If you are considering a visit to one of Uganda‘s premier wildlife destinations, you may be wondering about the cost of a trip to Kidepo Valley National Park. At Trek Africa Expeditions, we can help you plan a customized package that meets both your budget and expectations with the assistance of our expert safari consultants. The cost of the safari includes transportation, accommodation, and activity fees as you spend time in Kidepo Valley National Park.
Kidepo Valley National Park is situated in the far northeastern region of Uganda, bordering South Sudan and Kenya. The park covers an area of 1442 square kilometers, which is predominantly savannah grassland with views of Mount Molongore, Narus Valley, and the seasonal Kidepo Valley river. Despite its beauty, the park has remained relatively unexplored due to its distance from the main airports and cities of Entebbe and Kampala. However, with the recent availability of flights to the park, it is becoming more accessible and attracting more visitors.
Kidepo Valley National Park was designated as a national park in 1958 in an effort to combat poaching and tsetse fly control. This caused displacement for the communities living in the area, many of whom faced famine and had to relocate to neighboring areas in Kenya and Sudan or to designated communities. The Ik and Karamajong were among the affected communities. Despite these challenges, the park has flourished and is now home to over 80 mammal species, 28 of which are indigenous to the region, as well as over 450 bird species. This makes it a prime destination for safari enthusiasts of all interests.
To visit Kidepo Valley National Park, you will need to pay a daily entrance fee. The cost of this fee depends on your residence status. For foreign nonresidents, the fee is $40 per day. For foreign residents, the fee is $30 per day. For East African citizens, the fee is UGX 20,000 per day. These fees are paid to the Uganda Wildlife Authority and allow you access to the park for any activities you would like to do, or simply to stay in the park. In addition to the entrance fee, you will also need to pay a vehicle entry fee of UGX 45,000.
Guided game drives in Kidepo Valley National Park are a must-do activity for any visitor. The park is home to over 80 species of mammals, including 28 species found only in the Karamoja region. With a flat terrain, sighting wildlife is made easier. Game drives can be done at any time of day, whether it be morning, evening, or even at night to spot nocturnal species. During a game drive, you may see lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, Uganda kobs, oribis, kudus, buffalos, oryx, elephants, giraffes, striped hyenas, reedbucks, waterbucks, duikers, and crocodiles, among other animals. Game drives are conducted in both the Narus Valley and the Kidepo Valley. It is recommended to spend multiple days in the park to increase your chances of seeing a variety of animals. Guided game drives cost $20 per vehicle, while night game drives cost $30 per vehicle.
Cultural encounters in Kidepo Valley National Park are a unique and enriching experience. For a fee of $80 per person, you can visit the indigenous Karamojong communities and learn about their way of life as nomadic herdsmen. The Karamojong pride themselves on their large herds of cattle, which they use to symbolize wealth and prestige in the community. Cattle are also used in customary ceremonies, such as in the payment of bride price. During a cultural encounter in Kidepo, you will have the opportunity to experience the culture and way of life of Uganda’s Karamojong people. The fee for this experience goes towards providing clean water for the community through the construction of boreholes, as water is a scarce resource in the semi-arid region. Don’t miss this chance to get an authentic and immersive cultural experience.
The Ik people are an indigenous group located in the north of Kidepo Valley National Park. They used to occupy the Mount Molongore range before being relocated when the park was designated a national heritage site by UNESCO. There are only a few thousand Ik people left, and their culture is endangered. They traditionally lived as hunters, fruit gatherers, and beekeepers. In Ik society, there is a high incidence of teenage marriages, and a person’s ability to provide for their family is important in finding a marriage partner. The Ik people live in polygamous families and view children as a blessing from God. Despite their poverty, visitors are encouraged to bring gifts and presents to support the community and hire an indigenous guide to take them on a tour of the community. If you are planning to visit the Ik people, consider supporting them in this way.
A visit to the stunning Kanangorok Hot Springs is a budget-friendly activity you can enjoy in Kidepo Valley National Park. The local African community has attached various meanings and values to the hot springs, making it a cultural experience worth having. The cost for a local guide at the attraction is $30. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of the hot springs.
There are various accommodation options available in Kidepo Valley National Park, located within an hour’s drive from the airstrip. These options cater to all budgets, from luxury to budget. If you are looking for a luxury option, the Apoka Safari Lodge is a great choice. It is the best lodge in the park, offering excellent service and value for money. Prices range from $470 to $1040 per person per night. For mid-range options, you can consider the Kidepo Savannah Lodge, Nga Moru Wilderness Camp, or Adere Safari Lodge, which range from $150 per person per night. Budget travelers can stay at the Apoka Uwa Bandas. The cost of your safari to Kidepo Valley National Park will depend on the type of accommodation you choose and the number of nights you stay.
Transportation costs are an important factor to consider when planning a trip to Kidepo National Park. These costs include guides’ allowance per day, vehicle hire per day, and fuel for the entire trip. Kidepo Valley National Park can be reached by road from Kampala/Entebbe, which is about a 9-10 hour drive. It is recommended to break up this journey with an overnight stay in Gulu. The drive from Kampala/Entebbe can start from the airport/hotel and include stops for lunch and photography. The journey is enjoyable and there are many sights to see along the way. A tip for anyone booking a tour to Kidepo Valley National Park is to consider using a 4×4 Land Cruiser for the trip, due to the terrain of the park. The Land Cruiser hire costs between $150 and $250 per day.
Another option for reaching Kidepo Valley National Park is by air. Flights depart daily from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip and take about 2 hours to reach Apoka Airstrip. Aero Link Uganda and other flight companies offer scheduled flights, and charter flights are also available. Only 4 people are allowed to fly with Aero Link on specific days to Kidepo. The flight fee is $412 per adult one way. Contact us to customize your package to Kidepo National Park based on your budget and desired experiences.
Trek Africa Expeditions specializes in organizing safaris to Kidepo Valley National Park, as well as customized Uganda safari packages that include a variety of activities. Our team is made up of both young, energetic staff and experienced, mature managers and directors who are passionate about their work and providing authentic experiences. We have a high rating on Trip Advisor, with many positive reviews from travelers who have taken trips with us. Contact us to learn more about the cost of visiting Kidepo National Park and to book your safari with us.