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Game Viewing Drives

Game Drives In Kidepo National Park

For travelers on Uganda tours, Kidepo Valley Park offers some of the best game drives in all of Uganda. The best thing is that you feel that you are all alone; it is Africa without the Crowds.

Much of Kidepo is flat terrain with scenic undulating hills scattered in a few spots. The vegetation is high catching grassland and savannah that spread into horizons beyond the eye can see. These natural conditions make spotting gem less difficult and game viewing is highly successful.

There is night and the normal day time game drives in Kidepo. There are two sections in Kidepo valley national park where game drive safaris are conducted; Narus valley and Kidepo valley.

Narus Valley Game Drive

Situated south of Apoka, the Narus Valley  is the Kidepo National Park’s  prime game viewing area as wildlife congregates here for much of the year, and more abundant during the later dry season from January to March when the Narus River is the only is the only reliable water source in the park.

Narus can can explored along two excellent road loops, both around 15-20km long, that run south from Apoka.

These are the Kakine Circuit, whose centerpiece Kakine rock also known as Lion rock is often frequented by lions, and Katurum Circuit, named after a currently disused Cliffside lodge built in Amin era.

A landmark along the road connecting these two circuits is a pair of lily covered crocodiles ponds which often attract large herds of buffaloes and host a great variety of water-birds such as White-faced whistling ducks, African jacan, yellow billed storks, several egrets and herons.

On either circuit, you should look out for the herds of 20 to 30 elephants that come here to drink from the river in the mid morning, before moving back to more remote grazing areas of the park in the afternoon. They are usually quite relaxed around vehicles.

Narus Valley is also famous for huge herds of buffaloes that are frequently encountered here around Apoka. These attracts prides of lions of around 20 individuals who come to prey on them.

Other large mammals you will see in Narus Valley during your wildlife drive in Kidepo Valley National Park include Burchell’s zebras, Rothchild’s giraffes, warthogs, elands, Jackson’s hartebeests, Bohor reedbucks and Oribi.

Wildlife is most active in the Narus Valley during early mornings and late afternoon between 6 am and 4 pm are optimum times to set off on game drives.

Kidepo Valley Drive

Compared to the Narus, the dry Kidepo Valley is short on big game but massive on scenery.

The hour-long drive to Kanangorok hot springs passes some magnificent landscapes, 30 kilometers north of the park’s tourism hub at Apoka, the road crosses the dry, sandy bed of the Kidepo River to enter an expansive plain lined to the east by the Morungule mountain range and to the north by the looming, 2975m high Jebel Lotuke in South Sudan.

Mammals are rare in this area but ostriches and secretary birds are often seen. The thick bush around around hosts  lesser and greater kudus

Night Game Drive In Kidepo Valley National Park

A night game drive is the only game viewing time that clearly exposes you to the nocturnal animals such as cheetahs, leopards, lions, jackals, hyenas, and others. There are chances of lions or leopards feeding on their hunted prey.

Night drives in Kidepo are done in the company of a ranger guide and are best done in a 4×4 safari vehicle.

Day Game Drives Fees In Kidepo Valley National Park

  • US$20—Foreign Non-resident and Foreign Resident Visitors
  • UGX 20,000—East African Citizens

Night Game Drives Fees In Kidepo Valley National Park

  • US$40—Foreign Non-Resident and Foreign Resident Visitors
  • UGX 40,000— East African Citizens

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