This national park lies in the rugged, , semi-arid valleys that are found between Uganda’s borders with Kenya and Sudan, its 700km from Kampala. It was gazetted as a national park in 1962 and it has variety of big game and has over 77 mammal species as well as 475 species of birds. This is the most isolated national park but so magnificent in nature. You will find a savannah lqand scape that extends far beyond the gazzetted area towards the horizons that are outlined by the distant mountain ranges. During the dry season, water can only be got in wetlands and the remnant pools with in the broad Narus valley near the Apoka.you can also find variety of game in these areas.
The Ik farmers and the Dodoth pastoralists lived in this area before it was gazetted as a game reserve by the British colonial government in 1958. The main purpose was to protect the animals from hunting and also preventing clearing of the bush for the tsetse fly control. The game reserve was also changed into Kidepo national park in 1962. The first warden of the park was Ian Ross who was a Briton and in 1972, Paul Sali replaced him
The park also has two major valley systems of the Kidepo and Narus rivers. The valley floors also lies between 90m and 1,200 m above the sea level. The Kanangarok is a tepid hot spring with in the far north of the park and besides the south Sudanese boundary, the sping is also the most permanent source of water with in the park. This park has clay soils even though in the kidepo valley, black chalky clay as well as the sandy clay dominate.
The climate here is divided into one short wet season as well as a long dry spell. These wet seasons fall between April and October and the dry season also fills the rest of the year. It receives 800mm of rain annually, the dry season is also featured by very hot north easterly monsoon winds that resulted into drought with no green vegetation. The relief of the park rises from 900-1200m above the sea level. It has got semi-arid plains crossed with hills, rocky out crops and the mountain ranges
The vegetation of the park can be divided into four associations including the Narus Valley which contains the grey haired acacia, savannah woodland, grassland, tree and shrub steppe as well as the bush lands with the forests. The park is also composed of open savannah grassland mixed with acacia and other perennial grasses and the seteria species.
The park has 86 mammal species, 475 bird species as well as 692 species, and some of the animals also include; hyenas, aardwolf, caracal, cheetah, the greater and lesser kudu, Klipspringer, dik, dik, and many more. The park has got variety of bird species and 58 of these are recorded including; the ptgmy falcon, the Egyptian vulture, and many more. Here are also 14 raptors as well as the hornbills. The Narus valley is filled with elephants, Nile crocodiles as well as lions.
The tourists can also visit at any time of the year, even though the conditions in the park are had during the rainy season. It’s also hot and dry while in June to Sept. the rain is more predominant, the temperatures are warm and storms don’t last more than 1 hour. Ita also advisable to use a 4×4 vehicles while in the park. The main accommodation facilities here include; Apoka safari lodge, Nga Moru Wilderness camp as well as the budget accommodation at Apoka Rest Camp, this is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority.
The main tourist attractions in this park include game viewing while in vehicles as well as the cultural walks to the Karamojongo people. You can also seek advice from the local Uganda safari operator on how best you can access the park as well as how to pay for any of the above activities. It’s also approximately 12 hours drive from Kampala by road, there are also scheduled flights by Aero Link that take only 2 hours and these fly in Kideppo from Entebbe airport.