Kidepo Valley National park was first gazetted in 1958 as a game reserve before later establishing it as a national park in 1962. Kidepo valley national park is located in the north eastern part of Uganda in the present day district of Kabong and it boarders South Sudan in the North West. The park is about 220 km from Moroto district which is the nearest largest town in the region. From Kampala the capital city of Uganda, it’s about 700 km to Kidepo valley national park. Kidepo national park covers an area of about 1,442 km2 of land. The park contains about 77 species of mammals, 475 species of birds with 60 species endemic to the park, 5 species of primates, 20 species of predators which are only found in Kidepo valley national park including; aardwolf, black-backed jackal, bat eared fox, caracal and cheetah and 12 species of antelope some of which are only found in Kidepo valley national park to include; greater and lesser Kudu, Guenther’s dik-dik and mountain reedbuck. Other wildlife game which thrives in Kidepo valley national park include; elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and bush duiker and many others. Kidepo valley national park is ranked 3rd best national park in Africa due to its virgin destinations and pure African wilderness experience and setting for ultimate adventure destination for safari travelers in Africa. The park is mostly inhabited by dodoth pastoral people and the indigenous Karamajong farmers. It’s the furthest national park from Entebbe airport making a remote area. Kidepo valley national park is among the best and ideal wildlife destinations for travellers on a Uganda safari encounter because its strategically located on savannah plains and mountain ranges with vast game and bird life which offer the best of scenic beauties.
Birds in Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda
More than 463 bird species are confirmed to be found in Kidepo valley national park, 26 species of birds in the park are not yet confirmed. Kidepo valley national park has 60 bird species which have not yet been identified in any other national park in Uganda. The park is second to Queen Elizabeth national park in bird life in Uganda. Kidepo valley national park has 56 birds of prey, 14 of which are restricted to the park and the Karamoja region, these birds include; Egyptian Vulture, Verreaux’s Eagle and Pygmy Falcon. The dark chanting goshawk, pygmy falcon, secretary bird, bataleur and many others are part of the 56 raptor species identified at the park.
The Ostrich, Kori bustard, fox, white billed go-away bird, carmine, white eyed kestrels, little green and red throated bee-eater, red and yellow and black-breasted barbets, Abyssinian scimitar bill, d’Arnauds, rufous chatterer, Karamoja apalis, northern brownbul, red-billed, chestnut weaver, yellow billed and Jackson’s horn bills, golden pipit, white headed buffalo weavers and red-billed, purple grenadier are some of the other special species found in Kidepo valley national park. The vast number of bird life presents a basis for a Uganda birding experience while on a Uganda safari in Kidepo valley national park.
The Narus and Namamukweny valleys provide the birder’s haven for a birding experience in Kidepo valley national park. With the park’s vast bird life, a birder is able to encounter bird species like the Abyssinian Roller, purple heron, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill and Clapper ton’s Francolin with many others.
The birding encounter in Kidepo is possible all year round though it is best done from March to April to have more chances of spotting all Kidepo specials and Migrant species. Migratory birds are common in November to April. The birding encounter can be done in the morning and in the evening and tend to commence from the Apoka Rest Camp.