Kidepo Valley National park; photo by Skyway
Remote, spectacular and probably Uganda’s best: Kidepo Valley National Park on a budget
If Uganda is the Pearl of Africa, Kidepo Valley National Park may be the pearl of the Pearl. When CNN Travel listed it among the 10 best national parks in Africa it highlighted the spectacular environment and immense hordes of buffalos, but the even better thing about Kidepo is its remoteness – and the special tranquility that comes with it.
So many people want to see Kidepo, so few can say they have been there. Will you be among the lucky ones?
Take advantage of Uganda government’s recent efforts to pacify and develop the Karamoja region that have made it safe and easier than ever to explore the country’s northeast. Kidepo will be the crown of your amazing trip through unspoilt and breathtaking landscap
- Day 1: Entebbe/Kampala – Jinja – Soroti
Mabira Rainforest Lodge; photo by Eva Pozar
You will leave Entebbe or Kampala early in the morning, boarding an open-roof minibus towards the east. A stopover in the beautiful Mabira Forest and a drink at Rainforest Lodge will be followed by a lunch break in Jinja. Want to know who makes the best tilapia fish in Uganda? Wish to see the source of the Nile from the seldom visited and more attractive side of the river? You are with the right people.
On the way to Soroti, perhaps the most pleasant town in Uganda, you will also admire Nyero rock paintings that hunter gatherers left thousands of years ago. The experience of lying on your back in a small cave while looking at a fabulous sun symbol could be profound…
- Day 2: Soroti – Kotido – Kidepo
Homes below Rwot; photo by Marjan Novak
We will depart from your Soroti hotel at dawn, planning to take full advantage of the day. In Abim District we will encounter Rwot, an imposing mountain that reportedly nobody has ever climbed. Why? Because of the magic that surrounds it! Elders from the area will tell us more about it.
And then, Karamoja… You will see young men in their tribal uniforms, ladies in a selected skirt style, perhaps even men with incredible hats, and know you have reached a different Uganda. Tradition still rules here.
A simple meal in Kotido will prop us up for the last leg through Kaabong to Kidepo. The landscapes will be … out of this world.
We will reach Kidepo Valley National Park soon enough to get ourselves comfortable in the Uganda Wildlife Authority cottages at Apoka and then enjoy our first game drive in the gorgeous evening sun.
- Day 3: Kidepo
Kidepo is a river – a sand river most of the year – and over Kidepo we will travel this morning to look for ostriches, secretary birds and other exotic specimens. The official destination is a hot spring, but a couple of steps into Sudan won’t hurt at all.
After a prolonged lunch break at Apoka we will embark on an evening game walk, a stroll among zebras, buffalos and more.
- Day 4: Kidepo – Kitgum – Gulu
How better to wind up our visit to Kidepo than with a proper morning game drive, on the lookout for lions, giraffes and the like? In the grass between the impressive mountain ranges defining the Narus valley a lot of wildlife is hiding. Even the cheetah.
In the afternoon we will continue towards Gulu, the biggest town centre of the north of Uganda and our night stop. In the past, Gulu was the refuge centre for children on the run from Joseph Kony’s rebels – you will learn all that matters about those unfortunate years.
Gulu town; photo by Kelly
- Day 5: Gulu – Kampala/Entebbe
It takes merely four hours from Gulu to Kampala, mostly on very good tarmac. On the other hand, a couple of hours at Ziwa, the rhino sanctuary, could be a very interesting addition to your program? Or, if you are not in a hurry and can take some extra nights, we could check out Murchison Falls National Park, quite rightly one of the most popular of Uganda’s parks?
Customize your Kidepo Valley National Park:
– you can add a day in the park: to bask in its peace or rather to trek to the top of Lomej mountains to meet the Ik, an endangered tribe
– instead of the UWA cottages you can opt for the luxury of the Apoka Lodge, or the thrill of bush camping in our tents
The price (including transport, guiding and entry fees): Contact us at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
+256 700 984 458
+256 703 000 328
with your preferred options.
For more information please write to firstname.lastname@example.org