One of its best treasures, however, remains hidden.
Off the beaten track, Kidepo National Park is nestled among the rugged hills and valleys of northern Uganda. It's a place so hidden away its beauty has mostly gone unnoticed -- until now.
Kidepo valley national park
Kidepo valley national park lies in the far northeast of Uganda, isolated from the rest of Uganda tourist attractions by sparsely populated, arid badlands of Karamojja region. Kidepo valley national park is rarely visited by tourists, largely due to the expense and toughness of accessing the park. Kidepo valley is nevertheless one of the most alluring destinations in Uganda and East Africa, boasting a strong wilderness atmosphere, rugged mountains scenery, and exceptional game viewing and bird watching.
Kidepo valley protects one of the most exciting faunas of any national park in Uganda. The total of 86 mammal species thrive in this park, including 28 species found nowhere else in the country. The bird checklist for Kidepo is 463 confirmed and 26 unconfirmed species is second only to Queen Elizabeth national park and more than 60 of the birds listed have been recorded in no other park in Uganda.
Five primate species have been recorded in Kidepo valley including the localized patas monkey. Predators are particularly well represented, with 22 species resident. Of these the black-backed jackal, African hunting dog, bat-eared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf, cheetah and caracal are found in no other Ugandan national park. Other predators recorded in Kidepo are the side-striped jackal, spotted hyena, leopard, lion and a variety of must lids, genets, mongooses and small cats. A remarkable 17 antelope’s species occur in Kidepo seven of these are found nowhere else in Uganda: namely Grant’s gazelle, greater kudu, lesser kudu, roan antelope, Beira Oryx, Guenther’s dik-di and mount reedbuck. Other antelope species found in Kidepo are the Jackson’s hartebeest, topi, eland, bushbuck, common duiker, klipspringer, oribi, Deffassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob and bohor reedbuck. Kidepo valley national park also supports population of elephant, burchell’s zebra, warthog, bushpig and buffaloes. The black rhinoceros become extinct in Kidepo, while giraffe are threatened with local extinction.
The northeast is home to Uganda's most singular ethnic group, the a’karamojongo, normadic pastoralists whose love of cattle has obsessive quality rivalling that of the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania. The a’karamajongo of northeast is divided into six groups, each with its own dialect of the Nilotic Karamoja language.