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Kidepo Valley National Park

KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

Are You Planning A Uganda Safari To Kidepo Valley? Scroll Down..

GUIDE ON KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK IN UGANDA

Kidepo Valley Park Introduction - Location, Wildlife & History

The beauty of Kidepo Valley National Park is bound to take your breath away, despite its generally arid conditions. A desolate wilderness, the park captivates with its sprawling savannah grasslands, dotted with rocky crags, sausage trees, and acacia trees. Covering an area of 1442 square kilometers, the park does not feature prominently on the African tourist circuit, a factor that only adds to its allure. You will revel in the serenity of visiting environs that aren’t prone to drawing large, noisy crowds of safari holiday tourists. Kidepo Valley National Park (where to stay) lies at the northernmost corner of Uganda and comprises the Morungole highlands, bordered by the Kidepo Valley and Narus Valley. Both of the rivers that carved out these valleys are seasonal in nature, flowing only during the wet season. 

During the dry season, the Kidepo River leaves behind beds of light brown sand that you can explore this part of Uganda on a walking safari excursion. You can also see the copses of Borassus, Kigelia, and other riverine vegetation that thrive beside the pools left behind by the vanishing seasonal river. Surprisingly, abundant wildlife thrives in these arid-like conditions. Your AfricanMecca assigned guide will talk to you about some of the 77 species of mammals that can be seen here, including four of the Big Five of Africa: the lion, leopard, buffalo, and elephant. Kidepo National Park also hosts more than 475 kinds of birds, 60 of which cannot be spotted in any other location in Uganda e.g. Bwindi, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls etc. When traveling in the park, you are likely to find a higher concentration of animals in the Narus Valley, since it has more of the pools and swamps where they can drink.

Altitudes in Kidepo Valley National Park range from 914 meters to 2750 meters above sea level, with the Apoka area lying in the heart of the park and Mount Morungole forming its highest point. Much of the landscape is covered by semi-desert vegetation, including open thorn-bush, open thorn-scrub, and both long and short grasses. Safari photography travelers who are enthusiastic who choose to vacation in this remote wilderness of Uganda will be delighted by the kaleidoscope of contrasting colors the park presents: blue skies, green and golden grasses, red termite mounds, and the rich hues of the wildlife that abound.

Key Takeaways

  • Heart-breakingly beautiful, desolate landscape with savannah grasslands dotted with sparse vegetation
  • Home to a surprisingly rich diversity of wildlife that thrives in these regions. 77 species of mammals, 475 kinds of birds, of which 60 can only be seen in this park
  • Tranquil and serene vacation destination with low tourist crowds
  • Located on the northernmost area of Uganda and includes the Morungole highlands. Watered by two seasonal rivers that create the Kidepo Valley and Narus Valley
  • Photographer’s paradise displaying a kaleidoscope of colors that are truly spectacular to see

Watch Video On Kidepo Valley Safari Experiences

Page Content - Start Here

1. What Are The Wildlife Experiences In Kidepo Valley National Park?
What Are The Areas Of Interest In Kidepo Valley National Park
2. Exploring Kidepo Valley’s Scenic Ecology
3. Narus Valley’s Wilderness Oasis
4. Visiting The Borassus Palm Forests & Kanangorok Hot Springs
5. The Vistas Of Mount Morungole
6. The Birding Hotspot Of Namamukweny Valley
7. The Tribal Lands Of Kidepo
Kidepo Valley Park - An Overview

1. What Are The Wildlife Experiences In Kidepo Valley National Park?

Key Takeaways

  • 77 species of mammals, 475 kinds of birds, of which 60 can only be seen in this park
  • Four of the Big Five of Africa can be seen here
  • A higher concentration of wildlife in the Narus Valley thanks to a number of pools and swamps
Living amid its captivating beauty of Kidepo are some 77 genus of mammals and about 475 varieties of birdlife, 60 of them rare, such as the black-breasted barbet and Karamoja apalis, birds not typically seen in any other park in Uganda. Four of the African Big Five can be seen here, including the lion, leopard, buffalo, and elephant. In addition, your game drive trips around Kidepo will be made exciting with sightings of various herbivores such as the klipspringer, lesser kudu, kongoni, Bohor reedbuck, Burchell’s zebra, bush duiker, Guenther’s dik-dik, oribi, Jackson’s hartebeest, Rothschild’s giraffe, eland, Defassa waterbuck, and many others. Your AfricanMecca expert safari guide will help you spot carnivores such as the cheetah, bat-eared fox, caracal, spotted hyena, side-striped jackal, wild dogs, smaller cats, the aardwolf, and white-tailed mongoose, among other beautiful and fascinating species, such as the Kavirondo bush baby, Senegal Galago (another variety of bush baby), bush pig, warthog, and monkey.
What Are The Wildlife Experiences In Kidepo Valley National Park

What Are The Areas Of Interest In Kidepo Valley National Park?

2. Exploring Kidepo Valley’s Scenic Ecology

Key Takeaways

  • Drives along the dry beds of the Kidepo Valley and Narus Valley to admire the striking sand river
  • Trail passes through Apoka and cuts through rocky kopjes before dipping into the valley and plains
  • Kanangorok Hot Springs known for its sightings of ostriches foraging for food
Although you are likely to see a smaller variety of wildlife in the Kidepo Valley, owing to its dry environs, it more than makes up for this with superb vistas. As you travel in this nook of Kidepo Valley National Park (best time to go), you will have the opportunity to see and admire the striking tanned-sand bed the river leaves behind in the dry season. The trail passes through the north of Apoka and wanders through rocky crags before dipping into the valley, with its immense plains, and carrying onward to the Kanangorok Hot Springs, where you might chance to spot ostriches.
Exploring Kidepo Valley’s Scenic Ecology

3. Narus Valley’s Wilderness Oasis

Key Takeaways

  • Nestled in the highlands and magnet for wildlife all year round thanks to water sources
  • Four game drives tracks for spotting big cats and their game prey
  • Drives to Katurum kopje for spell-binding views of the Morungole Mountains
The Narus Valley in Kidepo Park is nestled in the highlands and provides a home for a rich concentration of wildlife that comes to drink from the year-round water sources present here. A main focal point is the watering hole close to the park’s tourism center. For this reason, the area has four game drive tracks, so travelers can enjoy a glimpse of many beautiful specimens thriving here during your safari activities in Kidepo. Lions are commonly sighted, along with the rare cheetahs and leopards. Among the grazers, you are likely to see a profusion of reedbucks, oribis, giraffes, buffalos, and Jackson’s hartebeests. One of the game drive trails takes you to the Katurum kopje, an excellent vantage point for viewing the distant Morungole Mountains.
Narus Valley’s Wilderness Oasis

4. Visiting The Borassus Palm Forests & Kanangorok Hot Springs

Key Takeaways

  • Region for the scenic sand river beds that are visible in the dry seasons
  • Walking tours to the Borassus palm forests where the Borassus fruit is harvested, which is used for making fermented palm beer
  • Kanangorok Hot Springs that can be reached with an 11-kilometer trek through scenic locales
The Kidepo Valley sees river flow only during the wet season. At other times, the region is well-known for its fabulous vistas and the sand riverbed that remains after the water dries up. In this remote part of Africa, you can go on a walking tour along the 50-meter-wide riverbed and explore the Borassus palm forests. Local people often visit this spot to harvest the Borassus fruit, which they use for making fermented palm beer. The Kanangorok Hot Springs are accessible with an 11-kilometer walk from the Kidepo Valley and offer scenic views of the mountains well beyond Kidepo Valley National Park.
Visiting The Borassus Palm Forests & Kanangorok Hot Springs

5. The Vistas Of Mount Morungole

Key Takeaways

  • Mount Morungole marking the highest point in the park at 2750 meters above sea level
  • Seasonal Kidepo River and Narus River flowing through the ranges during the wet seasons
  • Home to the elusive Ik people with a unique culture
Mount Morungole marks the highest point of the range, at 2750 meters above sea level. The Morungole Range marks the southern boundary of Kidepo Valley National Park. The Kidepo and Narus rivers flow through its valleys during specific times of the year and provide nourishment and habitats for wildlife. You can go on hiking safaris to explore the beauty of the range, which lies a few kilometers from Apoka. This region is home to the Ik people, who have a fascinating culture you could peek into as an enriching safari vacation experience in Uganda.
The Vistas Of Mount Morungole

6. The Birding Hotspot Of Namamukweny Valley

Key Takeaways

  • Taking its name from the Napore language meaning, “a place with no birds” or “a lonely place with few people”
  • Teeming with birdlife and prime birdwatching locale
  • Area can be explored by way of walking tours
Ironically, the word Namamukweny comes from a Napore term meaning “a place with no birds,” or “a lonely place with few people.” However, the location is a prime Uganda birdwatching spot in the Kidepo Valley National Park. You can explore this region by way of walking trips and enjoy the chance to spot species like the green wood hoopoe, eastern paradise whydah, common bulbul, white-crested turaco, and Abyssinian roller, to name a few.
The Birding Hotspot Of Namamukweny Valley

7. The Tribal Lands Of Kidepo

Key Takeaways

  • Home to the Karamoja people who are cattle owners and subsistence farmers
  • Ik tribe living on the slopes of Mount Morungole following a hunter-gatherer lifestyle
  • Several walking trails to spot the varied birdlife and superb vistas of the park
As fascinating as the flora and fauna are the local tribes who live here. The Karamoja people are cattle owners and subsistence farmers, like the Maasai of Tanzania. Dwelling on the slopes of Mount Morungole is the Ik tribe, a hunter-gatherer group whose unique culture is truly fascinating. Among the many activities possible for visitors to Kidepo Valley National Park is a visit to their village, for an authentic cultural tour into their way of living in Uganda. You may even have the opportunity to participate in music and dance performances based during their tribal celebrations. In addition to the exciting game drives available at the park, Kidepo offers various walking trails that will take you to the picturesque Lomej Mountains or the Namamkweny Valley, which is famous for its bird sightings. Kanangorok Hot Springs, in the Kidepo Valley, is another spot where you can spend hours enjoying amazing vistas of the park.
The Tribal Lands Of Kidepo

Kidepo Valley Park Rating By AfricanMecca
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WHERE & BEST PLACES TO STAY IN KIDEPO VALLEY
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WHERE & BEST PLACES TO STAY IN KIDEPO VALLEY

Kidepo Valley has limited quality camps and lodges. AfricanMecca only recommends Apoka Safari Lodge that affords a a rustic luxury Premier Tier 1 Safari rating. It offers a pleasing, hospitable ambiance.

SAFARI & TOUR IN KIDEPO VALLEY PARK
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SAFARI & TOUR IN KIDEPO VALLEY PARK

Kidepo is a wilderness park that captivates visitors with its seemingly endless plains, grazing animals, and gorgeous birds. You will have the opportunity to view the amazing creatures during game drives or walks.

BEST TIME TO VISIT KIDEPO VALLEY PARK
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BEST TIME TO VISIT KIDEPO VALLEY PARK

The typical weather conditions at Kidepo Valley are different from the usual in Uganda. This is primarily due to the hot semi-arid climate based on its location. September to February are the best times to visit.

AFRICANMECCA REVIEWS

What are our Customers saying about us? READ MORE REVIEWSfive star africanmecca safaris reviews

  • AfricanMecca Safaris offers incredibly knowledgeable and skilled services! Our travel arrangements for 2 months of volunteering with TEACH Rwanda in country were made quickly and economically. Honored to work with Raza!
    Janet Brown - TEACH Rwanda Founder - United States
  • I just returned from a month in Africa, specifically Rwanda & Kenya. I am left breathless with my experience. AfricanMecca Safaris coordinated the entire trip for me and left no detail, nothing for me to do.
    Carol Bobb - Pennsylvania, United States
  • AfricanMecca Safaris created a remarkable honeymoon tailored to our interests and desires. The quality of service and delivery of experience was unsurpassed. I highly recommend AfricanMecca Safaris to honeymooners, families, or any traveler.
    Noorin & Jason Nelson - Maryland, United States
  • I booked my safari holiday through AfricanMecca. They were the most helpful company I have ever dealt with and I work within the travel industry. I had the most amazing time. The holiday went as clockwork with no hitches anywhere.
    Shelley Roberts - Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
  • This is to let you know my guests, The Bryant's, had a wonderful time on the trip Samburu, Masai Mara/Kenya, Chobe/Botswana & Victoria Falls/Zambia. Everything was perfect! Thank you.
    Christine Milan - MT Carmel Travel - Connecticut, United States
  • We have returned from our African adventure and would like to thank you very much for your part in making this such a wonderful experience. We were lucky enough to time the Great Migration from the Serengeti, which was amazing.
    Denise Paterson - Belmont, Australia
  • Rwanda was amazing. The accommodations, food, and guides AfricanMecca arranged were great. Raza also helped us through the complicated process of getting permits for gorilla trekking. AfricanMecca is a fantastic company to work with.
    Stephanie Weir - United States

EAST AFRICA SAFARI BOOKING TRIP IDEA FOR KIDEPO VALLEY IN UGANDA

When visiting Kidepo for your wildlife safari, we recommend combining it with Bwindi Park for your gorilla safari trek, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Kibale (chimpanzee safari) alongside your city tour visits of Kampala and Entebbe.

You may optionally extend out to other wilderness areas such as Mgahinga to track down golden monkeys and gorillas in the same park, Jinja for whitewater rafting on the Nile River, and Semliki or Lake Mburo for an offbeat wildlife tour.

You can end your vacation on the beach at Lake Victoria or even extending out to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar or Lamu, or even Mombasa.

Best Safari Planning Ideas & Trip Experiences For Uganda

Below are guide references on how to plan each of the below safari experience in Uganda. Alternatively, go to the summary section for a quick overview of each trip planning experience.

1. How To Plan Uganda Safari Trips? (Summary)

2. Wildlife Safari Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

3. Private & Tailor-Made Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

4. Honeymoon Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

5. Family Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

6. Luxury Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

7. Photo Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

8. Cultural Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

9. Gorilla, Chimpanzee & Primate Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

10. Hike, Trek & Bush Walk Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

11. Birding Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

12. Wedding Safaris Trip Planning Guide For Uganda

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