Kidepo Valley is Located in Uganda’s remote north-eastern corner, some 700km from Kampala and tucked between the borders with Sudan and Kenya, Kidepo Valley is our most isolated park. However the few who make the long journey north through the wild boundary region of Karamoja to visit it, would agree that it is also the most magnificent. From Apoka, in the heart of the national park, a savanna landscape extends in all directions, far beyond the gazetted area of 1442km2, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.
The park has a semi-arid climate with just one rainy season per year (April-September) and rainfall is light. The valley of the Narus River in the south of the park receives some 890mm of rain/year while just 635mm of rain/year falls in the Kidepo valley to the north. Both rivers are seasonal, and dwindle and disappear in the dry season. During these months, the only permanent water in the park is found in wetlands and remnant pools along the southern Narus valley near Apoka and as a result, wildlife is concentrated in this area. This consideration, combined with the valley’s open, savanna habitat, makes it the park’s prime game viewing location. Indeed it is possible to sight a good variety of wildlife simply by scanning the valley with binoculars from the comfort of the Apoka lodge.
Much of the wildlife is concentrated within the Narus Valley where the Apoka rest camp is situated. Kidepo is the only Ugandan park where the Rothschild’s Giraffe and Burchells Zebra can be seen together. Ostrich have been re-introduced. Lions are not uncommon. Sightings of white Buffalo are specific to Kidepo although unusual. Of 80 species of mammals recorded in the park 28 where not known to occur in any other Ugandan park. Uniquely Bat-eared Fox, Stripped Hyena, Cheetah and Caracal are very uncommon sightings.
Game drives: Game drives in this park are so much rewarding, you will sight different species of animals and these range from carnivores, ungulates, and primates. There are high chances of viewing tree climbing lions that always sits on sauces trees along Narus valley or on the rock just as you enter the Apoka Park Headquarter. Right from Apoka Rest Camp other animals that can be seen include elephants, leopards, bush duikers, jackals, bush bucks, bush pigs, Kavirondo bush babies, buffaloes and much more.
Birding: Bird watching in Kidepo National park is not strenuous because one can spot 100 birds just within few hours. There are over 465 species that have been recorded Birds of particular interest include the ostrich and the Kori bustard which are principally associated with arid regions.
Hiking and Scenery viewing: Hiking can be carried out on Lamoj Mountains just a few kilometers from the Park Headquarters.
Cultural tours: The local community near the park also stages cultural dances and performances. Traditional dances such as the Emuya of the Naporre and Nyangia, Larakaraka and Apiti dances of the Acholi are worthy to see and participate into. Nature Walk and cultural visits to the Karamajong manyattas (homesteads) to get to know their lifestyle.
Getting to the park:
The park can be reached by both road and air. Driving is more rewarding, as much of Karamoja, like Kidepo itself, is a vast and unspoiled wilderness. However, road conditions are sometimes difficult and 4WD vehicles are usually essential.