Kidepo Valley National Park is among Africa’s true wilderness Park with so many virtually pure and untouched attractions. It is situated in the extreme North Eastern Uganda bordering Kenya and south Sudan. The Park is surrounded by Karamojong people; a tribe that still holds a sound rich cultural values and paying a visit to this place will leave a memory that you will live to remember.
When you are in the heart of Kidepo Valley National Park, there are many activities you should watch out for and this activities are Game drives, Nature Walks Safaris and Hiking, Birding, Community cultural tours
Game drives in Kidepo National Park
Most thrilling and superb activity in this Park. The game drives are normally conducted in the two sections of the Park; Narus Valley and Kidepo Valley. Narus valley- ‘A hive for tourism activities’ The broad open Narus valley is a water catchment area with lush vegetation that stretches for hundreds of kilometers. The Valley is blessed with rich Bio-diversity. Whereas Kidepo Valley on the other hand is filled with Borassus palm trees that were dispersed by elephants’ droppings.There are also acacia, shrubs and thickets in this part of the Park.
You may choose to do game drive on the famous Narus Valley where there are great concentration of wildlife or opt for game drive in Kidepo Valley to look for the ostriches-the world’s fastest and largest land bird before connecting to Kanangorok hot springs. Having a game drive in this Park will never disappoint you. Most advantageous with Kidepo game drives is that there are no crowds unlike other Africa’s wilderness Parks. This means you are assured of great wildlife encounter without animals being harm by large number of crowds.
The animals you are likely to encounter with during these game drive are; Rothschild giraffe, warthogs, Burchell’s zebra, elephants, mountain reedbucks, bushbucks, thousands of buffalo, eland, water bucks, Jackson’s hartebeest and the known carnivores like bat-eared fox, stripped hyena and caracal, leopard, spotted hyena and the black-backed and side-stripped jackal…to mention but a few. As well as the elusive Cheetah-found only in Kidepo.
There are also hundreds of bird species that a waits you during your game drive including the Ostriches.
Birding in Kidepo National Park
With over 451 different bird species, there is no doubt about it –that Kidepo offers some brilliant birding opportunities, making it birders’ paradise. The Park is essentially semi-Arid, covered largely by dry vegetation, shrub and grass savanna. Only wetter in the south (Narus Valley).
Birding can be done in the nearby Apoka area or deep the valleys of Narus and Kidepo. No matter which area you go for birding, the experience remains great. The Park provides one of the finest birding experience in Uganda.
Its list consist of birds of prey, nocturnal, savannah together with many other Arid and semi-Arid climate associated birds. The most sought birds are the endemic Karamonja Apalis, Ostriches, Black-breasted Barbets, Yellow-billed Shrike, the attractive Silver bird, Nubian woodpecker, Mosque swallow, Vinaceous Dove, Ruppell’s and superb sterling, Hoopoe, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Red-cheeked Cordon bleu, and Yellow-rumped seedeater. Further towards the airstrip you may even spot Singing Bushlark, black-bellied Bustard, Harlequin Quail, Common Buttonquail, Black-headed Plover, Flappet Larks and Croaking Cisticola and the ostrich and the Kori bustard.
Other species include; Brown-backed Woodpecker, Little Green Bee-eater, Long-tailed & Standard-winged Nightjars, White-bellied Tit , Pygmy Falcon, African Grey Flycatcher, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Eastern Yellow & Jackson’s Hornbills, Red-winged Lark, Little Weaver & Red-cheeked , Fan-tailed Raven, White-bellied & Hartlaub’s Bustards, Abyssinian & Rufous-crowned Rollers, Eastern Pale Chanting Go-shawk, Slate-coloured Boubou, Green-winged, White-faced Scoops Owl…among others.
Nature walks Safaris and Hiking
Nature Walks in Kidepo is perhaps the best and can add up on your great experience. The walk can be done around Apoka-tourism center to encounter with Park wildlife like zebras, waterbucks, warthogs, buffaloes, Jackson’s hartebeest and jackals who wonder freely around. There are also many bird species to closely encounter with during this walk.
Our guide may opt to take you for a walk in the broad Narus Valley where there are plenty of wildlife busy in their day to day grazing activity. The best highlight of the walk may be when you encounter thousands of cape Buffaloes grazing on the floodplains of Narus Valley.
Find yourself in Kidepo Valley during your Nature walk and witness the great work that the elephants did in dispersing Borassus Palm trees. Continue and do a nature walk to the Park’s Kanangorok hot springs.
Hiking in Kidepo Valley National Park is again another adventure activity. There is Lamoj mountains just splitting distance from Apoka that presents great hiking experience and whoever participates in hiking these mountains, has a story to write. To the north-east boundary of the Park, there lies Mountain Morungole with great stunning views. Hiking this Mountain to meet the Ik people-the smallest ethic group in Uganda, is something that one shouldn’t miss. The journey to the top of the Mountain (where they settle) is just classic with endless beauties of mountain ranges alongside superb vegetation cover.
Community Cultural Tours
Kidepo National Park is bordered by Karamojong people-an indigenous ethnic group who still holds very rich cultural values. For lovers of true Africa’s culture, Kidepo is the right place to be. Visiting the homesteads of the surrounding community of karamojongs and participating in some of their day to day activity is something that will not be washed off your brain. When you deep yourselves in their homesteads, you will meet the elders and leaders who will enhance your cultural knowledge about the place.
There are also variety of their local products like stools, costumes, jewelries, walking sticks, saddles, headdress, bow, arrows …among others for those who would wish to purchase them
Join our adventure and authentic Karamoja tour and find out what it means to be a local.