How to get to kidepo valley national park
How to get to kidepo valley national park : Kidepo valley national park is located in north eastern Uganda in Karamoja province at the border of south Sudan and Kenya. The park is comprised of open savannah grassland with mountain forests and is a habitat of about 75 animal species with about 28 species not found in any Ugandan national park like bush duskier, cheetah, bat eared fox, elands, bushbucks, warthogs, Jackson’s hartebeest, Oribis, elephants, zebras, buffaloes, Rothschild giraffes, Bohor reed bucks, leopards, side striped jackal, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal, Beisa Oryx , over 475 bird species which makes it the second best birding destination in Uganda with bird species like yellow billed shrike, Kori bustard, ostrich, Karamoja Apalis, little green bee-eater, standard winged nightjars, white bellied tit, pygmy falcon, African grey flycatcher, superb starling, black breasted barbet, black headed plover, clapperton’s francolin among others.
How to get to Kidepo valley national park
The national park is located in north eastern Uganda about 700km from Kampala capital city, it can either be reached by road or air transport means.
There are domestic airlines such as Aerolink Uganda limited which operates scheduled and chartered flights to Kidepo valley national park from Entebbe airport and Kajansi airfield to Kidepo airport or Apoka airstrip. The airline flies to Kidepo valley national park every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. When departing from Entebbe airport to the park the airline departs at 12:30pm and arrives at 14:45pm and when coming from Kidepo national park the airline will depart at 15:00pm and arrive at Entebbe airport at 16:30pm therefore the whole flight takes about one hour and thirty minutes.
Flying to kidepo valley national park is the best option in that it will save you travelling long distances and being tired especially visitors who are not used to travelling long distances. When using flying option you can also connect to other national parks like Murchison falls national park where you will land at Pakuba airstrip, Chobe airstrip in northern sector or Bugungu airstrip in the southern sector of the park.
When booking domestic airlines to Kidepo valley national park you can contact the Aerolink Uganda limited offices or other domestic airline offices via email or telephone calls or you can contact Achieve Global Safaris to book for your flight hence saving you all the hustle.
When using road transport to Kidepo valley national park, there are various routes you can use for example the eastern route or the western route which passes via Murchison falls national park.
Eastern route to Kidepo valley national park
- When using the eastern route there are various entry points including driving from Kampala via Mbale, Sironko, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then to Kidepo national park which is 740km and takes about 12 hours’ drive
- Another route is driving from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then to Kidepo valley national park which is 792km and takes about 13 hours’ drive. When using the eastern route to the park you can have an overnight in any of the towns like Kotido and then continue to the park the next morning.
Western route to Kidepo valley national park
- The western route is also the most used route to the park and visitors using this route will drive from Kampala via Karuma, Gulu, Kitgum and then to the park which is 571km and takes about 10 hours’ drive
- You can also drive from Kampala via Karuma, Lira, Kotido, Kaabong and then Kidepo valley national park which is 705km and takes about 12 hours’ drive.
The western route is the most exciting and adventurous route to use in that you will have great scenic views and also pass via Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for rhino tracking and Murchison falls national park which is the largest and most visited national park in Uganda. You can also have an overnight in Gulu or Kitgum town to cut your journey short and also not to become very tired and continue to the park the next day.
When using road transport means to Kidepo valley national park it’s a long journey and tiresome but filled with beautiful views of the landscape, terraces, homesteads, rhino tracking in Ziwa sanctuary, animals viewing in Murchison falls national park because the western route passes at the edge of the park, Karuma falls among others hence making your journey interesting.
Kidepo valley national park can also be accessed by public means of transport in that there are buses which travel day and night therefore you can board a bus from Kampala via Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Moroto and Kotido town which take about 14 hours’ drive and from Kotido you will hire a private vehicle to the park. There are other buses that depart from Kampala via Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Kotido and Kaabong which take about 16 hours’ drive and from Kaabong you will hire a private vehicle to the park headquarters. Using public means of transport is however not advisable because it takes a lot of time I that it moves stopping in different towns, doesn’t reach in the park and you can be cheated when hiring a private vehicle to the park.
Kidepo valley national park has a number of activities that you can engage only if you have accessed the national park including
Game drive, this can be done in the morning, afternoon or at night in the Narus valley due to high concentration of wildlife species especially during the dry season when there is scarcity of water in the park hence they gather around the Narus river to drink water. Animals that will be viewed during the game drive include buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards, Oribi, bush pigs, warthogs, waterbucks, giraffes, nocturnal animals like Pottos, hyenas, white tailed mongoose, hyenas, bush babies, leopards, lions, bird species among others.
Bird watching, Kidepo valley national park is a home of over 470 bird species which makes it a birders haven and the second birding destination in Uganda after Queen Elizabeth national park in southwestern Uganda. Out of the 470 bird species the national park has about 60 species which are only endemic to Kidepo national park such as Karamoja Apalis, pygmy falcon, ostrich, Kori bustard, fox kestrel, black breasted barbet and other species like purple heron, silver bird, Abyssinian ground hornbill, yellow billed shrike, brown backed woodpecker, white bellied bustard, long tailed nightjar among others, the bird species in the park can be seen around Apoka rest camp, Narus river, Namamukweny valley among others.
Nature walk, this is where the visitors move out of the car, explore the vegetation, scenery, cool breeze while on foot with an armed game ranger. Nature walk can be done in different destinations such as Lomej mountains, Namamukweny valley, mount Morungule among others and you will be able to view animals like elephants, zebras, giraffes, monkeys, baboons, warthogs, reedbucks in the open savannah and bird species like Kori bustard, little bee-eater, ostrich, yellow barbet, broad tailed warbler among others.
You can either choose to use road transport which is can be filled with beautiful views when travelling to Kidepo valley national park or air transport means which is faster because all transport modes take you to the best national park in Uganda harboring unique and breathtaking wildlife species and thrilling activities that will give you extraordinary experiences on your safari.