There are two entrance gates to Kidepo valley national park; travelers from the southwestern side of Kitgum and Gulu enter through Lokumoit gate while Nataba gate is the main entry point that connects to southeastern side. Travelers arriving by flight at Lomej airfield get clearance to access the park at Apoka main offices 3 km near. Uganda Wildlife Authority is the custodian of wildlife; mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, vegetation and other wildlife resources within wildlife reserves. The Uganda Wildlife Authority has mandate to protect and conserve wildlife integrity of Uganda. The work of Uganda Wildlife Authority amongst others includes:
visitors coming into wildlife reserves and their property
of guiding and interpreting wildlife phenomenon to the visitors into the
revenue from visitors on tour into wildlife reserves
and managing hospitality services that enable vacation and easy wildlife spotting
the importance of wildlife to the rest of the world and Uganda as the best
travel destination for wildlife viewing safaris
wildlife that intrudes into indigenous communities
illegal trade in wildlife species
the indigenous communities about wildlife
Note: 20% of park entrance permit on every visitor is reserved for the neighboring communities into the wildlife reserves. The money
supports projects initiated and managed by indigenous communities.
The national park derives her name from the kidepo valley
. In the indigenous community dialect, Kidepo loosely translates “to pick” from under. The Kidepo valley is famous for scenic borassus palm trees; a delicacy of elephants as well as indigenous communities, that are beautifully scattered all through the valley. Possibly the name was coined from the many communities who wander into the valley to pick fallen ripened borassus palm fruits for domestic use during the dry season. In Kidepo valley is seasonal Kidepo river that flows north into South Sudan where Narus River supplements it before pouring into the White Nile. During the rainy season, the valley floods and Kidepo river is a threatening giant that only the stone hearted creature can dare cross. The vegetation is lush and there is a very vibrant mammal presence in all corners. Wildlife species
congregate in the Kidepo valley and there are possibilities of spotting any of the game that reside in the Kidepo National Park. In the dry season, vegetation in Kidepo withers to bare white sand dunes. The blood vessel, Kidepo river slumbers and snores till the next rains come. Most wildlife species desert the Kidepo Valley to Narus Valley
searching for resources to survive on. To the adventure travelers on tour into Uganda
, this is an ideal time for nature walk safaris
in the valley to explore the wilderness, discover and hold the beauty of Uganda wilderness within your hands. This is an ideal time for walking safaris in the valley to explore the wilderness, discover and hold the beauty of Uganda wilderness within your hands.
: Narus in the local Karimojong
dialect means muddy or soggy ground. Karamoja is a semi arid region with high temperatures, low rainfall and semi arid vegetation that gets bare ground after prolonged droughts. The soil texture in the valley is soggy and holds water for longer periods after the rain season creating temporary swamps, bushes and oases. The Narus river floods during the rainy season and flows northwest of Kidepo Valley National Park through the valley. The Narus valley retains oases even during the long drought of the dry season when most of the Karamoja region gets semi desert. The valley is a big blessing to the indigenous Karimojong nomads who roam the Karamoja region in search of watering holes and fresh pasture for their large herds of livestock.
To the travelers on tour of Uganda
in Kidepo Valley National Park, the valley is the arena of tourism drama. The Narus Valley is an oasis in the semi arid conditions of Karamoja region where wildlife congregate to cool off the heat from the burning sun. The valley has a clear track system leading to secret spots that make wildlife sighting an easy sport. It is highly advisable to pick a ranger at Apoka tourism office close by, who interprets wildlife scenarios, is conversant with wildlife habits in the area and is aware of their hideouts. The Narus valley is a recommended location to spot lions, buffalos, zebras, hartebeests, giraffes, cheetah
, leopard, waterbuck, several species and many beautiful bird species. Katurum track has magnificent views of the rest of the Narus valley and is an ideal spot to gaze in amazement and appreciate the choice of tour into Uganda
. The Narus River joins the larger Kidepo river further north 13 km into South Sudan that later joined the White Nile.
Game Drive: Kidepo Valley National Park is a popular Uganda safari
game drive / viewing destination with a wide range of game
. The Karamoja region has in excess of 80 mammal species and travelers on tour into the Kidepo Valley National Park have high opportunities of spotting a wide range of them. 28 of the mammal species are endemic to only the Karamoja region in Uganda and travelers on Uganda safari
into Kidepo Valley National Park have high opportunities of sighting them. Much of the Kidepo Valley National Park is a flat terrain with scenic undulating hills scattered in a few spots. The vegetation is eye-catching grassland and savannas that spread into the horizons beyond the eyes can see. The natural conditions make spotting game less bothersome and game viewing safaris
It is highly advisable to use a safari customized car and be within the game viewing zone around 6am to have opportunities of spotting nocturnal wildlife species and interact with game when very active in the coldness of the morning. Be within the same zone by 4pm for the evening game viewing safaris and catch game winding up the activities of the day. Picking up a ranger at Apoka tourism office maximizes opportunities of wildlife sightings since the rangers are conversant with wildlife habits and monitor their movements. The wildlife species within Kidepo Valley National Park like many other wildlife places, drastically reduced by insurgencies of 1980s where poaching game for economic purposes seemed a lucrative business. Rhinos were hunted to extinction for their horns. There is relative calm in entire of Uganda and wildlife species statistics are on the upward trend. Travelers on tour in Kidepo Valley National Park have opportunity to spot amongst others; lions, cheetah, leopard, mane less zebras, kudus, buffalos, Oryx, gazelle, elephants, giraffes, elands, roan antelopes, striped hyenas, jackals, hyenas, zebras, reedbucks, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, Nile crocodiles, duikers and many others.
Nature walk; Kidepo Valley National Park is vast. It is beautiful and full to the brim with exciting things to see. To many travelers on tour of Uganda,
Kidepo valley national park has exact features of the authentic African wilderness. Flat plains in scenic landscape and land features where beautiful wildlife species
spread into all corners of the grasslands and mingle at will. Kidepo valley national park is a less trampled chaste and many travelers on tour into Uganda
cannot resist the temptation to wander into the wilderness, explore nature and make personal discoveries.
A nature walk into the beautiful Lamoj hills gifts the visitors an opportunity to spot wildlife within the adjacent valleys. For wilderness photography safaris the walk Kidepo valley national park and the Lamoj hills in particular is an opportunity to grab best selling photographs. Many other travelers drive a distance away from Apoka to visit and explore the Kanangorok hot springs a natural spa in the wilderness. In the dry season when River Kidepo National Park is all quiet and dead, many travelers cannot resist the urge to do the nature walk barefoot into the Kidepo valley sands and get a proud feeling of conquering nature and wilderness under their feet.
Travelers in needs of quiet corners to explore and get authentic wilderness experiences visit the Namamukweny Valley. Namamukweny literary translates to place without birds sic life, lonely or isolated place. True to its name, it is an absolute gem blessed by nature’s beauty in abundance. Namamukweny valley is a perfect setting for travelers seeking solitude and places of retreat to explore and refresh their minds without inconveniences of modern day life luxuries.
Book a ranger at Apoka park offices or your hotel reservation desk for your exciting nature walk safari. Ranger escorts have capability of interpreting nature, wide knowledge of all the corners of Kidepo Valley national park wilderness and definitely make nature walk safaris rich and highly rewarding.
Safari Tips as you engage yourself in a tour to Kidepo
Valley National Park are so important and essential for one to have a smooth tour. The depict what is needed, the do's and don'ts and some facts about the park. Mostly they tell you about the rules and regulations also as when most people don't find the rules, they can oftenly follow the safari tips being offered. Most tips also are given as guidelines from the body that gorverns the Wildlife species in uganda and that is the Uganda Wildlife Association. Below you will find a list of tips that will guide you to have a safae travel to the park and easily do your safari with minimal or no queries.
- Please confirm your booking and be sure of accommodation before travel. This is one of the most important safari tips.
- Please adhere to park regulations. They are designed with a sole purpose of keeping you safe and your tour of Uganda exciting
- Make any inquiries to park and hotel staff. They will gladly direct you to right places.
- Pack light clothes with high preference for dark color long sleeved. The roads are dusty during dry season and muddy during rainy season.
- Insect repellent is essential because high temperatures are conducive conditions for different species of insects and bugs.
- The sun gets scotching at any time and body gets sunburns. Carry body scream, safari hats, caps, sunglasses to reduce the impact of the heat on your body. One of the most important safari tips.
- Hiking boots are ideal for wilderness safari
- Drink a lot of non alcoholic drinks; water and juice to minimize dehydration
- 4wd safari vehicles are essential in rainy season
- Break the journey for overnight stop to reduce fatigue. There are several other tourism activities to explore along all the routes to Kidepo Valley National Park
- Scheduled flights or charter flights from Kampala are fast; 2 hours, but reduce the excitement of exploring the countryside
Matheniko Wildlife Reserve
Matheniko Wildlife Reserve 1,520km2
located in Moroto district, is part of larger Kidepo Valley Conservation Area though detached from the national park. Matheniko wildlife reserve is located southeast of Kidepo valley national park touching on the hem of international borderline with Kenya. Matheniko Wildlife Reserve like large parts of Karamoja region is a semi arid savanna where dates, acacia and butterfly pea are dominant tree species. The Wildlife Reserve has a very vibrant wildlife
presence with unique species that withstand harsh semi arid conditions.
Tourism services are not highly developed like other Uganda safaris
destinations, but the visitors who travel to Matheniko Wildlife Reserve get surprised at the beauty, population density and uniqueness of wildlife species. Game viewing safaris often yield fruitful results with cheetah
, buffalos, leopards, roan antelope, lesser kudu, elands, serval cats, mountain reedbuck, topi. wildcats, Bright’s gazelle, blue duikers, Bohor reedbuck, striped hyena, waterbucks, jackals, Ugandan kobs, Oribi, spotted hyenas, civets, common duikers, Olive baboons, Patas monkey, vervet monkeys and other mammals possible sightings.There is a high bird species presence in Wildlife Reserve with unique species from the larger Somali-Masai corridor that stretches from the horn of Africa to the neighboring Kenya.
There are high possibilities to spot The black-headed plover, thick-billed honeyguide, Verreaux’s Eagle, Egyptian vulture, Ethiopian swallow, Pygmy falcon, Clapperton’s francolin, Eastern Bronze-napped Pigeon, the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, the Mountain Yellow Warbler, the Hartlaub’s Turaco, the Red-billed Ox-pecker amongst many others.Self-catering camping in the wilderness is the only possible accommodation
inside the Wildlife Reserve though Moroto and Kotido town are within reasonable travel distance. There are plans to establish a safari camp in the near future. 4WD car is essential because some parts of the road system are dirt and get messy during rainy season; April, May and November. Many travelers on Uganda tour
to Kidepo Valley National Park break the monotony of long travel at Matheniko Wildlife reserve.
Bokora Wildlife Reserve
Bokora Wildlife Reserve 2,056km2
located in Moroto district, is the second largest single wildlife protected area in Uganda. Bokora Wildlife reserve status as an important component in the ecosystem gained prominence even during the colonial rule times. She was became a wildlife reserve in 1964 to date. Bokora Wildlife Reserve is located in the Karamoja region, southwest of Kidepo Valley national park. It touches borders with Matheniko Wildlife reserve in northeast and Pian Upe wildlife reserve in southwest. The three wildlife reserves are a solid connection from which wildlife species migrate from Mt Elgon national park further south to Kidepo Valley National park north. There is a market similarity in climatic conditions, soils, vegetation cover and wildlife species
in the same zone.
Bokora wildlife reserve is an ideal Uganda safari destination for travelers seeking quiet corners in which to explore in the wilderness and discover the beauty of a peaceful country. Few travelers have ventured into this undisturbed chaste, and their reviews always speak volumes about the beauty of this undiscovered Uganda tourism gem. Loporokocho swamp is popular game viewing destination where wildlife species in all sizes and colors congregate to cool off. There are high opportunities of spotting Lions, topi, lesser kudus, leopard, buffalos, zebra, stripped hyena, roan antelopes, the Elands, Oribi, duiker, the Uganda Kobs, the Bright’s gazelles, hartebeests, the spotted hyenas, the Oryx and Reedbucks amongst the mammal species.
Bird watching safaris in Bokora wildlife reserve create everlasting impressions on the memories of travelers on tour into Uganda with unique bird species sightings. Notable bird species most likely to sight include Ostriches, Alpine chat, Jackson’s hornbill, Grey cuckoo-shrike, Lemon dove, Dusky turtle dove, White-headed buffalo weaver, Black-throated wattle eye, African Hill Babbler, the Thick-billed Honeyguide, Mountain yellow warbler, the Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, the Hartlaub’s Turaco, amongst. Bokora wildlife reserve is an untapped gem where very few travelers have set foot in. The tourism and hospitality facilities are still basic but that does not take away the rich wealth in wildlife resources. Camping in the wild is the only possibility of accommodation through a private developer is making final arrangements of a luxury safari camp. Travelers on Uganda tour into Bokora Wildlife Reserve book accommodation in Kotido, Katakwi and Abim towns that are a reasonable distance close to the reserve. Bokora Wildlife is an ideal place to break the long travel en route to or from Kidepo Valley National Park.
range covers large parts south of Kidepo Valley national park and is the source of River Kidepo and the Narus River the blood vessels of wildlife species in the park
. For adventure travelers on tour into Uganda
, hiking into the Morungole mountain ranges is one sure way of satiating extreme adventure adrenalin. The hike into the mountain gifts hikers with commanding views of the Narus and Kidepo plains
and rest of Kidepo valley national park in the foothills. The Morungole mountain range is the sacred place and former ancestral home of the Ik people; a minority group in Uganda. Hiking to the Mount Morungole is a stern test for body physical fitness and starts early morning before the temperatures of Kidepo valley national park hit melting levels. The hike to Mount Morungole is an opportunity for photography and filming safaris to capture wonderful images of entire Kidepo valley national park and the lands beyond.
Note: Book a ranger escort with Kidepo Valley park management or your hotel to get maximum satisfaction from unique experiences of your tour into Uganda.
The Ik People
The Ik people
is an indigenous community that inhabits the Morungole mountain range as their sacred home. The UNESCO rates the Ik people numbering just thousands of individuals as severely endangered notably after losing their ancestral lands to pave way for wildlife conservation. The Ik people traversed the Karamoja plains in search of game to hunt, gathering edible fruits, leaves, roots and flowers. The Ik love for honey and bees is legendary and individuals have special skills to detect colonies of bees and honey harvesting. Traditionally, the Ik people live a polygamous lifestyle and look at childbearing as a sign of blessing from the ancestors. There is a high teenage marriage amongst the Ik people where the families have no wealth to speak of. Amongst the Ik, the major requirement to get a marriage partner is the ability to provide family with basic needs of survival; gather food from the wilderness and shacks for shelter. Many travelers satisfied with wilderness safari into the national park
, visit the Ik homesteads in the Morungole mountain range to interact with a community that lives a traditional African lifestyle. An overnight camping close to the Ik manyatta gives the visitors an opportunity to venture into the wilderness under cover of darkness to have first hand honey harvesting experiences.
Note: Book an indigenous ranger escort for the tour into the Ik community. It is highly advisable to carry gifts for the Ik to win over their confidence and get authentic lifestyle experiences.
The landscape and land features of Karamoja region and Kidepo Valley National Park in particular are unique from the rest of Uganda. The Karamoja region marks the extreme ends where the arid conditions of North Africa meet grasslands of East Africa. Kidepo Valley national park is an intersection where unique bird species from different geographic zones meet. Kidepo valley national park is an Important Birding Safaris
Area in Uganda with close to 450 bird species and a dream Uganda tour destination
for bird watching expeditions. A dozen out of the 50 birds of prey species in Uganda are endemic in the Karamoja region. The birding safaris in Kidepo valley national park have high possibilities of sighting famous Ostriches
, Abyssinian roller, Verreaux’s eagle, Yellow-billed hornbill, Egyptian vulture, Kori bustard, Pygmy falcon, Karamoja apalis, Jackson’s hornbill and many other species.
is a non-governmental organisation that formed in the 1997 by the gorvernment tourism agency to repopulate the wild white Rhinos in Uganda. It is a hidden gem of tourism that can be accessed by travelers as they travel north of uganda towards
and Kidepo Valley National Park. Therefore most safari companies will
national park with those of Ziwa Rhino Sactuary. It is the only place to see the white rhinos in uganda and that makes it a unique safari tour destination. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary has got activities that are carried out there for example: On foot Rhino trekking, Shoebill trek and Canoe ride, Night walks and Bird walks.
The best time to visit Kidepo valley national park is during the dry season and that is from the month of September to March however since the park is
with no heavy rains in the wet season. The park can be visited anytime throughout the year depending on the visitor’s interest. From the month of September to March the park is less crowded, April and May the camps and tents tend to close due to rains, September, October and November the rains end ushering in the dry season and then finally from December to February is when the park is extremely hot and dusty. For visitors interested in wildlife adventure, its best you visit Kidepo valley national park in the dry season because
is much easier as animals be on a move looking out for water sources and vegetation and also game driving is easier on the bumpy marram roads in the park compared when the roads are muddy. On the other hand, the wet season is best for bird watching tours. It’s during this period you will find migratory birds, the park is lush and green, the heat is less repressive and even though the animals are less spotted during this wet season, you will still spot some of them.
Kaabong is a district in the Northern part of Uganda in the Karamoja sub-region. Kaboong district was actually spilt from Kotido district in 2005 to be an independent district with its own local leaders and socio-economic developments. Kaabong covers an area of about 7,224 square kilometres with rocky land filled with hills and valleys. The vegetation,
and altitude in Kaabong district is mainly semi-arid type though some of the places have savannah vegetation supported by the various soil types. There is only one annual season of cultivation because Kaabong is densely covered in short trees, bushes and thorny shrubs. Kidepo valley national park is located in this district about 66 kilometers by road from the district headquarters. Kidepo covers approximately 1,442 square kilometers of the total land area of Kaabong district.
Kidepo valley national park is found in Kaabong district in the Northern part of Uganda, bordering Moroto district which is the largest town in the Karamoja sub-region in the North West and Kampala capital city in the North Eastern part of Uganda. Kidepo valley national park is specifically located in Karenge sub-county in Kaabong district.