Tourist Activities in Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda

  • Game Viewing in Kidepo Valley National Park
  • Bird Watching in Kidepo Valley National Park
  • Cultural Encounters in Kidepo Valley National Park
  • Picnic in Kidepo Valley National Park

Game Viewing in Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Game viewing

The park harbors a great diversity of animal species compared to other parks. From the total of 80 species of mammals highlighted in 1971, twenty eight of them could not be found in other protected areas in Ugandan. The Carnivore species which are unique and only found Kidepo and Karamoja region include the bat-eared fox, caracal and precious striped hyena, aardwolf, cheetah and hunting dog. Kidepo suffered the problem of poachers during the reign of president Amin, but the park is just trying to recover from the terrible years of poaching that left most animals dead. There are number of animal species which have been considered to be locally extinct. For example the Elephant, bush pig, burchell’s zebra, warthog, cape buffalo, Rothschild giraffe, eland, bush duiker, bush buck, defassa water buck, jack son’s hartebeest, bohor reed buck, and oribi among other herds of wild game. The prides of lion, solitary leopard, several small cats, spotted hyena, Kangoni, side-striped jackal-commonly seen and black-backed jackal.

kidepo animals striped hyena and leopard family

The range of five primate species thrive in the park- the Kavirondo bush baby being endemic. Oribis are many in the Narus Valley while the dry thicket marked with thorns in the north contain the counts of Guenther’s Dik always encountered on game drives while on a safari tour in Uganda. The Senegal Galago can be sighted at the Rest Camp at night and the common White-tailed Mongoose but are more likely to be found on a night drive. The park has diverse and rich reptiles. Tourists have many opportunities of viewing tree climbing lions, that always sits on rock just as you enter the Apoka Park headquarter or on sauces trees along Narus valley.

Wildlife is most active in the Narus Valley during early mornings and late afternoon - 6am and 4pm are optimum times to set off on game drives. You are advised to use a ranger at all times; they will help you spot some of the park’s lions that may be sitting on the valley’s various rocks. Other wildlife includes elephants, leopard, bush duiker, jackal, bushbuck, bush pig, Kavirondo bush baby, buffalo and much more though wildlife is scarce in the arid Kidepo Valley; the hour-long drive to Kanangorok Hot Springs passes some magnificent landscapes.

kidepo karamoj landscape wide - smaller

North of Apoka, beyond the river crossing, the road passes between rock outcrops and hills before descending into the Kidepo Valley, crossing the Kidepo Sand River and traversing open plains that extend past Kanangorok Hot Springs towards mountains across the Sudanese border. This is the part of the park where ostriches are most commonly seen.

Hiking/ Scenery viewing in Kidepo Valley National Park

Hiking is usually carried out a few kilometers from the Park Headquarters on Mountains Lamoji, The magnificent Kidepo river valley occupied by Borassus palm forest which can be viewed by interested visitors. It`s wide flatbed which is dry for most of the year is just only 11km from Kidepo Valley lies the Kanangorok hot springs one may visit too. kidepo wide The mountain and savannah park’s landscape, the south east lying Narus valley, the western rugged Napore - Nyagia mountain range combine to form a great attraction and sight-seeing encounters. The Natira and Lokayot hills separate it from the valley of Kidepo lying in the north-east. The South Sudan Lotukei Mountains form the northern boundary of Kidepo National Park.

Hiking/Nature Walks the Lomej Mountains can be reached on foot in four hours, the hike starts at 7am. Shorter guided walks of around two hours can be taken through the Narus Valley extending over a 5km radius from Apoka Tourism Centre.

Visitors can also wander along the splendid Kidepo River Valley between banks of attractive borassus palm forest. Namamkweny Valley can be reached in one hour from Apoka. Visitors can also meet members of the IK tribe during prearranged hikes to the Morungole Mountains outside the park.

Bird watching in Kidepo Valley National Park

ostritches in kidepo The Park has proven a life time memory to great birders, internationally due to her unique -diverse list of birds it has to offer to visitors. The most interesting viewpoints are Apoka Rest Camp and park headquarters which are overlooking the shallow and southern Narus Valley. The small bands of Yellow-billed Shrike and the Silver bird are most of the attractive species that frequent the thorny trees around the camp. At the extreme end of the camp one can find a small outstanding water hole that attract various seed eaters and also attracts swallows Seedeater this appears to be Yellow-rumped. This spot in most times is explored at night by the Four-banded Sand grouse, occasionally the Lion and Elephants, Buffaloes. Along the dry stream bed which is adjacent to the camp and also the tracks to Apoka lodge in the rank grass, the African Moustached and Broad-tailed Warblers, Clapperton’s Francolin, Black Coucal, Marsh Tchagra and Crimson-rumped Waxbillood and on a good may be seen.

Cultural Encounters in Kidepo Valley National Park:

The visit to the Karimojong home steads is one of those encounters that would deepen your understanding of the cultures of Africa especially in this primitive part of the land.

karamoja lifestyle2

The locally built Manyattas similar to those of the Masaai of Kenya and Tanzania along with impressive vast cattle kraals as they are famously known for their nomadic pastoralism, the range of traditional instrument including costumes, jewelry, stools, spears, bows, knives, arrows, beads among others bring out the typical African cultural experience. The Karimojong community has got a range of arts and crafts and the park entrance, a gift shop is located there to enable travellers on safari to Uganda to get a souvenir from there.

karamoja way of life

The local community has a group of cultural entertainers who present the heritage cultural performances to the Uganda safari undertakers in the area. The range of dances in the area which include the Emuya of the Naporre and Nyangia, ethnic groups and Lara karaka and Apiti dances of the Acholi are quite thrilling. The groups that perform earn some money to support them in their community livelihood.

Picnic in Kidepo Valley National Park

The Kidepo River Picnic site which is perched on sand of the Kidepo River present a thrilling visit with the sound of palm leaves in constant motion as blown by the wind is a great ingredient to your Uganda tour in Kidepo National Park.

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