Kidepo Valley National Park
Situated in North-Eastern Uganda, Kidepo is a remote wilderness savanna that has a plethora of animals. This includes the Big Five and practically every other mammal and arid bird species you’re likely to have on your checklist. It’s a first class ticket to encountering lions, cheetahs, leopards, side-striped and black-backed jackals, bat eared fox, buffaloes, elephants, giraffes. The park is a haven for 12 antelope species the biggest of which are elands. Others include jackson’s hartebeest, oribi, Uganda kob and klipspringer.
The best time to head out for a game drive is early morning or late evening when the predators are out for a hunt. In between, around mid-day, they tend to disappear out of sight, into distant shades where they can take shelter from the scorching sun. To stand better chances of photographing a leopard napping next to the kill it has hoisted into a tree, concentrate on where you see vultures gathering (with the hope of devouring left-overs). If lady luck is on your side, you might spot a pair of cheetahs sitting high on their relatively high termite hills with the intent of getting clear view of prey that are wandering back and forth. You visit Kidepo and miss out on seeing the seasonal river after which it is named. It is scenically spectacular.
The limited number of lodges and camps means that its ‘wildness’ doesn’t feel tamed and the experience isn’t ‘package-holiday’ like.
A visit to Kidepo is incomplete with a treat of the authentic traditional cultures of the Karimojong. It is a tribe of nomadic warriors with a strong attachment to the ancient way of life. It has a strong influence in the way they eat, dance, marry and hold festivals.