If you are always in search of your next trip and pride yourself on seeking out wilderness safari destinations; Kidepo Valley National Park (KVNP) in Uganda is the perfect choice for you.
Kidepo Valley National Park is lolcated in the north east of Uganda and is the the country’s most remote national park, more than 700kilometres or 400 miles from Uganda’s Capital Kampala city. Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with South Sudan and Kenya. Kidepo Vally National Park has high biodiversity, with at least 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. Twenty-eight of the 86 species of mammals in KVNP are not found in any other of Uganda’s national parks.
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.
Wildlife in Kidepo is abundant and unique to this park include striped hyaena, aardwolf, caracal, cheetah, greater and lesser kudu, klipspringer, dik-dik, Bright’s gazelle and Chandler’s mountain reedbuck. 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 South 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. Lions, leopard, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, zebra (this is Uganda’s only park where giraffe and zebra are found together), possibly Africa’s largest herds of buffalo, hartebeest, waterbuck, bushbuck, warthog. Visits to Kidepo also offer opportunities to interact with the local communities around the park including the pastoral Karamojong people, similar to the Maasai of Kenya, and the IK, a hunter-gatherer tribe.
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. Where to Stay: Apoka Safari Lodge
Within the Narus Valley there are a few simple Uganda Wildlife Authority cottages and Apoka Safari Lodge which is our recommendation of where to stay. Apoka’s 10 rooms are large and comfortable with natural canvas walls and endless views across the Narus Valley savannah.
Almost everything in Apoka’s rooms are handmade by local craftsmen with comfort in mind; big handmade beds with soft duvets are draped with mosquito nets, hand-woven woolen carpets, extra large plush towels, over-sized dressing gowns. With inside sitting rooms and private verandas there are plenty of places to relax, or step outside to a sheltered terrace and slip into your own outdoor stone bathtub and watch animal move across the plains. Apoka’s main area includes a swimming pool carved out of the rocks. Activities at Apoka include game-drives in open-top Land Cruisers and walking safaris and visits to the local community. Apoka is staffed entirely from the local Karamojong community.
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