KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

This remote national park lies In the far nor5th east of Uganda isolated from the rest if the country by sparsely populated, arid badlands of Karamoja region. This is seldom visited by visitors due to the expense and difficulty in getting there. However Kidepo is one of the most alluring in Africa boosting a strong wilderness atmosphere, rugged mountain scenery and exception game viewing and bird watching. Kidepo valley is ringed by mountains but this area is dominated by a great valley of Kidepo river in the south.

Apoka, the site of the park’s headquarters, lodge and hostel, overlooks the Nurus valley which is the prime game viewing area. The park enjoys just one wet season each year and during the long hot dry season game migrates south from the semi-arid Kidepo valley to find moisture in the swamps and remnant pools along the seasonal channel of Narus. The narus channel is explored by three game loops: the kakine , katuurum and Nagusokopire circuits. Worth a visit Kidepo valley itself is beautiful in its un orthodox fashion. Lined by lovely borasseus palm forest, it’s for95% of the year is completely dry and its 50m-wide course is swarthy of white sand. Hot springs are found at kanatarok on the Sudanese border.

 

Major species in the , Kidepo valley national park has more than 80 mammal species, 28 not known to occur in any other Uganda national parks. Carnivore species unique to Kidepo and Kalamoja exclude the bat eared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf cheetah and hunting dog. Less common ungulates include the lesser and the great kadu, Chandra mountain reedbucks and klipspringer, dikdik, bright gazelle, Beisa Oryx and roan antelope have been severally depleted by poachers.

 

The ungulates include bush pigs, zebras, antelopes, elephants, buffalos, antelopes, elands, giraffes, duskier, Jackson’s heartbeats and oribi. 5 species of animals found in the park of which the Kavirondo bush baby is endemic. Cats include lion, leopard, small cats and spotted hyena black backed and the side striped for birders, Kidepo boasts of 475 bird species recorded a total second to queen Elizabeth national park. The proper timing is March-April for all the specials and many transit migrants, although good year - round. Ostrich, African Swallow-tailed Kite, Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Pygmy Falcon, Fox Kestrel, Stone Partridge, Clapper ton’s and Heuglin's Francolins, Yellow-necked Spur fowl, Kori, White-bellied and Hartlaub's Bustards, Violet-tipped Courser, Black-headed Plover, Four-banded Sand Grouse, Bruce's Green Pigeon, Rose-ringed Parakeet, White-crested Turaco, White-bellied Go-away bird, White-faced Scoops Owl, Long-tailed and Standard-winged Nightjars, Little Green Bee-eater, Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers, Abyssinian Ground, Eastern Yellow and Jackson's Hornbills, Red-fronted and Black-breasted Barbets, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Singing Bush lark, Red-winged Lark, Ethiopian Swallow, Pied, Isabelline and Heuglin's Wheatears, African Grey lycatcher, Foxy and Red pate Cisticolas, Karamoja Apalis, White-bellied Tit, Mouse-colored Penduline Tit, Northern White-crowned and Yellow-billed Shrikes, Slate-colored Boubou, Fan-tailed Raven, Superb Starling, Red billed Oxpecker, Eastern Violet backed, Pygmy and Beautiful Sunbirds, Rufous and Chestnut Sparrow, Yellow-spotted Petronia, White-headed and White-billed Buffalo Weavers, White-browed and Chestnut- crowned Sparrow Weavers, Grey-capped Social and Speckle-fronted Weavers, Green-winged, Orange-winged and Red-winged Pytilias, Black-bellied and Black-faded Waxbill, Steel-blue and Straw tailed Whydahs, Brown-rumped Bunting.

 

ABOUT THE PARK
Country: Uganda
Province: Karamoja.
Elevation : 914m on Kidepo valley floor to 2749m a top Mount Morungole
Size : 1442 km 2
Habitat : Semi-desert scrub, open thorn-scrub, open thorn-bush, long and short-grass open tree savannas, riparian woodland including Borassus and Kigelia woodland, thick, "mambo- like" woodland, montane forest and granite out-crops..
Status: National Park since 1954
Birds Recorded: 475 species.
Timing: March-April best for all the specials and many transit migrants and generally the whole year round.
Time Required: 4-7 days
Province: Karamoja.
Elevation : 914m on Kidepo valley floor to 2749m a top Mount Morungole
Size : 1442 km 2
Habitat : Semi-desert scrub, open thorn-scrub, open thorn-bush, long and short-grass open tree savannas, riparian woodland including Borassus and Kigelia woodland, thick, "Miombo - like" woodland, Montane forest and granite out-crops..
Status: National Park since 1954
Birds recorded: 475 species.
Timing: March-April for all the specials and many transit migrants, although good year - round.
Time Required: 4-8 days

 

Getting there and away
Kidepo Valley National Park is accessible either by road or by air. The most commonly driven route from Kampala is via Gulu and Kit gum, an 600 km journey taking a minimum of 12 hours and a sturdy 4WD to complete.

 

 

There are four possible routes by the road : via Mbale pass the east of lake Kyoga to reach northern Uganda; routes via Karuma pass to the west.
Entebbe –Mbale –Soroti –Moroto –Kidepo =792, Entebbe- Mbale –Sironko –Kotido –Kabong –Kidepo=740kms, Entebbe –Karuma – lira –Kotido -Kidepo =705, Entebbe –Karuma –Gulu - Kit gum –Kidepo =571kms, Charter flights to Kidepo may be arranged from Kampala (kajjansi), Kampala, aero club, or Entebbe with eagle aviation. Visit Uganda offers inbound and continental flight bookings.

Where to stay
Up market
Apoka lodge (20 beds)
Budget- Apoka rest camp
Camping- Kakine campsite

CHECK LIST

Light clothes

Hats

Sun glassed

Camera

Binoculars

 

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