Game drives in Kidepo valley national park
Game drives in Kidepo valley national park: Kidepo valley national park is Uganda’s hidden wilderness gem nestled in Kaabong district north eastern part of Uganda. Kidepo valley national park was gazetted in 1962 as a national park to protect different wildlife species that were living on the savannah vegetation. It’s the third largest savannah vegetated park in Uganda sitting on a massive 1442 sq. km piece of land.
Kidepo valley national park is a habitat to over 76 mammals and 5 primates most of which you can’t miss to spot spread in the savannah during the game drives. The game drives are the best way to see park animals of Kidepo valley national park because they take you to most of the park areas increasing opportunities for seeing park animals.
Game drives in Kidepo valley national park can be done three times a day based on the tourist’s itinerary. The first game drives are conducted in the morning, the second session is in the afternoon hours and the last session is for the night hours. Every game drive you will take part in will give you an opportunity to see a number of animals in the park.
The day game drives
Kidepo valley national park is ranked as the best national park when it comes to game drive activities. The national park is a habitat for a diversity of wild animal species which are over 77. Day game drives in Kidepo valley national park conducted in the morning and evening hours are the best way to see wild animals living there.
The morning game drives start at 6 am and tourists have chances of seeing nocturnal animals before going back to their hideout places. The evening game viewing start at about 2 pm and all these happen for 2 to 3 hours. The game drives are conducted in the Narus Valley and Kidepo Valley where a high population of park animals does live.
During your day game drive activity in Kidepo valley national park, you will be able to see animals such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, Uganda kobs, klipspringers, lesser kudus, reedbuck, dik-dik, duikers, olive baboons, side stripped jackals, spotted hyenas, zebras, hartebeests, waterbucks, elands, warthogs, crocodiles, and ostriches among others.
The night game drives in Kidepo valley national park
The night game viewing in Kidepo valley park start after dinner or during sunset hours in the park. In the night game viewing, using UWA ranger guides is mandatory for safety reasons and tourists are advised to use good 4×4 safari vehicles to access most of the park areas without difficulty.
Night game drives in Kidepo valley park are conducted in the Narus Valley where there are high chances of seeing nocturnal animals. The night game drives are full of surprises because you will get an opportunity to encounter nocturnal animals active during the night. The lions and leopards can be found busy feeding on their prey, other animals like the cheetah, reedbuck, hyenas, and dik-dik can be seen lying on the rocks or on the roadside resting.
Tourists on a Uganda safari interested in night game views to see nocturnal animals need to try out Kidepo valley because it has got a lot to offer during night hours. Strong spotlight torches are used during night hours to see animals in the darkness.
The cost of game drives in Kidepo valley
To access Kidepo valley national park for game drive activities you need to pay park entrance fees. The park entrance fee for Kidepo valley national park is $40 for foreign non-residents, $30 for foreign residents, and UGX20,000 members of East African citizens. The day game viewing safaris come at a fee cost once you have paid park entrance fee to Kidepo valley national park.
The night game viewing in Kidepo come at a cost because UWA ranger guides are used to protect you while moving around the park during the night hours. The night game drives cost $30 for foreign non-residents, $20 for foreign residents, and UGX50,000 citizens of East African member states. For tourists who want to hire vehicles for night game drives it’s $20 for foreign non-residents, $15 for foreign residents, and UGX20,000 citizens of East African member states.
The appropriate time to have game drives in Kidepo national park
Kidepo national park game drives can happen at any time of the year however some months are better than others. The dry season months are the best to have game viewing in Kidepo Valley and these happen from June to September and December to February. These months are good because they are characterized by little or no rainfall which keeps the game tracks dry and easier to drive through and the vegetation is short with good viewing of the animals.
Tourists can also visit Kidepo for game viewing activities in the rainy season from March to May and October to November. During such months there is plenty of rainfall so tourists should be ready for the muddy game tracks, dirt roads, and tall vegetation cover which makes the animal viewing unclear.
Where to stay in Kidepo valley national park
There are enough accommodation facilities for tourists who visit Kidepo valley park and would love to spend a night or more in the park. These accommodation facilities are not as good as those in other national parks but they offer good services to clients. Some of the accommodation in Kidepo includes Apoka Safari Lodge, Apoka Rest Camp, Kidepo Wilderness Lodge, Kidepo Savannah Lodge, and Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp among others.