Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi-arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird species.
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 gazetted 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.
The Park can be reached by both air and road. Driving is more rewarding as most of Karamoja, like Kidepo its self is a vast and unspoiled wilderness. However the roads are sometimes poor and 4WD vehicle is essential. There are four possible routes by road as listed below. Optimum driving times are given routes passing west of Lake Kyoga through Acholiland.
- Kampala-Karuma-Gulu-Kitgum-Kidepo= 571km(8hours),
- Kampala-Karuma-Lira-Kotido-Kidepo=705km (8hours).
Routes passing East of Lake Kyoga through Karamoja:
- Kampala-Mbale-Sironko-kotido-Kaabog-Kidepo=740km(12 hours),
The most usual route goes through Gulu and Kiitgum. Ideally travellers should plan to stay overnight I one of these towns or at Chobe near Karuma in Murchison Falls National Park. Visitors should note that the road mainly in use from Kotido to Kaabong passes via Kanawat not via Losilang as indicated on most maps. Enruire at Kotido for details.