Kidepo National Park is situated in the north west of Uganda in the district of Kaabong 220km north west of Moroto and 700 km from Kampala, the country’s capital. Established in 1962, Kidepo National Park covers a land surface of 1,442km2 and is a habitat to 77 species of mammals and 475 species of birds which makes it second to Queen Elizabeth National Park and 60 of these bird species have been recorded in no other park in Uganda. Five species of primates have been recorded in the park including the localized patas monkeys. 20 predator species exist in te park including the bat eared fox, aardwolf, black-backed jackal, chhetah and caracal which are endemic to Kidepo on Ugandan standards.

Attractions.

Wildlife.

kidepo-wildlife
Kidepo National Park has a range of wildlife that is less explored thus existing in the natural state in the semi-arid mountain and valley shaped landscape of Kidepo Valley National Park. The wildlife is spread across these varied environments. Among these include; the five (5) species of primates including the localized patas monkey, twenty (20) predator species including park endemics like black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, cheetah, aardwolf and caracal. Others include; lions, leopard, spotted hyena, side-stripped jackal, mustelids, small cats, mongooses and genets, twelve (12) antelope species including park endemics like greater and lesser kudu, mountain reedbuck and Guenther’s dik-dik. Other antelope species include; Jackson hartebeest, eland, common duiker, bushbuck, klipspringer, bohor reedbuck and defassa waterbuck. The range lands of Kidepo are also a home of elephants, giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, bush pig and warthog.

Birds.
Besides wild game, Kidepo National Park is also a true birders paradise. The park is a home of 463 species of birds with 26 species unconfirmed which makes it second to Queen Elizabeth National Park. 60 of these species are endemic to Kidepo National Park on Ugandan standards. Kidepo also has 56 species of raptors including the commonly observed dark chanting goshawk, tawny eagle, pygmy falcon, secretary birds, bataleur, and various vulture species. Kidepo endemics on Ugandan standards include; ostrich, fox and white-eyed kestrels, kori bustard, carmine, white bellied go-away bird, little green and red throated bee-eaters, Abyssinian scimitarbill, Abyssinian roller, d’Arnauds, red-billed, yellow-billed and Jackson’s hornbills, black-breasted barbets, Karamoja apalis, rafous chatterer, golden pipit, northern brownbul, red-billed and white-headed buffalo weavers, chestnut weaver and purple grenadier among other species.

Birding.

birds-in-kidepo-valley

With 463 bird species of which 60 are endemic to Kidepo on Ugandan standards, Kidepo National Park comes in second rank after Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. Birders can explore a range of birds across the Narus and Namamukweny valleys including; Abyssinian Roller, purple heron, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill and Clapper ton’s Francolin . The birding activity in Kidepo can be done throughout the year however the best timing is between March and April to encounter Kidepo specials and Migrants. The migratory birds tend to be common between November and April. The birding exercise is best started at Apoka rest camp and is best done in the morning and evening.

Nature walks.

The varied landscapes of Kidepo form a perfect ground for nature walks. There is a walk to Lomej hills which starts at 7am and lasts about four (4) hours. There are also short guided walks along the Narus valley that takes about two (2) hours stretching for 5km in length. The walks across the Kidepo valley offers sights of the lush borassus palm forest and the walks to Namamukweny valley takes about one hour from the Apoka center.