Kidepo Valley National Park is a 1,442 square kilometers national park in the Karamoja region in northeast Uganda. Kidepo is rugged savannah, dominated by the 2,750 metres Mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo and Narus rivers. It is located near Karenga in Kaabong District, in the northeastern corner of Uganda. The park is approximately 220 kilometres, by road northwest of Moroto. This national park is a sure deal visit while on Uganda safari that encompasses the wildlife watching experiences.
Kanangorok is a tepid hot spring in the extreme north of the park, in Lotukei, South Sudanese boundary. This spring is the most permanent source of water in the park. The soil in the park is clayey. In the Kidepo Valley, black chalky clay and sandy-clay loam predominate, while the Narus Valley has freer-draining red clays and loams. Most of the park is open tree savannah. Because of differences in rainfall
Narus is a name given by the Ketebo or Mening and Amening Clan were the people living in the Valley. Primary grasses in the Narus Valley are the shorter red oat grass and taller bunchy Guinea grass and fine thatching grass. Common trees in the drier areas are red thorn acacias, desert dates, and to a lesser extent drumstick trees. The iconic sausage trees and fan palms line the water courses. Euphorbia candelabrum and the shorter monkey bread and Buffalo thorn trees are also found.
Perennial water makes River Kidepo an oasis in the semi-desert which hosts over 86 mammal species including spotted hyena, lion, cheetah, leopard, wild dog, elephant, giraffe, zebra, African buffalo, bat-eared foxes, Rothschild’s giraffe as well as almost 500 bird species.
Game viewing is possible by vehicle on dirt roads that crisscross the southern and western parts of the park. A few trunk roads are improved with murram and are passable in all weather.
Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi-arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird 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.