Kidepo Valley National Park is a 1,442 square kilometers national park in the Karamoja region in northeast Uganda. The land on which the park sits was initially inhabited by Dodoth pastoralists before it was gazetted by the British Colonial government as a game reserve. Its name Kidepo was adopted from a Dodoth verb ‘akidep’ which translates to pick up.
Kidepo Valley national park is Uganda’s most isolated national park and therefore doesn’t get as many visitors. It is located in a relatively dry area that experiences one wet season in a year. However, the few that visit Kidepo will testify to its magnificence. During the dry season, which is usually most of the year, water sources are limited to the wetlands and remnant pools in the broad Narus Valley near Apoka. These seasonal oases, combined with the open, savannah terrain, make the Narus Valley the park’s prime game viewing location during game drives since animals gather here to quench their thirst from pools left by River Narus.
While the other wildlife parks in Uganda can support far greater biomass of animals, Kidepo Valley National Park supports a wider diversity. The park houses 80 mammal species and 28 of these can only be found in Kidepo Valley national park. These include the Caracal, Stripped Hyena, Aardwolf, Cheetah, Bat-eared Fox and Hunting dog. Treat yourself to the sight of these rare and magnificent beasts during night and daytime game drives.
The park is also home to 5 primate species including Kavirondo Bush Baby which is also unique to the area. The park also has several rare ungulates including the Greater and Lesser Kudu, Chandlers Mountain Reedbuck, Klipspringer, Dikdik, Bright Gazelle, Beisa Oryx, and Roan Antelope. With a recorded 475 bird species, some of Africa’s rarest and most sought-after birds occur in the park including the Black-breasted Barbet and the Karamoja Apalis. This makes Kidepo Valley National Park one of Uganda’s Important Bird Areas and a sought-after birding destination that comes only second to Queen Elizabeth national park.
Participate in the Karamojong community tour, hike Mountain Morungole, and explore varying vegetation and the rocky terrain of the mountain leading to the native IK tribe, a community of hunter-gatherers that are threatened by extinction.