Kidepo Valley National Park is located in the Northeastern part of Uganda, one of the most remote regions of the country. Named as the “hidden gem of Africa” by CNN travel, the park is unique both in the wildlife and scenery. The Narus valley is surrounded by rock up-crops and stunning mountain peaks offering breathtaking views. Kidepo is home to rare wildlife species that are not found anywhere else in Uganda.
With up to 20 predator species, the park offers wildlife sightings. The rock up-crops are vantage points for the cats as they cool off or set out to hunt. Leopards and lions are usually seen on your morning and evening game drives. Cheetahs are usually seen on termite mounds as they look over the amazing savannah grasslands. Kidepo is famous its vast herds of buffalo. Elephants, eland, zebra, giraffes, oribi, Jackson’s hartebeest, Uganda kob, klipspringer and many more can be seen grazing on the savannah.
Best time for wildlife viewing
Kidepo Valley National Park is located in the semi-arid region of Karamoja. The Narus valley is one of the few watering holes in the dry seasons of November-February. All animals congregate to quench their thirst in the valley offering spectacular wildlife viewing. In the wet seasons, they disperse since there are plenty of watering holes around the park.
Birding in Kidepo.
Although an extensive study hasn’t been done on all the bird species in the park, over 470 bird species have been recorded. With 60 bird species not documented anywhere else in Uganda, the park is the perfect destination for birding in Uganda. Raptors are some of the highlights in Kidepo with 56 recorded species. The months of November to April, the park receives migratory birds.
Best time to visit the park
The dry season of September-March is the best time to visit Kidepo. The Narus valley in this season beams with wildlife as they come to quench their thirst. Due to the fact that Kidepo is located in the semi-arid region of Karamoja, the wet season of April-August still bring about beautiful scenery and cooler weather.
Climate and weather
Kidepo Valley National Park is in a semi-arid region of Uganda. Average day temperatures go as high as 40°C/104°F in the dry seasons. Droughts are not uncommon. Unlike other areas of Uganda, Kidepo experiences one wet season where day temperatures average 29°C/84°F in the day and 17°C/63°F in the night.
How to get there
The easiest way to Kidepo is by taking a chartered or scheduled flight from Kampala. However, the park can be accessed by road. With more than 2 routes to the park, the most direct route is through Gulu. This is a 10 hours scenic drive. This journey however can be broken down with night stops at Zziwa rhino sanctuary, Gulu or Kitgum.