Wilderness game drives in the Kidepo Valley
Kidepo Valley National Park is one of those extra ordinary Uganda safari destinations nestled within the rugged valleys rimmed with hills of north Eastern Uganda. CNN Travel named the park the best of Uganda in 2016 in which they noted in one of their articles that;
“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.”
This is because of the lush landscapes, a profusion of wildlife, about 470 bird species including endemics and one of the smallest tribes in Uganda with a very rich culture.
Situated in the north eastern district of Kaabong, Kidepo valley National Park with its numerous wild species offers several activities to do of which are Uganda birding safaris, cultural tours, hiking and wildlife tours popularly done on a game drive. A game drive can be done in several parks of the country however, here is a guide on a game drive in Kidepo Valley National Park.
What to know about a game drive?
A game drive is a safari activity done within vast plains of either a safari game park or wildlife reserve using an open roof 4×4 safari vehicle to get you up close to wildlife or for viewing and photography.
Simply, this can be described as a drive through a designated game reserve with a safari guide to see wild animals in a close distance. For a wildlife safari in Uganda, a game drive is one of the highlights of any trip and the surest way of getting close to wildlife.
Perfect times for game drives in the Kidepo Valley
Just like the day has different hours, there is always a favorable time to room in the plains and therefore different kinds of game drive. Game drives in the valley of Kidepo are done in such a way;
Morning game drives in Kidepo Valley
A morning game drive is done in the early morning hours of as early as 6:00am. During the morning game drive there are high chances of sighting wildlife as the predators go in search of their prey. You get the chance to sight wildlife species like the lions resting on the rocks, with a lucky day, you could sight the cheetah which is the fastest land animal and endemic to Kidepo in Uganda and the Ostrich also endemic to the park. Other game that can be sighted at the park are the elephants, leopards, bush duiker, jackal, ostrich, bush buck, buffalo all together with the uniqueness of this land giving the best Uganda wildlife safaris through the park. You can also visit the kanangarok hot springs during this game drive. By the time the scorching sun is out you will already be returning to your hotel, this is after about 2-4 hours.
Evening game drives in Kidepo Valley
These game drives start in the evening by around 2:00pm. This is convenient when you have a different safari activity in the morning or transferred to the park that morning. You go for this game drive after lunch and carry lots of drinking water. On this game drive, you visit the Narus river which is the permanent water source at the park and definitely where to spot several wildlife species as they quench their thirst.
Night game drives in Kidepo Valley
This is the only way to sight nocturnal animals, if you really need to see the night specials. Your ranger will carry a bright torch light which will bring the park to day light.
Full day game drives in Kidepo Valley
Full day game drives mean a whole day in the wild, this is the best experience. For a full day game drive, a tourist needs to carry packed lunch with them. Remember to wear a hat and light clothing for the scorching sun in Kidepo.
A Uganda wildlife safari in most cases offers you the chance to go for a game drive with other parks offering game drives as safari activities being, Queen Elizabeth National Park done at the north kazinga plains, kasenyi and the Ishasha sector. Others are lake Mburo National Park and Murchison Falls National Park.
If there’s an activity you shouldn’t miss no matter the number of days of your safari then it should be a game drive.