The national park covers 1,442 square kilometres. It was gazetted as a game reserve in 1958 and achieved its current status four years later, in 1962. It boasts a variety of geographical features, including sprawling savanna, semi-desert, palm-lined streams, and open woods. There are two valleys – Kidepo and Narus. The latter is particularly popular with wildlife! The park is surrounded by mountains and has a modest range of accommodation – it has a highly exclusive feel.
Wildlife in Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo contains an astounding diversity of mammals, more so than any other park in all Uganda. Predators include lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, wild dog, bat-eared fox, and a couple of jackal species – black-backed and side-striped. Huge herds of buffalo roam the plains, as do elephant, zebra, and the rare Rothschild’s giraffe. A grand total of 12 types of antelope are in residence too, among them eland, oribi, klipspringer, Jackson’s hartebeest, and a hundred Uganda kob brought in from Murchison Falls N.P. There are even five primate species, such as the patas monkey. Presently there are no rhino, but plans are afoot to reintroduce white rhino – watch this space!
The birdlife of Kidepo is worth a mention as well. Over four hundred types of feathery friend live here, rising to almost five hundred during the migration months of November through to April. Prevalent species include ostrich, kori bustard, red-and-yellow barbet, and little bee-eater, alongside a plethora of specials – pygmy falcon, white-eyed kestrel, golden pipit, rose-ringed parakeet, and many more. The park is nothing short of a birder’s dream!
All camps and lodges in the national park provide plenty of opportunities for travellers to check out Kidepo’s wildlife, typically on game drives and game walks. Bush breakfasts and sundowners are also on offer, as are visits to the local community. The best time to view all the mammals is the dry season, which runs from September to March. As the temperatures soar, it becomes easier to spot both predators and herbivores at the scarce water sources, enjoying a long cool drink!
If you are interested in taking a safari holiday in this wildlife-rich national park, please take a look at our accommodation options and contact a member of the YZ team.