Background of Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda
There still exists a true representation of ancient Africa in its old golden times, far east in Uganda’s border with South Sudan. Africa just like you imagine though not common in the 21st century only remained existent in this one Uganda safari destination-Kidepo. The word Kidepo comes from a Dodoth verb “akidep” meaning “to pick up” which can literally be described as telling you to come and pick up the true African savanna wilderness during your safari in Uganda.
In today’s Kidepo Valley national park, it was formerly occupied by the Dodoth pastoralist and IK farmers. The area was gazetted as a game reserve in 1958 during the British colonial government which decided to “leave this place alone.” This was purposely to protect the animals from hunting and prevent further clearing of the bush for tsetse fly control. The game reserve was later converted into a national park in 1962, the year Uganda gained her sovereignty. The first chief warden of the park was Ian Ross a Briton and later replaced by a Ugandan named Paul Ssali in 1972.
Location of Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda.
Kidepo Valley National Park described as Africa’s hidden gem by CNN is located in the district of Kaabong in North eastern Uganda between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya. The park is situated in the Karamoja region covering about 1,442sqkm (557sqmi) dominated by the 2,750m(9,020ft) mountain Morungole. From Uganda’s capital-Kampala, the park is about 705km with an estimate drive time of 12-hour, only those who safari Uganda to this wilderness can explain the uniqueness of this journey.
The Scenery and landscape of Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo area features a rugged savanna with red thorn acacias dominated by the 2,750m(9,020ft) mountain Morungole. This most isolated park in Uganda has an altitude ranging between 914m – 2,750m above sea level transected by the seasonal Kidepo and Narus rivers. The open savanna terrain makes the Narus valley the parks best viewing position.
Communities that occupy Kidepo
The communities that occupy the areas within the park include the Karamojong people similar to the Masai in Kenya. Kidepo National Park is home to one the smallest ethnic groups in Africa, known as the Ik. They are believed to have wandered through much of East Africa’s region, and came from Ethiopia hundreds of years ago. The IK group is one you will meet on your hiking safari to Mountain Morungole. The IK are fighting to preserve their unique culture and language, which no rival tribes understand.
Why Kidepo Valley National Park is the best Uganda safari destination
CNN stated that;
“There’s a reason Uganda is known as the Pearl of Africa. It’s been a top tourist destination for a few years now because of its stunning scenery and wildlife.
One of its best treasures, however, remains hidden.
Off the beaten track, Kidepo National Park is nestled among the rugged hills and valleys of northern Uganda. It’s a place so hidden away its beauty has mostly gone unnoticed — until now.”
Kidepo is unique and it’s hard to find such a fine wilderness in Africa. Don’t miss the experience of a wilderness without commotion only during a Uganda tour.