Wildlife Safari in Kidepo Valley National Park: Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the most isolated wildlife safari destinations in Uganda, located in the rural Karamoja region of Kaabong County. The national park was established in 1962, just after Uganda gained independence, and it has a total area of 1,442 square kilometers. The national park is recognized for its extensive biodiversity, which includes savannah grassland, around 76 wild animals, 28 of which are native to only the park, and over 465 bird species, 20 of which are endemic to only the park.
What wildlife are found in Kidepo Valley National Park?
The park is home to around 80 animal species, including the big four mammals: lions, leopards, buffaloes, and elephants. There are 28 animal species found alone in Kidepo Valley National Park, including the mountain reedbuck, larger and lesser kudu, aardwolf, cheetah, caracal, greater eland, Gunther’s Dik-Dik, striped hyenas, and carnivores.
The park has carnivores that are only seen in the park and are not found anywhere else in Uganda, such as the hunting dog, bat-eared fox, and predators, such as lions, leopards, side-striped jackals, bat-eared fox, and white-tailed mongoose, among others, and they can easily be seen at night during the night game drive.
Other creatures in the park include zebras, giraffes, 12 antelope species such as eland, klipspringer, oribi, Jackson’s hartebeest, waterbucks, and bushbucks, as well as Uganda kobs primates such as patas monkeys and Kavirondo bush babies.
Kidepo Valley National Park is home to around 465 bird species, with approximately 20 of them being indigenous to the Karamoja area, making it Uganda’s second top birding destination after Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park’s bird species include the ostrich, the Karamoja Apalis, the red-throated bee-eater, the pygmy falcon, the Verreaux’s eagle, the Abyssinian ground hornbill, the secretary bird, the yellow-necked spurfowl, the Ethiopian swallow, the white-bellied bustard, the pygmy falcon, the African swallow-tailed kite, the black-headed plover among others.
What is entailed in Wildlife Safaris in Kidepo Valley National Park?
Game Drives in Kidepo Valley National Park.
The game drive is one of the most popular activities in Kidepo Valley National Park. It is done in the park early in the morning or late in the evening in a safari vehicle in various regions such as Narus Valley and Kidepo Valley. The Narus Valley is a permanent water body in the park that attracts a large number of wild animals during the dry season, and Kidepo Valley is also made up of the Kidepo River, which is a seasonal river that completely dries up during the dry season and floods during the rainy season. Kidepo also boasts a lot of wild creatures, which are usually visible during the rainy season. Both locations are ideal for game drives since they offer excellent views of exotic species including as giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, lions, leopards, and Uganda kobs.
Night Game Drives in Kidepo Valley National Park.
One of the national parks that offer night game drives is Kidepo Valley National Park. The nocturnal wildlife drive takes place at night, with spotlight lights for clear viewing and a park ranger to assist you in spotting the nocturnal species. You will see nocturnal creatures like lions, leopards, and hyenas during your night game drive.
Birdwatching in Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is home to approximately 465 bird species, making it a birder’s heaven for bird-watching tours in Uganda. Birding is done early in the morning or late in the afternoon on the outskirts of Namamukwenyi and Narus valleys, as well as at Apoka Rest Camp, among other places. Among the bird species seen while birding are the purple heron, super staling, pygmy falcon, Abyssinian roller, Egyptian vulture, Clapperton’s francolin, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Verreaux’s eagle, red and yellow barbet, scarlet chested sunbird, little weaver, Jackson’s hornbill, red-fronted barbet, African grey flycatcher, yellow-billed shrike among others.
Nature Walks/Hiking Wildlife Safaris in Kidepo Valley National Park.
A nature walk or hiking wildlife safari in Kidepo Valley national park is an exciting activity in which people travel through the national park on foot while exploring stunning landscapes, and wildlife, and feeling cool air. There are several sites for nature walks, such as the Lomej Mountains, Narus Valley, Kidepo Valley, Namamukweny Valley, Morungule Mountain, and others. During the nature walk, you will see many tree types, flora, and bird species such as the hoopoe Nubian woodpecker, magnificent starling, vinaceous dove, yellow-billed shrike, and stroll meters away from wild creatures such as zebras, warthogs, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, giraffes, and Uganda kobs. A nature stroll lowers stress by allowing you to breathe fresh air in a peaceful and relaxing setting.
When is the best time to go on a wildlife safari to Kidepo Valley National Park?
Wildlife safaris in the park are available all year, but the ideal time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from June to September and December to February. During the dry season, Kidepo Valley National Park receives less rainfall, so the park’s roads are passable, the vegetation is short, giving you clear views of wild animals, and seasonal water bodies like the Kidepo River are dry, so a large concentration of animals gather around Narus Valley, a permanent water body, to drink water, giving you great photo opportunities.
Where to stay during wildlife safaris in Kidepo Valley National Park?
The park includes a few upmarket, midrange, and cheap housing options for travelers on a safari, including Apoka Safari Lodge, Nga’moru Wilderness Camp, Apoka Rest Camp, Kidepo Savannah Lodge, and Adere Safari Lodge, among others.
The lodges in the park provide quality services and facilities such as comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, a restaurant serving local and international dishes, laundry services, a swimming pool, a relaxing lounge, a spa, a fireplace, a bar, laundry services, and views of the park, wild animals, and birds, among other things.
How to get to Kidepo Valley National Park?
Traveling by Air to Kidepo Valley National Park
when traveling via plane Domestic airlines such as Aerolink Uganda conduct scheduled and chartered flights from Entebbe/Kajjansi airport to Kidepo airstrip on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, with a travel time of around 2 hours and 15 minutes. Air travel is quick and convenient for guests who dislike traveling vast distances.
Traveling by Road to Kidepo Valley National Park.
There are several routes to choose from while traveling by car, including as the route from Kampala via Karuma, Lira Kotido, Kaabong, and finally to the park headquarters, which takes around 12 hours.
Other alternative routes to the national park include;
It takes roughly 10 hours to drive from Kampala to the park through Karuma, Gulu, Kitgum, and Kaabong.
It takes roughly 13 hours to drive from Kampala to the park through Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, and Kaabong.
The park is roughly a 12-hour trip from Kampala through Mbale, Sironko, Moroto, Kotido, and Kaabong. Though the journey by road is long, it provides spectacular views, terrain, local people and markets on the wayside, and rhino monitoring at the Ziwa rhino sanctuary, among other things.