KIDEPO VALLEY NATIONAL PARK UGANDA
Kidepo National Valley Park which is 1,442 square kilometers lies in the rugged semi-arid Karamoja province valleys and its 700km from Kampala. It was Gazetted as a national park in 1962, has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird species. It is one of Uganda’s prime most remote but spectacular national parks that harbors scenery unsurpassed in any other park in East Africa.
Most of the tourists that visit nature gifted park comment on the scenery and often promise and do come back to re-visit Kidepo, for according to them this tour can’t not be any better anywhere As a mysterious Uganda safari tour destination, located in Uganda’s border with Kenya and Sudan, The Park provides breathtaking savannah landscapes that end into horizon which are rugged. The park has a wide latitudinal range that caters off a wide range of climatic conditions that have favored vegetation which is diverse. As result this has facilitated the growth of a various animal species in the park that are equally abundant including many not found anywhere else in Uganda.
The northwestern boundary of the park runs along the international frontier with South Sudan and adjoins against the Kidepo Game Reserve. Since time memorial the Indigenous Karamajong farmers and Dodoth pastoralists were inhabitants of the area before it was gazetted as a game reserve by the British colonial government in 1958 with the aim of protecting animals from being killed. Park is one of those recommendable parks in Pearl of Africa- Uganda and most of the tourists who persist to travel on the land up to there have lived to wonder about this outstanding wilderness in Africa and Uganda in particular.
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The park consists of the two major valley systems of the Narus River valley and Kidepo Valley. The floors of the Valleys are estimated to lie between 3,000 feet (910 m) and 4,000 feet (1,200 m) Kanangarok (also spelled Kananorok or Kanatarok) is a tepid in the extreme north of the Park, beside the boundaries of South Sudanese. The spring happens to be the most outstanding source of water in Kidepo national park. The type of soil in the park is clayey like. At the park, black clay and sandy-clay loam are the most predominate, whereas the Narus Valley is composed of freer-draining red clays and loams. The park’s altitude ranges between 2,750m and 914m above sea level.
The park’s Habitat is described to be Semi-desert scrub, also an open thorn-bush, long and short-grass open tree savannas, Kigelia woodland, riparian woodland including Borassus thick wood-land which looks like “Miombo”, Montane forest and granite out-crops and during the dry season, the only outstanding source of water in the park is found mostly in swamps and remnant pools in the broad Valley of Narus which is near Apoka. These seasonal wetlands combined with the open savannah terrain to form the Narus Valley the park’s prime game viewing location.
Kidepo Valley National Park is best known for birding safaris in Uganda which is also called heaven for the birders. It boasts of a bird list of almost beyond 475 bird species and this makes it rated number two after Queen Elizabeth National Park. Amongst the list of dry, eastern ” specials” not found in any other Ugandan national park are some of East Africa’s rarest and most considered after birds, such as the Black-breasted Barbet, Apallis. .
Kidepo`s vegetation is an open tree Savannah grass land which varies much in structure and com-position. It is dominated by Mountain forests some of the places which are high, while areas along River called Lorupei which is densely covered by acacia like forests. The game and Vegetation of the park is more typical of Kenya than other parts of Uganda where the landscape throughout is studded with, rocky outcrops, inselbergs and small hills which is a combination that makes Kidepo a unique prime tourist destination.
The Park has proven a life time memory to great birders, internationally due to her unique -diverse list of birds it has to offer to visitors. The most interesting viewpoints are Apoka Rest Camp and park headquarters
The park harbors a great diversity of animal species compared to other parks. From the total of 80 species of mammals highlighted in 1971, twenty eight of them could not be found in other protected areas in Ugandan
Hiking is usually carried out a few kilometers from the Park Headquarters on Mountains Lamoji, The magnificent Kidepo river valley occupied by Borassus palm forest which can be viewed by interested visitors.
Murchison Falls National Park was established in 1952 and it is Uganda’s largest national park. Located in the north west of Uganda at the tip of the western rift valley also known as the Albertine rift, Murchison Falls National Park is in a distance of 311km about 5 hours’ surface drive from the city of Kampala. The national Park covers a surface landscape of 3,440km2 while the wider Murchison Conservation Area which embeds Karuma and Bugungu wildlife reserves combine to cover 5,308km2. . The Murchison Falls National Park is closer to Masindi town 85km about 2- 3 hours’ of surface drive. The Park is bisected by the River Nile which is the longest river in the world as it makes its way from Lake Victoria to Mediterranean Sea leaving a natural wonder famously known as Murchison falls which is the most powerful waterfall in the whole world. The feature derives its nomenclature after Sir Roderick Murchison who was the president of the Royal geographical society at the time of its discovery by Sir Samuel Baker. This feature is among the hotspots in Murchison National Park thus should not be missed while on safari in Uganda as it squeezes its self to make the way through an 8m ravine before plummeting 43m Read More About Murchison Falls Park
First established as Kazinga National Park in 1952, Queen Elizabeth National Park is situated in the west of Uganda nearing the Rwenzori Mountains with snowcapped peaks towering at 5,109m above sea level. The National Park of Queen Elizabeth covers a cross section of the western rift valley floor stretching for1, 978km2 land coverage. Queen Elizabeth National Park is currently the most visited park in Uganda and is listed as a world biosphere reserve. It has rich biodiversity concentration with 95 species of mammals, 600 species of birds which makes it the first in Uganda regarding the bird populations, ten (10) species of primate and 20 predator species. Queen Elizabeth is also a habitat for the tree climbing lions dwelling in its sector of Ishasha, the famous Kazinga channel stretching to 45km long connecting Lake Edward and Lake George, the amazing Kyambura gorge with counts of Chimpanzees not forgetting the range of explosion craters some of which are salty lakes while others contain sulphur. This conglomerate to make Queen Elizabeth National Park an ideal destination that can be encountered while on safari in Uganda. Read More About Queen Elizabeth Park
Located in the south west of Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park stretches for 321km2 at an altitude of 1,160 – 2,607 m above sea level. The area is among the East African areas with largest tract of Afromontane forest which existed since the pre historic era and endured through the last ice age forming the ground for great biodiversity concentration with highest number of trees in relation to other areas of its altitude stature. The park has enormous numbers of butterfly species some of which are endemic to the park and it is also holding great concentrations of mammal numbers. Containing about 400 out of 880 mountain gorillas that apparently thrive in the wilderness with none existing in captivity, the impenetrable forest of Bwindi holds the mantle as a great gorilla trekking safari destination. Surrounded by high population density with great agricultural attachment, it’s very interesting that Bwindi still has great biodiversity concentration including; 163 species of trees, 104 species of fern alongside other taxa. 16 species of trees are restricted to the Uganda’s south western region including Lavoa swynnertonii which is globally threatened. Read More About Bwindi Impenetrable Park
Gazetted in 1991, the park covers an area of 33.7 Sq.km making it Uganda’s smallest national park. It is a second refigium of the endangered mountain gorillas after Bwindi. It is also known for its golden monkey. The park has a strong cultural attachment to the pygmy community that inhabits the area. It has three conical features of extinct volcanoes which is part of the spectacular Virunga area. It shares boundaries with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mgahinga is located about 15 kilometers, by road, south of the town of Kisoro and approximately 55 kilometers, by road, west of Kabale, the largest city in the sub-region. The entire park is located in Bufumbira County, Kisoro District the extreme south western corner of Uganda thus among the secluded destinations that a traveler can visit while on Uganda Safari. Read More About Mgahinga Gorilla Park
Kibale National Park is found in Western Uganda sharing the districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge, approximately 320 kilometers, by road, west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. Fort Portal in Kabarole District is the nearest large city to the national park. It covers an area of about 795Sq.km and it one of the last surviving tropical forests in Uganda with over 351 tree species some of which are 200 years old and over 55m tall, 70 mammal species, 13 primate species including chimpanzee and over 375 species of birds. The park was gazetted in 1932 and formally established in 1993 to protect a large area of forest previously managed as a logged Forest Reserve. The park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park creating a 180 km wildlife corridor. It is a significant eco-tourism and safari destination, well known for its populace of habituated chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates. It also acts as the location of the Makerere University Biological Field Station (MUBFS). The park is surrounded by two major tribes, the Batooro and Bakiga who rely on the park for food, fuel, and other resources with the assistance of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Read More About Kibale Forest Park
Traditionally, two brothers settled on the land that the park currently occupies. These were Mburo and Kigarama. One night, Kigarama dreamt of an area flooding and cautioned his intimate brother to relocate from the area. His brother (Mburo) disregarded the dream and refused to relocate to the adjacent hills like what Kigarama had done. Unfortunately, the dream came true and Mburo was drowned by mass floods the filled the valley to form the lake that was later named Lake Mburo while the adjacent hill was named Kigarama in reference to these two brothers. Before the gazettion of Lake Mburo as National park, the place acted as royal grazing area for king of Ankole vis-à-vis other Bahima pastoralists who refer the area to “Nshara – ensinungyi erikwera”. Lake Mburo National Park is located in Kiruhura District in Western Uganda. The park is situated about 30 kilometers, by road, east of Mbarara, the largest city in the sub-region. This location is approximately 240 kilometers, by road, west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. At 260 square kilometers, the park is the smallest of Uganda’s Savannah national parks underlain by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more Read More About Lake Mburo National Park
The fabled mountains of the moon as described by Ptolemy in 150AD present the most exciting treasure that a visitor on a Uganda Safari would live to remember in his journey memoir. Gazetted as a national park in 1991 covering an area of about 996 Sq.km, received a designation status by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 1994 because of its outstanding natural beauty with Margarita peak standing over 5,109m above sea level and without forgetting its coverage by snow throughout the year despite its closeness to the world latitude (Equator) makes it an attraction worth of encountering. Being a mountain range, it was once described as one of the challenging mountains to climb in the Africa travel magazine. The glaciers like Nyamwamba add spice to its scenic view and the park status assures the wild life of their safety making it their closest habitat. The park shelters 70 mammal species, 217 bird species including 19 Albertine Rift endemics as well as some of the world’s rarest vegetation that differ in its five zones including; montane forest zone, bamboo forest zone, tree heath vegetation zone and Afro-alpine moorland zone. Read More About Rwenzori National Park
Kidepo National Park is positioned in the north western part of Uganda in Kaboong district 220km north West of Moroto the biggest town in the sub region and 700 km from Kampala – the Uganda’s capital city. Kidepo National Park was established in 1962 and it covers 1,442km2 of land surface providing habitat to 77 mammal species along with 475 bird species which makes the second in ranking after Queen Elizabeth National Park. Interestingly to note is that 60 of these bird species are endemic to Kidepo on Ugandan standards. Besides Birds, Kidepo also contain 5 primate species including the including the localized patas monkeys; 20 predator species which include the Kidepo endemics such as the aardwolf, bat eared fox, black-backed jackal, caracal and cheetah. Kidepo National Park has 12 species of Antelope which include the Kidepo endemics namely; lesser kudu, greater kudu, mountain reedbuck and Guenther’s dik-dik. Other wildlife also exist in the park including; elephant, lions, buffaloes, lions, bush duiker, leopard among other wildlife. Formerly, the area where Kidepo National Park belonged to Dodoth pastoralists and indigenous Karimojong who practiced cultivation before the establishment of wildlife reserve in 1958 to ensure the protection of wild animals from poaching. The park is the most remote of all Uganda National Parks which Read More About Kidepo Valley Park
The park covers an area of over 1,121 Sq.km with the fourth tall mountain in East Africa which was the once the highest mountain in Africa far from Kilimanjaro but only to be reduced to 4,321m due to denudation forces. With the last eruption occurring 24 Million years ago, Mt. Elgon can be considered oldest and largest solitary volcano not only in Uganda but East Africa in general. It houses one of the world’s intact largest caldera stretching to over 42Sq.km supported by 4,000 Sq. km base which is the largest volcanic base in the whole world.It was first gazetted as a Forest Reserve in 1929 and in 1940 the area became the Mt. Elgon Crown Forest while in 1951 it became a Central Forest Reserve. Due to encroachment by the Benet-Ndorobo people, the government alloweda 6000 hectare portion of the Reserve for settlement in 1983 though more 1500 hectares were settled illegally and in 1993 the area received a national park status thus can currently be incorporated in your itinerary while planning your Safari to Uganda. Read More About Mount Elgon Park
The rooms at Apoka have been constructed in way that they give maximum comfort in to guests. Some of the things in the lodge are made by hands by the help of local craftsmen, everything is large and capacious. The lodge has ten well-built expansive rooms with natural canvas walls that surround a rocky kopje with endless views across the savannah. The private verandas and inside sitting rooms are built in manner that they act as comfortable places where clients can relax, read and sprawl.Big hand-hewn beds with soft duvets are draped with mosquito nets, hand-woven woolen carpets, extra-large plush towels, over-sized dressing gown you may be as far away from the city as you’ll ever be, but you won’t miss a thing. Step outside to a sheltered terrace and slip into your own outdoor stone bathtub, big enough to fit the whole family.
Nga’Moru Camp is situated on the border of the Kidepo Valley National Park, only 4 km from the Katarum Gate. Comfortable accommodation is provided in either the Safari Tents under thatch or in the Cabanas.
Nga’Moru is located on a hill, with spectacular views of the Narus Valley and the savannah plains stretching all the way to the Morungole Mountains. They offer a true bush experience in one of the beautiful game parks in Uganda.
The hotel facilities are few but only limited to Laundry facilities, On-site Parking. Nga Moru Wilderness Camp always requires guests to deposit at least 50% in order to confirm booking and the balance is payable 30 days prior to arrival.
The camp has two Cabanas, each with its own unique and private view of the Kidepo Valley National Park and the other Features are En-suite, Mountain views, Balcony/patio, Single beds, No Smoking in Rooms
The Rest Camp is located in Kidepo Valley national park in northeast part of Uganda specifically in Karamoja region. The Camp is current operated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, and it offers comfortable bandas within the national park, including bedding, mosquito netting and showers.
It is situated in the westerly Narus Valley, this park authority facility offers simple accommodation in ten thatched rondavels.
Sixteen self-contained chalets are offered at Apoka Rest Camp which is a hostel consisting of Fourteen Bandas each having 2 beds; the Bandas are actually not self-contained. With regard to visitors who choose camping, this park has 2 ‘Do it yourself’ camping grounds. You have to carry your own tent along with other camping gear.
Guests are recommended to carry enough food as well as drinks to last them throughout their stay within the park. Cooking may be organized by the staff of the camp and also other additional diet for example chicken plus goat meat may be organized from the close by community intended for visitors that plan to stay for a longer time.