the park from the nearest town.

In conclusion, accessing Kidepo Valley National Park can be done by air or road. Flying to the park is the most convenient option, while road travel requires a 4x4 vehicle and can be challenging due to rough conditions. Public transport is available but may require additional arrangements for reaching the park.

Activities in Kidepo Valley National Park

1. Game drives: Take a thrilling game drive through the park's rugged terrain, spotting an array of wildlife such as elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, and antelopes. The park is home to over 70 mammal species, including the endangered Rothschild's giraffe and the elusive cheetah.

2. Hiking: Explore Kidepo Valley National Park's diverse landscapes on foot, hiking through the rolling hills, rocky outcrops, and dense forests. There are several hiking trails available, ranging from easy to challenging, offering breathtaking views of the park's stunning scenery.

3. Birdwatching: Kidepo Valley National Park is a birdwatcher's paradise, with over 450 species of birds recorded within its boundaries. Spot the iconic ostrich, the world's largest flying bird, as well as other species such as the Verreaux's eagle, the African fish eagle, and the martial eagle.

4. Cultural encounters: Visit the local Karamajong people and learn about their unique culture and traditions. Experience their warm hospitality and enjoy traditional dances and music performances.

5. Nature walks: Take a guided nature walk through the park's diverse habitats, learning about the unique flora and fauna of the area. Discover the medicinal properties of the park's plants and trees, and learn about the importance of conservation efforts in protecting the park's biodiversity.

6. Camping: Spend a night or two under the stars in Kidepo Valley National Park's wilderness, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and the sounds of the wild. There are several campsites available, ranging from basic to luxury, offering stunning views of the park's landscapes.

7. Photography: Capture the beauty of Kidepo Valley National Park's landscapes and wildlife on camera, with plenty of opportunities for stunning photography. From the dramatic sunsets over the valley to the majestic wildlife, there is no shortage of photo opportunities in this incredible park.