Kidepo Valley national park is in the remote northeast corner of the country. The park has a true wilderness feel and is a great destination for the adventurous traveler. It has excellent wildlife viewing during the Dry season, featuring several species not encountered anywhere else in the country.
Wildlife in Kidepo Valley national park
The park has a very impressive mammals list. Twenty species of predator are resident, and several don’t exist in any other Ugandan park (including cheetah and black-backed jackal). Lion is common and leopard also occurs. Elephant, Burchell’s zebra, buffalo and Rothschild’s giraffe are all regularly seen, but black rhino has recently become extinct. Twelve antelope species are present – some of which don’t occur anywhere else in the country.
Kidepo valley national park usually offers excellent lion and elephant sightings. Herds of up 1,000 buffalo are often encountered. Cheetah are seen with increasing frequency, and it is home to many dry-country species, among them caracal, aardwolf, greater and lesser kudu, mountain reedbuck and Guenther’s dik-dik. Five primate species are present, including the localized patas monkey. Lucky visitors might spot the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe.
Best Time for Wildlife Viewing
The best time for wildlife viewing is the middle and end of the Dry season (November to February) when animals concentrate around reliable water sources. During the Wet season (April to August) animals disperse from the valleys and move to higher ground, where they are more difficult to locate.
Kidepo Valley national park Scenery
Two valleys (Kidepo Valley and Narus Valley) on either side of predominantly mountainous terrain dominate the park. There are wide, sweeping views of the Narus Valley from many vantage points. Open grassland is interspersed with acacia trees, desert dates and rocky outcrops.
Weather & Climate of Kidepo Valley national park
Kidepo has a semi-arid climate that occasionally invites drought in the Dry season (September to March). Average afternoon temperatures sit around 29°C/84°F, except in the park’s higher-altitude areas where it gets colder. The Wet season lasts from April to August. In these months, keep one eye on the sky in the afternoon, when showers arrive like clockwork.
Best Time to Visit
Sunny days and thin vegetation make the Dry season (September to March) the best time to go wildlife watching in Kidepo. This is also when animals go searching for a dependable source of water. An advantage of exploring Kidepo when the rains come is that the dust and heat tend to get washed away, and the birding is better.