Kidepo Valley National Park commonly refereed to as the hidden treasure of the wilderness lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of vibrant big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird species.
Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated national park, but the few who make the long journey north through the wild frontier region of Karamoja would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. From Apoka, in the heart of the park, a savannah landscape extends far beyond the gazetted area, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.
During the dry season, the only permanent water in the park is found in wetlands and remnant pools in the broad Narus Valley near Apoka. These seasonal oases, combined with the open, savannah terrain, make the Narus Valley the park’s prime game viewing location.
What to Do in Kidepo Valley N.P
Game drive in The Narus Valley
Narus Valley is a rolling, grassland plain enclosed by distant and beautiful mountains. The valley has permanent water, and for much of the year the park’s wildlife congregates here. Thus, the area is well provided with game tracks, with four loop circuits exploring the valley around Apoka
Game Drive To the Kidepo valley
Kidepo means to pick from below and the valley was visited by people coming to gather fallen borassus fruit for fermenting to make palm beer. The Kanangorok Hot Springs lie 11km beyond the Kidepo River on the Sudan border. This is a glorious place to sit and view the mountains beyond the frontier.
Hike to the Lomej Mountains, take leisurely walks through the Narus Vally, meet members of the endangered IK tribe and wander the splendid Kidepo River Valley between banks of borassus palm forest
Birding In Kidepo valley
Apoka Rest Camp is a great spot to begin your Kidepo birding experience. Birding can also be done on the fringes of the Narus and Namamukweny Valleys. Among the birds seen are the Abyssinian Roller, Purple Heron, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill and Clapperton’s Francolin, which is found only in Kidepo.
A Self drive from Kampala through Lira and Kitgum takes a minimum of two day getting to the park a distance of about 700kms. The roads radiating out of Kampala north through kawempe nakasongora, through Gulu and last town of kitgum is a well paved road. However the last bit of the kitgum-kidepo is a graded and tarmacked road. maintaining a speed between 40km/hr and 70kms/hr should be able to get you safe and sound to the park. Gulu and kitgum towns are just the perfect towns for Fuel top-up in and out the park.
Another drive is through the eastern route which you may need to plan 3 days before you arrive the park. The route shall take you through Sipi falls (which is another area of interest). Heading North through Moroto, kotido, kabong and later kidepo valley. Kabong could be the last town you should stock up fuel or shop if your headed for Car rental & camping. The eastern Route is another very interesting area of interest that you can combine with a visit to kidepo especially if your a cultural adventure and this would take your more days before you get to kidepo.
Kidepo Savannah Lodge
the lodge is literally on a stone’s throw from the Park. It offers unparalleled vistas of the expansive Narus Valley, Mount Morungole and the distant mountain ranges which form the border with Southern Sudan.
The lodge is inspired by the Savannah surroundings, the grasslands, rocky outcrops, and … by the karamajong, the tribe with their typical manyattas and colorful blankets. The lodge had to blend in rater than stick out, so we opted for a choice between the more luxurious self contained safari tents and comfortable lazy camping tents.
Apoka UWA bandas
Overlooking the game-rich Narus Valley and home to simple UWA-run cottages, Apoka is the park’s tourism hub. Ranger guides are stationed at Apoka to escort tourists on game drives and walks. The Budget bandas have an option for self contained cottages and non-self contained bandas.
The prices are alittle different and meals can be got from the nearby restaurant. Wildlife raom around the park and you will hardly need to go for further game drives
Apoka Safari Lodge
The rooms at Apoka have been built with comfort in mind. Everything is handmade by local craftsmen, everything is large and capacious. 10 expansive rooms with natural canvas walls surround a rocky kopje with endless views across the savannah. With inside sitting rooms and private verandas there are plenty of places to relax, read and sprawl. Big hand-hewn beds with soft duvets are draped with mosquito nets, hand-woven woolen carpets, extra large plush towels, over-sized dressing gown.
Rent a car and camping gear and camp in the hidden treasures of the wilderness. We have quality camping gear for hire for as low as $3per. Kidepo has some of the well kept secrets in the camping sites, the best experience is bonding with nature and sleep under the sky’s.
With over 4 camping sites and wilderness camping allowed, you will be in for an exceptional wilderness camping experience.