Access ; Kidepo valley national park is located extreme northeast of Uganda; a little bit far from Kampala the capital city of Uganda and Entebbe International airport. However, this is awesome in some way as the travelers get opportunity to explore the beauty of the countryside and her many other exciting sightings. The traveler on visit of Uganda to Kidepo valley national park can access the park by opting to travel by air; very fast, comfortable but costly, less opportunities of exploring other attractions along the way and the travelers gets less real contact with realities on the ground. Road travel has several direction options, takes minimum 9 hours of travel, travelers can explore several of other attractions along the ways, travelers get hands on experiences with life realities but road travel can be tiring and less comfortable as some roads are dirt. It is highly advisable to break the long travel with an overnight close to one of the regional towns that have decent accommodation facilities. The traveler on tour into Uganda has to make a choice majorly basing on the available time for travel and compare the budget on travel.
Road travel routes to access Kidepo National Park
Kampala – Karuma – Gulu – Kitgum – Kidepo = 571km (10 hours). This is the shortest and most popular route for travelers on visit to Kidepo valley national park. Large part of the road is smooth tarmac and the travelers have an opportunity to branch off the road and trek rhinos at Ziwa rhino sanctuary before Karuma. This route passes on the edges on Murchison Falls national park and many travelers combine a tour into this beautiful chaste with Kidepo Valley national park. To balance travel on this route, travelers could break travel for a night in Gulu town or Kitgum, 2 hours’ drive close, if they plan to explore the park in the morning.
Kampala – Karuma – Lira – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo = 705km (12 hours). This is the second short route but least in popularity. The road up to Karuma is very smooth tarmac, Karuma to Lira is old tarmac with portholes, from then onwards it is around 300 km of partly dirt and tarmac. The travelers on this route have an opportunity of trekking rhinos at Ziwa rhino sanctuary, the road passes on the edges of Murchison Falls national park and travelers with enough time and travel budget often combine travel into these two astounding tourism destinations. The unpopularity with this route starts from Karuma junction, for most travelers because the turn increases the travel distance for no particular reason of tourism interest.
Kampala – Mbale – Sironko – Moroto – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo = 740km (12 hours). This is the second route in popularity for travelers seeking to explore the real wilderness and authentic African lifestyle, as it was years back. There are several attractions along this route to break the road travel. The route takes the eastern direction from Kampala, traverses the Mabira rainforest and crosses the mighty River Nile at Jinja town. The visitors have an opportunity to tour Lake Victoria and explore the source of the Nile. To access Sironko town, branch to the right a few kilometers on Mbale-Soroti road. The hike to the Sipi falls in Sironko is exciting and a test of body fitness while the travelers explore life in the countryside touring coffee plantations and interacting with indigenous people. The travelers on this route have an opportunity to explore Matheniko and Bokora wildlife reserves, wander into the wilderness and discover breathtaking landscapes in virgin territory. The travelers can opt to spend a night in Kapchorwa or Moroto towns.
Kampala – Mbale – Soroti – Moroto – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo = 792km (13 hours). This route takes the eastern direction from Kampala bisects the Mabira rainforest and crosses the bridge on the Nile before accessing Jinja; the industrial and tourism city of Uganda. The visitors explore the source of the Nile where she departs Lake Victoria for her 6400 km long travel to Mediterranean Sea. The water takes three months to cover this long distance. The visitors on this route can tour the Nyero rock in Kumi town and explore the authentic African lifestyle. There is construction work now to upgrade the road from Soroti to Moroto from dirt to tarmac. Kumi and Soroti are strategic towns for a night depending on which tourism activity visitors take part in to break the long travel.
Air travel Flights to access Kidepo valley national park can originate from Kajjansi Airfield or Entebbe International Airport. Aerolink Uganda limited, an air travel company operates scheduled domestic flights from Entebbe airport to Lomej airstrip in Apoka tourism zone on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays departing at 12:30 hours and arriving Kidepo at 14:45 hours. Eagle Aviation and Fly Uganda are other private air travel companies that offer charter flights to Lomej airstrip. Flights are fast, comfortable and give a birds’ point view of Uganda’s tourism attractions. The Civil Aviation Authority has ongoing plans to upgrade Lomej airstrip to an international airport to handle international flights.