Kidepo Valley National Park

Located in Uganda’s remote North-Eastern corner, some 700Km from Kampala and tucked between the boarders with Sudan and Kenya. Kidepo valley is Uganda’s Most isolated park. However, the few who make along journey North through the wild frontier region of Karamoja to visit it would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. In the heart of the National park, a savanna landscape extends in all directions, for 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 per year while just 635mm of rain year falls Kidepo valley to the North. The Rivers are seasonal which disappear in the dry season. During dry season the only permanent water in the Park is found in wetlands and remnant pools along the south Narus Valley and as a result, wildlife is concentrated in this area. This consideration, combined with the valley’s open, Savanna habitant, makes it the park’s prime game viewing location. It is possible to sight a good variety of wildlife using binoculars. Flora and Fauna Kidepo’s expansive vistas, largely uninhibited by woodland and forest are the result of the open tree Savanna habitant that dominates the park. Hills have been colonized by dry mountain forests while some water courses support Acacia forest. Many of the hilltops are capped by rock Kopjes which provide habitants for Klipspringer and gives panoramic views. The park contains one of the most exciting faunas of any Ugandan National park with 77 species of mammals, several of which (in Uganda) restricted to Kidepo and Karamoja region. Localized carnivores include the bat-eared fox, stripped hyena, aardwolf, caracal and cheetah. Other carnivores present are lions, leopard, spotted hyena, and black-backed and side-stripped jackal. Less common ungulates include the greater and lesser Kudu, chandler’s mountain reedbuck, klipspringer and Guenther’s dikdik. Other large ungulates include elephants, Burchell’s Zebra, bush pig, Warthog, Rothschild’s giraffe, Cape buffalo, eland, bushback, bush duiker, Defassa, water buck, Bohor reedbuck, Jackson’s hartebeest and Oribi. Among the five species of primates found in the park also includes the endemic Kavirondo bush baby. Kidepo valley boasts and extensive birdlist of 463 species confirmed and 26 unconfirmed which makes it second to queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. A few species of note, at least in a Uganda, context are the Ostrich, Kori bustard, secretary bird, carmine, little green and Red-throated bee-eaters, Abyssinian crimitarbill, yellow-billed and Jackson’s hornbills and Karamoja apalis. The park is also notable for its birds of pray of the 56 species recorded, 14 including verreaux’s eagles, Egyptian Vultures and pygym falcon, are believed to be endemic to the Kidepo and Karamoja region. There is no comprehensive survey of birds in Kidepo valley national park and any one stand a good chance of adding to the current list..