Home » Tourist Activities In Kidepo Valley National Park
They are a variety of Activities in Kidepo valley national park including;
- Game drives,
- Bird watching,
- Hiking and nature walks,
- Cultural visits
A day’s entrance ticket to Kidepo Valley National Park is valid for 24 hours from the time of entrance. Extra time spent in the park after 24 hours will be charged as an extra day.
Children are persons aged between 5-15 years. Persons below 5 years are exempt
Entrance fees are independent of package activities such as game drives, bird watching, nature walks, and others.
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 wildlife less difficult and game viewing is highly successful.
There are night and normal daytime 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 reliable water source in the park.
Narus can be explored along two excellent road loops, both around 15-20km long, that run south of 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 the 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 waterbirds such as White-faced whistling ducks, African jacana, 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 attract the pride 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 afternoons between 6 am and 4 pm are optimum times to set off on game drives.
Kidepo Valley Game Drive
Compared to the Narus, the dry Kidepo Valley is short on the 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 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 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
Bird Watching In Kidepo Valley National Park
For travelers on bird watching tours in Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park host over 457 species of birds, the second-highest population of any protected area in Uganda, following only Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Sixty birds on its list haven’t been recorded in any other Uganda safari park. No comprehensive survey has been done, so visitors could easily see some species not previously recorded for the park.
Kidepo is a perfect Uganda safari destination for spotting raptors, with 56 species on record, of which the most commonly observed include;
- Pygmy falcon
- Dark chanting goshawk
- Tawny eagle
- Bateleur eagle, and
- Several types of vultures such as Egyptian vultures, White-headed vultures, and others
The Narus Valley is a great site where birders can look for Clapperton’s francolin and the spectacular African rose-ringed parakeet, most especially around Apoka. Other unique bird species to look for in Narus Valley include the Abyssinian ground hornbill, Superb starling, Bateleur, Meyer’s parrot, and Black coucal (only seen in the rainy season).
The lily-covered crocodile ponds in the Narus Valley also host a great variety of waterbirds such as White-faced whistling ducks, African jacana, yellow-billed storks, and several egrets, and herons.
The thicket bush around Kanangorok Hot Springs in the Kidepo valley is the only place in Uganda to look for Ostriches. Secretary birds, Jackson’s hornbills, Speckle fronted weavers, and other bird species can also be seen around this area.
Other Kidepo National Park specials to look for whing on your birding tour to Kidepo Valley National Park include Fox kestrel, Greater kestrel, Abyssinian roller, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, White-billed go-away bird, Northern carmine bee-eater, Little green bee-eater, Red, and yellow barbet, Black-breasted barbet, Kori bustard, Karamoja Apalis, Golden pipit, Chestnut weaver and several others.
Guided birding tour fees in Kidepo Valley National Park
- US$30—Foreign Non-Resident and Foreign Resident Visitors
- UGX 10,000 —East African citizens
Hiking/Nature Walks In Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park is vast, beautiful, and full to the brim. To many travelers on a tour of Uganda, Kidepo has the exact features of the authentic African wilderness.
Flat plains in scenic landscapes and land features where beautiful wildlife species spread into all corners of the grasslands and mingle at will.
Visitors on Uganda hiking safaris in Kidepo Park can walk 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. The Morungule range, which rises from the plains to the northeast of Apoka, can be explored on foot with a ranger guide escort.
Short nature walks around Apoka Rest Camp provides the chance to view species such as zebras, hartebeest, and reedbucks.
Longer walks through the open grasslands of East Kakine provide sightings of giraffes, buffalo, elephants, and perhaps distant lions.
Visitors can also explore part or all of the 15km Rionomoe Trail on the southern side of the Narus valley. All walks require a ranger guide.
Lonyilli Mountain is situated near the park on the border of South Sudan and is a great idea for nature walks and mountain hiking. The mountain provides striking views of the splendid montane forest canopy and an overview of Kidepo valley and South Sudan at a far distance.
The magnificent mountain is largely covered by montane forest making it and habitat for a good number of primates like red-tailed and black-and white Columbus monkeys.
Guided Nature Walks Fees In Kidepo Valley National Park
- US$20—Foreign Non-Resident Visitors
- U$15—Foreign Resident Visitors
- UGX 10,000—East African citizens
Kidepo Lonyili Summit Hike Fees
- US$50—Foreign non-resident and foreign Resident Visitors
- UGX 50,000—East African Citizens
Cultural Visits At Kidepo Valley National Park
A Uganda cultural safari to Kidepo National Park presents an opportunity for visitors to experience the authentic culture of the Karamojong and IK people.
The Lorukul Cultural Group is located just outside Park. Their main livelihood is herding livestock, and the social and cultural importance will be explained as you walk with the guides to the traditional Karamojong manyattas (homesteads), granaries and cattle enclosures.
Learn how the villagers make their distinctive beads, sample the local cuisine, and even meet the Karamojong King, who will narrate the tribe’s folklore and beliefs.
Also, Kidepo Valley National Park was the traditional hunting territory of the mysterious Ik tribe, one of Africa’s most culturally-intact communities.
The 3-hour trek up to the Ik villages high on the slopes of Morungole Mountain offers an unforgettable opportunity on your Uganda safaris to make friends among the charming people who were (inexplicably) portrayed as the world’s nastiest people in the 1973 best-seller The Mountain People by Colin Turnbull.