Kidepo Valley National Park

The Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda’s most spectacular national parks. Located in Uganda’s remote north-eastern corner, some 700km from Kampala and tucked between the borders with Sudan and Kenya, Kidepo Valley is our most isolated park. Lying in the rugged, semi-arid valleys of Karamoja province, the Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda’s most spectacular parks.

It covers 1,442 square kilometers and harbors scenery unsurpassed in any other park in East Africa. ‘It could not be any better’ is a common comment on the scenery by visitors who often promise and do come back to Kidepo. Tucked into the corner of Uganda’s border with Sudan and Kenya, the park offers breathtaking Savannah landscapes, which end in rugged horizon. A huge latitudinal range and correspondingly wide climatic conditions have evolved an extremely diverse flora.

Kidepo Valley National Park is tucked away in the savannah of the remote Northeast region. Many say it has the most striking scenery in all of Uganda. The park has attractions to offer, these include, Buffaloes, elephants, lions, Antelopes, seasonal rivers, unique culture like for Karamajong, Ik people, the landscape and etc.

Kidepo Valley national park is near the border of Uganda and Kenya and also Uganda and South Sudan.

Activities in the park include, nature walks, lonyii summit hike, guided night drives, game drives and bird watching

Most of the park is open tree savanna because of different rain fall in Narus valley and kidepo basin. Vegetation and animal population vary between the two valleys.


The vegetation can best be described as open tree Savannah which varies much in structure and composition. Mountain forest dominates some of the high places, while areas along the Lorupei River support dense Acacia geradi forest. The flora and fauna of the park are more typical of Kenya than the rest of Uganda. The landscape throughout the park is studded with small hills, rocky outcrops and inselbergs from which one can obtain stunning views in all directions.


As a result the variety of animal species in the park is equally abundant including many which are found no where else in Uganda. Kidepo Valley National park is Uganda ‘s best safari destination for taking wildlife safaris / game viewing tours.  It harbours scenery unsurpassed in any other park in East Africa as well as great numbers of wild animals, birds and plant species. The park contains one of the most exciting faunas of any Uganda’s national park with 77 species of mammal, several of which are (in Uganda) restricted to the Kidepo and Karamoja region. Localized carnivores include the bat-eared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf, caracal and cheetah. Other carnivores present are lion, leopard, and spotted hyena. And black-backed and side-striped jackal. Less common ungulates include the greater and lesser kudu, Chandlers Mountain reedbuck, klipspringer and Guenther’s dikdik. Other large ungulates include elephant, Burchell’s zebra, bush pig, warthog, Rothschild’s giraffe, Cape buffalo, eland, bushbuck, bush duiker, Defassa waterbuck, Bohor reedbuck, Jackson’s hartebeest and oribi. Five species of primates are found in the park including the endemic Kavirondo bush baby.

In terms of bird life, the park boasts an extensive bird list of 463 species confirmed and 26 unconfirmed- second only in Uganda to Queen Elizabeth National Park. A few species of note, at least in a Ugandan context, are the ostrich, kori bustard, secretary bird, carmine, little green and red-throated bee eaters, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Abyssinian roller and Abyssinian scimitar bill, yellow-billed and Jackson’s hornbills and the Karamoja apalis. Kidepo is also notable for its birds of prey. Of the 56 species recorded, 14, including Verreaux’s eagle, Egyptian vulture and pygmy falcon, are believed to be endemic to the Kidepo and Karamoja region. There has however been no comprehensive survey of birds in Kidepo and visitors stand a good chance of adding to the current list.


It is host to more large mammal species than any other national park in Uganda; 28 are found nowhere else in Uganda, among these are: jackal, African hunting dog, bat eared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf, cheetah, and caracal, Grant¹s gazelle, greater kudu, lesser kudu, roan antelope, Beira oryx, Guenther¹s dik dik, mountain reedbuck, common duiker, klipspringer, oribi, Defassa waterbuck, Uganda kob, and bohor reedbuck.


This alone is impressive, but when combined with the over 460 bird species, it becomes one of the most faunistically impressive national park in all Uganda. The only drawback is the fact that it takes considerable time or money or both to reach. By far the best way to reach Kidepo is by chartering a flight. This will cost about $380 a person but you need a minimum of 5 people before you can charter the flight. Otherwise you are looking at a 280 km. road through treacherous land. There are a few places to stay, but they range widely in price from $10 to $200.

Things to Do in Kidepo Valley National Park


Hiking can be carried out on Lamoj Mountains just a few kilometers from the Park Headquarters. Visitors can also go to view the splendid Kidepo River Valley dominated by Borassus palm forest; its wide flat bed is dry for most of the year. From Kidepo Valley, you may also visit the Kanangorok Hot Springs, which are located only 11 km from Kidepo river valley.

The mountain and Savannah landscape of the park is spectacular. The Narus valley is situated in the South West of the park; the rugged Napore-Nyagia mountain range forms its western boundary. Separating it from the Kidepo Valley in the northeast, are the Natira and Lokayot Hills. To the north in the Sudan are the Lotukei mountains and the Morungole range marks the southern boundary of the park. To add flavor to your visit to Kidepo River, a visit to the picnic site located on the sand is spectacular. The sound of palm leaves in constant motion in the wind and glimpses of wild game is thrilling. The walking safaris are an absolute pleasure and an unforgettable experience.

Local Community Tours

The local community has a group of cultural entertainers who on request are always available to perform. The performers have a large menu for you, traditional dances such as the Emuya of the Naporre and Nyangia, ethnic groups and Larakaraka and Apiti dances of the Acholi are waiting for you. The money that this group earns is used for uplifting their welfare. If you are interested in increasing your knowledge on African culture, visits to the Karimajong manyattas (homesteads) and probably kraals to see traditional costume, stools, spears headdress, knives, bows and arrows and jewelry can be arranged. Visitors who choose to follow the Soroti-Moroto road will be enthralled by the view of the steep volcano of Alekilek about midway Moroti and Soroti. And for those who take the Lira-Kotido road will enjoy the scenery of the Labwor hills and in particular the massive and bare Alerek (Kidi Rwot) rock about 55 km to Kotido.


It is also possible to go on a camping trip in Kidepo; there are camping grounds for such option. You will just pay the camping fee and then park your car or pitch your tent. Since Kidepo trails and seasonal rivers are not easy to tress, we advise our clients to at least hire a park guide to go with on game drive.

Getting There and Around

If you want off the beaten track then this is the place for you. Or it is possible to catch public transport up to Soroti then make your way up to Kaabong from there you may get the supply truck from the park which comes into Kaabong every Saturday morning to pick up supplies and returns to the park Saturday afternoon. This arrangement is only for travellers (tourists) to get into to park and not a local transport.

Although it is considered safe to travel to Moroto via Soroti, it is NOT recommended to travel Mbale directly to Moroto as there is problems with renegade groups. However having said that a much better way to get up to Kidepo National Park is to travel from Kampala to Kidepo is via Lira to Kotido by bus. This bus leaves Kampala daily and arrives in Kitido at around sunset. From Kitido although not regular you can get transport to Kaabong where every Saturday you may catch the supply truck which goes to Kaabong on a shopping trip every saturday.. This is a special arrangement for tourists only who wish to visit Kidepo National Park.

Kidepo national park is found in Northern Uganda. The park has many to offer to Tourists. Driving to this park is possible but since its long journey from Kampala or Entebbe, some clients find it important to break the Journey.  Renting a car in Uganda for your Kidepo trip needs more than 5 days of rental minimum.

Going to kidepo need a 4×4 car due to the nature of trails in the park. We have good jeeps that are suitable for this park. Some clients also visit Pian Upe game reserve which is near the park. The reserve has unique attractions some of them are not found elsewhere.

Where to Stay

Some of the accommodations around Kidepo include, Nga’moru wilderness camp, Apoka lodge, Kidepo savanna lodge, Adere safari lodge and others. From Kidepo you may visit Murchison falls national park, Mt Elgon, sipi falls

Cars on our fleet that can go to Kidepo include, 4×4 land cruiser Prado/TX/TZ, 4×4 Land cruiser V8, 4×4 Land cruiser GX, 4×4 Land cruiser LX, 4×4 safari land cruiser extended, 4×4 Rav4 and 4×4 Toyota van.