the Sudanese border in the northeast
The Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda's most spectacular
parks. It is 1,442 square kilometres and harbours scenery unsurpassed
in any other park in East Africa. 'It could not be any better' is
a common comment on the scenery by visitors who often promise and
do come back to Kidepo. Tucked into the corner of Uganda's border
with Sudan and Kenya, the park offers breathtaking Savannah landscapes,
which end in rugged horizon. A huge latitudinal range and correspondingly
wide climatic conditions have evolved an extremely diverse flora.
As a result the variety of animal species in the park is equally
abundant including many which are found no where else in Uganda.
vegetation can best be described as open tree Savannah which varies
much in structure and composition. Mountain forest dominates some
of the high places, while areas along the Lorupei River support
dense Acacia geradi forest. The flora and fauna of the park are
more typical of Kenya than the rest of Uganda. The landscape throughout
the park is studded with small hills, rocky outcrops and inselbergs
from which one can obtain stunning views in all directions.
At the Park itself, there are 16 self-contained chalets at Apoka
Rest Camp. There is also a hostel comprising of 14 bandas each with
two beds; these bandas are not self contained. Both Apoka Lodge
and the Bandas are managed by the park. Make your reservations through
Uganda Wildlife Authority Headquarters in Kampala.
visitors who like camping, the park has two 'Do it yourself' campsites.
You must bring your tent and other camping equipment.
Neither the Rest Camp nor hostel stock food, visitors are therefore
advised to carry sufficient food and drinks for the duration of
their stay in the park. The Rest Camp staff can arrange for the
cooking. However other supplementary diet such as chicken and goat
meat can be arranged from the nearby community for visitors who
intend to stay longer.
Kampala-Soroti -Kotido via Amuria 656 km
is more rewarding as vast parts of Karamoja are scenic and total
wilderness. However road conditions are some times difficult and
4-wheel drive vehicles (4WD) are recommended. Visitors should note
that the road mainly in use from Kotido to Kaabong passes via Kanawauat.
Visitors intending to travel by road are advised to contact UWA
headquarters to seek advice about conditions and safety on the roads.
Chartered aircraft are available from Entebbe International Airport
to the Park Headquarters. The Civil Aviation Authority manages an
airstrip at Lomej about 3 km south of the Park Headquarters.
For your chartered flights please contact:
P.O Box 246000
The park harbours a great diversity of animal species than other
parks. Of the 80 species of mammals listed in 1971, 28 were not
known to occur in any other Ugandan park. Carnivore species unique
to Kidepo and Karamoja region include the bat-eared fox, striped
hyena, aardwolf, caracal, cheetah and hunting dog. Less common ungulates
include the greater and lesser kudu, Chandlers Mountain reedbuck,
klipspringer, dikdik and bright gazelle; beisa oryx and roan antelope
have been severely depleted by poachers in the recent years. Among
other large ungulates are elephant, burchell's zebra, bush pig,
warthog, rothschild giraffe, cape buffalo, eland, bush buck, bush
duskier, defassa water buck, bohor reed buck, jackson's hartbeest
and oribi. Five species of primate are found in the park of which
the Kavirondo bush baby is endemic. Carnivores present include lion,
leopard, several small cats, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal
and side-striped jackal. The easiest to see being the jackals.
are high chances of viewing tree climbing lions that always sits
on sauces trees along Narus valley or on rock just as you enter
the Apoka Park Headquarter. Other wildlife include elephants, leopard,
bush duiker, jackal, bush buck, bush pig, kavirondo bush baby, buffalo
and much more that are some times seen right from the veranda of
Apoka Rest Camp.
park boasts an extensive avifauna. 465 species have been recorded
(three new species were added to the list in 1995). Of particular
interest, the ostrich and the Kori bustard are principally associated
with arid regions.
park is outstanding for its birds of prey. Of 58 species recorded
14 are believed to be endemic to Kidepo and the Karamoja region.
These include Verreaux's eagle, Egyptian vulture and pygmy falcon.
Also of note are four species of hornbills. The redbilled, the yellow-billed
and Jackson's hornbill are peculiar to Kidepo, while the giant Abyssinaia
ground hornbill is quite common. There is however no comprehensive
survey in Kidepo and keen visitors stand a good chance of adding
to the current list.
and Scenery viewing
Hiking can be carried out on Lamoj Mountains just a few kilometers
from the Park Headquarters. Visitors can also go to view the splendid
Kidepo River Valley dominated by Borassus palm forest; its wide
flat bed is dry for most of the year. From Kidepo Valley, you may
also visit the Kanangorok Hot Springs, which are located only 11
km from Kidepo river valley.
mountain and Savannah landscape of the park is spectacular. The
Narus valley is situated in the South West of the park; the rugged
Napore-Nyagia mountain range forms its western boundary. Separating
it from the Kidepo Valley in the northeast, are the Natira and Lokayot
Hills. To the north in the Sudan are the Lotukei mountains and the
Morungole range marks the southern boundary of the park.
To add flavor to your visit to Kidepo River, take time and visit
the picnic site located on the sand and you won't also miss the
sound of palm leaves in constant motion in the wind.
The local community has a group of cultural entertainers who on
request are always available to perform. The performers have a large
menu for you, traditional dances such as the Emuya of the Naporre
and Nyangia, ethnic groups and Larakaraka and Apiti dances of the
Acholi are waiting for you. The money that this group earns is used
for uplifting their welfare.
If you are interested in increasing your knowledge on African culture,
visits to the Karimajong manyattas (homesteads) and probably kraals
to see traditional costume, stools, spears headdress, knives, bows
and arrows and jewelry can be arranged. Some of the above mentioned
items can be purchased from the park tourist office. It's advisable
that you make arrangements for the nature walk two days in advance.
This booking can be done from the park headquarters in Apoka or
from Uganda Wildlife Authority Headquarters in Kampala.
who choose to follow the Soroti-Moroto road will be enthralled by
the view of the steep volcano of Alekilek about midway Moroti and
Soroti. And for those who take the Lira-Kotido road will enjoy the
scenery of the Labwor hills and in particular the massive and bare
Alerek (Kidi Rwot) rock about 55 km to Kotido.