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Kidepo Valley National Park located in the rugged, semi-arid valleys of Karamoja Tucked into the corner of Uganda’s border with Sudan and Kenya, Kidepo Valley is Uganda’s most remote national park covering about 1442Km2 with a huge latitudinal range of 914m on Kidepo valley floor to 2749m a top of Mount Morungole. Kidepo is ideal destination for Uganda safaris featuring a variety of Wildlife. For the birder, Kidepo Valley National Park boasts a bird list of over 475 species, a total second only to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Amongst the specials not found in any other Ugandan National Park are some of East Africa’s rarest and most sought after birds such as Black-breasted Barbet and Karamoja Apallis.

Kidepo Valley National Park

The Kidepo Valley National Park is one of Uganda’s most spectacular parks, and ‘It could not be any better’ is a common comment on the scenery by tourists who often promise and do come back to Kidepo. The park has a Semi-arid climate with just one rainy season per year and rainfall is light. The valley of the NARUS river in the south of the park receives 890mm of rain per year while just 635mm of rain per year in the Kidepo valley to the north

Kidepo harbors scenery unsurpassed in any other park in East Africa including the open thorn-bush, semi-desert scrub, open thorn-scrub, long and short-grass open tree savannas, riparian woodland including Borassus and Kigelia woodland, thick, “miombo- like” woodland, montane forest and granite out-crops

Kidepo wildlife diversity

The park offers breathtaking Savannah landscapes, which end in rugged horizon. As a result the variety of animal species in the park is equally abundant including many which are found nowhere else in Uganda.

The vegetation can best be described as open tree Savannah which varies much in structure and composition. Mountain forest dominates some of the high places, while areas along the Lorupei River support dense Acacia geradi forest. The flora and fauna of the park are more typical of Kenya than the rest of Uganda. The landscape throughout the park is studded with small hills, rocky outcrops and inselbergs from which one can obtain stunning views in all directions.

Bird List in Kidepo Valley

Kidepo Valley National Park boasts a bird list of over 475 species, next  to Queen Elizabeth National Park among which includes, White-bellied and Hartlaub’s Bustards, Pygmy Falcon, Fox Kestrel, Stone Partridge, Clapperton’s and Heuglin’s Francolins, Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Kori, Ethiopian Swallow, Long-tailed and Standard-winged Nightjars, Little Green Bee-eater, Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers, Abyssinian Ground, Eastern Yellow and Jackson’s Hornbills, Pied, Isabelline and Heuglin’s Wheaters, Violet-tipped Courser, Black-headed Plover, Four-banded Sand Grouse, Ostrich, African Swallow-tailed Kite, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Rose-ringed Parakeet, White-faced Scoops Owl, Slate-coloured Boubou, Fan-tailed Raven, Red-fronted and Black-breasted Barbets, Karamoja Apalis, White-bellied Tit ,Brown-backed Woodpecker, Singing Bush lark, Red-winged Lark, African Grey Flycatcher, Foxy and Red pate Cisticolas, , Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Northern White-crowned and Yellow-billed Shrikes, Superb Starling, Red billed Oxpecker, Eastern Violet backed, Pygmy and Beautiful Sunbirds, Rufous and Chestnut Sparrow, Yellow-spotted Petronia, among many others.

The southern Narus Valley is a great spot to begin your Kidepo birding, this makes bird watching in Kidepo very remarkable

Other Mammals

Of recent Kidepo Valley has registered over 75 species including 28 that are peculiar to only and only kidepo in Uganda. Amongst these are such charismatic African animals as Bat-eared Fox, Carcal, Cheetah and Klipspringer.

Unfortunately, during the Amin’s regime the park was affected by serious poaching of which plenty of animals were hunted down and is still recovering from the years of poaching that left game herds depleted. Striped Hyena, Lesser Kudu, Grant’s Gazelle and Beisa Oryx have not been seen at all in recent times and thus extinct. Some mammals have shown a remarkable recovery and there are now in big numbers such as the Elephant, Common Zebra, Buffalo, and Kongoni. Predators and Spotted Hyena are plentiful; Leopard and Lion are commonly seen. The park also holds a very rich and diverse of reptiles.

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