Why you should visit Kidepo national park.
Located in northern Uganda in the semi-arid valleys is Kidepo national park. Kidepo valley national park was gazetted as a national park in the year 1962. The same year Uganda became independent of the British colony. Kidepo national park occupies an area of 1,442km2with diverse habitats including; savannah, and valleys, wetlands and a small forested part. The park is home to plenty of wildlife including mammals and also plenty of Birds amounting to 475 different species.
Kidepo valley national park is located 700km away from the capital city Kampala. It is one of the most isolated parks in Uganda. The park can be accessed by road which long journey takes you through the beautiful Karamoja region to reach Apoka Region. The park can also be accessed by air as there are both Charter and scheduled flights available to fly to the park. Apoka where the headquarters is in the heart of the park surrounded by a savannah landscape that extends way beyond the gazetted area. Just the stunning landscapes of Kidepo are an attraction that is not commonly seen around Uganda.
What to do and why you should visit Kidepo national park.
Game drives in can be organized in the Narus valley and also in Kidepo Valley. Narus valley is very active and with plenty of animals in the early morning hours before and also in the late evening hours. Therefore, game drives are more rewarding in the morning at 6am and at 4pm I the evening. Unlike the Narus valley , Kidepo valley has limited Big game but has scenic landscapes. The Kidepo valley the drive takes you to visit the sandy Kidepo river and also the Kanangorok hot springs.
Birding watching in Kidepo park can be done pretty much in every corner of the park. Kidepo park is home to 470 different species of birds. You can go birdwatching in the Narus and Namamukweny valleys and also in the Apoka Areas. Some of the birds you should expect to see that are unique to Kidepo are; Abyssinian Roller, Purple Heron, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill and Clapperton’s Francolin, which is found only in Kidepo. Bird watching trips should be arranged in the morning and in the evenings as these are the great times to spot plenty of birds.
Nature walks are also organised in the park, for those who want to be closer to the wilderness. You can opt to go for a walk to the Lomej mountains and this will take you about 4hours starting the hike at 7am. Other guided nature walks includes; a 2 hour walk to the Narus valley that extends to over a 5km radius from the Apoka Tourism centre. Visitors can also choose to hike the Murongole mountains which are outside the park to meet local communities. This bring us to our next activity cultural/ community visit.
There are a number of local communities and indigenous tribes that you can visit whilst in Kidepo. Visit the Ike community and the Lorokul cultural group. Learn more about cattle keeping and also how these communities survive in their manyattas. If you wish, you can take part in and experience their cultural through spending a full day and night close to their communities.
With the above information, you now have an idea of what to do and why you should visit Kidepo national park.