Kidepo Valley National Park

Imagine a vast, rugged wilderness in the remote northeastern corner of Uganda, where immense savannas stretch towards distant mountains. This is Kidepo Valley National Park, a hidden gem for those who seek true adventure and an authentic African safari experience. Home to an astonishing variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, and over 470 bird species, Kidepo offers a thrilling glimpse into the untamed African wilderness. Its remoteness ensures a sense of pristine solitude, making it the perfect destination for travelers seeking unique and unforgettable wildlife encounters amidst breathtaking scenery.


Located in the remote northeast region of Uganda, close to the borders of South Sudan and Kenya, Kidepo is a fascinating place of semi-arid savannah, seasonal rivers, and low mountains. The park is stunning and can be explored at any time of the year.

Kidepo Valley National Park spreads across 1,442 km², and its altitude varies from 914m above sea level on the valley floor to the peak of Mount Morungole, which stands at 2,750m and dominates the horizon.

During the rainy season, the Kidepo and Narus rivers flow through the savannah landscape, but they dry up in the dry season. Kidepo's remote location makes it the most secluded national park in Uganda. 

Due to its seclusion, the number of visitors has always been low, which has helped preserve the park's unique atmosphere.

For many years, the park was cut off from the outside world due to various conflicts, but it has recently become more accessible by both road and air. The low number of visitors is partly due to the relatively high cost of reaching the park. However, those who make it are in for a treat, and the enjoyment is only amplified by the fact that you are far off the beaten track, miles away from any civilization.

Kidepo Safari Packages

Be inspired by a selection of our favorite Kidepo safari packages. From discovery game drives to family-friendly walks on the savannah – all completely flexible and arranged to your travel needs.


Wildlife in Kidepo Valley

Kidepo is the third-largest national park in Uganda and is known for its abundant wildlife. Only Queen Elizabeth National Park has greater biodiversity than Kidepo.

The park is home to a variety of mammals, with a total of 77 species present. Visitors can enjoy great opportunities for game viewing, with 20 species of predators, including lions, leopards, and spotted hyenas.

Kidepo is unique in Uganda for being home to several endemic species, such as black-backed jackals, bat-eared foxes, aardwolves, cheetahs, and caracals. The elephant population in Kidepo has increased from 200 in the mid-90s to over 650, while the buffalo population is estimated to exceed 10,000. Rothschild's giraffes are also found in Kidepo, with over 50 individuals making up an internationally significant population.

On the plains, zebras graze, while greater and lesser kudus roam around the thick bush. If you're lucky, you may even spot the white-eared kob, which is more commonly found in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

For bird enthusiasts, Kidepo is a paradise, with a bird list currently numbering 470 species. Of these, 60 are unique to Kidepo and not found in any other national park in Uganda. The park is home to 56 species of raptors, and its vultures are thriving. Visitors can also encounter the majestic Common Ostrich, which is only found in Kidepo in Uganda.

Game Drive Safaris

Exploring the far reaches of the park is best done through Apoka game drives, which allow you to come face-to-face with large mammals and predators from the safety of your vehicle. It is an unforgettable experience that you should not miss.

Most game safari drives follow two 20-kilometre routes through the wildlife-rich Narus Valley. Here, even in the dry seasons, you can find a small amount of water, which attracts large buffalo herds, thirsty elephants, and antelopes. The gathering of herbivores also draws predators, giving you the opportunity to see a big number of savannah animals.

In the hot, dry season, game safari drives in Kidepo depart in the early morning and late afternoon. This allows you to spot game in their most active state and allows for great wildlife photography.

Although the Kidepo Valley has less wildlife, its wild beauty is still worth discovering. You can use the Kanagorok hot springs, which is 30 kilometers north of Apoka, as your focus, but do not get blinkered. Drive at a moderate speed as you make your way across the Kidepo River, which is a vast sand bed during the dry season. Follow the winding path amidst the plains that are bordered by towering mountains. This particular location offers optimal viewing opportunities for ostriches and secretary birds, while kudus take shelter among the denser vegetation.

How to get to Kidepo Valley

There are two ways to get to Kidepo. You can fly there or drive. Driving can take approximately seven hours from Murchison Falls or 9-10 hours from Entebbe.  Some people choose to spend a night near Sipi Falls to break up the journey. However, the 10-hour drive from Kampala via Gulu and Kitgum is a grueling journey, and only a few people choose to take this route.

Alternatively, you can fly to Kidepo via a couple of light aircraft companies that fly into the airstrip close to Apoka. However, these flights only operate on specific days. They are guaranteed for a particular number of passengers to fly, making it expensive for couples or small groups to travel alone. But it's not so bad for families or larger groups. Despite the cost, it's worth experiencing the breathtaking views of Murchison Falls from above before arriving at Kidepo.

Accommodation - Where to Stay

When planning your adventure in Kidepo Valley National Park, you'll find a range of accommodation options to suit your style and budget. From luxurious lodges to more rustic campsites, there's something for every traveler. Here's a glimpse of what you can expect: