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Kidepo National Park: Lush landscapes offer ‘the best of Uganda’

Kidepo National Park, Uganda (CNN) — 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.

Home to a legendary tribe

CNN’s Inside Africa travels to the remote regions of the Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda to meet the tribes who live there.
Kidepo National Park is home to one the smallest ethnic groups in Africa, a people called the Ik. According to folklore, the Ik have wandered through much of East Africa, and came from Ethiopia hundreds of years ago.
Praying to ancient gods, the Ik believe they will one day have to move on from Kidepo Valley. But they are fighting to preserve their unique culture and language, which no rival tribes understand.
Terrill Schrock is a linguist working with three generations of Ik to uncover the secrets of the Ik language. He’s found evidence linking them to cultures as far away as southern Egypt.
“It’s like a museum,” he says. “It’s a storehouse of historical information, cultural information, ecological information. When a language like that dies, you could liken it to a library burning down. Losing a window to the past that will never be recovered in the future.”
CNN’s Inside Africa finds out how water at the heart of the Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda helps nourish the wildlife.
The heart of Kidepo National Park, Naru’s permanent wetland, has a troubled past. Tribal warfare in the 1980’s and 90’s drove away wildlife populations, but the area is now bouncing back as animals begin to thrive once again.
The 540-square-mile park contains diverse landscape, from lush mountain ranges to vast plains, and is home to almost 500 bird species and 77 different mammals. Roam the savannahs, and you’d likely see an impressive collection of fauna including ostriches, hartebeest and giraffes.
Chief Warden Johnson Masereka says: “This uniqueness, you may not find all these species in a single park, at some time. This to me is the best of Uganda.”
CNN’s Inside Africa visits the sand rivers of the Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda where water can cause flash riverbeds.
In a hidden pocket of the park, a small collection of pools bubble away with the heat of an ancient volcano. These are The Kanangorok Hot Springs, an unexpected attraction just a short walk away from the international border between Uganda and South Sudan.
Further south, the flat Kidepo Valley is dramatically shaped by the river that runs through it. During heavy rains, the river flash floods and flows through the park into South Sudan. Hours later, it disappears, leaving a river of sand as wide as 165 feet in some parts.
“You find that underground the sand there is still water. This can be dug out by some animals, (like) baboons and elephants,” says park guide Phillip Akorongimoe.
“There is plenty of water… and that is why there are more animals in Kidepo Valley.”
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Customer Reviews

Ngoni Safaris Uganda

Customer Reviews

Stephany Aug 13, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Sedrick was unique and stood out from the rest in the high quality communication he provided since the first inquiry. He called me to provide information about the itinerary and see if I had any questions even before booking the tour. We communicated through WhatsApp for any other questions that came to mind after that call. After picking me up from the airport, he and Pilot (additional tour guide) provided plenty of information about the country to give me some context and we started our long drive to the impenetrable forest. The food was delicious with many options; the accommodation was very clean with exceptional service; and the transportation from Entebbe to Bwindi park was very comfortable (although long). As a solo female traveler, both tour guides (Sedrick and Pilot) did an exceptional job at enduring I accomplished everything intended to in Uganda, and always made me feel safe. I highly recommend to book your safari with this company because the quality and professionalism will not let you down.

Shakira Dec 14, 2018

Ngoni safaris uganda is the best tour operator in Uganda. A few weeks back we traveled to Bwindi impenetrable with sedrick to explore the beauty that is Uganda. This company took care of us . with most comfortable car , Great guide .We highly recommend it to the next travelers

Winnie Dec 19, 2018

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
I was going on a gorilla safari with my friend and this was going to be the first ever safari for the both of us. Luckily, the communication with the office was super easy and we got answers to all of the questions we needed. The driver / guide (Sedrick) was very professional and funny and made our time very pleasant. Also, he had a proper knowledge of the local area close to the Mgahinga national park and he promptly spoke some 7 languages which we thought was super positive. The safari was surely the highlight of out East African trip!

Ritah Jan 2, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
My Team and I did a five day trip, including Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls and Kidepo. It was truly an incredible experience. Our guide, Sedrick, was knowledgeable, skilled in driving in some challenging settings and just plain fun to hang out with for five days. The lodging was perfect, especially Savannah Lodge. The tents and beds were high quality. The views were spectacular. Meals were delicious and varied. I recommend Ngoni safaris Uganda with all my heart and soul!

Pilot May 28, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Our six days trip was amazing. The driver/guide had an incredible knowledge of animal and bird-life and are so interesting to talk to. His driving skills through lashing rain and massive puddles was admirable! The cooks managed to produce varied and delicious meals from the kitchen, which we ate both at accommodation or roadside when we were travelling from one place to another . At all times we felt safe and well-looked after. All in all, an incredible experience, due not only to the abundance of wildlife we were lucky enough to see, but also to the great efforts put to have our Safari a better one . The safari was full of fun. Traveling with ngoni safaris is my life time memorable experience and I highly recommend it to travellers who would love to visit uganda or EastAfrica for holidays, vacations or Adventure.. Even five stars are too small .