Planning to visit one of Uganda’s best wildlife national park? At Encounter Africa safaris we will arrange for you a tailor-made package to meet both your budget and expectations with help from our expert safari consultants who are always available to give you a response within 30 minutes of sending through an inquiry. Organizing a flying safari to Kidepo National Park requires you to choose a company that has experience and knowledge in destination management. Kidepo Valley National Park is very popular with fly-in safaris and varying from the number of days one has available and what their interests are for the visit.
About Kidepo Valley National Park
The park is located furthest in the North-Eastern parts of Uganda and bordering south of Sudan and Kenya. The park covers an area of 1442 square Kilometers which is dominantly covered by savannah grassland and overlooked mount molongore, Narus Valley and the seasonal kidepo valley river. It can be said that this is one of the remaining virgin national parks as it’s not yet explored that much mainly because of its proximity from Entebbe Airport and Kampala where trips start from but with now the availability of flights to the park this is changing and bringing the park even closer than before.
The park was gazetted into a national park in 1958 to prevent the park from further poaching of animals and clearing bushes for tsetse fly control. The displaced communities faced a lot of famine in the region and many moved to neighbouring areas of Kenya and Sudan while others moved to the designated communities for relocation, among the communities that lived here included the Ik and Karamajong communities.
Ever since gazetting the park it has blossomed with over 80 mammals species and of those 28 being indigenous to the region and over 450 birds species, which makes it a good spot for safari regardless of your interests.
Flights and when to travel.
At the moment there are quite a number of operators for Kidepo and among them, Aerolink and Kampala Executive Aviation are the most reliable ones. The flight to your destination takes approximately one hour on a scheduled flight from Entebbe to Kidepe Valley National Park. Flights operating have set times of departure which takes off at 1530hrs and check-in an hour before takeoff. The flight sometimes are connecting flights and may stop in either pakuba or Bugungu Airstrips in Murchison Falls National Park for picking up other clients heading to Kidepo Valley National Park. Another important aspect to note is that all scheduled flights to Kidepo carry a minimum of 4 pax and if you are not 4 pax, you pay for the extra seats to make 4 pax in order to take off. Your flight time can sometimes be delayed by weather but in this case, they will always communicate.
Flights to Kidepo Valley National Park are scheduled for every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday meaning for any trip you plan should be built around these days meaning one can either do 3 days tour, 4 Days tour, 5 days or even more days in the park depending on how long you have to stay on the trip.
Alternative for charted flights is also available and this comes with cost, one can fly to and from on any date of choosing provided they can afford to charter the flight.
Where to stay
Most of the accommodation in Kidepo Valley National Park is located within an hour from the Airstrip and they come in all budget options. For those looking at luxury options, Apoka Safari Lodge is one to look at, it’s the best lodge in the park with the best service and gives value for money. For mid-range options, Kidepo Savannah Lodge, Nga Moru Wilderness Camp and Adere Safari Lodge and those looking for a budget place to stay the Apoka Uwa Bandas are the places to stay. You are advised to carry your own food here.
Booking the trip.
Like any other trip, organizing a flying safari to Kidepo National Park requires you to make advance arrangements so as not to miss out on services like flights and accommodation being that they are not many service providers for this and this is where Encounter Africa Safaris comes in to ensure that your trip services are secured in advance, from Domestic flights, accommodation, vehicles for transfer and guides for the trip.
Best time to travel.
Trips to Kidepo Valley National Park can be done all through the year with services available but the best time to do this trip is during the drier months of the year which is July, August, September and December-January. This is so because with the heat the animals tend to come out and stay near water sources which are not many in the park and these water sources become good spots for viewing wildlife, it’s also dry and the roads become much easy to navigate compared to the wet season when the roads are muddy and slippery which contributed to an unpleasant experience.
Travellers to Kidepo are advised to spend at list a minimum of 4 days in the park to be able to enjoy it and visit some of the best sites it has to offer as its not good to rush. Unlike other national parks, the chances of sitting cheetahs and leopards in Kidepo are quite very hire compared to other places.
A tip for anyone booking a tour to Kidepo Valley National Park is always to remember to consider using a 4×4 Landcruiser for the trip due to the nature and terrine of the park whether during the dry or wet season.
Activities not to miss in Kidepo Valley National Park.
This is one of the most famous and never disappointing national parks in Uganda when it comes to game viewing with over 80 mammals’ species and 28 mammal species endemic to the Karamoja region, travellers to Kidepo Valley National Park are in for a fist for the eyes. The terrine being flat, the sighting is much easier here. There is no defined time to do games and it can be either morning evening or even night game drives to look for the nocturnal species. Among animals to spot are lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, Uganda Kobs, Orbis, kudus, buffalos, Oryx, elephants, giraffes, striped hyenas, reedbucks, waterbucks, duikers and crocodiles among other animals.
With the indigenous communities around the park, the cultural experience around this region is one of the best and undiluted to visit with the Karamajongs who are herdsmen’s and live a nomadic type of lifestyle. They are cattle keeps and they roam around while grazing the cattle and stay in homesteads called Manyattas. They pride in keeping large herds of cattle and use it to symbolize wealth and prestige in the community. Also, this cattle is used in customary ceremonies for marriage is the bride price. While in Kidepo a day visit and experiencing there lifestyle is something not to miss as it will get you close to the way of life and culture of Uganda, with a fee that is charged for this, it goes back to the community to provide clean water in form of construction of boreholes as water is a huge challenge here because of the semi-arid nature of the climate in the region.
Ik people. They stay further in the North and they are the indigenous people who occupied the ranges of mount Molongore. They were relocated when UNESCO gazetted Kidepo Valley National Park as a National heritage, they are just numbered about thousands and endangered culture of people. They lived the lifestyle of hunters, fruit gatherers, leaves and roots and beekeepers. They have quite a high number of teenage marriages and the ability to get a marriage partner is based on one being able to provide basic survival needs. They live in polygamous families and children as seen as a blessing from God.
The community is poor those planning to visit are encouraged to carry them gifts and presents to support them and also high an indigenous guide to take you through the community visit.
The park is boosted with a variety of birds’ species and given the nature of terrine and vegetation, the sighting is easier here. There are more than 450 bird’s species in the park making it a good spot for the bird lovers to visit. The birds to look out for include; Ostrich, Secretary bird, little Green Bee-eater, Kori Bustard, Pygmy Falcon and Karamoja Apalis. Kidepo is notable for its 58 species of birds of prey including the Verreaux’s eagle, Egyptian Vulture, and Pygmy Falcon, crews and owls.
There are other notable activities that you can do include Guided nature walks in the park and visit to the hot springs provided you have the time.
About Encounter Africa safaris
Encounter Africa Safaris is a local company that has operated Uganda for the past ten years and has a lot of experience in organizing packages in Uganda. Our professionalism makes us best suited to arrange this tour for you. Contact us and we will have a response for you in less than 30 minutes.