On a recent FAM trip to Uganda, Heather visited Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda’s most isolated national park and one of Africa’s finest wildernesses.
Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the northern corner of Uganda at the border of South Sudan near Kenya. It’s a part of the country that is so remote and hidden among Uganda’s hills, that its beauty and vast wilderness has gone almost unnoticed except by a small ethnic group of about 11,000 people known as the Ik.
To reach the Kidepo Valley, you take a two-hour flight from Entebbe on a small plane. But the flight is pretty spectacular – wide open spaces that turn into plains, interspersed with rock outcroppings and mountains in the distance. The two valley systems of the Kidepo and Narus Rivers characterize the park.
Kidepo Valley National Park is a refuge for 86 different mammals and almost 500 bird species. Of the 86 different mammals in the park, 28 are exclusive to Kidepo Valley National Park, not found in any other of Uganda’s national parks. Some of those unique animals include the striped hyena, caracal, cheetah, and greater and lesser kudu. You can also find large mammals like the African elephant, zebra, buffalo, lion, and leopard in the park, as well as elsewhere in Uganda.
Although the rugged landscape is dry, there’s still plenty of water in the 540-square-mile park to support its wildlife. There’s a permanent wetland and a small collection of pools known as the Kanangorok Hot Springs that bubble near the international border with South Sudan and Uganda. In the south of the Kidepo Valley, there’s also a river that floods during heavy rains for a few hours. After it recedes, there’s a bed of sand where the water was just hours before. And under the sand, animals like baboons and elephants are able to dig out water that’s still there.
If that’s not enough to convince you to visit the remote wilderness, CNN suggested it as a top travel destination 2016. It’s definitely a destination you’ll want to keep in mind when planning your 2017 travels and beyond.
For more information about Kidepo Valley National Park, or to add it to your next Ker & Downey journey, contact your Luxury Travel Consultant. Stay up to date on all our online content by following us on Facebook and Twitter.