Kidepo Valley National Park

Category: Attractions, National Game Parks & Reserves
Location: Moroto, Kotido
Animals: Monkeys, Striped Hyena, Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs
Activities: Game Drives, Nature walks, Birding, etc
Main Attraction: Cultural visits to Karamajong settlements (Manyattas)
Entrance: East African Citizens: Ush10,000(Adults), Ush5,000(Children). Foreign Residents in E.Africa US$25(Adults), US$10(children). Foreign non-residents US$35(Adults), US$20(Children). School children in groups Ush2,500(E.Africa Residents) Entrance permit is valid for 24 hours from time of entrance

In the far northeast, north of Mount Elgon, Kidepo Valley National Park is Uganda’s second biggest National Park yet undiscovered by the mass safari market. The Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda’s most popular parks. Covering an amazing 1,442 square kilometers, the park has unique scenery that is not common in all other parks of the region.

The park is well stocked with a variety of animal species, including many which are found nowhere else in Uganda, these include; elephants, buffaloes, elands, zebras, cheetahs, Rothschild’s giraffes, Defassa waterbucks, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, gazelles and black rhinos. The predator list includes; Nile crocodiles in the Narus River, lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and bat-eared foxes.
The provides refuge to a long list of dry-country species not found elsewhere in the country.’It doesn’t get more remote than this’ is the draw card for Kidepos’ unsurpassed scenery.

There also is an extremely diverse flora which can best be described as open tree Savannah and it varies much in structure and composition.

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.

SIZE: 1,442 sq km


On the Sudanese border in the northeast


At the Park itself is the upmarket Apoka safari Lodge and N’gamoru Wilderness Camp just outside the park. There are also bandas and two ‘Do it yourself’ campsites run by Uganda Wildlife Authority. You must bring your tent and other camping equipment and food on ‘Do It Yourself’ basis.

Getting There:

Road Transport:
It is 792Km on the Kampala-Mbale- Soroti- Kidepo route.

Air Transport:
There is an airstrip at Lomej within the park. Game Viewing:

What to See

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, and cheetah and hunting dog. Less common ungulates include the greater and lesser kudu, Chandlers Mountain Reedbuck, Klipspringer, Dikdik And Bright Gazelle. Among Other Large Ungulates Are Elephant, Burchell’s Zebra, Bush Pig, Warthog, Rothschild Giraffe, Cape Buffalo, Eland, Bushbuck, Bush Duikier, Waterbuck Defasa, Bohors Reedbuck, 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. There are high chances of viewing tree-climbing lions that always sits on sausage trees along Narus valley or on kophes along the kakine and Katarum circuits.
  • Other wildlife include Elephants, Leopard, Bush Duiker, Jackal, Bush Buck, Bush Pig, Kavirondo Bush Baby, Buffalo usually seen right from the veranda of your cottage.
  • The 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.

Top Things to Do

Game Viewing is the most popular activity that visitors cannot miss in Kidepo Valley National Park.

Hiking can be carried out on Morungole 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 Ostriches toward the Sudan border.

Other activities include cultural performances visits to the little know tribe of the Ik,Karimajong manyattas (homesteads) costume, stools, spears headdress, knives, bows and arrows.

Getting there

Driving is more rewarding as vast parts of Karamoja are scenic and total wilderness. However road conditions are sometimes 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.

Kampala-Lira-Kotido-Kidepo-705 km
Kampala-Mbale-Soroti-Moroto-Kidepo-792 km
Kampala-Mbale-Sironko-Kotido-Kideop-740 km
Kampala-Soroti -Kotido via Amuria 656 km

Air Transport
Chartered aircraft are available from Entebbe International Airport and Kajjansi Airfield to the Park Headquarters. The Civil Aviation Authority manages an airstrip at Lomej about 3 km south of the Park Headquarters.

Where to stay

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.