Kidepo Valley National Park


Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700 km north of Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 86 mammal species, 475 bird species and 692 plant species, second only to Queen Elizabeth NP in terms of its known plant diversity and third behind Queen Elizabeth and Murchison for its mammal and bird diversity.

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.

Twenty-eight of the 86 species of mammals in Kidepo are not found in any other of Uganda’s national parks. Some of the animals unique to this park include striped , aardwolf, caracal, cheetah, greater and lesser kudu, klipspringer, dik-dik, Bright’s gazelle and Chandler’s mountain reedbuck. wp-content/uploads/2015/11/kidepo-valley-national-park-2.jpg The beisa oryx and the roan antelope are believed to have been extirpated from the region. African wild dogs have been observed to come into the park from Sudan occasionally but are not resident in the park. Many of the other large mammals found elsewhere in Uganda such as African elephant, zebra, buffalo, waterbuck, Jackson’s hartebeest, lion, leopard, and both black-backed and side-striped jackal are found here.

The park is also outstanding for its birds of prey, of which 58 species have been recorded including lammergeier, Verreaux’s eagle, the pygmy falcon and Egyptian vulture as well as an impressive fourteen raptors that are unique to the park.


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 safari location. The Narus valley is very important for the elephants in the park and also holds a population of Nile crocodiles, which, during the dry season, is restricted to a 10 km long section of the Narus River that retains water intermittently in depressions or pools. Perhaps due to limited availability of food, water and space, the crocodiles have a diminutive size with a maximum length of 2.5 meters.


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