Kabaffulo Safaris

Kidepo Valley National park

Lying in far Northeastern Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park is most popular for its authentic wilderness experiences. The park sits in isolation in the Kabong district close to the Uganda border with South Sudan and Kenya. It features spectacularly rugged savannas, great valleys and hills. Kidepo was initially gazetted as a Game Reserve in 1958 by the colonial government and in 1962, it was upgraded to a National Park.
Spanning over 1442 sq. km, Kidepo NP features 2 scenic valleys: Kidepo and Narus Valleys. About 77 mammal species and 475 species of birds are all contained within the Kidepo Valley National Park.

Main attractions in Kidepo Valley N/Park

Kanangorok hot springs
The Kanangorok hot springs are situated in the Northern side of Kidepo close to Kidepo River. These hot springs have a boiling rate of about 50 degrees Celsius. The hot springs are located in an area overviewing the mountain ranges.

Mount Morungole
Mt. Morungole is a spectacular natural feature lying on the Southern boundary of Kidepo National Park. It is found at an altitude of 2750 meters and offers home to the IK people.

Namamukweny Valley
Namamukweny lies in the Northwestern Kidepo Valley National Park. The word Namamukweny is derived from the Napore dialect and it is translated as a lonely place with few people/birds. At the valley, there are some amazing birds to be spotted including the green wood hoopoe, eastern paradise whydah, Abyssinian roller, and common bulbul.
Other sites include Mount Lonyili (this features some primate species like colobus monkeys) and Lomej Hills (this hill is ideal for birding and sighting the mountain reedbucks).

Kidepo Valley National Park is a good habitat for numerous wild animals including 77 mammal species and reptiles. The common animal species to see on Kidepo National Park safari include lions, cheetahs, leopards, zebras, Rothschild giraffes, bat-ear fox, Defassa waterbucks, Oryx, Kudus, elephants, duikers, spotted hyenas, reedbucks, Uganda Kobs, elands, Jackson’s Hartebeests, reedbucks, jackals, roan antelopes, gazelles, and oribis.

The park protects several endemic and savanna bird species making it an excellent birding area. Kidepo NP bird species include yellow-rumped seed-eaters, Karamoja Apalis, yellow necked spurfowl, superb starling, Kori bustard, bush larks, Jackson’s hornbills, white-bellied bustard, Egyptian vultures, Abyssinian rollers, Verreaux’s eagles, ostriches,
Northern carmine bee-eater, fox kestrel, purple grenadier, rose-ringed parakeet, red-throated bee-eaters, white-bellied go-away bird, chestnut weaver, black-breasted barbet, pygmy falcon, rufous chatterer, red-winged pytilia, Eastern pale chanting goshawks, Ethiopian swallow, Fan-tailed raven,
Little green bee-eaters, marsh tchagra, black coucal, silver bird, African grey flycatchers, broad-tailed warblers, African moustached francolins, red-billed oxpeckers, Abyssinian ground hornbill, and more.

Things to do/safari activities in Kidepo N/Park

Game drive
Most tourists prefer Kidepo Valley National Park for its rewarding game drives. On a game drive in Kidepo, expect to come across many animal species including cheetahs, leopards, lions, jackals, hartebeests, giraffes, zebras, cape buffaloes, elephants, gazelles, elands, hyenas, reedbucks, and more.

Nature walks
Nature walks are done on foot with lead of an experienced park ranger guide. The available hiking or nature walking opportunities include Lamoj Hills, Kanangorok Hot Springs, and Kidepo Valley. You can also explore the Namamukweny Valley, an area endowed with bird species green wood hoopoe, eastern paradise whydah, Abyssinian roller, and common bulbul.

There are many birding opportunities that Kidepo offers to visitors on Uganda safari tours. The birds to be identified including African grey flycatchers, broad-tailed warblers, Kori bustard, Clapper ton’s francolins, Nubian woodpeckers, orange-winged pytilia, black-breasted barbet, crimson rumped waxbill, superb starling, scarlet-chested sunbird, white-billed buffaloes, yellow-billed shrikes, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Little green bee-eaters, yellow-spotted petronia, standard winged nightjars, ostriches, Ethiopia vulture, African moustached, Eastern pale chanting goshawk, and more.

Community/cultural visit
Community visits are done in the 2 communities: Karamojong and IK. The Karamojong are traditional nomads and they reside in the Northeastern side of Uganda. They share most of their traditions and cultures with the Maasai people of Kenya. The IK people on the other hand live on the summits of Mount Morungole and both communities get you exposed to unique traditions and cultures.
When to travel to visit Kidepo Valley N/Park (Uganda)
Kidepo experiences 2 seasons each year- wet and dry seasons. The most preferred time to visit the park to enjoy excellent game viewing is during the dry season and which is July, August, December to March. It is easier to navigate through the Narus and the Kidepo Valley areas while on a guided wildlife tour. Most wildlife species can be clearly spotted during these months of the year, especially as they confine around the few oases in River Kidepo.

Kidepo National Park accommodation facilities

The accommodation facilities in and around Kidepo range from budget, to midrange, and luxury options. They include Apoka Safari Lodge, Apoka Rest Camp, Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp, Kidepo Savanna Lodge, and camping.

How to reach the park
Kidepo Valley National Park from Kampala is 521 km, about a 10-12 hours’ drive in a good safari rental car. By air, a flight can be chartered or scheduled and you can start your trip from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airfield to Apoka airstrip.

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