Kidepo Valley National park- Self Drive in Uganda

Kidepo valley national park is situated in Karamoja region in northeastern direction. The park is located near Karenga in Kaabong district which is approximately 220 kilometers northwest of Moroto which is the largest city in the sub-region. It is also at a distance of approximately 520 kilometers northeast of the capital city of Uganda – Kampala.

Kidepo valley National park was first gazetted as a reserve by the British colonial government in 1958 and the people who were staying there were evicted for the purpose of protecting and conserving animals from hunting. Later in 1962, the reserve was converted into a national park by the government of Milton Obote. The park consists of the two major valleys of the Kidepo and Narus rivers.

Safari attractions in Kidepo valley national park

Narus Valley

This is rolling and grassland plain encompassed by a variety of mountains. The valley attracts a numerous animals in the park since it contains water which is there throughout the year. Near the valley, there is Narus dam and a waterhole which provide a perfect view of the wildlife in the parks especially during the dry seasons. Among the animals to be viewed here include lions, buffaloes, reedbucks, Jackson’s hartebeest, leopards, cheetahs and others.

Apoka tourism center

This is the center at the park where tour guides and rangers station waiting to escort the tourists through different activities at the park including nature walks and game drives. Apoka tourism center also has cars and trucks for hire during some activities in case the tourists never moved with theirs. Also, the center has got a craft shop with different things like books, bottled water, sodas and others.

Kanangorok hot springs

These hot springs lie around the Kidepo River along the Sudan border. This spring is the most permanent source of water in the park and thus attracting a number of wildlife for drinking water.

Namamukweny valley

This valley is positioned in the north-west direction of the park. It is a home to a numerous bird species including the white – crested turaco, common bulbul, Abyssinian roller, green wood hoopoe, eastern paradise whydah and many others.

Mount Morungule

Standing at a height of 2,750 meters, mount Morungule is crossed by the Kidepo and Narus rivers. The ranges form the southern borders of the park and stretches from the plains just a few kilometers northeast of Apoka. The slopes of mount Morungule are a home to the IK tribe which is the smallest and unique ethnic group in Uganda. The rivers which cross the mountain are natural habitats to a variety of wildlife.

Lonyili Mountain

Positioned along the borders of Kitgum and Sudan, Lonyili Mountain is encompassed with montane rainforests. The mountain is also a home to a number of primate species including the colobus monkeys, baboons, and others.

Lomej hills

The Lomej hills are at a few distances from the headquarters of the park. They provide a spectacular view of the wildlife and birds in the park. Among the animals include the mountain reedbucks and others.

Safari activities in Kidepo valley national park

Game drives

Enjoy a guided game drive through the trucks of the park. Game driving is done during different times a day that is morning, afternoon, evening and night game drive. Spot different animals and bird species during this activity and visit some attraction in the park including the Kanangorok hot springs where you will have the perfect views of the mountains. Among the animals to be seen include oribi, Uganda kobs, elands, greater and lesser kudus, reedbucks, leopards, lions, cheetahs, side striped jackal and others.

Nature walks

Explore the park with a professional ranger on foot. Move through different trails and areas in the park including Narus valley, Kidepo plains, Namamukweny valley and reach to the Morungule Mountains were you will connect to the unique tribe of the IK people. During the nature walk, get a chance to spot different animals in the park including the elephants, warthogs, bushbucks, zebras, giraffe, buffaloes and others. Also, spot some bird species like ostriches and enjoy there song like sounds.

Bird watching

Recording over 475 bird species including the endemic, savannah, and migratory birds. This making the park one of best paradise for birders. Spotting the birds in the park is done during the game drives through the trails of the park and while having a nature walk. Among the birds in the park include Karamoja apalis, ostrich, African swallow tailed kite, long tailed nightjar, red billed oxpeckers, Abyssinian ground hornbill, red billed oxpeckers, speckle fronted weaver, singing bush lark, brown backed woodpecker, purple heron, kori bustard, slate coloured boubou and others.