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Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is a 1,442 square kilometres national park in the Karamoja region in northeast Uganda. Kidepo is rugged savannah, dominated by the 2,750 metres Mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo and Narus rivers.

Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated national park, but the few who make the long journey north through the wild frontier region of Karamoja would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses.

From Apoka, in the heart of the park, a savannah landscape extends far beyond the gazetted area, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.

The best way to get to Kidepo Valley NP is by a scheduled or chartered flight. It is also possible to drive to Kidepo. There are several routes. The most direct route, through Gulu to Lokumoit Gate, takes about 10 hours.

The trip can be broken up with an overnight stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Chobe Safari Lodge, Gulu or Kitgum. Two longer routes pass through the remote Karamoja sub region, arriving at Nataba Gate.

Karamoja was subject to banditry in the past but it has been considered safe for several years and is a growing center of community-based tourism focused on the small town of Moroto.

The best time to see wildlife in Kidepo Valley NP is during the Dry season (September to March). Kidepo is however located in a semi-arid region and can be visited throughout the year.

The Wet season months (April to August) are pleasantly less hot and bring beautiful scenery. Bird watching is at its best at this time as well.

What to do in Kidepo

Safari game drives. They take place either in the morning, afternoon or evening. Game drives are guided and can be done from a 4 x 4 WD safari vehicle or a traveler can opt for a guided walking safari, with an armed ranger guide from Uganda Wildlife Authority. Game drives are the main activities that entice tourists to come on Uganda safaris. Animals seen on game drives in Kidepo include lions, elephants, buffalo, zebras, jackals, warthogs and different types of antelopes.

Birding watching is also popular of the most top activities to do in Kidepo Valley National park. The park is home to about 475 bird species and more are still being discovered by tourists who come for bird watching in this beautiful park. Visitors who come on our safaris for bird watching in Kiedpo Valley National park will see the superb sterling, Ostrich, Abyssinian Roller, Purple Heron, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, and Clapperton’s Francolin which is only found here.

Cultural activities

The park is surrounded by local communities of the Karamajong and IK people. So travelers to this wilderness national park can include a cultural tour on the top activities to do in Kidepo Valley National Park. The Karamajong and IK are similar to the Masai of Kenya and a cultural tour to these people will help you discover the unique culture of this remote tribe with the Lorukul Cultural Group.

Hiking and nature walks are also top activities to do in Kidepo Valley National park. The hikes and walks will take you to the Lomej Mountains which can be reached on foot. The hike takes four hours and starts at 7am. There are shorter guided walks that take about two hours, be taken through the Narus Valley extending over a 5km radius from Apoka Tourism Centre.

Where to Stay in Kidepo

Kidepo savannah lodge is located in the less visited Kidepo Valley National park in Uganda. The lodge is perfect for visitors who come for a wildlife safari in Kidepo Valley National park. It is a stone throw away from the park’s main gate and this makes it very convenient for travelers that stay at Kidepo Safari Lodge to carry out their safari activities.

Kidepo Savannah Lodge boasts twelve beautifully appointed safari tents on raised decks. Each of the spacious tents have a private verandah offering splendid views of the mighty savannah. Comfortably furnished with 1 double or 2 single beds, all safari tents have an ensuite bathroom with 24 hours hot showers, running water for hand-basins and a flushing toilet.

Apoka safari lodge

The rooms at Apoka have been built with comfort in mind. Everything is handmade by local craftsmen, everything is large and capacious. 10 expansive rooms with natural canvas walls surround a rocky kopje with endless views across the savannah. With inside sitting rooms and private verandas there are plenty of places to relax, read and sprawl.  Big hand-hewn beds with soft duvets are draped with mosquito nets, hand-woven woolen carpets, extra-large plush towels, over-sized dressing gowns…you may be as far away from the city as you’ll ever be, but you won’t miss a thing. Step outside to a sheltered terrace and slip into your own outdoor stone bathtub, big enough to fit the whole family.

The swimming pool at Apoka Lodge – deep and cool – has been carved out of the big rock. This is the kind of pool that makes you want to jump in, splashing and yelling, feeling like a kid again.

Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp

Nga Moru which also means “a place of rocks” is also a mid-range lodge in Kidepo valley national park positioned close outside the park boundary. Situated on a hill with wonderful views of the impressive Narus valley as well as the savannah plains extending up to the towering Morungole Mountains. Most ideal places for you to explore while at Nga’ moru wilderness camp include Narus valley, or a native Karamoja manyatta.  The facility is a mid-range offering a number of rooms as well as tented facilities are available in a good ambiance. There cabanas are 2 each with private unique and exclusive view of the stunning Kidepo.

Apoka Rest Camp is a budget safari accommodation buried in the hearts of Kidepo National Park at the park headquarter run and managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Apoka Rest Camp has sixteen chalets which are all self-contained with good looking beds and covered with mosquito nets. The rooms however are made and designed in African style of architecture with good fresh air although they do not have the air conditioner provided within them.

Staying here needs more planning, you need to set what you will carry like food and drinks in advance so as to sustain your entire stay at the park. The Apoka Rest Camp has fourteen bandas which has two beds suited inside however the rooms are not self-contained.

Apoka Rest Camp has a large and clear compound which is greatly used for camping. If you’re interested in camping, you can secure yourself a camping ground, however you carry your own camping gears since the lodge only provide for you’re a camping ground.