TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK-UGANDA
Are you planning your safari to Kidepo Valley National Park, you’re in for the best treatment? Travelers instantly fall in love with this isolated nature full of unique mammal species and birds. If you are not sure of what tourist attractions are available in Kidepo Valley National Park?
Use this guide to plan your trip to Kidepo Valley National park itinerary so that you can encounter the best things within this park.
What makes Kidepo Valley National Park So Famous?
Kidepo Valley National Park is set in the rugged, semi-arid environment between Uganda’s borders and South Sudan and Kenya. Kidepo Valley National Park is surrounded by the rolling mountain ranges, Kidepo Valley is an isolated savannah landscape accommodating many big game and bird species. Kidepo Valley National park was ranked as the second-best unspoiled Safari destination in Africa.
Kidepo Valley National park’s landscapes can be enough to capture every traveler’s attention. Kidepo Valley National Park offers a variety of mammal species compared to other national parks in Uganda, as well as hundreds of bird species.
The best 7 Attractions in Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is a hidden gem in Uganda harboring some unique animals that are only found in this region and distinctive cultural experiences. The following are some of the favorite tourist attractions within Kidepo Valley National Park:
Narus Valley offers water points to many animals within Kidepo Valley National Park. Narus Valley is the perfect spot for the big game drives because of the high concentration of animals.
Narus Valley accommodates animal species such as cape buffalo, African elephants, lions, warthogs, giraffes, and zebras. If a traveler is lucky enough, he or she might even spot a cheetah.
2. Kidepo Valley Game Drive
Kidepo Valley is located next to the Kidepo River offering water to animals and beautiful sceneries. While making the game drive through the Kidepo Valley, the road is intersected the Kidepo River. During the dry season Kidepo River dries up and the place is filled up with white sand and a Borassus palm forest are the only remains of the flowing Kidepo River. Kidepo Valley is where you can eye catch ostriches and secretary birds at most of the points.
3. Kidepo River
While visiting Kidepo Valley national park in the dry months of June, July, August, and September the Kidepo River may not look like a river. But, it is a 50-meter wide bed full of white sand and it stretches so far that you eye-witness from a distance.
Kidepo River beds has a lined with Borassus palms and the remnants of vegetation from the wet season. During the two rainy months, the Kidepo River can be filled and becomes a surviving water point for many animal species within Kidepo Valley National park.
Suppose you are planning to visit Kidepo Valley national park during the dry season. In that case, you can plan with your trusted tour company and the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers to camp along the river bed.
4. Kanangorok Hot Springs
While visiting Kidepo Valley, make sure your driver guide continues to Kanangorok Hot Springs. to encounter the hot springs that are situated on the South Sudan and Uganda border which offer magnificent views of the mountain ranges.
5. Lorokul Cultural Group
Lorokul cultural group interests travelers who want to learn more about the Karamojong tribe, a visit to the Lorokul Cultural Group never leave travelers the same as they came, Lorokul cultural Group is located outside near Kidepo Valley National Park.
Karamojong people are the Notorious cattle-herders, the Karamojong tribe has created a welcoming home and they can be willing to share their cultural experience and traditions with travelers who come to the region. The Karamojong cultural experience is among Uganda’s unique tourist attractions within Kidepo Valley National Park.
6. Hike to Mount Morungole?
Mount Morungole stands at 2,750m, Mount Morungole's highest point is occupied by the Ik people, and it is the source of both the Narus Valley and Kidepo Rivers all in Kidepo Valley National Park.
Mount Morungole harbors the smallest ethnic group in Uganda called, the IK tribe. Planning to hike Mount Morungole gives travelers a greater chance to spot forest vegetation and take incredible photos of Kidepo Valley National Park animals.
Kidepo Valley National park protects approximately 475 species of birds. Kidepo Valley National Park bird species include Abyssinian Roller, Ruppel’s Super Starlings, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Purple Heron, Red-Cheeked Cordon Bleu, Red-billed Oxpeckers, African Hoopoe, and the Karamoja Apalis among many other species. Travelers can also encounter Clapperton’s Francolin, Clapperton’s francolin can only be found in Kidepo valley national park.
The best place for bird watching within Kidepo Valley National Park is along Narus Valley and Namamukweny Valley all situated in the northeast. Namamukweny Valley offers the best bird-watching opportunities within Kidepo Valley national park. If you are so interested in searching for Ostriches and Secretary Bird, make sure you are in the northern part of Kidepo Valley.
Where is Kidepo Valley National Park located?
Kidepo Valley National Park is perched in northeastern Uganda. Kidepo Valley National park lies between the border of Uganda, South Sudan, and Kenya.
How to access Kidepo Valley National Park?
There are a couple of means of reaching Kidepo Valley National Park. Here are some of the options travelers can consider while planning for their trip to Kidepo Valley national park.
Most travelers visit Kidepo Valley National park by car. Driving from Kampala to Kidepo Valley National park may take about 10 hours.
Some travelers prefer to spend a full day enjoying the long drive from Entebbe or Kampala, while others may like to break the long journey into two days by having a stopover in Gulu (From Kampala to Gulu may take 5 hours).
If you are planning to drive from Entebbe or Kampala to Kidepo Valley National Park, we recommend you get an experienced tour company or hire a driver who can take good care of these details and allow you to encounter the best sightseeing during your safari to Kidepo Valley National Park.
Tourists can also choose to fly either Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi to Kidepo Valley national park, travelers are only required to book a plane ticket through the Aero link.
Aero link operates domestic flights from Entebbe to Kidepo Valley National Park which last approximately one hour and thirty minutes. From the Airstrip to your booked lodge takes less than 10 minutes to drive within the park, domestic flights are so convenient to other travelers.
Kidepo Valley National Park is located in a generally untouched environment by development, which makes it a wonderful destination for nature game drives and spotting animals in their natural jungle.
Budget option: Apoka Rest Camp
If a traveler is on a budget, consider spending your nights at Apoka Rest Camp, Apoka Rest Camp is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). You may only spend approximately $20 per night for a self-contained banda.
Apoka Rest Camp is where all Kidepo Valley park rangers reside, so hiring a ranger for your nature game drives could incredibly be easy, and there is an additional level of security on site.
Local food is prepared on order, but travelers are advised to book prior enough since most of the provisions are carried into Kidepo Valley.
If wilderness camping is your type, consider booking at UWA’s Self-Catering Campsite. As the name mentions, self-catering, means you have to carry your own food and all the beverages for your trip. You are also required to hire your own ranger for the whole trip.
Mid-Range type: Kidepo Savannah Lodge
If you are searching for a lodge offering more meal options and areas where more people gather together then consider
Kidepo Savannah Lodge.
Kidepo Savannah Lodge platform safari tents are all self-contained and provide full board options.
Kidepo Savannah lodge is situated just about 500 meters outside the Kidepo Valley National Park gates, so travelers may not pay park fees to stay here, but Kidepo Savannah Lodge overlooks Narus Valley at their wooden deck.
Luxury type: Apoka Safari Lodge
Planning to spend your night in a luxurious accommodation facility for your trip to Kidepo Valley national park? Then you should automatically look for Apoka Safari Lodge.
Room costs at Apoka Safari Lodge depend on the season. During the low season, you can spend less, while in the peak season it’s may cost $881. Apoka Safari Lodge has a pool that overlooks the Narus Valley, that helps you cool off after a long morning and evening game drives.
How safe is Kidepo Valley National Park?
In the recent past, the Karamoja region of Uganda was in the spotlight due to its insecurity because of land and tribal conflicts. Today Karamoja region is completely safe for tourism purposes. There is Uganda's military presence at the borders as well as patrolling Kidepo Valley National park to maintain peace remains in the region.
During your trip will also be escorted by a Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger during your game drives and any other activities within the park, with all these security measures that guarantee your safety in Kidepo Valley National Park.
To avoid intense heat during the dry season and messy roads in the rainy season, we recommend travelers to visit Kidepo Valley National Park from August to September yearly. Although, Kidepo Valley National park can be explored throughout the year.
If you don’t mind the intense heat, we recommend you to visit Kidepo Valley National Park from December to February or from June to August during the long and short dry seasons. During this period, you will have the greatest opportunity to spot many animal species congregating around water sources.
Everything carries for your trip to Kidepo Valley National Park, such as bottled water for drinking. What you bring helps reduce high expenses, but remember that plastic bottle waste is not good for the environment. Consider the following while planning to visit Kidepo Valley National Park.
Steripen: Consider carrying along a steripen that allows you to treat water, making water safer for drinking. others include Power Bank, Lighter-colored clothes, Sweater, Sunglasses, and Hat Sunscreen