Uganda's National Parks
The Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda's most spectacular parks on the Uganda Sudan border in the northeast. It is 1,442 square kilometers and harbors scenery unsurpassed in any other park in East Africa.
'It could not be any better' is a common comment on the scenery by visitors who often promise and do come back to Kidepo. Tucked into the corner of Uganda's border with Sudan and Kenya, the park offers breathtaking Savannah landscapes, which end in rugged horizon.
The park harbors a great diversity of animal species than in any other park in Uganda. Of the 80 species listed in 1971, 28 were not known to occur in any park in Uganda. Carnivore species unique to Kidepo include the Bat-eared Fox, Striped Hyena, aard Wolf, Caracal, Cheetah and Hunting dog. The less common angulates include the greater and Lesser Kudu, Chandler’s mountain Reedbuck, Klipspringer, Bright’s Gazelle; beisa oryx and roan antelope have been severely depleted by poachers in the recent years. Among other large ungulates are elephant, burchell's zebra, bush pig, warthog, rothschild giraffe, cape buffalo, eland, bush buck, bush duskier, defassa water buck, bohor reed buck, Jackson’s hartebeest and oribi. Five species of primate are found in the park of which the Kavirondo bush baby is endemic. Carnivores present include lion, leopard, several small cats, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal and side-striped jackal. The easiest to see being the jackals.
The park boasts an extensive avifauna, 465 species have been recorded. Of particular interest, the Ostrich and the Kori Bustard are present.
The park is known for its outstanding number of birds of prey. Of the 58 recorded 14 are believed to be endemic to Kidepo and the Karamoja region. These include the Varreaux’s Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, and pygmy Falcon. Also of note are 4 species of Hornbills i.e. the Red-billed, Yellow-billed and Jackson’s are peculiar to Kidepo while the Giant Abbyssinian ground Hornbill is quite common. There is however no much survey in Kidepo and Keen visitors stand much chance to add to the current list.
This is the only park in Uganda where visitors can view both the Zebra and Giraffe. Also here we can have a chance to see the unusual White Buffalo and many other tourist attractions.
There are high chances of viewing tree climbing lions that always sits on sauces trees along Narus valley or on rock just as you enter the Apoka Park Headquarter. Other wildlife include elephants, leopard, bush duiker, jackal, bush buck, bush pig, kavirondo bush baby, buffalo and much more that are some times seen right from the veranda of Apoka Rest Camp.
Hiking and Scenery viewing
Hiking can be carried out on Lamoj Mountains just a few kilometers from the Park Headquarters. Visitors can also go to view the splendid Kidepo River Valley dominated by Borassus palm forest; its wide flat bed is dry for most of the year. From Kidepo Valley, you may also visit the Kanangorok Hot Springs, which are located only 11 km from Kidepo river valley.
The mountain and Savannah landscape of the park is spectacular. The Narus valley is situated in the South West of the park; the rugged Napore-Nyagia mountain range forms its western boundary. Separating it from the Kidepo Valley in the northeast, are the Natira and Lokayot Hills. To the north in the Sudan are the Lotukei mountains and the Morungole range marks the southern boundary of the park
There are some accommodations in this park ranging from self-contained chalets at the Rest camp to non self-contained bandas and campsite for those who may wish to camp. There is no restaurant available in the park so visitors are advised to bring sufficient food for their duration of stay in the park and rest camp staff can do cooking.
There are some alternative Hotels in Moroto town, like the Moroto Hotel which provides standard accommodation Gulona Lodge and Golii which provide basic accommodation.
There also some accommodations in Kotido like the Skyline, Paradise and Kotiang Trader’s lodges.
Kidepo National Park can be reached by road from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Moroto to Kidepo, or Kampala, Mbale, Sironko-Kotido then Kidepo, but some times it is not safe to drive there so the best option is to go by air. Chartered planes are available from Entebbe to Lamoj near the park headquarters, this can be arranged.