On this page I will tell you how to get to and around Kidepo National Park, accommodation facilities, camping, best times to visit and more ... Just about all you need to know about this place.
As a quick remind even before we set off, have yourself a proper 4WD ... the roads here can be quite poor sometimes - especially in the wet seasons. If you love driving, then you haven't driven yet ... a drive through this vast and unspoiled wilderness of Karamoja will give you that ultimatum.
There are 2 way to get here;By Air - You will be destined to miss out on most of rural Uganda site seeing ... but for the comfort and if you can't wait to get to Kidepo National Park, you can take a chartered flight to Kidepo.
Flights can be arranged from Kajjansi airfield near Kampala with the Kampala Aeroclub or from Entebbe with Eagle Aviation. Flight takes about 2 hours to Kidepo.
... And by Road - You can take 4 possible routes. The longer journeys will certainly take you more places to see before you finally get to Kidepo.
View Kidepo Valley National Park in a larger map
I have set Kampala, the Capital as our set off point! Depending on where you are, you can join any route along the way to find your way to the park.
The shortest and probably the quickest is the Kampala, Karuma, Gulu, Kitgum to Kidepo route. That is about 571km and which should take you about 10 hours. If you plan to visit the Murchison Fall National Park first, then this is the ideal route to take.
Kampala, Karuma, Lira, Kotido, Kaabong to Kidepo is about 705km which should take you about 12 hours.
... But then you could decide to go through Mbale - visiting the Mountain Elgon National Park first. Kampala, Mbale, Sironko, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong to Kidepo is about 740km and which should take you about 12 hour .. may be more!
Kampala, Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, Kotido, Kaabong to Kidepo is the longest at about 790km. That should take you a good 13 to 14 hours of driving.
You will already see a variation in time - that tells you a bit about the condition of the roads ... but there is more to that. Driving in Uganda can be fun! Read more here ...
The best is; have a break every 2 hours drive and if there are more drivers on the team, then swich drivers.
You could plan to stay overnight at some of these towns; you will find accommodation ... but which certainly will not be top notch as what you probably left in Kampala. Best advise would be, if you decided to stay for a night, don't leave it till late. Get to the town before sun set and have a look around ...
The facilities at the park are quite good - the long drive and wait will be well worth it once you get to Kidepo National park. Apoka Safari Lodge is top notch - a paradise out there! It's the kind of place you will love to be.
You can also stay at Apoka Rest Camp. This place is run by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) ... and therefore expected good standards. They offer catering services but only on order. Here are their numbers, try them;
Apoka Rest Camp - Tel: +256 312 355000, +256 414 355000, +256 392 899500 (same for Kakine Self-catering Campsite)
... And then the Kakine Self-catering Campsite - This is another place run by UWA that you could try out if you've got all your camping equipment with you. Be sure to have your own food otherwise you might starve and decide to go hunting ... For bookings, give them a ring using the same numbers as the Rest Camp above.
Outside the Park, the Nga'Moru Wilderness Camp is one I would recommend.
A small fee will be charged for most of the activities and sites within the park which is different from the entrance to the park and which will normally be subject to change. See current fees for National Parks in Uganda here ...
Surely you can visit Kidepo any time throughout the year ... but without doubt the best times to visit will come down to the dry season ... ideal months would be July and August when temperature average 27.5°C with daily variations of 21.5°C to 34°C.
Throughout the dry season, animals will be concentrated near the water points - making it easy to view them. I guess there are bits one misses in the rainy season ... but you don't want to be out there in such wet conditions. The animals will be hard to view too since they will have dispersed from the valleys to the higher, drier grounds where they are not easy to view.
... Lets add to that list, shall we! I did say you will need a good 4WD; Surely you will ... and for your bags, put that camera first - you don't want to miss out on those wonderful 'kodak moments'. Have lots of films or memory cards and make sure you have enough batteries to last you through.
Charge your camera and phone at every opportunity - you will think that would be common sense ... but take caution!
Hiking boots, plenty of water to drink, lightweight raincoats is recommended and a light jacket. Quite often, given the altitude, the evenings will turn out to be cool and if you are staying at one of the luxury accommodation, have your swim suit with you ... I bet you will leap at every chance to jump into a swimming pool.
Kidepo National Park will certainly give you that unforgettable Ugandan Vacation as you enjoy the best of National parks in Uganda and watch the variety of Ugandan wildlife!
If my work and information is helpful and you like what you read on the site, please consider making a donation to support its development.
Subscribe and get your
Lots of insider tips!
You can now obtain Uganda Travel Insurance here...