The Kidepo Valley National Park is among Uganda’s most magnificent parks along the border of Uganda with Southern Sudan in the northeast.It covers 1,442 sq kilometers and offers scenery unparalleled in any other national park within East Africa. A common comment made by the visitors in regards to its scenery is that “It couldn’t be any better!”, and oftentimes the visitors promise and actually return to Kidepo. Hidden into the corner of the border of Uganda with Kenya and South Sudan, this park offers spectacular Savannah landscapes that end in rocky horizon. Serengeti has been glorified for its wildlife but Kidepo valley dwarfs the Serengeti plains when it comes to the greatest wildlife showdown in the great East African rift valley.
This is the sole park within Uganda in which visitors can see both Zebras and Giraffes. Additionally here you can have an opportunity to see the uncommon White Buffaloes plus several other attractions.Chances are high of viewing the tree climbing lions which normally sit up in the sauces trees around Narus valley or by the rock as you enter the Apoka-Headquarter. Additional wildlife includes elephants, leopards, bush duikers, jackals, bush bucks, bush pigs, kavirondo bush babies, buffaloes and a lot more which are sometimes seen from the verandas of Apoka Rest Camp.
|Giraffes on the plains of Kidepo valley national park.|
Wildlife in Kidepo
This park hosts a great variety of animal species in comparison to any other Ugandan parks. Of the Eighty species recorded in 1971, Twenty eight weren’t known to exist in any other park within Uganda. Carnivore species distinctive to Kidepo are: the Hunting dog, Bat-eared Fox, Cheetah, Striped Hyena, Caracal and the aard Wolf. The more uncommon ungulates are: the greater & Lesser Kudu, roan antelope, Chandler’s mountain Reedbuck, beisa oryx, Klipspringer and Bright’s Gazelle, have been greatly decreased by poachers within the past few years. Among the other big ungulates are: elephants, oribi, burchell’s zebras, Jackson’s hartebeests, bush pigs, bohor reed buck, warthogs, rothschild giraffes, defassa water bucks, cape buffaloes, elands, bush duskiers and bush bucks . Five primate species are found within the park of which the most endemic is the Kavirondo bush baby. Carnivores existing include lions, side-striped jackals, leopards, black-backed jackals, various small cats as well as spotted hyenas. The simplest to see is the jackals.
Attractions in Kidepo valley national park.
Apoka Tourism CentreLooking over the game filled Narus Valley and habitat to a luxury lodge and the standard Uganda Wildlife Authority managed cottages; the Apoka is the tourism centre of the park. Ranger guides are positioned at Apoka to accompany tourists on their game drives plus nature walks. For people not having their private transport, there are park trucks offered for hire. In addition, there is a craft shop having books plus souvenirs, alcoholic beverages, bottled-water plus sodas which can as well be bought here. Food is prepared on request and also cooking gas as well as utensils may be hired by people who desire to cook on their own.
Narus ValleyNarus Valley is a rising and falling grassland plain surrounded by faraway mountains. This valley provides permanent water, and through most of the year its wildlife gathers here. Therefore, this area is properly supplied with game tracks, having 4 loop circuits that explore the valley close to Apoka. Several creatures for example lions, reedbucks, Jackson’s hartebeests, oribis, buffaloes and giraffes are visible within the valley. Cheetahs plus leopards are as well seen but in smaller numbers. The Narus dam together with the water hole close to the Tourism Centre are ideal observation places for game, particularly throughout the dry season. At the far southern tip of the Katurum loop, there is the Katurum kopje (a site of an abandoned lodge) is an eye-catching destination with outstanding views north over the valley in the direction of the Morungule mountain range.
Kidepo Valley and Kanangorok Hot SpringsThrough most of the year, shortage of surface water implies that less wildlife is seen within Kidepo Valley, although it is still definitely worth the drive to go to the dried out Kidepo River to walk along its 50 meter wide river bed comprised of white sand in between the banks blanketed with borassus palms. “Kidepo” means “to pick from below” and this valley was frequented by people traveling to collect fallen borassus fruits to use for fermenting when making palm beer. Kanangorok Hot Springs are located 11 kilometers past the Kidepo River along the Sudan border. It is a marvelous place to sit down and observe the mountains far past the frontier.
Mount MorunguleMount Morungole towers to 2,750 meters and it is crossed by River Kidepo and River Narus which nourish the wildlife plus the natural habitat of this park. The Morungole Range defines the southern boundary of this park and soars from these plains a couple of kilometers north-east of Apoka. This area may be visited on foot in the company of a ranger. The slopes of the mountain are habitat to the IK people, who are the tiniest ethnic group found in Uganda, and have their own special culture.
Namamukweny Valley“Namamukweny” is a native Napore word for “a place having no birds or perhaps a lonely place with very few people” – although concerning the birds, pretty the contrary is true! This valley is populated by a huge amount of bird species for example the Eastern Paradise Whydah, Green Wood Hoopoe, White-crested Turaco, Abyssinian Roller and the Common Bulbul, among others. It’s found in the northwest part of the park and may be accessed on foot or using a car.
Lomej HillsThe Lomej Hills are found just a brief drive from the park headquarters. These hills are a great viewing point to see wild animals and birds such as the mountain reedbucks.
where to stay while in Kidepo
Apoka Safari Lodge
Apoka Safari Lodge is among the very best safari lodges within Uganda. Wild animals come to your door-steps, you are in the middle of beautiful wonders, wild animals in abundance yet you’re in what is known as the Pearl of Africa Within this distant part of Uganda, Apoka Lodge has established a heaven experience here on earth just for you. The convenience, the luxury, the fashion and class encompasses you in the middle of this African Wild.
Apoka Rest CampSixteen self contained chalets are offered at Apoka Rest Camp which is a hostel consisting of Fourteen Bandas each having 2 beds; the Bandas are actually not self contained. With regard to visitors who choose camping, this park has 2 ‘Do it yourself’ camping grounds. You have to carry your own tent along with other camping gear.
Nga’Moru Wilderness CampNga’Moru is found at the border of Kidepo Valley National Park that is situated 320 kilometers north of Kampala the capital city of Uganda. You may choose to fly up to Kidepo from the international Airport in Entebbe and in less than Two hours you will be there, alternatively, you may choose to take an exciting drive by using the Gulu to Kitgum road and in 10 hours you will as well be arriving. A number of the wild animals which often visit the camp include: Elephants, Lions, Hyenas, Zebras and Waterbucks.
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from Uganda by...Carlos