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Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda

Secret African Safaris without the crowds

It doesn’t get much more remote than Uganda’s Kidepo Valley National Park – the true African wilderness.

The Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda is situated some 700km north of the capital Kampala. On the border with South Sudan, spread across the sun-bleached grasslands of the Karamoja region, it is visited by few travelers.

Those that do arrive may discover one of East Africa’s rarest sights: tree-climbing lions.

It’s a quirk more readily associated with the big cats of Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth NP or Lake Manyara NP in Tanzania, and while it’s not common here, it does happen – a result of lions wanting to either escape irritating bugs on the ground or simply snag a cool breeze. When not scouring the branches of sausage trees for unconventional felines – or for the park’s 475 recorded species of birds – look out for cheetah.

This is the only part of Uganda where you’ll find these stately cats, and sightings are reassuringly regular.

Kidepo Valley National Park also rewards the adventurous traveller, with visits to the boiling hot springs of Kanangorok and day hikes into the Morungole Mountains, pit-stopping at Ik villages en route, offering challenges aplenty.

Also see: Mgahinga Gorilla NP – Uganda’s smallest national park – lives in the shadow of better-known Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It is quite a trek to reach, nestled deep in the south-west between three extinct volcanoes, but hikes to visit the habituated group of mountain gorillas that live in the Virunga hills here are no less rewarding. Since most travelers go to Bwindi, it means that in Mgahinga you’re likely to trekking gorillas in a small group of less than 8 people. A noteworthy reason to visit Mgahinga for your Uganda gorilla safari is to support the work of rangers who keep the park and gorillas safe. In addition, the park offers opportunity for hiking in the Virunga Massif

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