5 Days Kidepo Valley National Park Safari


Kidepo Valley National Park ranks as one of Africa’s best parks for an authentic African safari experience. It lies in the north eastern corner of Uganda, far off the busy tourist circuit. Its remoteness that hinders easy access to it has enabled it maintain an unadulterated wilderness that protects plenty of wildlife, including many that cannot found in other national parks in Uganda, most notably the Cheetah and Ostrich. The driving distance from Kampala to Kidepo is 520 km (320 mi), and that is more than 11 hours of driving. That would be so long and tiresome a journey! We therefore break it down with sleepover in Kitgum after covering about two thirds of the journey from Kampala, and also after the safaris in Kidepo. Between Kampala and Kitgum, you will visit the Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary to see Rhinos and plenty of other wildlife on the sanctuary.

Tour Specifications

  • Group size: minimum 1 (one) traveler
  • Lodges selected for charm, surrounding wildlife and views, level of comfort, high standard of hospitality and easy reach to the activity spots
  • Professional driver/safari guide and a 4by4 safari van fitted with a pop-up for game viewing
  • Safari on full-board accommodation basis

Safari Highlights:

  • Rhino tracking at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • 3 Game drives
  • Community tour to Karimojongo tribe

Day 1 – Kampala – Ziwa Rhinos – Kitgum

The journey starts from Kampala or Entebbe, with the tour driver picking you up from the hotel and set off at exactly 7am.You shall head northwards taking the Kampala – Gulu highway, and after close to two and half hours you shall reach Nakasongola District where you find the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. You will branch off the highway and take the dirt road to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Transfer to visitor’s center to meet the ranger and set off for a 1 – 2 hour trek on the sanctuary to find Rhinos and plenty of other wildlife. Ziwa protects Uganda’s only wild Rhinos. There about 12 of them on the sanctuary. Rhinos once thrived in many of the wildlife reserves but were poached to extinction in the 1970s. Once enough numbers are raised on the sanctuary they will released into the wildlife reserves. Plenty other animals are found on the sanctuary such as Kob, Oribi, Waterbuck, Leopard, Side-striped Jackal, Oribi, Warthog, Waterbuck, Pangolin, and so much more. Over 351 species of birds have been recorded. You will return from the trek, continue and reach Masindi town where you stopover for lunch. Thereafter continue with the journey and reach Kitgum District in the evening. Spend the overnight Kitgum town.

Meal plan: Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: The Boma Hotel Kitgum

Day 2: Kitgum – Kidepo – Evening Game Drive

Have early breakfast, check out and depart for Kidepo Valley Park. This is a shorter driver than the previous though on dirt roads. You shall reach Kidepo by noon, check into your accommodation for lunch and relaxation. Later you shall head out for a late afternoon game drive in the park to explore the amazing wilderness and observe plenty of wildlife. You shall head to the Narus Valley in the south of the park. The south is the green region of the park with savannah grasslands mixed with acacia woodland. It is also the area of the park with permanent water sources throughout the year and for that matter most of the animals are found in this part of the park. During the hot afternoons, many animals collect around water sources. You shall see large herds of Buffaloes, lots Zebras, and antelope species. Return to the lodge in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Luxury: Apoka Safari Lodge

Mid-range: Nga’ Moru Wilderness Camp

Budget: Apoka Rest Camp

Day 3: Morning drive – afternoon community tour

Have an early cup of tea or coffee and snack and set out for an early game drive, going back to the Narus Valley. This time more focus is on finding the elusive nocturnal and cats which still out hunting. Animals to see include Lions, Hyena, Leopard, Cheetah, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Zebra, Waterbucks, Elephants, and many others. After over three hours return to the lodge for breakfast and relax. In the after your lunch you shall set out for a community tour to the Karamajong homesteads just outside the park. The Karamajong are similar to the famous Masai of Kenya and Tanzania. You shall be treated to their rich culture and traditions that has hardly been touched just like Kidepo. From their unique houses called the “Manyata”, their community relations and hieracies, artifacts, traditional dances and folklore. Return to the lodge in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 – Morning game drive, transfer to Kitgum

After an early cup of tea with a snack, you shall set out for yet another wonderful morning game drive into the park but this time head to Kidepo Valley in the northern area. This part of the park is dry (semi-arid), and vegetation is characterized by short grass. There is almost no permanent water source during the long dry spells. It is thus little wonder there aren’t many animals.You shall enjoy the wonderful views of the unadulterated wilderness, rugged valleys backdropped by mountains. The Ostrich is commonly sighted in this side of the park. The biggest highlight in this area is the famous sand bed of River Kidepo that is a seasonal river that does not flow during the long dry spells. It is lined with lush Borassus palms, creating a sight akin to an oasis in a desert. Enjoy the sounds of birds in the Borassus palm. After more than two hours you shall return to the lodge for breakfast and relaxation. Have early lunch, thereafter check out travel to Kitgum for overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: The Boma Hotel Kitgum

Day 5: Kitgum – Kampala

After breakfast continue with the journey to Kampala where you are expected to arrive in the late afternoon. You shall stopover in Masindi town for lunch.

Tour includes

  • Transport in 4WD safari van with pop-up roof
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Accommodation and meals as mentioned in the tour description
  • Bottled water
  • All activities included on the itinerary
  • Taxes and park fees

Tour excludes

  • Visa fees
  • Air fairs
  • Luxury drinks
  • Tips and porterage
  • Travel insurance
  • Laundry and other personal expenditure
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