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Kidepo valley National Park.

Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda.

Nestled in the remote northeastern corner of Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park stands as a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by avid travelers and nature enthusiasts. This captivating wilderness is a treasure trove of biodiversity, dramatic landscapes, and cultural richness. In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the intriguing facets of Kidepo Valley National Park, from its location and accessibility to the diverse array of wildlife, attractions, activities, and accommodation facilities that make it a must-visit destination.

Location and Overview

Kidepo Valley National Park is situated in the Karamoja region, bordering South Sudan and Kenya. This remote location contributes to the park’s pristine and untouched beauty, offering visitors an authentic and off-the-beaten-path experience. The park covers an area of 1,442 square miles, making it one of the largest national parks in Uganda. The stunning Kidepo Valley is the heart of the park, surrounded by rugged mountains and expansive savannas.

Getting There: An Adventure Awaits

Reaching Kidepo Valley National Park is an adventure in itself. The park is accessible by road or air, each providing its unique experience.

By Road: The most common route is a scenic drive from Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The journey takes approximately 10-12 hours, offering travelers glimpses of the country’s diverse landscapes. Expect to traverse through dusty roads, small villages, and breathtaking scenery as you approach the park.

By Air: For those seeking a faster and more immersive journey, charter flights are available to Kidepo’s airstrip. This option not only saves time but also provides a bird’s-eye view of the park’s captivating landscapes during the flight.

The Wild Residents: A Symphony of Wildlife

Kidepo Valley National Park is renowned for its diverse and abundant wildlife. The park is a sanctuary for numerous species, both common and endangered. Among the highlights are:


  1. Lions and Big Cats: Kidepo is home to a healthy population of lions unique to this region. Visitors may also spot leopards, cheetahs, and other big cats prowling through the grasslands.
  2. Elephants and Buffalos: Giant herds of elephants and buffalos roam the park’s plains, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle. Watching these majestic creatures against the backdrop of the savanna is a photographer’s dream.

  1. Unique Antelope Species: Kidepo Valley National Park boasts an impressive variety of antelopes, including the greater and lesser kudu, Jackson’s hartebeest, and the rare mountain reedbuck. Wildlife enthusiasts will be captivated by the diversity of these graceful animals.
  2. Avian Wonderland: Birdwatchers will be delighted by the park’s rich birdlife, with over 475 species recorded. Raptors, ostriches, and the elusive Karamoja Apalis are just a few of the avian treasures waiting to be discovered.

Attractions and Landscapes: Nature’s Masterpieces

Beyond its wildlife, Kidepo Valley National Park is a canvas painted with breathtaking landscapes and cultural richness.

  1. Narus Valley: The expansive Narus Valley is a haven for wildlife and offers some of the best game viewing opportunities. The river meandering through the valley attracts animals and provides a picturesque setting for visitors.
  2. Kidepo Valley: The park’s namesake, Kidepo Valley, is a mesmerizing expanse surrounded by rugged mountains. The valley is a prime location for game drives, offering visitors a chance to witness the diverse fauna against a backdrop of stunning scenery.
  3. Kanangorok Hot Springs: A surreal experience awaits those who venture to the Kanangorok Hot Springs. Surrounded by the semi-arid landscape, these geothermal wonders provide a unique contrast to the park’s overall terrain.
  4. Cultural Encounters: Kidepo Valley National Park is not only a haven for wildlife but also a meeting point of diverse cultures. The park is surrounded by communities like the Karamojong, Ik, and Dodoth, each with its unique traditions and customs. Visitors can engage in cultural encounters, gaining insights into the rich tapestry of the region.

Activities for the Adventurous Soul

Kidepo Valley National Park caters to a wide range of interests, ensuring that every visitor finds something to suit their taste for adventure.

  1. Game Drives: Embark on thrilling game drives through the park, guided by experienced rangers. Witness the untamed beauty of the wilderness and capture stunning moments of wildlife in their natural habitat.
  2. Nature Walks and Hiking: For those seeking a more intimate experience with nature, guided nature walks and hiking trails are available. Explore the park on foot, discovering hidden gems and enjoying the sounds of the wild.
  3. Cultural Visits: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the surrounding communities. Participate in traditional dances, learn about age-old customs, and gain a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the people and the park.
  4. Bird Watching: Bring your binoculars and embark on a birdwatching adventure. The park’s diverse birdlife provides endless opportunities for enthusiasts to spot and photograph rare species.

Where to Stay: Accommodation Facilities

After a day of exploration and adventure, visitors can unwind and recharge at the various accommodation options available near Kidepo Valley National Park.

A view from one of the lodges in kidepo
  1. Apoka Safari Lodge: Experience luxury in the heart of the wilderness at Apoka Safari Lodge. This eco-friendly lodge offers stunning views of the Narus Valley and provides a unique blend of comfort and serenity.
  2. Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp: For those seeking a more rustic experience, Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp offers traditional safari tents. Nestled in the wild, the camp provides an authentic safari atmosphere without compromising on comfort.
  3. UWA Bandas: Budget-conscious travelers can opt for the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) bandas. These basic but comfortable cabins offer a more affordable accommodation option while still providing a genuine connection with the park.

Conclusion: A Journey into the Heart of the Wild

Kidepo Valley National Park stands as a testament to the untamed beauty of the African wilderness. Its remote location, diverse wildlife, captivating landscapes, and cultural richness make it a destination like no other. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or a cultural explorer, Kidepo Valley National Park invites you to embark on a journey into the heart of the wild, leaving you with memories of a lifetime and a deep appreciation for the wonders of nature.

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Customer Reviews

Ngoni Safaris Uganda

Customer Reviews

Michael T 06/June/2021

Above & Beyond
Review of: 3-Day Gorillas trekking and Batwa Experience
Sedrick went above and beyond to accomodate our request for an itinerary alteration due to our compressed time in Uganda. He also compeltely took care of scheduling our covid 19 testing and drove us to the site on arrival.

Our driver/guide Ben was also outstanding!

**We highly recommend using a porter during gorilla trekking as their are some complex parts to the trail/terrain. This also benefits the local people by providing them work.**

David 24/June/2021

Seeing Lots of Animals and Uganda
The schedule suited my time in Uganda exactly and was a great opportunity to view some of the top wildlife and natural wonders of the country. Lodgings range from mid-range to near upscale and are in beautiful locations. Food is good and ample. My driver, Stanley, was expert at spotting wildlife and, very importantly on the Ugandan roads, a careful and skilled driver. You see various parts of the country on this tour, and due to distances, be aware you'll spend quite a few hours on the road. One thing they might add is an itinerary going into more detail ahead of time on each day's activity and suggested things to bring. I was concerned about the needed COVID test for return home, but they took care of arranging that, and it turned out successfully. Overall the tour was a real highlight and is highly recommended.

Justo Nov 18, 2019

I went on an 11 day safari visiting Kampala, Jinja, Lake Mburo NP, Bwindi NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Kibale NP. Communications with Ngoni were prompt and easy from the start. As soon as I made my booking, Sedrick contacted me through WhatsApp and guided me through the rest of the process. Leading up to the tour he made sure I was well-prepared to begin. He was always very clear and friendly. Service was exceptional. I had the pleasure of going on this safari with three members of Ngoni's staff - Sedrick, Nelson and Joel. These guys made my comfort their priority from the moment we met. Whether it was checking if I was okay with the accommodations or making sure I always had a bottle of water, I always felt like I was being well taken care of. Nelson is an excellent guide. His knowledge about the flora and fauna of Uganda was extensive, always able to answer any questions I had and was eager to teach - it's obvious that he has a great love for his country and it's environment and is eager to share this love with his clients. My experience with Ngoni and Uganda surpassed all expectations I had. Absolutely amazing, and thanks to the guys at Ngoni it feels like a new home - can't wait to come back and visit. Webale, brothers!

Stephany Aug 13, 2019
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
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
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
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 .