kidepo valley national park

CHEETAH EXPERIENCE IN UGANDA

A cheetah experience at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center often times attracts multitudes of visitors that are looking forward to get up close these amazing cats. There is ex-situ conservation and conservation education passed on to people about the plight of the elusive cats. The Cheetah experience is satisfying and unforgettable.

The guides at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre are cautioning the visitors regarding the Cheetahs’ reaction to colours and call upon the visitors not to go extreme and touch their tails, stomachs and even their feet. There are two big cats at the Wildlife Center; Pian and Upe, and these are brought in an open space with collars for those interested in taking photos of the Cheetahs and on request their collars are put off for a sprint.

 

 

Cheetahs are popular cats in Kidepo Valley National Park in the North Eastern part of the country. This game park was recently recognized and shortlisted by CNN among Africa’s 10 best safari parks. The park is truly a wilderness haven; dry, hot and remote, yet spectacular and still virgin, waiting to be discovered.

Covering 1,442 square Km located in the Karamoja region, Kidepo Valley is the perfect place that you can encounter Cheetahs in the wild on a Safari to Uganda , with their only remaining population here currently estimated at 20. Cheetahs are categorized among the endangered species that are facing extinction and are recorded under the Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

Uganda Safari Tour

Racing with the fastest creature on land is not a simple task. The Cheetahs are simple and gracefully fast animals at a speed of 120Km/hr and can accelerate from zero to 110km/hr in a remarkable three seconds, faster than most of the modern super-fast cars. The pair of the big cheetahs at UWEC will bring a unique experience of Kidepo Valley out of the wilderness.

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) was opened in 1952 by the colonial government as a home for wild animals that were found injured. UWEC is under the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities in Uganda and is recognized as a success. It is an attractive place for education and tourism for leisure.

THE RAW BEAUTY OF THE KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

When it comes to adventure, Kidepo Valley National Park truly stands out, this precious natural resource has been visited and returned to and the extra-ordinary features on it offers shape its exceptional beauty, which remains a myth to those who have not visited and a secret to those who have taken an effort to visit the beautiful remote Kidepo.

Kidepo Valley National park is Uganda’s best safari destination for taking wildlife safaris / game viewing tours on a Uganda Safari tour. Giving you an opportunity to see carnivores, ungulates, and some primates which are commonly encountered on a Gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi Forest National Park for the mountain Gorillas and chimpanzees tracking in Kibale National Park for the chimps.

Safari to Uganda

There are also high chances of spotting tree climbing lions that always sit on sauces trees along Narus valley or on the rock just as you get into the Apoka Park Headquarter, though these rare tree climbing lions are most common in the Ishasha section of Queen Elizabeth National Park in the south west of the country. Starting from Apoka Rest Camp other animals that can be seen include elephants, leopards, buffaloes, bush duikers, jackals, bush bucks, bush pigs, kavirondo bush babies and much more.

The Park boasts of an extensive bird species too with over 465 species recorded. Birds that standout include the ostrich and the Kori bustard which are principally associated with arid regions. The park also has quite outstanding numbers of birds of prey. In this regard, 58 species of birds of prey have been recorded and amongst these 14 are believed to be endemic to Kidepo and the Karamoja region.

With Apoka Rest Camp offering amazing accommodation in chalet, here you will get  food and drink stocks that are basic and often very limited so it’s advisable to carry an extra on your own. There are also other several campsites located near Apoka.

Kidepo Valley National Park can be accessible either by road or by air. The most commonly driven Safari route from Kampala is via Gulu and Kitgum, a 600km journey taking a minimum of 12 hours and it’s advisable to use a 4×4 Safari Landcruiser on this journey.

Uganda Safari Tour

This national game park is 1,442 square kilometers. Kidepo Valley National Park harbors scenery that cannot be easily found in any other parks in East Africa. Those few who make the journey north of the country through the wild frontier region of Karamoja to visit it, would very much agree that it is among the most remarkable in Africa’s finest wilderness.

The only two rivers in the national park; Kidepo and Narus, are seasonal rivers, which decrease and disappear in the dry season; with the only permanent water in the park seen in wetlands and remnant pools along the southern Narus valley near Apoka, and as a result most of the wild animals can be easily spotted in this area.

Kidepo’s expansive landscape, largely uninhibited by woodland and forest, are a result of the open tree savannah habitat that dominates the park. Hills have been covered by the dry mountain forest while some water courses support acacia forests.

The less common ungulates in the park involve the greater and lesser Kudu, Chandlers, Mountain Reedbuck, klipspringer and Guenther’s dik-dik.

And be sure to spot one of the most amazing animals in Kidepo is Bull Bull a huge male Elephant, such a huge animal weighing over 6,000kg, he remains the darling of Apoka. “He is a true gentleman. A star.” That is how the residents at Apoka Lodge describes him.

Uganda Safari in Kidepo

UNMATCHED AFRICAN WILDERNESS OF KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK UGANDA

From the incredible Buffalo herds across endless plains to prides of lions gathering at water holes, the wildlife of Africa is the absolute most diverse and sought after on this planet earth. Without a doubt, everybody appears to need a slice of the safari experience. As the popularity of wildlife holidays keeps on growing, and the popularity of game-viewing spots become awash with jeeps and camera focal points, it’s quite easy to feel like those picture-perfect grasslands are a thing of the past.

Kidepo National Park Uganda

A Uganda Safari in Kidepo National Park Uganda is a remarkable exception. Stunningly beautiful yet rarely seen in the average tourist itinerary, its rugged mountains and sprawling plains paint Africa in its purest wildest form. Located 700km north of Kampala City, its remote location implies that few endeavor to take up this journey (although those who do always claim it was worth it!). not only is the scenery stunning, the park also boasts of incredible biodiversity, with over 77 species of mammals and over 475 types of birds.

Into the wild

A big thank you to its unique wildlife and natural surroundings, Kidepo is quite different to other Ugandan National Parks. The landscape is dominated by the park’s twin valleys, Kidepo and Narus, and the panoramic grasslands are ringed by mountains and dotted with oases. The resident cheetahs, mountain reedbucks and Patas monkeys cannot be seen anywhere else in the country, making it Uganda’s most biodiverse nature reserve.Uganda safari in Kidepo

Unlike its more popular sister parks-Queen Elizabeth National Parks and Murchison Falls National Park-Kidepo Valley National park has not yet been adapted to cater for high tourist numbers. Named a protected reserve in 1962, it is still wild and raw, home to a mere handful of lodges and tented camps (so you won’t be sharing the plains with hordes of 4X4s). It is perhaps one of the most authentic wildlife strongholds still on offer in Africa, and sure to leave you stunned during any safari trip.

 Exploring Kidepo

Uganda safaris in KidepoBest experienced over a couple of days, there’s no shortage of expeditions on offer in Kidepo. For starters, a dawn game drive safari is a great way to get acclimatized. Watching the reserve come to life, and seeing the colours of the sunrise behind the park’s mountain peaks, you’re sure to feel a million miles from the frantic pace of modern life. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for photographers to capture gorgeous scenes during ‘magic hours’ when the light is at its softest. From herds of elephants to darting cheetahs, early morning is the best time to see the wildlife at its most active.

In terms of classic game drives, few places boast better viewing opportunities than the Narus Valley. Its rolling grass plains are home to a year-long water source, meaning that much of the park’s wildlife congregates here during the dry season. With the Mrungule range silhouetted against the horizon, it’s arguably one of the most picturesque safari spots in Africa. Lions, wildebeests and buffaloes can be seen in the valley, most commonly in the afternoon when the heat drives them to the water’s edge to cool down.

Also on offer at Kidepo, and slightly rarer among African Parks in general, is a walking safari. Far more immersive than your classic jeep option, Kidepo’s on-foot offerings are something of a unique selling point. Guided by a Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger, visitors can walk alongside grazing zebra, herds of antelope and towering giraffes. The distance kept in a safari jeep doesn’t apply here-the park’s lack of footfall has kept its wildlife bold and curious, allowing you to get up close and personal with nature.

Uganda Safari in Kidepo Valley Unmissable among Kidepo’s wildlife experiences is its large populations of ostriches. Living in flocks, they group together in the Kidepo river basin during the dry season. Generally fearful of humans, these magnificent birds are best viewed from afar as they stream across the plains. Slightly further north, close to the border with South Sudan, are the Kanangarok hot springs. The thermal water is believed to have healing powers and, still relatively untouched by tourism, there are no signposts or footpaths guiding visitors to the springs. With a Ugandan Wildlife Authority ranger on hand, the network of dirt tracks becomes a lot easier to navigate. The clear, carbonated waters are the perfect place to sink and unwind, as you take in the incredible surroundings and spot the odd lion in the distant savannah.

Uganda is fast emerging as a wildlife hotspot to rival the likes of Tanzania and Kenya – and Kidepo National Park is, perhaps, its last frontier. Still raw, still remote and still waiting to be explored by those adventurous enough to embrace its endless plains.

OTTERS, THE AMAZING ANIMALS OF UGANDA

otter

These mammals belong to the “lutrinae subfamily”. There are 13 Otter species and these are semi-aquatic animals and one can be seen during the amazing Safaris in UgandaOtters differ in size with the largest known as a giant otter which grow up to 5.9 feet long. The smallest of otters is the Asian small clawed otter which grows up 90 centimeters long and weighs about 5kg.

Otters have long-streamlined bodies and their feet are webbed to allow them swim properly. They are seen timely floating in water bodies on their backs something that shows they are good swimmers.

They have two different layers of fur; that is the dense undercoat which is used for trapping air and the topcoat which has is waterproof.  The unfortunate thing is that this fur is on high demand in many countries and that is why they are almost extinct all over the world.

Otters are social animals that live in groups known as rafts and are nocturnal so the best chance for seeing them is taking on a late evening or night game drive while on your Uganda safari because they come out of to hunt.

They spend most of their time playing, wrestling and also chasing after their own tails.

During day time, these animals spend a lot of time grooming them-selves and this is the time they reduce their fur on their bodies by biting it off although sometimes rub their body against rocks, logs and grass.

Where to find Otters in Uganda?

While on a safari in Uganda, otters are often seen at the Uganda wildlife education Centre and Lake Mburo national park in southern Uganda and there are 3 types of otters living in this park. These animals are typical carnivorous species feeding on meat only

At 2-5 years an otter is mature enough for reproduction and after a female otter conceives, smaller otter types have a gestation period of 2 months while bigger ones like the sea otters have a gestation period that goes up to 5 months.

After the mother gives birth normally 1-5 young ones and sea otters give birth within water whereas the rest do this on land.

The young ones of an otter are referred to as pups weighing about 128 grams at the time of birth. The pups are born with eyes sealed but later on open when they turn 1 month and by the time they turn 2 months, they are can swim. When they are 1 year old, they are ready going on their own without their mother protection.

Otters have a life span of about 12 years while living in the wild although they can live longer while living in captivity.

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