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Explore Kidepo National Park

Kidepo National Park Wildlife

Discover and unlock Uganda’s most treasured wild places in Kidepo Valley National Park in the remote north eastern Uganda. Kidepo is the most wild of all the game parks in Uganda bordering with Kenya and Sudan. The Savannah landscape is absolutely breathtaking and the view of horizon is endless. It’s the less visited of all the parks so you really get the feeling of having the park all to yourself. Taking you to Kidepo Valley National Park might be Africa’s finest wilderness area you have ever been to fill with herds of buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, lions, leopard, cheetahs, ostriches and hot springs at Kanangorok not forgetting to visit the Karamajong culture.

On your budget safaris in Uganda you can reach this park that is found in the north eastern part of the Uganda famously known as the Karamajong region, bordering south Sudan and Kenya. Kidepo is 700km from Kampala and it very isolated from the rest of the parks that are mainly located in the west and south of the country. The national park is about 12 hours by road from Kampala. Alternatively, you can opt to fly in a safari, but besides the additional costs attached to flying, you will be missing out the beautiful landscapes and cultures if you chose to fly and not drive there.

Put aside any doubts about making the effort to get to Kidepo, its reputation as one of the finest and most beautiful national parks in Africa is amply justified. It would take at least a couple of days to explore all that the park has to offer, and the variety and beauty of the environments it contains. However the park has about 80 mammal species and with over 470 bird species. Kidepo national park is home to so many unique species. Here is a list of some of the species found only in Kidepo and not in any other part of the country; Ostriches, Cheetah, Lesser Kudu, Greater Kudu, Black Back Jackal, Bat Eared Fox, Ad Wolf, Brown Hyenas, Karakul and dik dik.

The presence of lions, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants give you a close insight of what Uganda.  Visitors here will encounter variety of animals and bird species that sought solace in this park. The vegetation here and the two valleys give you a real experience of being in the wilderness blended with amazing creatures. Try a short 4 days trip or more and discover secrets of nature in the park ranked as one of the best in Africa.

We visited the Karamajong Manyata and it was the most amazing community visit one can ever do. The Karamajong live a simple life. The visit to this community taught me a lot of things. One of them is to live simply, be grateful for what you have. The Karamajong have a group of dances who dance for us. Just know we joined in and enjoyed in and enjoyed the jumping part.

Apart from game drives in the park, there are several activities that you can take part which include; having an encounter with the Lorokul cultural group, hiking the Morungole Mountains outside the park to meet the IK people who live a top of this mountain, hiking the Lomej Mountains, birding on the Narus and Namamukweny Valleys, to having game drives and nature walks through the Narus valley.

Accommodation is available though still very limited in terms of choice as they are only three; Apoka lodge for luxury, Nga’Moru wilderness camp for the mid-range, and Apoka Banda’s owned and managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. We stayed at the Apoka Banda’s though it doesn’t have a swimming pool but you can walk to the Apoka Lodge and pay a fee to use the swimming pool at $35 if the heat is getting to you. If you plan to stay at Apoka Banda’s, make sure you call and prearrange in advance for catering service or you may have to carry you own raw food and dry ration for self-catering.

You can also go camping. There are two UWA camp sites. They are in ideal locations on small hills so you have magnificent views and get to see the sunrise and sunset with surrounded by wildlife.

Getting there and back is not easy as the roads in northern Uganda can be a challenge. If you go in the rainy season then you need a 4×4, even in dry season I would recommend a 4×4 as you can go off road with the ranger to get much closer to the wildlife.

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