Things to do in Kidepo valley national park
Things to do in Kidepo valley national park; The park is an isolated national park located in Karamoja region northeastern part of Uganda between Uganda border with Kenya and Sudan. The park covers a total area of 1,442 square kilometers which is comprised of savannah grassland, woodland, montane forests which act as habitats for different wildlife species including the big four out of the big five mammals which include lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, other animals like giraffes, zebras, waterbucks, bush pigs, cheetah, hyenas, bushbucks, duikers, elands and 475 bird species such as ostriches, Abyssinian ground hornbill, purple heron, secretary bird among others.
Things to do in Kidepo valley national park
Game drives in Kidepo valley national park
Game drive is one of the most popular activities in the park where visitors will explore the park in a comfortable 4WD pop up safari vehicle with a professional driver guide. During the game drive which can either be done early in the morning or in the evening you will follow different game tracks to Narus valley and Kidepo valley section where you will be able to view abundant wildlife species including large herds of buffaloes, elephants, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, giraffes, bushbucks, warthogs, hippos, elands, kudus, zebras, oribi, bohor reedbuck, view predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas if you are lucky, view bird species like ostriches among others.
The park also offers night game drives where you will drive around the park at night with spotlight torches for clear viewing of nocturnal animals. During the night game drives in Kidepo valley national park you will be accompanied by a ranger guide who will help you to spot different animals like hyenas, leopards, lions, bat eared fox, Aardwold, side striped jackals, cheetahs among others which will be hunting, view other animals resting, hippos feeding among others.
Nature walks/hiking in Kidepo valley national park
This is an interesting activity in the park where visitors will get out of the vehicle and explore the part of foot with the company of an experienced park guide and an armed park ranger to protect you from dangerous animals. Hiking or nature walks in Kidepo national park are done along Rionomoe trail, Apoka camp, Lomej Mountains, Morungole mountains, Namamukweny valley among others. During the guided nature walk in the park which can either be done early in the morning or in the evening, you will get up close and personal with different wildlife species like elephants, reedbucks, giraffes, waterbucks, warthogs, buffaloes, listen to sweet sounds of bird species singing in trees, enjoy the cool breath, relax your mind, meet take beautiful pictures among others.
Bird watching in Kidepo valley national park
The park is a home of over 475 recorded bird species including Albertine endemic birds, forest birds, savannah birds among others which make it one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. Bird watching is done in different areas like around Apoka rest camp, along the edges of Narus and Namamukweny valley among others. During bird watching visitors will be accompanied by an experienced bird guide who will help you to spot different bird species such as purple heron, Ethiopian swallow, Karamoja apalis, Clappertons francolin, Abyssinian ground hornbill, ostriches, superb starling, scarlet chested sunbird, black breasted barbet, African grey fly-catcher, red billed oxpecker, dark chanting goshawk, red winged pytilia among others.
Cultural tour in Kidepo valley national park
Cultural tour is an exciting activity in the park where visitors will get an opportunity to interact with the local people who live in the neighboring villages. During the cultural tour you will be able to interact with the Karamajong and the IK people who live on top of Morungole Mountains, visit their homesteads, learn about their cultural, tradition, engage in their cultural experiences like child naming, learn how to cook traditional meals, enjoy traditional dances and songs, buy handmade souvenirs like beads, stools, jewels among others.
Best time to visit Kidepo valley national park
The park can be visited all year round though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season there is less or little rainfall in the park therefore vegetation will be thin which helps you to have clear views of different wildlife species.
Kidepo valley national park can also be visited in the wet season during the months of march to may and November because that’s the best time for bird watching where bird lovers will be able to view colorful migratory bird species. Also during the wet season accommodations give discounts to visitors hence favoring budget travelers.
Where to stay in Kidepo valley national park
There are several accommodation facilities in the park where you can stay during your safari including Apoka Safari lodge, Kidepo Savannah lodge, Nga Moru wilderness camp, Apoka Rest Camp, Adere safari lodge among others.
How to get to Kidepo valley national park
The park is located in the north eastern part of Uganda and can be accessed by both road and air transport means.
Air transport, when using air transport means you will book charter or scheduled flights with Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to Apoka airstrip and then connect to the park headquarters. Scheduled flights to Kidepo national park depart from Entebbe airport every Wednesday, Friday and Friday at 12:30pm. Domestic flights to the park operate with a minimum number of 7 passengers and can be booked by your tour operator.
Road transport, when using road transport means there are four routes that you can use to Kidepo Kidepo valley national park for example
Route from Kampala via Karuma, Gulu, Kitgum and then to the park headquarters which takes about 10 hours drive.
Route from Kampala via Karuma, Lira, Kotido, Kaabong and then to the park which takes about 12 hours drive.
Route from Kampala via Mbale, Sironko, Moroto, Kaabong and then the park which takes about 12 hours drive
Route from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then to the park headquarters which takes about 13 hours drive. Visitors who use road transport means to Kidepo valley national park will be rewarded with spectacular views of the countryside, beautiful scenery, landscape, farmlands among others.