Kidepo Valley National Park

The park contains two rivers – Kidepo and Narus – which disappear in the dry season, leaving just pools for the wildlife. The local communities around the park include pastoral Karamojong people, similar to the Maasai of Kenya, and the IK, a hunter-gatherer tribe whose survival is threatened. Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with south Sudan in the north west and only 5km from the eastern border of Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal 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 especially with its dense populations of Lion,Buffalos,Elephant and many similar angulates. Kidepo’s elephant population has surged from around 200 in the mid 1990’s to between 650 and 1000 today. The African Buffalo population is now estimated at 10,000-15,000.The Rothschild Giraffe is very notable ,breeding more than 50 individuals from the bottleneck of the mid 1990’s population of three and supplemented several from translocation. The bird checklist of over 476 species with the common Ostrich, secretary bird,northern carmine bee eater, little green bee eater, Abyssinian scimitar bill and many more colorful and visible species.

Frequently Asked Questions

On top of the list is gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National park. Each day trekkers wake up for briefing at the ranger station at Ntebeko Visitor Center. Each person must have a booked gorilla trekking permit although permits for this park are issued according to the availability of mountain gorillas. The gorillas from the Nyakagezi gorilla family the only family open for tourism cross to Rwanda or D.R.Congo sometimes.

You must have a certificate confirming having been vaccinated against Covid -19 or have negative Corona Virus results taken at least 72 hours before your gorilla trek. Carry your trekking gears and in a small group, you head for the mighty jungle search.

Mgahinga trails have thicker vegetation close to the trails because it is less disturbed so carry gorilla trekking gears that will support you in this adventure. You can pack tracking boots that can withstand steep slopes, dirt-friendly long trousers and a shirt, a flash-less camera, a pair of binoculars and so much more.

Briefing at Mgahinga starts early morning about 0745 hours to 0830 hours and a ranger guide escorts you into the forest to begin gorilla trekking. Lookout for other primates too like blue monkeys, black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, and many others.


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