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NATIONAL GAME PARK
Lying in the rugged, semi-arid
valleys of Karamoja province on the far northern border with the Sudan,
Kidepo Valley is Uganda's most remote national park. Few undertake the
pilgrimage to the park but the spectacular beauty of this pristine wilderness
impresses all that make it. Kidepo is ideal for Uganda safaris featuring
wildlfe. For the visiting birder, Kidepo Valley National Park boasts a
bird list of over 475 species, a total second only to Queen Elizabeth
National Park. Amongst the host of dry, eastern " specials"
not found in any other Ugandan national park are some of East Africa's
rarest and most sought after birds such as Black-breasted Barbet and Karamoja
ABOUT THE PARK
Birds Recorded: 475 species.
Timing March-April for all the specials and many transit migrants, although
good year - round.
Time required: 4-7 days
Elevation: 914m on Kidepo valley floor to 2749m a top Mount Morungole
Size: 1442 km 2
Habitat: Semi-desert scrub, open thorn-scrub, open thorn-bush, long and
short-grass open tree savannas, riparian woodland including Borassus and
Kigelia woodland, thick, "miombo- like" woodland, montane forest
and granite out-crops..
Status: National Park since 1954
Key Species of Birds
Pale Chanting Goshawk, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Kori, Ethiopian Swallow,
Pied, Isabelline and Heuglin's Wheaters, White-bellied and Hartlaub's
Bustards, Pygmy Falcon, Fox Kestrel, Stone Partridge, Clapperton's and
Heuglin's Francolins, Violet-tipped Courser, Black-headed Plover, Four-banded
Sand Grouse, Ostrich, African Swallow-tailed Kite, Bruce's Green Pigeon,
Rose-ringed Parakeet, White-faced Scoops Owl, Slate-coloured Boubou, Fan-tailed
Raven, Long-tailed and Standard-winged Nightjars, Little Green Bee-eater,
Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers, Abyssinian Ground, Eastern Yellow
and Jackson's Hornbills, Red-fronted and Black-breasted Barbets, Karamoja
Apalis, White-bellied Tit ,Brown-backed Woodpecker, Singing Bush lark,
Red-winged Lark, African Grey Flycatcher, Foxy and Red pate Cisticolas,
, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Northern White-crowned and Yellow-billed
Shrikes, Superb Starling, Red billed Oxpecker, Eastern Violet backed,
Pygmy and Beautiful Sunbirds, Rufous and Chestnut Sparrow, Yellow-spotted
Petronia, White-headed and White-billed Buffalo Weavers, White-browed
and Chestnut- crowned Sparrow Weavers, Grey-capped Social and Speckle-fronted
Weavers, Green-winged, Orange-winged and Red-winged Pytilias, Black-bellied
and Black-faded Waxbill, Steel-blue and Strawtailed Whydahs, Brown-rumped
OF WILDLIFE IN KIDEPO NATIONAL GAME PARK
Kidepo has regestered over 80 species including 28 that are peculiar to
only and only kidepo in Uganda. Amongst these are such charismatic African
animals as Bat-eared Fox, Carcal, Cheetah and Klipspringer. Unfortunately,
Kidepo suffered the same fate as many other Ugandan parks during the Amin
era and is still recovering from years of poaching that left game herds
depleted. Striped Hyena, Lesser Kudu, Grant's Gazelle and Beisa Oryx have
not been seen at all in recent times and are presumed to be locally extinct.
Other large mammals have shown a remarkable recovery and there are now
healthy population of Elephant, Common Zebra, Buffalo, and Kongoni. Predators
are plentiful and Spotted Hyena, Leopard and Lion are frequently seen.
Oribis is abundant in the Narus Valley, whilst the dry thorn thickets
in the north are home to Guenther's Dik Dik. Senegal Galago and Sidestriped
Jackal may be found in the rest camp at night and White-tailed Mongoose
is common but more likely to be found on a night drive. The park also
has a very rich and diverse reptile fauna.
The Apoka Rest Camp and Park Headquarters overlooking the shallow, southern
Narus Valley is a great spot to begin your Kidepo birding. The attractive
Silverbird and small bands of Yellow-billed Shrike frequent the thorn
trees around camp, as does a number of other widespread species such as
Vinaceous Dove, Hoopoe, Mosque Swallow, Nubian Woodpecker, Ruppell's and
Superb Starlings, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Little Weaver and Red-cheeked
Cordon-bleu. A small permanent water hole at the edge of camp attracts
swallows and a variety of seedeaters including Yellow-rumped Seedeater
and is visited at night by Four-banded Sandgrouse, Elephant, Buffalo and
occasionally Lion. Clapperton's Francolin, Black Coucal, African Moustached
and Broad-tailed Warblers, Marsh Tchagra and Crimson-rumped Waxbill may
be seen in the rank grass along the normally dry stream bed adjacent to
camp or along the track to Amok lodge.
Kidepo Valley National Park is accessible either by road or by air. The
most commonly driven route from Kampala is via Mbale, Soroti and Moroto,
an 840-km journey taking a minimum of 12 hours and a sturdy 4WD to complete.
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