Access to Kidepo National park
Access to Kidepo National park: Kidepo national park is one of the great tourist destinations in East Africa and Africa is situated in the extreme north east region of Uganda on the border of Uganda and south Sudan, from Kampala the capital city of Uganda and Entebbe the main gateway in to Uganda the park is approximately 410 km kilometers which is a two day’s drive.
Kidepo national park is the furthest located national park when compared to other national parks in Uganda and can be accessed by both air and road transport means, a journey to kidepo national park by road is very is very tiresome but it is a very rewarding treat. Using air transport means is the easiest way accessing the park.
Kidepo national park famous for offering amazing safari experiences like game drive, nature walk, sightseeing and extra ordinary culture encounter as you visit the Karamojong and Ik people who culture has remained untouched.
ACCESSING KIDEPO NATIONAL PARK BY ROAD
From Kampala the capital city of Uganda and the starting point for most of the safaris to kidepo national park, it a 2 days drive to reach the park covering 410 km for about 10-14 hours’ drive on the road. a journey to kidepo national park is very tiring but very rewarding as it gives you ample time to explore the mystery and beauty of the country side, encountering beautiful sights like in karuma, Gulu, watching people perform their daily duties like trading, walking to their home from the comfort of your car seat is a very refreshing treat to make you forget about the tiring journey. Routes linking to kidepo national park are both marram and tarmac so you should expect a bit[AT1] of dust on your way and if you are highly affected by it carrying a nose covering piece will do you better.
Since you cannot reach kidepo national park in one day on the first day of your safari, you start your trip from Kampala and drive up to Kitgum which is approximately a 6-7 hours’ drive covering 434.6 kilometers, you will get a comfortable accommodation facility for a sleep over. The next day you wake up and cover the remaining distance of 115 kilometers to the park for your safari experience.
Kidepo national park is accessed using different route which means different distance is covered and different hours are spent will on the journey, it is in hands of your safari driver or travel operator to choose the best route for you depending on your interest and other destinations to visit along the way. These routes are as follows
Kampala – Karuma – Gulu – Kitgum – Kidepo route
This route is the shortest route among all the routes linking to the park and the most used one by tourists partly because of its attractions and state, Kampala – Karuma – Gulu – Kitgum – Kidepo route takes the tourist through four towns before reaching the park that is Kampala, karuma, Gulu and Kitgum. Most proportion is smoothly tarmac giving you a comfortable drive and while using this route you get to make stopovers and visit Ziwa rhino sanctuary for an amazing white rhino tracking experience. This route is a 10 hour’s drive covering 571 kilometers.
Kampala – Karuma – Lira – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo route
This route is a 12 hours’ drive covering approximately 705 kilometers, Kampala – Karuma – Lira – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo route linking to kidepo national park is smoothly tarmacked up to karuma and from karuma to Lira the route is an old tarmac road with a bit of potholes and from there about 300 kilometers the route is partly dirt and tarmac. While using this route you get to visit Ziwa rhino sanctuary for white rhino tracking and you also get scenic sights of Murchison falls national park as this route pass on the edge of the park.
Kampala – Mbale – Sironko – Moroto – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo route
This route is a 12 hours’ drive journey covering 740 kilometers, while using this route you pass Mbale, Sironko, Moroto, Kotido and kaabong while enjoying the magnificent landscape, vegetation from the comfort of your car seat. On you way to Kotido you get an opportunity to visit the great lake Victoria and river Nile while on your way to Mbale in Jinja, when you reach Sironko you again make another stopover for an interesting tour in coffee plantations. On the same route you will also visit Matheniko and Bokora wildlife reserves.
Kampala – Mbale – Soroti – Moroto – Kotido – Kaabong – Kidepo route
This route is the longest route to kidepo national park, it a 13 hour’s journey covering approximately 792 kilometers. Using this route is an amazing treat as you get to visit mabira forest, crossing the Nile Bridge where you get to take beautiful memorable pictures, you also visit Lake Victoria and the longest river in the world river Nile while in Jinja on your way to Mbale. When in Kumi town you can visit Nyero rock painting site.
CAUTION: when driving to kidepo national park it is very advisable to use a 4X4 wheel safari vehicle which is in extremely proper working condition because roads linking to kidepo national park are not in great conditions.
For the comfort and safety of tourists, your tourist vehicle must have a pop-up roof for easy viewing on game drive, air conditioner, freezer, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and more necessary items.
ACCESSING KIDEPO NATIONAL PARK BY AIR
Flying to kidepo national park is the easiest way of accessing the park, though it is the easiest flying to kidepo national park is partly disadvantageous as you miss out discovering other tourist aspects like those road transport. Flying to kidepo also expensive which does not usually work for budget tourists with minimum funds.
There are many companies offering chartered domestic flights to kidepo national park at a reasonable price for a ticket. These companies include fly Uganda and Aero-link which offer scheduled flights, a flight to kidepo national park you border a plane from either kajjasi airstrip of Entebbe international airport landing at kidepo airport which is approximately 3 kilometers south of the park’s headquarters. A flight about 2 hours to reach kidepo national park for an amazing safari experience.