Kidepo Valley National Park is a national park found in the Karamoja region in northeast Uganda covering an area of 1,442 square kilometers (557 sq mi). The Park is located in Kaabong District, the northeastern part of Uganda, and approximately 520 kilometers (320 mi), from Kampala the biggest and capital city of Uganda by road.

In 1958, the area that was occupied by the Ketebo, the original inhabitants of the area, who are said to have been living with in the area since 1800 was gazetted as a game reserve by the British nation colonial government, and so the people were evicted with an aim safeguarding the animals from hunting and to avert further clearing of bush for tsetse fly-control and was later converted from a reserve into the Kidepo Valley National Park in 1962 by the government of Uganda which was commanded by Milton Obote.

Kidepo  National park is Uganda’s most isolated national park and also the foremost magnificent true Africa’s finest wildernesses because it ranks among. From the heart of the park (Apoka), a savannah landscape extends far beyond the gazetted area, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.

The park hosts over 77 mammal species plus around 475 bird species. The park is dominated by rugged savannah, covering almost 2,750 meters (9,020 ft.) 

Common trees within the drier areas are, desert dates, red thorn acacias, and to a lesser extent drumstick trees, fan palms, sausage trees,  and Buffalo thorn trees are also found.

The park is divided by the Kidepo and Narus rivers which disappear within the season (seasonal rivers), flowing 3,000 feet (910 m) and 4,000 feet (1,200 m) respectively leaving just pools for the wildlife. During the dry seasons of the year, water within the park is only found in wetlands and remnant pools within the Narus Valley near Apoka. These seasonal retreats, combined with the open, savannah topography, make the Narus Valley the most wonderful area within the park as it is a good spot for animal and bird viewing.

The local communities around the park include the IK people, a hunter-gatherer tribe whose survival is threatened, Maasai of Kenya as well as the pastoral Karamojong people of Uganda, however, the Ketebo also known as Amening are the original inhabitants of the area, who had been living with in the area since 1800. 

ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND KIDEPO VALLEY 

BIRDING

Apoka Rest Camp could be a good spot to start your Kidepo birding experience often arranged both within the morning and evening as well as on the fringes of the Narus and Namamukweny Valleys. Among the bird species encountered on a safari in kidepo valley national park include; Purple Heron, the Abyssinian Roller, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, and Clapperton’s Francolin, which is found only in Kidepo.

Animal viewing

Enjoy game drives and sightseeing mammal species within the area lions, spotted hyenas, cheetah, leopards, wild dogs, elephants, giraffes, bat-eared foxes, zebra, African buffalo, Rothschild's giraffe. 

 

HIKING/NATURE walks,

Hike to the Lomej Mountains, the Mountains are often reached on foot in four hours. Exercise, as you take leisurely, walks through the Narus Valley, meet members of the endangered IK tribe and stroll the sumptuous Kidepo River Valley between banks of Borassus palm forest. Shorter guided walks of around two hours may be taken through the Narus Valley extending over a 5km radius from Apoka Tourism Centre.

CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS

Discover the unique culture of the Karamojong with the Lorukul Cultural Group, located just outside Kidepo Valley Park. Engage in community activities such as weaving and learn the way how people around the area make their distinctive beads, feel the taste of the local dishes/cuisines, and even meet the Karamojong King, who will narrate the tribe’s folklore and beliefs.

Their main livelihood is herding livestock, and therefore the social and cultural importance are explained as you walk with the guides to the standard Karamojong homesteads, granaries, and cattle enclosures.

Apoka Lodge

Kidepo Savannah Lodge

UWA Banda's