Game drives in Kidepo valley national park; Kidepo valley national park is one of the national parks in Uganda located in northeastern region in Karamoja district between Uganda’s border with south Sudan and Kenya. Kidepo valley national park covers a total area of 1,442 square kilometers and it’s a home of about 77 mamma species including elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, zebras, bush pigs, elands, oribi, Jackson’s hartebeest, black backed and side backed jackal, spotted hyena, lions, leopards among others and over 476 bird species including ostriches, secretary bird, little green bee-eater among others.
Game drive is the major activity in Kidepo valley national park where tourists will be able explore the savannah plains in a comfortable pop up safari vehicle with a professional driver guide. Game drive in Kidepo valley national park is conducted in two sections that is the Narus valley and the Kidepo valley and can either be done very early in the morning when animals are most active or in the evening when animals are going back to their hiding areas.
During the game drive in Kidepo and Narus valley, you will be able to view high concentration of animals like buffaloes, elephants, zebras, giraffes, waterbucks, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, Bohor reedbucks, oribi, Jackson’s hartebeest, hippos, elands, kudus among others which will be grazing in the open savannah plains, view predators like leopards, lions, spotted hyenas, cheetahs which will be looking for a hunt, view bird species like ostriches among others.
Best time to go for game drives in Kidepo valley national park
Game drives in Kidepo valley national park can be done all year round though the best time is during the dry season which is also known as the peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season, there is less rainfall in the national park therefore vegetation will be short which allows you to view different wildlife species clearly, access roads and game drive trucks will be dry and passable compared to the rainy season when the game drive trucks are muddy and slippery.
Cost of game drives in Kidepo valley national park
Travelers who want to engage in game drive in Kidepo valley national park will be required to pay park entrance fee which costs 40 USD per person for foreign non residents, 30 USD per person for foreign residents and 20,000 USD per person for East African citizens.
Other activities in Kidepo valley national park
Apart from game drives, Kidepo valley national park offers other interesting activities that travelers can engage in during the safari including
Bird watching where you will be able to view variety of bird species like Nubian woodpecker, little weaver, scarlet-chested sunbird, vinaceous dove, yellow-rumped seedeater, broad-tailed warbler, marsh tchagra, superb starling, secretary bird, kori bustard, ostrich among others.
Nature walks where you will be able to explore the park on foot with the company of an experienced park guide and an armed ranger guide. During the guided nature walk, you will be able to get up-close and personal with different animals, view variety of bird species, enjoy the cool breeze, beautiful scenery among others.
Community tour where you will be able to interact with the local people who live in the neighboring communities. During the community tour, you will be able to visit the Karamajong and IK people, learn about their culture, way of living, visit their traditional Manyattas, enjoy their traditional entertainment among others.
Where to stay in Kidepo valley national park
There are a number of accommodation facilities ranging from budget, midrange and luxury where you can stay during your safari including Karatunga Safari Camp, Kidepo Savannah Lodge, Zebra Safari Lodge, Apoka Safari Lodge, Adere Safari Lodge, Apoka Rest Camp, Nga Moru Wilderness Camp among others.
How to get to Kidepo valley national park
Kidepo valley national park is located in northeastern part of Uganda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kampala via Karuma, Gulu, Kitgum and then to the park headquarters which takes about 10 hours’ drive.
Kidepo valley national park can also be accessed by air transport means whereby you will book scheduled or charter flights from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to Apoka airstrip and then connect to the park headquarters.