Kidepo Valley National Park
The Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda's most spectacular parks. It is 1,442 square kilometers. 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. As a result the variety of animal species in the park is equally abundant including many which are found no where else in Uganda.
Location: Is tucked into the corner of Uganda's border with Sudan and Kenya
Wildlife: Wildlife is very broad; the park harbours a great diversity of animal species than other parks. Carnivore species unique to Kidepo and Karamoja region include the bat-eared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf, caracal, cheetah and hunting dog. Less common ungulates include the greater and lesser kudu, Chandlers Mountain reedbuck, klipspringer, dikdik and bright gazelle; beisa Oryx and roan antelope have been severely depleted by poachers in the recent years.
Among other large ungulates are elephant, burchell's zebra, bush pig, warthog, Rothschild giraffe, Cape buffalo, eland, bushbuck, bush duskier, defassa waterbuck, bohor reedbuck, Jackson's hartebeest and oribi. Five species of primate are found in the park of which the Kavirondo bush baby is endemic. Carnivores present include lion, leopard, several small cats, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal and side-striped jackal.
Birds: The Park boasts an extensive avifauna. 465 species have been recorded (three new species were added to the list in 1995). Of particular interest, the ostrich and the Kori bustard are principally associated with arid regions. The park is outstanding for its birds of prey.
Of 58 species recorded 14 are believed to be endemic to Kidepo and the Karamoja region. These include Verreaux's eagle, Egyptian vulture and pygmy falcon. Also of note are four species of hornbills. The red-billed, the yellow-billed and Jackson's hornbill are peculiar to Kidepo, while the giant Abyssinia ground hornbill is quite common.
The vegetation can best be described as open tree Savannah that 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.
Access: Kidepo Valley National Park
Kampala–Mbale-Soroti-Moroto to Kidepo 840 Km takes 12 Hrs in a 4WD Vehicle.
Kampala-Soroti -Kotido via Amuria 656 km
Driving is more rewarding as vast parts of Karamoja are scenic and total wilderness. However road conditions are some times difficult and 4-wheel drive vehicles (4WD) are recommended. Visitors should note that the road mainly in use from Kotido to Kaabong passes via Kanawauat.
The best option is to fly into Lamoj near the park headquarters from Entebbe
Accommodation: Rest camp and bandas.
To do: game viewing, nature walk, hiking and cultural performance.
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