Kidepo Valley National Park
Located in the distant north-east of Uganda, close by the borders of South Sudan and Kenya, Kidepo is an enthralling place of semi-arid savanna, seasonal rivers and low mountains. It is beautiful – and accessible – at any time of year.
Kidepo Valley National Park’s landscape extends across 1,442km². Altitudes range from 914m above sea level on the valley floor to the 2,750m peak of Mount Morungole which dominates the horizon.
The Kidepo and Narus rivers glide through the savannah landscape in the rainy season and disappear in the dry season. Kidepo’s remote location makes it Uganda’s most isolated national park. The low number of visitors has preserved the unique ambience of this untouched wilderness.
Cut off for years by conflict of varying forms, it has only recently become accessible by both road and air. Currently, there are only two lodges and a government rest camp available. These two factors, along with the relatively high cost of reaching the park, have combined to keep visitor numbers low. But those who do make it are in for a treat, with enjoyment only amplified by the fact you are well off the beaten track, miles from anywhere.
The vegetation in Kidepo is mainly open tree Savannah grassland that differs mainly in composition plus structure. The park is mainly dominated by the Mountain forests within the high areas while areas around River Lorupei are heavily blanketed by acacia forest. The game plus vegetation in the park are rather more characteristic of Kenya than Uganda. Within the park, the terrain is dotted with tiny hills, inselbergs plus rocky outcrops which jointly make Kidepo a very unique Uganda safari destination.
Kidepo is Uganda’s third largest national park, and only Queen Elizabeth National Park contains greater biodiversity.
Kidepo is home to 77 mammal species and the park offers great opportunities for game viewing. 20 species of predator are present, including lion, leopard, and spotted hyena.
In Uganda, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, cheetah, and caracal are endemic to Kidepo. The elephant population is over 650 (up from 200 in the mid ‘90s), buffalo are estimated to exceed 10,000, and there are over 50 Rothschild’s giraffes, an internationally important population.