Kidepo Valley National Park/ the True African Wildness
The guide to Kidepo valley National Park that can definitely bring you close to what the Africa intact resembles. The question may posse, is Africa compared to backwardness? Then the answer (o). In Uganda, locally there is a narration saying “we shall not wait for Karamajongs to develop”. As the park is located in the region which is considered to be so backwards defying the globalization trends.
Kidepo Valley National Park is located at the far end of North eastern Uganda bordering South Sudan and Kenya. The region is an authentic destination right from people to even what nature can offer, and some author’s refers the park as the ‘’lost Eden’’. In ratings, the park is considered to be Africa’s most remote park to reach considering the distance to drive as well the road conditions available as well the remote views.
The park is located in relatively raised altitudes of 914mm to 2,750mm above sea level. It’s the 3rd Uganda largest park solid on 1442sq/km, characterized by mainly plateaus, and overlooked raised land peaks. Majorly, the northern region experiences the semi-arid climatic conditions which characterize the region the open savannah wood.
The Historical Background of Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley is the 4th largest conservation area and the 3rd largest National Park in Uganda. The name Kidepo originates from a Doroth verb “Akidep” meaning ‘to pick up’, meanwhile the park was settled by the Dodoth pastoralists. The park was established in 1958 as a game reserve by the British Colonial Government to protect the animals from hunting and preventing the clearing the Bush for tsetse fly control.
The year of Uganda’s attaining of sovereignty, Kidepo Valley National Park developed to a National Park in 1962. As a result of reservation famine calamity struck especially amidst the Ik due to failure to account for the community interests when designing the reserve management plane. Where the Ik almost kissed the edge extinction not until 2000s when activists advocated for the minority ethnics in Uganda.
Today, Kidepo Valley National Park has scored a number of traveling honors and recognitions, in 2016 featured on the CNN list of top 10 best Africa safari parks. 2013, 2017 and 2021was nominated among the Africa leading National Parks. In 2019 CNN rated Kidepo Valley National Parks to be Africa’s most remote park. Earlier in 2019, safari booking one of Africa’s largest online marketing ranked Kidepo valley national park 11th among the 50 best African national parks.
Fauna and Flora of Kidep Valley National Park
The park is made up of two valley systems of Narus River and the Kidepo vally. The two valleys retain water during the long dry seasons attracting a great concentration of wildlife at the permanent Narusi swamp and Kidepo valley. The Narus swamp is located on the southern wind and hosts the parks information center at Apoka. As well the Kidepo valley section extends northwards of kanangorok hot springs with permanent water source at the neighboring south Sudan.
The Kidepo Valley National Park suggest the finest eye overview (landscape view) among all the other protected areas in Uganda. The two valleys stand to attract a variety of flora and fauna in the large open plains savannah. By 1960 giraffes dominated the sight which is not the case today where Buffalos, zebras, and several antelope species dominate the catch.
This park shelters roughly a high numbers of wild games including tower of giraffes, herds of bushbuck, Uganda kobs, oribe, zebras, warthogs, water bucks bush buck, Kudus, fox, hyena, aardwolf, Jackals, Jackson heart beast, eland, dik dik, ostrich, cheater, civet, hunting dog and very many great encounters. The park also shelter numbers of wildlife species.
Accessing Kidepo Valley National Park
This park can be accessed through two routes Kampala Soroti/Moroto through the scenery of Karamoja wildness and through this route can decide to have your camping overnight at one of the Manyattas if Uganda Moroto route via Matheniko and Piena Upe game reserves. The shorter route from Kampala is through Kitgum via Gulu about 9/10 hours.
Things to Kidepo valley national park?
At the two valleys of Narus Valley and the Kidepo Valley are spots for sighting a great number of wildlife. Narus valley is the top target for wildlife game drive noted for higher concentration of wildlife around the Narus swamp. The major adventure is the game drive adventure proposing higher chances to watch the big four games including elephants, buffalos, lions and leopards. Here lions can be sighted lazing in rocky outcrops and climbing the branches of fig trees, or evening encountering the pride of predators relishing their prey.
There larger herds of antelope species including Jackson’s heartbeasts, bushbucks, oribi, Uganda kobs among other, several zebras and giraffes, warthogs, wild dogs, among many other wild encounters can be spotted along your game drive.
As well can also do a game drive to kidepo valley northern of the park along the Kanangorok hot spring, watching ostrich and many other sights. Also with own safari vehicle a night game drive can be done at an extra cost of USD $40, the night game drive can present predators actively hunting.
On request with an armed ranger guide, taking a nature walk is perfect for bird watching experiences, these guided walks takes you closer to nature than when seated in your 4WD tourist vehicle. The best option to venture the nature while accompanied by an armed game ranger, is the best option to watch several bird species, wildlife and can led to communities for cultural experiences
Though the wider open landscape view, the region is accompanied by a number of mountainous landscapes which suggest climbing options. The most exciting and most challenging hiking trail is climbing mountain Morungole which to the communities of the Ik people. The hiking activity really will need a certain level of fitness has have to walk for over 12km to and from where you vehicle can’t continue any far.
Kidepo valley national park is another well-endowed with bird species after Queen Elizabeth national park. With over 500 bird species the park bargain for spectacular birding adventures to bird enthusiasts which is done especially around Narus swamp. Bird to encounter at Kidepo valley national park include; Carmine, secretary bird, ostrich especially in the Kidepo valley, Kori bustard, Abyssinian ground hornbill, yellow billed hornbill, Karamoja apalis, black breasted barbet, silver shrike, Nubian woodpecker, Vivacious bird, Hoopoe, scarlet chested sun bird, white bellied go away bird, singing bush lark and little Weaver and the list continues.
Visit the Karamojong’s communities, it’s a great cultural encounter accompanied with traditional dances, tales and handmade crafts. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) organizes the cultural tours to surrounding communities to extend you adventure experiences when at Kidepo valley national park. There are options of cultural encounters which include visiting the Lurukul Karamajongs community on the southern wing of the park and the IK people one of the smallest ethnic group in the country, these are special people who speak Spanish like language and have continued to style in their own beats staying behind the scene of modern civilization.