One of our personal favourites; Kidepo Valley National Park. Located in the upper north eastern corner of Uganda, Kidepo is famous for its huge herds of buffaloes, rocky outcrops, and home to some of the biggest lions that I’ve ever seen in East Africa. Stunning open valley landscapes that you simply don’t get in other national parks in Uganda.
There are a couple of ways to get to Kidepo, the one through Gulu and Kitgum, and the longer but more scenic road through Karamoja passing from Moroto and Kotido. Road infrastructure has improved everywhere and there will be minimal driving on dirt roads using the Gulu route.
What to do
The main activity in Kidepo is game drives. There have been a number of tracks which have been recently opened, with some stunning views across the valley and passing right through some of the most amazing rocky outcrops that you will ever encounter where lions like to enjoy the warmth of the rocks and keep an eye on the valley below.
There is a hot spring at the edge of the park on the border to South Sudan. You will need to get a guide in order to get there as in some places you are a mere few hundred meters from the south Sudanese border. It’s also a good place to spot ostriches and you will also have to cross the Kidepo River which is dry for most of the year until the seasonal rains fill it up again. Some river crossings can be quite tricky during rainy reason.
Camping puts you in touch with nature. It’s the most amazing feeling having a cold beer in the evening after a game drive sitting around the fire place. You get to experience things that you missed out before like the crackling of the fire, the call of a lion in the distance, or the beauty of the sky at night with no light pollution.
Kidepo offers some of the most stunning public cam sites Kakine and Nagusokopire; one on top of a hill with great views of the Kidepo valley and the other around a rocky outcrop where lion visits are not uncommon. Make sure you book these spots in advance as they are not very big and can be quite busy during high season.