Kidepo Valley is just about as remote as you can go in East Africa, so if you have a penchant for off the beaten track adventure get ready for endless miles of beautiful savannah and thrilling game. It's not a national park for everyone. But we absolutely love it.
A remote wilderness.
Bordering South Sudan, this national park was previously a private playground for Idi Amin. Just getting here is an adventure. It's a six-hour drive from Murchison Falls and 12 hours from Kampala or Entebbe, but we can arrange charter flights from Entebbe that cut travel time to two hours and provide stupendous views over rural Uganda. Touch down and you'll almost be the only one on the vast savannah – Kidepo Valley receives around 3,000 visitors a year (Tanzania's Ngorongoro gets over half a million).
Discovering Kidepo River.
The Kidepo River is the oasis on the dusty plains, where cheetahs chase oribi, leopards ambush duiker, and lions lie in wait for thirsty zebra. One of our favourite ever East African memories was witnessing a pack of wild dogs chase down a waterbuck here. Eagles soar and spotted hyenas cackle with menace, and the size of the buffalo herds is unforgettable. For dramatic wildlife sightings, Kidepo Valley doesn't disappoint.
Exploring the Ik tribal community.
Game drives are flexible and the mainstay of an itinerary, but we also enjoy the chance to visit an Ik tribal community in the surrounding mountains. It's an experience that continues the overbearing sense of wilderness and the feeling that you're alone in old-world Africa. The ambience is powerful so we like using Apoka Lodge as a luxurious base, a place to recharge the batteries in an outdoor bathtub and watch the procession of wildlife wander by.
We would recommend Kidepo Valley for those who have visited Africa before and wish to enhance the adventure or push their boundaries. If you want to be immersed in the drama of a rarely visited savannah then Kidepo Valley will keep you entertained for days.