Kidepo valley ,is situated in the north Eastern part of Uganda in kaabong district one o the most remote places in the country the word “kidepo” is derived from a local Karamojong language for “akidep” meaning to pick. This valley used to be traveled by local people picking borassus fruits they used for fermenting local palm beer.
For visitors seeking a real wilderness experience kidepo valley is the best place to be in Uganda where you can hardly see people but a lot of wildlife. Kidepo valley contains the Narus and Kidepo River with the striking mount Morungole and lomej hills. Kidepo valley is boarded by South Sudan in the north, Kenya on the east.
Kidepo valley was occupied by the mighty warriors and the ik but was gazetted as a game reserve by the British colonial government in 1958 but in 1962 it was converted into a national park by Milton Obotes government who was by then the Ugandan president.
The park has been under several Management’s starting from the first Chief Warden Ian Ross,the most permanent source of water is the kanangorok hot springs found in the extreme north of the park in the south Sudanese boarder rainfall in kidepo varies between the Narus valley and kidepo basin.
A lot o wildlife can be seen in different parts of kidepo valley for example around the kidepo river a lot of wildlife like Congo lions, Tanzanian cheetahs, cape buffalos, wild dogs, girafes,elephants, zebras, and foxes among many others the recorded bird species of kidepo valley are about 500 bird species.
In the 1960s kidepo boasted with Rothschild giraffe population of about 400 animals but were poached down to three animals by 1992 but in 1997 funds were obtained from Frankfurt zoological society by then Warden Peter for the transferring of some giraffes from Lake Nakuru Kenya but one was eaten by lions shortly after release.
Kidepo valley offers a true sense and experience of unforgettable Africa’s wilderness with no paparatzi nor a lot of people to be seen but sleeping with roars of lions and trumpeting of elephants and waking up to the chattering of birds, wildlife can be viewed in most areas of the park but a game drive would be more memorable on the dirt roads.
Kidepo valley has been ranked both locally and internationally as Africa finest wilderness with Africa’s largest herds of buffalos the unique Karamojong rustlers and ik farmers are a great deal for those who would love to supplement their safari with cultural tours.
The Karamojong warriors are pastoralists with very unique ways of life not found else butsimilar to Masai of Kenya, the Nyangatom of Ethiopia, Toposa of Sudan and Turkana of Kenya. Kidepo covers an area of about 1442 kilometers squared with rolling Savannah vegetation and spectacular landscapes, in kidepo valley is where one can find one of the world’s most beautiful sceneries. The views alone with out game are so breath taking.
Kidepo national park was ranked africas Jewel by the New York akin to Masai Mara in Kenya and krugar national park in south Africa , there was massive destruction of kidepo national park during wars in Sudan where the south Sudanese rebels would cross to Uganda for game meat and kill a lot of wildlife with the machine guns from 1955-1972, around 1971 the Ugandan president by then allowed his troops to hunt down the game with riffles and helicopters brave wild game rangers tried to defend the park but were always out gunned kidepo wildlife suffered all this year’s the last rhino was seen in kidepo in 1983.
Although kidepo suffered it’s still one of the best parks one can wish to visit in the world and experience Africa true wilderness as it’s recovering from it’s tragedy.