Activities of Kidepo Valley National Park
Tourist attractions in kidepo valley national park
Kidepo valley national park is a wilderness area located in the northeastern part of Uganda where the country borders with South Sudan and Kenya. It is covers an area of 1,442 sq km on rugged rocks in the valleys of the region. This is the most remote national park in Uganda and is the least visited so far. The beauty of Kidepo Valley national is better known and explained by tourists who have visited it and they describe it as an awesome place that offers true wilderness experience. It has vast savannah plains where you are able to watch different animals at a distance, scattered trees and other distant landscapes such as mountains, several small hills and inselbergs in the silent untouched land. It has seasonal rivers, rare wildlife species and is never crowded with tourists. Kidepo valley national park is indeed one of the most incredible wilderness areas not only in Africa but also in the entire world.
Kidepo national park has a wide variety of animals and birds living in the limited habitats. The park has savannah grasslands, woods and montane forests with several seasonal rivers and water points. These habitats keep lions, cheetah, leopards, Kangoni, spotted hyena, jackals, burchell’s zebra, bush pigs, warthogs, Rothschild giraffes, buffaloes and oribis among others. It has rare species such as the Kavirando bush baby among others.
Travelers who visit Kidepo valley national park do not only get thrilled by the beauty of wildlife in the park but also visit some of the communities of the people who live close to it, that is the cultural visit of the Karamajong manyattas. These people’s lifestyle and culture are different from those other Ugandans, and are known to have not embraced modernity. They tell stories about their culture and perform traditional songs and dances for visitors.
There are all categories of accommodation at this wilderness area ranging from budget to luxury. Some of the lodges include Apoka safari lodge, Nga’moru Wilderness camp, Apoka rest camp, Kidepo Savannah lodge and more. Kidepo valley national park also has the best places to camp at and enjoy the night under the bright skies of the north eastern Uganda.
Game viewing in Kidepo valley national park can be done in the morning or evening. It is mainly conducted in two locations; either the Narus valley or Kidepo Valley. The Narus valley is a popular place for large herds of animals because it has permanent water supply throughout the year yet most areas are associated with temporary water points which dry up in the dry season. Animals commonly seen during game drives include buffaloes, elephants, waterbucks, zebras and lions among others. The highlight for travel to Kidepo national park is to see cheetahs and ostriches. This is the only place in Uganda where you’ll find cheetahs in their natural habitat. Meanwhile, ostriches are commonly seen.
Night game drive
This activity is conducted with company from a park ranger to Narus valley to look out for nocturnal animals such as the cheetah, reedbuck, Guenther’s dik-dik and predators such as leopards, lions and others moving out to hunt.
Kidepo has less habitat varitis compared to other national parks but is still ranks the second in Uganda after Queen Elizabeth national park for having a wide range of bird species. It has over 400 bird species which include about 60 bird species that are not found anywhere else in Uganda. These varieties make the birding experience remarkable.
Short hikes are conducted on Lamoj Mountains which are situated near the park hjeadquarters. Hiking starts in the morning and can last for about 4 hours. Nature walks are guided by ranger guides through the trails in the park to areas such as the Narus valley or walking along Kidepo river valley. Nature walks can be conducted in the morning or evening and they last for about 2 hours. Hiking and nature walks are one of the best ways to see the best sites and scenes of this park.
There are communities which live close to Kidepo valley national park and these have kept their norms, culture and traditional practices and have not embraced modernity. These are the Karamajongs and the Ik people. The Karamajongs have a lifestyle that is similar to that of the Masai in Kenya and entertain visitors with lovely songs and traditional dances. Visitors also./ learn about their culture and lifestyle of living in Manyatta. The Ik people live on Morungole Mountains just outside the park.