Kidepo valley national park located in the eastern most corner of Uganda bordering Kenya and South Sudan is the most remote park you will visit in Uganda. For many years only a few courageous people traveled to this area because of the insecurity in this region that was cut off by the Kony rebels and the Karimajong warriors. If you are looking for a true wilderness experience then this park should be your choice.
On this Eastern Uganda discovery tour, I was not so keen on visiting Kidepo because I have been there before and spent some quality time exploring the park. I would have preferred to spend more time in Pian Upe or Moroto probably hiking Mt Moroto which I will soon return to. The drive from Moroto to Kidepo in Kaabong was very engaging with more birding enroute and stops to enjoy and take in the scenery. The Karamoja scenery is out of this world and one cannot get used to sights of beautiful rocky outcrops with the sun setting or rising. The mountains in the background with flat Savannah areas laying bare before your eyes.
We passed different Karimajong homesteads known as Manyatta’s of different sizes and small towns made of few shops. The Manyatta’s are several huts build alongside each other in circular form for security reasons with the cows kraal in the middle of each manyatta. This way they are able to protect the cows from predators and cattle rustlers like the Pokot and Turkana from Kenya who unfortunately still have arms whereas their counterparts in Uganda were disarmed.
We soon arrived in Kaabong which hosts Kidepo valley national park but first with a brief stopover in Kotido. Because our plan was to spend the night in the park at the Uganda Wildlife authority bandas, we did not spend much time in Kotido. There is a beautiful colorful market and a weekly cattle market that I recommend.
We arrived in the park later in the evening about 5 pm and drove to the tourism center at Apoka. We had a short game drive but the animal were scarce and the few we saw were a distance away and not captured by my lens. The scenery is beautiful as always with the perfect African sunset over the park. Towards the bandas, we were welcomed by the ever present fox that enjoys to hang around the lodge area, the elephants, zebras, Waterbucks and resident warthogs. We checked in and after a while went to the restaurant for our dinner orders and enjoyed the camp fire after this reminisce about our trip so far. We retired to bed with sounds of the hyenas in the back ground.