kidepo valley






Welcome to Kidepo Valley National Park Safaris

Kidepo is the perfect place to be for safari activities and CNN Travel once described it as one of the top National Parks to visit in Africa. This is because it is one of the least visited National Parks and receives not more than 10 to 15 people per day due to its remoteness leaving the largest part of the National Park undefiled and unspoiled. There are a lot of tourist attractions to see and things to do in Kidepo. You will find lots of wildlife in this remote park of Uganda.

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Kidepo valley National Park is divided into two parts that is the Kidepo Valley and the Narus valley. Both valleys have Rivers that normally dry up during the dry season leaving just a few small pools where the animals get their water from before the rains set in to refill the Narus River and the Kidepo River. Kidepo is home to over 76 animal species and about 750 bird species making it a good destination for tourists. Animals found in Kidepo National Park include elephants, bush duikers, giraffes, Defassa waterbucks, Bohor reedbucks, Uganda Kob, bat-eared fox, leopards, cheetahs, elands, black jackal, aardwolf, Kudus, Zebras, hartebeests, giraffes, buffalos, hyenas, lions and Oribi among others.

wildlife safaris

Lots of animals from lions to elephants, giraffe, monkeys and more for a rewarding safari in Uganda.

cultural experience

Visit the Karamojong people and experience their way of life and unique activities

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All tourist attractions of Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda, including things to do.

Kidepo Valley National park

Located in the North-eastern part of Uganda, Kidepo valley National Park borders South Sudan and Kenya. It is located in an extremely remote area and managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority whose headquarters in the park are located at the Apoka Tourism Centre. The Park is filled with vast plains, and savannah grasslands and is surrounded by the Morungole Mountains which are a good hiking destination. It was first turned into a game Reserve by the colonial government in 1958 to preserve the animals that were constantly being poached by the locals from surrounding villages and in 192 when Uganda got her independence, the reserve was finally declared a National Park.

kidepo giraffe

Kidepo valley National Park is divided into two parts that is the Kidepo Valley and the Narus valley. Both valleys have Rivers that normally dry up during the dry season leaving just a few small pools where the animals get their water from before the rains set in to refill the Narus River and the Kidepo River.

Climate and weather in Kidepo

Kidepo National Park like the rest of the country experiences two seasons that is the wet and dry seasons. Its location in a semi-arid region that has between 200 to 400 degrees Celsius receives little rainfall as compared to the other parts of the country with the dry season being the longest. The rainy season has a lot of greenery around the National Park and it is hard to see all the animals that can be seen during the dry season. 

Park entrance Fees & Cost to Kidepo Valley National Park

Foreign residents                                   children                          $10

                                                                  Adults                             $30

Foreign non-residents                           children                          $20

                                                                 Adults                             $40

EAC citizens                                            Children                         5000shs

                                                                  Adults                            $6

Note that the park entrance fees are only valid for 24 hours.                               

Best time for a visit to Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo National Park just like the rest of the country experiences two seasons that is the wet and dry season and these greatly influence the best time to visit the Park with the activities that one wants to carry out while here. The drier months of December to March and July to August are the best for game viewing, nature walks, and camping. A large number of animals can be seen converging in the Narus Valley which has a permanent water source making it the best time to see different animal species including the rarely seen cheetahs. The only downside of visiting the Park during the dry season is the unbearable heat and dust. The wet season which happens for a short period brings back the seasonal swamps and other water bodies, especially in the Kidepo Valley which means that many of the animals will keep to their habitats for as long as they have water. There are a few animals that you get to see and these are joined with the different bird species both endemic and migratory birds. Some of the animals might move to higher ground to avoid the floods and be prepared for the muddy roads.

How to get to Kidepo National Park

There are two ways in which you can get to the National park and this is either by road or by air. Several routes can get you to the National Park if you are using road transport and although the journey is a long one, it’s always exciting to use road transport because of the many tourist attractions that you get to see while on the drive to the National Park. The best and most convenient way to get to the National Park is by use of air as it takes only 2 hours from Entebbe but note that this is an expensive way to travel to Kidepo Valley National Park. 

Tourist attractions in Kidepo Valley National Park

There are important tourist places within the National Park that every tourist should check out and these include the following:

The Lonyili Mountain

The Lonyili Mountain is found lying between the South Sudan border and the district of Kitgum. You must note that the roads leading up to the famous Mountain are not well-developed and that is why you will need guidance from experienced tour guides to drive you to the Mountain but you will also need special permission to climb up the mountain.

Lomej hills

These are located near the headquarters of the National Park and are best known to be a good birding spot with clear views of the Narus Valley.

Apoka Tourism Center

This is where all the rangers that help take the tourists around the National Park. It is also where the staff of the Uganda wildlife Authority can be found. The Centre also provides services like a shop from where to buy souvenirs, they also provide meals, gas and utensils are provided for tourists who want to cook for themselves at a fair price and due to its strategic location overlooking the Narus Valley, tourists can get a clear view of the animals at the Narus River, especially during the dry season.

Kidepo valley

The valley is one of the best places from where one can watch the wildlife that is found in the National Park. The valley is home to the ostrich and other bird species and since it only has seasonal water sources that dry up during the dry season leaving only sand, animals keep on moving to the Narus Valley where there is a permanent water body source. Kidepo in the local dialect means ‘to pick’ and the National park was named after the Kidepo valley. It has a seasonal River which normally dries up during the dry season.

The valley is known for the many palm trees that are found in the area and these act as food for the elephants. During the wet season, the River flows to the North of the Park through South Sudan where it joins the Narus River before flowing into the White Nile. The River also becomes a threat to the animals during the wet season which causes some of the animals to flee to higher grounds. Although the National park is lush green during the wet season, the grass and other vegetation withers leaving only sand during the dry season.

The Murongole Mountain

The Mountain is home to the IK people and rises to about 2750 meters above sea level. You will be able to get to the top of the Mountain easily with the help of a ranger and note that the climb is worth it since you get to meet the IK who have a unique culture.

Namamukweny valley

The word Namamukweny can be translated as a lovely place with few people and it is found in the North-western part of the National Park. It is a birding hub for tourists with bird species like the white-crested Turaco, Abyssinian Roller, and Eastern paradise Whydah among others.

Narus valley

This is the most visited part of the National Park due to the large concentrations of animals that can be seen converging around the artificial Narus dam, especially during the dry season. Some of the animals that you get to see in the Narus Valley include lions, buffalos, elephants, elands, Uganda Kob, oribi and leopards among others.

Things to do in Kidepo

Nature walks

one of the best ways to explore the Kidepo wilderness is by stepping out of your vehicle and with a ranger, taking a guided nature walk around the National Park. A normal walking safari around the Park usually takes 2 to 3 hours and the trails go through the Narus valley which is home to hundreds of animals. You can as well take a walk to the hills and Morungole Mountain where you can hike to the top of the mountain. Nature walks will give you a chance to see both the animals and birds at close range and get the feeling of the real African wilderness with the heat and sand surrounding you.   

Cultural trips to the local people

There are two groups of people who live around the National Park and these are the IK and Karamojong. The Karamojong are best known for being warriors who are nomadic pastoralists and keep on rustling cattle from their neighbours. They have a culture that is quite similar to the Masai from Kenya starting with the jumping dance, the Manyatta, and their colourful dressing. The IK people due to the constant wars with the neighbours shifted to the Mountains of Murongole where they live to date. The IK people have a unique culture and although at the moment they are threatened by the ongoing modernization and technology, they have tried to keep to their ancient routes even when they are now few. A t IK village is considered to be one of the best cultural experiences in the country and every tourist should check them out and their Karamojong counterparts.


this is best done during the wet season and it is believed that Kidepo is the second birding spot after Queen Elizabeth National Park. There are several birding spots like the Lomej hills, the Namamukweny valley, and the Narus valley where both local and migratory birds can be seen during the wet season. Some of the bird species in Kidepo include the purple heron, Clapperton’s Francolin, ostriches, Abyssinian Roller, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Egyptian vulture, and pygmy Falcon among others. Key bird species that you should look out for include the mosque swallow, Hatlaub’s bustards, scarlet-chested sunbird, Karamoja Apalis, Nubian woodpecker, Jackson’s Hornbills, white-bellied Tit, superb starling, Little green bee-eater, ostriches, Red-winged Lark, Bruce’s Green pigeon, Abyssinian ground, white-faced scoops owl, Jackson’s Hornbills, Rose-ringed parakeet, Northern white-crowned shrike, steel blue whydahs, state-colored Boubou, Red pate Cisticola, chestnut-crowned sparrow, black-headed plover, Kori bustard, yellow-necked spurfowls, four-banded sand grouse and the violet tipped courser among others.

Game drives

Game drives in the National Park are carried out two times a day that is in the morning and late afternoon. The game drives in Kidepo are the best because of the large concentrations of both birds and animals that are found in the valleys found within the National Park. The morning drives are the best for tourists who love photography due to the good lighting. Drive to the Kidepo River, go to the Narus Valley, and check out the hot springs, Namamukweny valley and the Murongole Mountain while on a game drive around the National Park. You will be provided with a 4×4 safari vehicle that can easily go through the remote roads in the Park, especially during the wet season.

Accommodation in Kidepo

At the moment there are few accommodation facilities are both within and outside the National park and tourists at the moment can use accommodation either in the nearby towns or camp within the National Park. Tourists are advised to book in advance if they want to get where to stay while at the National park. The accommodation in Kidepo National Park is categorized into three that is budget, mid-range and luxurious accommodation facilities. Some of the facilities that you can check out while here include the Nga’Moru wilderness camp which has both budget and mid-range facilities, the Apoka safari lodge near the Narus River, the Kidepo safari lodge and the Apoka Rest camp.


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