WHY CAMP WITH A ROOFTOP TENT IN THE WILDERNESS OF KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Kidepo is one place you would not love to miss visiting if really your priority in Uganda is to have an extraordinary vacation. Kidepo Valley National Park is a very popular and the most recommended national park to go to if you are a true wildlife lover – nature lover. Kidepo is in fact far ahead from being just a wildlife sanctuary but its aesthetically pleasing landscape and the various bird species are among the other things that make the Park an extraordinary one.
However, like any other Park, Kidepo is more exhilarating in the dry season when the animals are congregated near the water points contrary to the rainy season where animals disseminate from the valleys moving to higher and drier grounds where viewing them may become a hurdle. Nevertheless, there are various reasons as to why you should drive northeast wards to visit the spectacular Kidepo and below are some of them:
Its wildlife and nature
Kidepo Valley National Park is located in the northeastern parts of Uganda and it is known for its varied wildlife, and the eye-catching landscape. A trip to Kidepo is surely a discovery one as you will explore a variety of amazing things such as; the bird life, wildlife, impressive culture, fantastic climate, and not forgetting the magnificent view of the entire Park – hence being an ideal spot for great photographers.
Wildlife viewing in Kidepo is a classy one if you are that traveler who would like to see almost every African wildlife species protected in one specific place. Kidepo protects more wildlife species than any other protected area in Uganda and among these include; African Lions, African Elephants, African Leopards, Cape Buffaloes, Cheetahs, Giraffes, Hippos, Nile Crocodiles, Zebras, Jackson’s Hartebeests, Oribi, Impalas, Uganda Kob, Elands, Klipspringers, African Wild Dog, Jackals, Bat-eared Foxes, and many others. On the side of bird life, Kidepo protects more bird species in Uganda (500 bird species) only behind Queen Elizabeth National Park which has 600-plus bird species.
The amazing culture
The well-known cattle keepers, Karamojong, are the most popular tribe in northeastern Uganda and around the boundaries of Kidepo Valley National Park. For the travelers to Kidepo you are guaranteed with amazing cultural experiences once you immerse yourself in the Karamojong culture. According to the Karamojong culture, for a young Karamojong man to be counted as a true matured man and for him to marry a Karamojong woman should first wrestle the woman he desires to marry – this is a must-done ritual to every Karamojong man.
When he comes out victorious from the wrestling match against the woman, he is now considered to be a man and is qualified to marry the woman. This is a gesture showing that the man will be strong enough to give protection to his wife and the entire family. After a successful match, the dowry negotiations are allowed to commence.
In an instance where the young man is unable to defeat the woman in the wrestling match, he will not be considered by his people to be a man and will often leave to marry a woman from a different people-group where a test of strength is not required. Even when a non – Karamojong man wishes to marry a Karamojong woman, he is also subjected to go through this ritual too.
Are you planning to take a Self drive trip to Uganda? You will like the idea of traveling with a rooftop tent car. Simply contact us immediately to hire you a car equipped with a rooftop tent. It’s really a lovely experience to watch out of the tent’s window and having spectacular views over the beautiful sceneries especially in Uganda’s remarkable national parks… it is unquestionably romantic.
In Uganda, there are several remarkable destinations to explore with a roof top car such as national parks and reserves to spot the varied wildlife housed in those places, and very many others.
Advantages of using a rooftop tent in the wilderness of Kidepo valley national park
Camping safaris are often the best way to go when trying to experience the best of African wilderness safaris. Whenever you mention camping safaris; there are a number of things to put into consideration ranging from tents, mattresses, sleeping bags, camping light, and a lot of things that come along with the camping gear.
There are always a number of options to choose from when you consider camping on your trip some of which we have identified above. But let us zoom out on the different camping tents you can consider of your trip and also explore the pros and cons of choosing a particular kind of tent for your camping safari.
Hard Shell Rooftop tent
A rooftop tent is a tent that is locked on top of the car giving you an opportunity to use the car top as the camping ground. Anyone that is not comfortable sleeping on the ground during their wilderness camping safari, would prefer a rooftop.
However, there is a number of rooftop tents out there and you have to be specific on which type of rooftop tent you would wish to go for. One of the things to consider when choosing the rooftop tent is the mattress size, the number of people it can accommodate; which all influence the cost of hiring a particular rooftop tent.
Ikamper Sky camp 2.0 (Hard Shell)
It comes with an expandable king-size mattress that can offer enough space for four people (Average sized people). It is often preferred by most people because of its hard shell that makes it easy to set up. It has three window spots also offering a sunroof kind of window to allow in extra light. It is opened by unfolding the sideways.
Roof nests Sandpiper
The sandpiper offers ample space for two adults; rectangular appearance. It can carry extra weight on its top of up to 100 pounds. Unlike most of the rooftop tents, sandpiper simply pops up. It has a total of 4 windows
Feldon Shelter Crow’s Nest
A rooftop tent offers enough sleeping space for two people. It also has a 180o unfolding making it not as fast as the Ikamper or the Alu-cab to set up.
Alu-Cab’s Generation 3
The tent has 3-point access with a door and window on either side. It has a 45o pop-up style to open up the tent with a hard-shell structure just like the Ikamper; this makes it one of the quickest tents to set up.
The tent can also carry extra gear on tops such as kayaks, solar panels to help you have some power for phone charging, and other simple accessories.
FSR High Country Edition
Known for reliability, it can sleep up to three adults and also offer you a total of three windows. It has a 180o unfolding unlike most of the other tents such as Ikamper Sky camp.
Hard shell VS Softshell Rooftop tents
Rooftop tents can be classified into two types, hard shell rooftop tents, and soft-shell roof top tents. Most of the hard-shell rooftop tents have either a pop-up opening format while the softshell rooftop tents have a 180o opening style. Out of the above-shared options, some are hard shell while other a softshell rooftop tent.
Pros of Hard-shell Rooftop tents
They are easier to set up compared to soft shell rooftop tents. It can be set up in less than 5 minutes.
Some hard-shell rooftop tents have vertical walls that create more ample space inside the tent.
They can carry extra luggage on top of the rooftop tent, unlike the soft-shell roof top tents.
Cons of hard-shell Rooftop tents
They are heavier than soft shell roof top tents, so they are not as common in Uganda road trips as the softshell.
They are also the most expensive; therefore, any company that considers the competition in the market would often prefer the softshell since they are often cheaper compared to hard-shell rooftop tents.
Pros of Softshell Rooftop tents
They are lighter thus easier to install on the car
Very common on Uganda rooftop tent safaris unlike the hard-shell rooftop tents.
They are cheaper compared to the hard-shell rooftop tent; thus, you can easily get it from any self-drive car rental company.
Cons of Softshell Rooftop tents
It might take more than 5 minutes to set up or close after set up
Below are some of the pros and cons of rooftop tents vs pros and cons of the ground tents
Rooftop Tents Pro’s
Raised from the ground giving up better views
Easy to set up compared to a ground tent
Does not require a flat ground
Gives you more storage space in the car
More secure in case of animals walking in the car in the middle of the night
Saves you from being interrupted by the rain runoff
Rooftop Tents Con’s
Expensive compared to a ground tent
Requires a Ladder to enter inside the tent
You need to first fold the tent to head anywhere with the car
Affects the road handling of the car
Too short to stand-in
Ground Tent Pro’s
Cheaper compared to the rooftop tent
Some are high enough for you to stand in case you need to do some simple exercise such as yoga
Does not require any ladder to move in, making it easy to move in and out
Ground Tent Con’s
Takes a lot of space in the
Trunk Interrupted by animals walking in the middle of the night around the campsite
Requires a flat ground
Cannot stand running water on a rainy day
With the above comparisons, the only reason you would opt for a ground tent is the ladder required for you to enter the rooftop tent which might be a little bit inconvenient and its cost is more than triple of a basic ground tent.
Good accommodations in Kidepo
As you enjoy the extra ordinariness of Kidepo Valley National Park, you will be very pleased to also sleep comfortably at night and also taste the good organic foods of Uganda in the well-equipped restaurants. Some of the best accommodations to enjoy your stay in Kidepo include: Kidepo Savannah Lodge, Apoka Safari Lodge, Nga’moru Wilderness Camp, and Apoka Rest Camp, among others, but all in all you are advised to consider advance booking.