Attractions in Kidepo Valley National Park
Attractions in Kidepo Valley National Park. Kidepo Valley National Park is open all year through although routes in the park are more difficult during the rainy season. From June to Sept, the rain is more prevalent, temperatures are still warm and storms rarely last more than an hour. However it is always advisable to use 4×4 vehicles while in the park or when traveling to Kidepo valley national park.
Game viewing is what mostly brings visitors to this park, viewing herds of different game while driving in vehicles on dirt roads. This mostly takes place in the southern and western parts of the park. A few improved murram roads have been established to easily make your way smooth no matter the weather.
Attractions in Kidepo Valley National Park
Narus Valley is a rolling, grassland plain enclosed by distant mountains. The valley has permanent water, and for much of the year the park’s wildlife congregates here. Thus, the area is well provided with game tracks, with four loop circuits exploring the valley around Apoka. Many creatures such as lions, Jackson’s hartebeest, buffaloes, giraffes, Oribis and reedbucks are residents in the valley.
Less commonly seen are cheetahs and leopards. The Narus dam and the water hole near the Tourism Centre are perfect observation points for game, especially during the dry season. At the southern end of the Katurum loop, Katurum kopje (the site of a derelict lodge) is an attractive destination with superb views north across the valley towards the Morungule mountain range.
Kidepo Valley and Kanangorok Hot Springs
For most of the year, a lack of surface water means that little wildlife is found in Kidepo Valley National Park, though it is still worth the drive to visit the dry Kidepo River to stroll along its 50m wide bed of white sand between banks covered with borassus palms. Kidepo means to pick from below and the valley was visited by people coming to gather fallen borassus fruit for fermenting to make palm beer. The Kanangorok Hot Springs lie 11km beyond the Kidepo River on the Sudan border. This is a glorious place to sit and view the mountains beyond the frontier.
Mount Morungole stands at 2,750m and is crossed by the Kidepo and Narus Rivers that nourish the park’s wildlife and this natural habitat as a whole. The Morungole Range marks the southern boundary of the park and rises from the plains a few kilometers northeast of Apoka. Guests can visit this region on foot with a ranger guide who will guide you through the land. The mountain slopes are home to the IK people, the smallest ethnic group in Uganda, with their own unique culture.
Namamukweny is a Napore word meaning a place with no birds or a lonely place with few people – though regarding the birds, quite the opposite is true! The valley is a habitat for a large number of bird species such as the Eastern Paradise Whydah, White-crested Turaco, Common Bulbul, Abyssinian Roller and Green Wood Hoopoe among others. Namamukweny Valley lies in the north-west of the park and guests can access it by car or on foot.
The Lomej Hills are a short drive from the headquarters. They are a good viewing point for birds and wildlife, including the mountain reedbuck.
Lying between Kitgum and the Sudan border, a montane forest largely covers most of Lonyili Mountain. It is a home to primates such as colobus monkeys which guests can see on their visit there. Due to poor conditions in this area, the road is currently out of use and you need to opt for another route. However there are plans to repair it and be accessible by all .
Apoka Tourism Center/ Camp
Overlooking the game-rich Narus Valley and home to an upmarket lodge and simple UWA-run cottages, Apoka is the park’s tourism hub where ranger guides stay and set off to escort tourists on game drives and nature walks. For those without their own transport, they can hire park trucks to transport them.
There is a small shop with mineral water, sodas and alcoholic beverages where guests can get them from. Food is also at the camp on request, and cooking gas plus utensils are there for hire by individuals who wish to cook for themselves.
Within and around the park is really scarce and the few lodges range from luxury, mid range and budget options. These accommodation options include:
- Apoka safari lodge
- Adere safari lodge
- Kidepo savannah lodge
- Nga Moru Wilderness Camp
- Zebra safari lodge and,
- Apoka Rest Camp under the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority and it is direct at the park headquarters.
The best way to enjoy a safari to Kidepo valley national park is going through a tour operator/Company. Note that you can book your activities with Pamoja tours and travel for a complete or customized trip to the park.
Reaching Kidepo valley national park
By road, it is approximately 12 hours’ drive from Kampala. Regular scheduled flights by Aero Link take about 2 hours and fly into Kidepo from Entebbe airport.
On addition to road, charters are also available for fly-in safaris or short stay travelers. Therefore there can be arrangements on booking with flight operators or through a tour operator. Book with us