Aerolink, the esteemed aviation company, orchestrates both scheduled and private charter flights to the remarkable Kidepo Valley National Park, situated to the east of Uganda’s capital, Kampala. This region, known as the land of the Karamojong and the IK tribe, shares its borders with Kenya’s Turkana and South Sudan’s Kidepo Wildlife Reserve. Renowned as one of Africa’s premier safari destinations, Kidepo National Park captivates with its awe-inspiring landscapes, abundant wildlife, and the harmonious coexistence of diverse ecosystems, from the arid mountain forests to the sprawling savannah and hilltops adorned with iconic rock kopjes. Nestled within the rugged, semi-arid valleys, Kidepo National Park lies between Uganda’s borders with South Sudan and Kenya, offering an authentic African wilderness experience.
Kidepo Valley National Park, nestled in the northeastern part of Uganda within the Karamoja region in Kaabong district, is a true gem of East Africa. Bordered by South Sudan to the northwest and Kenya to the northeast, this park covers a sprawling 461.8 square kilometers, approximately an 8-9-hour drive from Uganda’s capital, Kampala.
Kidepo Valley National Park boasts East Africa’s most pristine wilderness, characterized by both dry and hot seasons. Its remarkable biodiversity includes a multitude of mammal species, a dazzling array of bird species, including the endemic Common Ostrich, as well as butterflies and a captivating variety of animals, such as Zebras, Hyenas, Cheetahs, Lions, Giraffes, and various species of antelopes. The park’s landscape showcases the wilderness’s majesty, with its towering 2750-meter Mount Morungole and the great Narus River that meanders through open savannah and hilltops adorned with rock kopjes.
This national park has a rich history intertwined with the Karamojong community, often referred to as the “wild west of Uganda.” These warrior-nomads once inhabited the land and engaged in cattle raiding. The British Administrators of Uganda eventually persuaded them to vacate the area, designating half of the land for wilderness conservation, thus giving rise to Kidepo Valley National Park.
Over the past few years, Kidepo Valley National Park has welcomed over 2000-3000 visitors annually. Renowned for its incredible wildlife, the park also offers rich cultural experiences courtesy of the Karamoja people residing near the park. Tourists gain valuable insights into authentic African culture and its close ties to the Masai people of Kenya. Visitors can also relish the opportunity to explore new rock paintings near Moroto town.
Kidepo Valley, a mountainous terrain, is encircled by the Ike people, one of Uganda’s smallest ethnic groups, residing in the Morungole mountains. Adventurous tourists can partake in guided hikes and climbs, scaling the heights to witness breathtaking scenery. The Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers, armed for your safety and protection, accompany these treks.
Managed under the vigilant protection of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Kidepo Valley National Park continues to thrive as a game reserve and a bird conservation haven, playing a pivotal role in Uganda’s tourism landscape.
Embark on a captivating game drive along Narus Valley, exploring the park’s wildlife-rich expanse. Encounter iconic African wildlife, including Lions, Buffalos, Leopards, Cheetahs, Elands, Giraffes, Jackson Hartebeests, Oribs, Zebras, and a diverse array of other captivating species.
Set out on a morning mountain hike, an early adventure that leads you to the summit of Mount Morungole. Connect with neighboring ethnic tribes and delve into the cultural tapestry of the region.
Discover the unique lifestyle of the Karamoja people on a community walk. Learn about their culture, traditional attire, dances, and tools. Immerse yourself in the world of Karamoja, traditionally cattle raiders and hunters who offer fascinating insights into their way of life.
Indulge in a leisurely nature walk around Apoka Safari Lodge, where you can spot various animals like Reedbucks and Bush Duskier. At the eastern horizon, you’ll find wildlife up close, often within 50-70 meters. Nature enthusiasts can also explore the hills for a different perspective of the Narus Valley’s lower side.
Kidepo Valley National Park offers a range of accommodation options, catering to various budgets. Choose from renowned establishments like Apoka Safari Lodge, Buffalo Base Kidepo, Ngamoru Wilderness Camp, and Uganda Wildlife Authority Bandas. Your selection depends on your preferences and budget.
To reach Kidepo Valley National Park swiftly, you can take a flight from Entebbe International Airport to Lomej Airstrip, conveniently located near the Apoka Tourism Center headquarters. This flight takes approximately two hours, offering a direct route to the national park.
Kidepo Valley National Park welcomes visitors in the months of January, March, June, August, September, and December. These periods provide an ideal climate for exploration and wildlife encounters.