There’s a reason Uganda is known as the Pearl of Africa. It’s been a top tourist destination for a few years now because of its stunning scenery and wildlife. One of its best treasures, however, remains hidden.
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.
Kidepo Valley is covering about 1,442square kilometers.
Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated national park, but the few who make the long journey north through the wild frontier region of Karamoja would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. From Apoka in the heart of the park, a savannah landscape extends far beyond the gazette area, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.
During the dry season, the only permanent water in the park is found in wetlands and remnant pools in the broad Narus Valley near Apoka. These seasonal oases, combined with the open, savannah terrain, make the Narus Valley the park’s prime game viewing location.
Best time to visit Kidepo Valley
The prime time to see wildlife in Kidepo Valley NP is during the Dry season (September to March). Kidepo is however located in a semi-arid region and can be visited throughout the year. The Wet season months (April to August) are pleasantly less hot and bring beautiful scenery. Bird watching is at its best at this time as well.
Weather and climate in Kidepo Valley
The climate in Kidepo Valley NP is semi-arid. Droughts are common. Temperatures can reach as high as 40°C/104°F, but average around 29°C/84°F in the afternoon and 17°C/63°F at night. There is one Wet season (differing from two Wet seasons in most of the country) from April to August.
How to get to Kidepo Valley
The best way to get to Kidepo Valley NP is by a scheduled or chartered flight.
It is also possible to drive to Kidepo. There are several routes. The most direct route, through Gulu to Lokumoit Gate, takes about 10 hours. The trip can be broken up with an overnight stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Chobe Safari Lodge, Gulu or Kitgum. Two longer routes pass through the remote Karamoja subregion, arriving at Nataba Gate. Karamoja was subject to banditry in the past but it has been considered safe for several years and is a growing center of community-based tourism focused on the small town of Moroto.
Flights between parks are usually scheduled and can be arranged with African Diurnal Safaris during your safari booking.
You will enter Uganda by way of Entebbe International Airport (EBB), which is near the town of Entebbe and 46km/29mi from Kampala, Uganda’s capital.