Kidepo National Park

Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. From Apoka, in the heart of the national park, a savanna landscape extends in all directions, far beyond the gazetted area of 1442km2, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.

The park has a semi-arid climate with just one rainy season per year (April-September) and rainfall is light. The valley of the Narus river in the south of the park receives some 890mm of rain/year while just 635mm of rain/year falls in the Kidepo valley to the north. Both rivers are seasonal, and dwindle and disappear in the dry season. During these months, the only permanent water in the park is found in wetlands and remnant pools along the southern Narus valley near Apoka and as a result, wildlife is concentrated in this area. This consideration, combined with the valley’s open, savanna habitat, makes it the park’s prime game viewing location. Indeed it is possible to sight a good variety of wildlife simply by scanning the valley with binoculars from the comfort of the Apoka lodge.

Location

Located in the North-eastern corner of Uganda, some 700 km from Kampala and tucked between the borders with Sudan and Kenya.

Size

1442 sq km

Getting there

The park can be reached by both road and air. Driving is more rewarding, as much of Karamoja, like Kidepo itself, is a vast and unspoiled wilderness. However, road conditions are sometimes difficult and 4WD vehicles are usually essential.

There are four possible routes by road: routes via Mbale pass to the east of Lake Kyoga to reach northern Uganda; routes via Karuma pass to the west.

  • Kampala-Mbale-Soroti-Kidepo (792km)
  • Kampala-Mbale-Sironko-Kotido-Kaboong-Kidepo (740km)
  • Kampala-Karuma-Lira-Kotido-Kidepo (705km)
  • Kampala-Karuma-Gulu-Kitgum-Kidepo (571km)

What to do

Game viewing and wildlife study.

When to visit

Any time throughout the year.

Photographs
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