Getting to Kidepo Valley National Park
Getting to Kidepo Valley National Park is possible by means of either road or air transport. Kidepo national park is located in Kaabong district in the Northeastern park of Uganda. It is the most isolated national park in the country and thus visited by few tourists.
The national park was listed the second most beautiful national park in Africa by CNN Travel beautiful its charming landscape, unique wildlife including the big four out of the big five mammals which include the elephants, buffaloes, lions and leopards plus other animals like Jackson’s hartebeest, oribis, Rothschild giraffe, zebras, waterbucks, bohor reed buck, eland, Uganda Kob and many others.
Traveling to Kidepo valley
When traveling to Kidepo valley by road, you can either go on a self-drive using your personal car, tour company vehicle or public means. There are various routes that you can use when using road transport which include;
Eastern route to Kidepo national park through Karamoja region
- When using this route you will drive from Kampala city via Mbale, Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then to the park headquarters. This route covers about 740kilometres which is about 12 hours’ drive and you can have stopovers at Sipi falls and an overnight in Kotido town to cut the journey short and continue to the park the next morning.
- Another eastern route is driving from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong and then to the park. This is a longer route in that it covers about 792 kilometers and takes about 13 hours’ drive. When using this route you can have an overnight in one of the towns like Kotido to cut on the journey and proceed the next morning.
Western route to Kidepo national park via Murchison falls national park
- When using the western route you will drive from Kampala via Karuma, Lira, Kotido, Kaabong and then to Kidepo valley national park which is 705 kilometers and takes about 12 hours’ drive. When using this route you can have a stopover at Ziwa rhino sanctuary for rhino tracking and an overnight in Kotido town and then continue to the park the following day.
- There is also another route which is the most used route from Kampala via Karuma, Gulu, Kitgum and then to Kidepo valley national park. This route covers 571 kilometers, takes about 10 hours’ drive and visitors who use this route can also have a stopover at Karuma falls, Ziwa rhino sanctuary and Murchison falls national park which is the largest and most visited national park in Uganda. Visitors using this route can have an overnight in Kitgum town to cut on the journey and continue to the park the next morning.
Traveling to Kidepo Valley national park by public means.
Visitors can also travel to Kidepo valley national park by public means of transport. There are buses which travel daily, therefore you can board a bus from Kampala via Mbale, Nakapiripirit to Moroto which takes 6 hours or from Kampala via Mbale, Soroti to Moroto which takes about 8 hours’ drive and then hire a private taxi to the park headquarters.
You can also board a bus from Kampala via Jinja, Mbale, Soroti to Moroto which takes about 12 hours’ drive, board from Kampala via Jinja Mbale, Soroti to Kotido which takes about 14 hours’ drive or board from Kampala via Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Kotido to Kaabong which takes about 16 hours’ drive. Public means of transport is not recommended for visitors on a safari in Kidepo valley national park because it spends a lot of time on the road as it moves to disembark passengers in different towns and you can be cheated when hiring a private taxi to the park headquarters.
Traveling to Kidepo Valley National Park by Air.
The national park can also be accessed by air transport means which is convenient for tourists who wish skip the long road trip to Kidepo Valley national park. There are domestic companies like Aerolink Uganda limited which operate scheduled and chartered flights from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kidepo airstrip.
Flights to the national park are available every Wednesday, Friday, Sunday and they depart from Entebbe airport at 12:30pm and arrive at Kidepo airstrip at 14:45pm while the return flight departs Kidepo airstrip at 15:00pm and arrives at Entebbe airport at 16:30pm.
Air transport is favorable for visitors who don’t like travelling long distance journeys. When booking a flight to Kidepo valley national park in northeastern Uganda, you can either book directly by contacting Aerolink offices through email or telephone calls or you can book through a tour operator like Explore Rwanda Tours.
Kidepo valley national park offers interesting activities which you can engage in during your safari in Uganda such as guided game drives where you will view various animal species, night game drive to view nocturnal animals. Nature walks in Kidepo valley national park will allow you to explore the park on foot as you enjoy the cool breeze. You can also do some birding in the park where you will view bird species such as migratory, endemic bird species like the Kori bustard, ostrich among others. In order to access the park you have to pay park entrance fee which is $40 per person and last 24 hours.