Kidepo valley National park wildlife safari

Birding Safaris

Kidepo valley National park wildlife safari

Kidepo valley national park is one of the isolated protected areas located in north eastern Uganda in the remote Karamoja region in Kaabong district. The national park was gazetted in 1962 soon after Uganda got its independence and covers a total land area of 1442 square kilometers. Kidepo valley national park is known for its abundant wildlife including savannah grassland, about 76 wild animals with 28 animals endemic to only the park, over 465 bird species with 20 species endemic to only Kidepo national park.

Wildlife in Kidepo valley national park


The national park is a home of over 80 mammal species including the big four mammals which are the lions, leopards, buffaloes and elephants. Among the mammal species there are 28 species that are not found anywhere in Uganda except Kidepo valley national park including the mountain reedbuck, greater and lesser kudu, aardwolf, cheetah, caracal, greater eland, Gunther’s Dik-Dik, stripped hyenas, carnivores , Kidepo valley national park has carnivores that are only viewed in the park and not found in any part in Uganda such as the hunting dog, bat eared fox, predators, the park has predator animals like lions, leopards, black backed jackal, side striped jackal, bat eared fox, white tailed mongoose among others and they can easily be seen at night during the night game drive. There are other animals in the park like the zebras, giraffes, 12 antelope species such as eland, klipspringer, oribi, Jackson’s hartebeest, waterbucks, bushbucks, Uganda kobs primates such as the patas monkeys, Kavirondo bush baby among others.

kidepo valley national park mamals

Bird species    

Kidepo valley national park is a home of over 465 bird species with about 20 species endemic to Karamoja region which makes it the second best birding destination in Uganda after Queen Elizabeth national park. bird species in the park include ostrich, Karamoja Apalis, red throated bee-eater, pygmy falcon, verreaux’s eagle, Abyssinian ground hornbill, secretary bird, yellow necked spur fowl, Ethiopian swallow, white bellied bustard, pygmy falcon, African swallow tailed kite, black headed plover, superb starling, clappertons francolin, fox kestrel, red winged lark, African grey flycatcher, long tailed nightjar, red pate cisticola, yellow billed shrike, chestnut sparrow, red and yellow barbet among others.


Activities to do on your wildlife safari in Kidepo valley national park 

Game drive, this is one of the most popular activities done in Kidepo valley national park, game drive in the park is done early in the morning or in the evening in a safari vehicle in different areas like Narus valley and Kidepo valley area. The Narus valley is a permanent water body in the park which attracts a large number of wild animals which come to drink water during the dry season and Kidepo valley is also composed of Kidepo River which is a seasonal river that dries up completely during the dry season and floods during the rainy season. Kidepo also has a number of wild animals though mostly seen during the wet/ rainy season. Both areas are good for game drives in that they provide great views for wild animals such as giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, lions, leopards, Uganda kobs among others.

Night game drive, Kidepo valley national park is one of the national parks that offer night game drive. The nocturnal game drive is done at night with spotlight torches for clear viewing and a park ranger who will help you to spot the nocturnal animals. On your night game drive you will view nocturnal animals like lions, leopards, hyenas among others.

Birding, Kidepo valley national park is a home of over 465 bird species hence known as a birders paradise for bird viewing. Birding is either done early in the morning or late in the afternoon at the edges of Namamukwenyi and Narus valley, Apoka Rest Camp among others. during birding you will be able to view bird species like purple heron, super staling, pygmy falcon, Abyssinian roller, Egyptian vulture, clappertons francolin, Abyssinian ground hornbill, verreaux’s eagle, red and yellow barbet, dark chanting goshawk, ostrich, little bee-eater, Kori bustard, scarlet chested sunbird, little weaver, Jackson’s hornbill, red fronted barbet, African grey flycatcher, yellow billed shrike, singing bush lark, white bellied go-away bird among others.

Nature walk/hiking, nature walk is a thrilling activity where visitors walk on foot around the national park as they explore beautiful scenery, wildlife, and feel cool breath. There are different areas for nature walk such as Lomej Mountains, Narus valley, Kidepo valley, Namamukweny valley, Morungole Mountain where you will visit the IK people among others. during the nature walk you will view different tree species,  plants, bird species hoopoe Nubian woodpecker, superb starling, vinaceous dove, yellow billed shrike, walk meters away from wild animals such as zebras, warthogs, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, giraffes, Uganda kobs among others. Nature walk relieves you from stress as you breathe fresh air in a quiet and relaxed environment.

nature walk
nature walk

Best time for wildlife safari in Kidepo valley national park

Wildlife safari in the park can be done all year round though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February.  During the dry season Kidepo valley national park receives less rainfall therefore access roads to the park will be passable, there will be short vegetation which gives you clear views of wild animals and the seasonal water bodies like Kidepo river will be dry therefore large concentration of animals will gather around Narus valley which is a permanent water body to drink water which gives you great views for photos.

Where to stay on your wildlife safari in Kidepo valley national park

The park has a few number of up-market, midrange and budget accommodation where visitors on a safari can stay on their wildlife safari including Apoka Safari Lodge, Nga’moru Wilderness Camp, Apoka Rest Camp, Kidepo Savannah Lodge, Adere Safari Lodge among others. the lodges in the park offer quality services and facilities such as comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, restaurant which serves local and international dishes, laundry services, swimming pool, siting lounge for relaxation, spa, fireplace, bar, laundry services and also offer views of the park, wild animals, birds among others.

How to get to Kidepo valley national park

Air transport, when using air transport you can book a flight using domestic airlines such as Aerolink Uganda which operate scheduled and chartered flights from Entebbe/ Kajjansi airfield to Kidepo airstrip on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and the flight takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Air transport is fast and favors visitors who don’t like moving long distance journeys.

Road transport, when using road transport there are different routes to use such as the route from Kampala via Karuma, Lira Kotido, Kaabong and then to the park headquarters which takes about 12 hours’ drive.

Route from Kampala via Karuma, Gulu, Kitgum, Kaabong and then to the park taking about 10 hours’ drive.

Route from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then to the park taking about 13 hours’ drive

Route from Kampala via Mbale, Sironko, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong to the park which takes about 12 hours drive.  Though road transport is long it offers beautiful scenery, landscape, local people and markets on the roadsides, rhino tracking at Ziwa rhino sanctuary among others.

Kidepo valley national park is the best destination to visit for wildlife safari in that it has abundant wildlife species to offer with some wildlife species not found anywhere in Uganda such as the cheetah, aardwolf, caracal, mountain reedbuck, Gunther’s Dik-Dik, greater and lesser kudu, endemic birds like Kori bustard, Ostrich, greater kestrel, pygmy falcon, fox kestrel, Karamoja Apalis among others.