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kidepo valley national park

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park: Background Info

Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with south Sudan in the north west and only 5km from the eastern border of Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species.

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.

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 especially with its dense populations of Lion,Buffalos,Elephant and many similar angulates.

Kidepo Valley National Park: Destination Preview

kidepo valley national park

Wildlife

Kidepo is Uganda’s third largest national park, and only Queen Elizabeth National Park contains greater biodiversity. Kidepo is home to 77 mammal species and the park offers great opportunities for game viewing. 20 species of predator are present, including lion, leopard, and spotted hyena. In Uganda, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, cheetah, and caracal are endemic to Kidepo. The elephant population is over 650 (up from 200 in the mid ‘90s), buffalo are estimated to exceed 10,000, and there are over 50 Rothschild’s giraffes, an internationally important population.

Zebra graze on the plains and both greater and lesser kudu roam around the thick bush. Fortunate adventurers may even see a white-eared kob, more commonly seen in South Sudan and Ethiopia. Visitors are treated to exceptional wildlife sightings on thrilling game drives. Animals, some of which cannot be found elsewhere in Uganda (think greater and lesser kudu, eland and cheetah); include lion, leopard, elephant and an assortment of plains game. Kidepo’s elephant population has surged from around 200 in the mid 1990’s to between 650 and 1000 today. The African Buffalo population is now estimated at 10,000-15,000.The Rothschild Giraffe is very notable ,breeding more than 50 individuals from the bottleneck of the mid 1990’s population of three and supplemented several from translocation.

Birdlife

The bird checklist of over 476 species with the common Ostrich, secretary bird,northern carmine bee eater, little green bee eater, Abyssinian scimitar bill and many more colorful and visible species. Because certain parts of the park are virgin and rarely visited, there is no complete count of the number of bird species found in the park. East Africa’s population of Clapperton’s francolin and the rose-ringed parakeet are found only in Kidepo. There are 56 species of raptor, and the park’s vultures are thriving. Kidepo is also the only place in Uganda where bird enthusiasts can encounter the majesty of the Common Ostrich.

Kidepo Valley National Park is best known for its resident birds of prey such as the Egyptian Vulture, Pygmy Falcon and Verreaux’s Eagle. These birds can only found in Kidepo and the region of Karamoja. The ostrich is the most prominent and largest bird found in Kidepo. In Uganda, this huge bird can only be sighted in Kidepo Valley National Park. The others are found in the Entebbe wildlife center and other animals reserves in the country. To increase their numbers in the park, the Uganda Wildlife Authority collects eggs from the bushes and hatches them artificially.

Kidepo Valley National Park: Location

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