Birding; another rewarding activity in Kidepo Valley National Park
By just hearing of the re known Kidepo Valley, tourists think of the elephants, lions, kobs and much more wildlife, but then birding in kidepo Valley National Park is one of the great activities in Kidepo Valley National park. CNN described the park as Africa’s hidden gem because of its scenic landscape that gave it a ranking as one of Africa’s best wilderness, the profusion of wildlife and unique communities around. The haven however isn’t just a home to the giants, bird species are sighted here too.
Kidepo Valley National Park is situated far North East of Uganda in Kaabong district between the borders of the country with Sudan and Kenya. Its 410km from Kampala on almost a 12 hours’ drive making it one of the less visited Uganda safari parks hence rewarding to those who take time to visit. Virtually untouched this is the best place to have a true African experience just like before in the 21st century.
Featuring rugged savanna with red thorn acacias, the 1,442sqkm (557sqmi) park is a varied habitat for a very impressive list of over 470 bird species, the second highest population of any Ugandan park coming second to Queen Elizabeth National Park with a recorded 600 bird list and the highest population in East Africa. Sixty (60) of the birds on the list are endemic to Kidepo and a good place for spotting raptors with 60 species recorded. Therefore, if you are looking for a rewarding Uganda bird watching safari destination then look no further than this wilderness.
Birding in Kidepo Valley National Park
When you opt to make the perfect choice to go birding in Kidepo Valley National Park, then here is what you should expect.
To have a great birding experience, choosing where to stay in Kidepo Valley National Park and here Apoka Rest Camp comes in play as the best lodging facility to start your birding adventure as you watch birds migrate in the morning at a panoramic view. At the edge of the camp is a small permanent water hole that attracts swallows and a variety of seed eaters including the Yellow-rumped Seed eater and is visited at night by the Four-banded Sand grouse. Birding can also be done on the fringes of the Narus and Namamukweny Valleys. The silver bird and small bands of yellow-billed birds are frequent on the thorn trees of the open Savannah.
Top birds to see while birding in Kidepo Valley National Park include;
Karamoja Apalis (endemic)
Black-breasted Barbet (endemic)
Golden pipit (endemic)
Greater Kestrel (endemic)
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
White-faced Scoops Owl
Singing Bush lark
Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk
Fox Kestrel (endemic)
Pygmy Falcon (endemic)
African Grey Flycatcher
Red pate Cisticola
Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit
Northern White-crowned Shrike
Red billed Oxpecker
Eastern Violet backed Sunbird
Clapperton’s Francolin (endemic)
Four-banded Sand Grouse
African Swallow-tailed Kite
Bruce’s Green Pigeon
Little Green Bee-eater
White-billed Buffalo Weaver
Grey-capped Social Weaver
Straw tailed Whydahs
Best time for birding in Kidepo Valley National Park
Any time of the year can be the best birding time for you in Kidepo. However, March to April is the best time for most of the bird specials. Migratory birds are present from November (least rains) to April. Birding in Kidepo Valley National Park can be either a morning or an evening activity.
Tailoring a birding safari with a Uganda wildlife safari in Kidepo is always the way to go such that you spot numerous wildlife species including endemics like the cheetahs. From Kidepo, you can also continue for birding and wildlife safari to Murchison Falls National Park and the adjacent Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on a return drive to Kampala.
If you want to have a great safari in a unique destination alongside numerous wildlife then Kidepo valley National Park is what you need.