Kidepo covers 1.442 kms in size, is among the most spectacular parks in Uganda, though it is not very accessible, as it is located in the North-East of the country, bordering Sudan and Kenya, in the Karamoja region. It lies at an altitude range between 914 m. and 2.750 m. above sea level. It is much interesting to take a trip to Kidepo by use of surface road transport which provide en-route view drives and charter flights are booked from Entebbe-Kajjansi airstrip to reach Kidepo.
The vegetation is dominated by an open Savannah, with dry mountain forest and acacia forest. The park hosts at least 86 mammal species (elephants, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, bush pig), including many predators, like black backed jackal, African hunting dog, bat eared fox, cheetah, caracal, lions, leopards. There are 17 antelope species. The bird checklist is of 463 species recorded, including 56 raptors, like pygmy falcon, Ostriches’, tawny eagle, secretary bird, vultures.
A number of game drive loops direct visitors to wildlife viewing locations in the Narus valley in the South West of the Park, mountain hiking, bird watching, camping, community visits and cultural performances participation.
The park can be reached by both road and air. Driving is more rewarding, as much of Karamoja, like Kidepo itself, is a vast and unspoiled wilderness. However, road conditions are sometimes difficult and 4WD vehicles are usually essential.
There are four possible routes by road: routes via Mbale pass to the east of Lake Kyoga to reach northern Uganda; routes via Karuma pass to the west.
- Kampala – Karuma – Gulu – Kitgum – Kidepo = 571kms
- Kampala – Karuma – Lira – Kotido – Kidepo = 705kms
- Kampala – Mbale – Sironko – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo = 740kms
- Kampala – Mbale – Soroti – Moroto – Kidepo = 792kms
Visitors should note that the road mainly in use from Kotido to Kaabong passes via Kanawat not via Losilang as indicated on most maps. Enquire at Kotido. Prospective visitors should contact UWA Headquarters or Wild places (the Apoka lodge operator) to obtain up-to-date advice about road conditions and safety to identify the preferred choice of route.
Charter flights to Kidepo may be arranged from Kampala (Kajjansi), Kampala Aero club, or Entebbe with Eagle Aviation. Flights take about two hours. The Civil Aviation Authority has plans to make Lomej, to the east of Apoka, an international airport to enable visitors to fly direct to Kidepo from other countries.
There are several accommodation facilities: Apoka lodge, N’gamoru camp (Luxury) Fugly hotel and UWA Banda’s (Budget)