Kidepo Valley National Park is sometimes referred to as the True African Wildness, this is because it’s one of the parks that can bring you close to what the Africa intact resembles. The park is located in the far northern part of Uganda in the Karamajong region which is basically considered to be so backwards defying the globalization trends. The park borders south Sudan and Kenya, and its known as the most list park to visit due to its long distance drive and the road conditions available as well the remote views and to some Kidepo as the ‘’lost Eden’’, from Kampala, it takes about 12 hours’ drive. The park is located in relatively raised altitudes of 914mm to 2,750mm above sea level. It’s known as the 3rd Uganda largest park seated on 1442sq/km, and it’s characterized by mainly plateaus, and overlooked raised land peaks. Majorly, the northern region experiences the semi-arid climatic conditions which characterize the region the open savannah wood.
Accessing Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo valley national park can be accessed through two main routes that’s from Kampala Soroti/Moroto through the scenery of Karamoja wildness and through this route can decide to have your camping overnight at one of the Manyattas if Uganda Moroto route via Matheniko and Piena Upe game reserves. The shorter route from Kampala is through Kitgum via Gulu about 9/10 hours.
The Historical Background of Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is historically known as the 4th largest conservation area and the 3rd largest Uganda National Park. The name Kidepo derives from a Doroth verb “Akidep” meaning ‘to pick up’, meanwhile the park was settled by the Dodoth pastoralists. Kidepo national park was first established in 1958 as a game reserve by the British Colonial Government and its major establishment was to protect the animals from being hunted and preventing the clearing the Bush for tsetse fly control.
In 1962 when Uganda was attaining independent, kidepo was developed as a National Park. As a result of reservation famine disaster struck especially amidst the IK due to failure to account for the community interests when designing the reserve management plane. Where the Ik almost kissed the edge extinction not until 2000s when activists advocated for the minority ethnics in Uganda.
By the time of writing, kidepo valley national park has gained its moment and it has seriously begun to receive travelers all over the world, in the year 2016, Kidepo featured on the CNN list of top 10 best Africa safari parks. In 2013, 2017 and 2021was nominated among the Africa leading National Parks due to a variety of wildlife species it hosts. In 2019 CNN rated Kidepo Valley National Parks to be Africa’s most remote park. In The early 2019, safari booking name kidepo 11th among the 50 best African national parks.
Fauna and Flora of Kidep Valley National Park
Two rivers exists in Kidepo valley national park including the Narus River and the Kidepo valley. These valleys are known for housing the highest percentage of animal species, this is because these valleys retain water during the long dry seasons hence attracting a great concentration of wildlife here in the Naras valley and Kidepo River. The Narus swamp is located on the southern wind and hosts the parks information center at Apoka. As well the Kidepo valley section extends northwards of kanangorok hot springs with permanent water source at the neighboring south Sudan.
The Kidepo Valley National Park suggest the finest eye overview (landscape view) among all the other protected areas in Uganda. The two valleys stand to attract a variety of flora and fauna in the large open plains savannah. By 1960 giraffes dominated the sight which is not the case today where Buffalos, zebras, and several antelope species dominate the catch.
This park shelters roughly a high numbers of wild games including tower of giraffes, herds of bushbuck, Uganda kobs, oribe, zebras, warthogs, water bucks bush buck, Kudus, fox, hyena, aardwolf, Jackals, Jackson heart beast, eland, dik dik, ostrich, cheater, civet, hunting dog and very many great encounters. The park also shelter numbers of wildlife species.
Things to Kidepo valley national park?
At the two valleys of Narus Valley and the Kidepo Valley are spots for sighting a great number of wildlife. Narus valley is the top target for wildlife game drive noted for higher concentration of wildlife around the Narus swamp. Games expected to see during the game drives include elephants, buffalos, lions and leopards. Here lions can be sighted lazing in rocky outcrops and climbing the branches of fig trees, or evening encountering the pride of predators relishing their prey. Others include the Jackson’s heart beasts, bushbucks, oribi, Uganda kobs, several zebras and giraffes, warthogs, wild dogs, among many other wild encounters can be spotted along your game drive.
Not only that, but kidepo is also a home to many species of birds which can be seen during the game drive. In the kidepo valley northern of the park along the Kanangorok hot spring, you will have a chance to watch ostrich and many other sights. At the park, you can still enjoy a night game drive which can give you more chances of spotting many predators hunting at a fee of USD $40,
This can be arranged on request and the walks are guided by an armed ranger guide. The nature walks are perfect for bird watching experiences, it also gives one a chance to get closer to nature than when seated in your 4WD tourist vehicle, view wildlife, and the nature walks can as well led you to communities for cultural experiences
Kidepo valley national park is accompanied by a number of different mountains ready for climbing though the park is majorly characterized by the wider open landscape view. The most exciting and most stimulating hiking trail is climbing mountain Morungole which take you to the communities of the Ik people. Some levels of physical fitness is needed to successfully enjoy this activity one have to walk for over 12km to and from where you vehicle can’t continue any far.
With little or no doubt, Kidepo valley national park is ranked for housing the highest concentration of bird species in Uganda after Queen Elizabeth national park. More than 500 bird species are inhabit only to this many can’t be seen elsewhere in other parks. Most of the birds can be seen around the Narus swamp. Birds to encounter at Kidepo valley national park include; Carmine, secretary bird, ostrich especially in the Kidepo valley, Kori bustard, Abyssinian ground hornbill, yellow billed hornbill, Karamoja apalis, black breasted barbet, silver shrike, Nubian woodpecker, Vivacious bird, Hoopoe, scarlet chested sun bird, white bellied go away bird, singing bush lark and little Weaver, the list is endless
You can’t visit Kidepo national park minus visiting the neighboring community known as the Karamojong’s communities. The Karamojongs have a grate culture and a cultural encounter to their community is accompanied with traditional dances, tales and handmade crafts. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) organizes the cultural tours to surrounding communities to extend you adventure experiences when at Kidepo valley national park. While here you can visit the Lurukul Karamajongs community on the southern wing of the park and the IK people one of the smallest ethnic group in the country, these are special people who speak Spanish like language and have continued to style in their own beats staying behind the scene of modern civilization.