Review of safari in Kidepo N.P. and comparisons with Murchison Falls
Replies: 2 - Last Post: Nov 9, 2012 6:18 AM Last Post By: Iansolo82
Oct 27, 2012 1:09 AM
Review of safari in Kidepo N.P. and comparisons with Murchison FallsI just came back from a trip to Kidepo Valley National Park. It was an incredible experience and I would highly recommend anyone considering going up there to give it a try.
My friend handled all the logistics of the trip and we live in Gulu so I couldn’t help you with the info on how to get there from Kampala, but there are other threads that already cover this at length.
We traveled with a group of friends. We rented two 4x4s with drivers and left from Gulu. The drive from Gulu to Kidepo was about 6 hours. Road is pretty bad but it was very dry so getting stuck was not an issue. The drive once you are getting close to the park is stunning and definitively worth not missing as you get a beautiful view of the mountainous landscape and some amazing rock formations.
We were there during the middle of October and conditions were great, but I would warn anybody trying to travel there by land during the rainy season to be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time battling with awful road conditions, especially the last 40km before the national park. I would highly discourage a trip there if you need to stick to a very tight schedule. I’ve heard that flying from Entebbe to a grass landing strip in the park is also an option, although I have no further info on this.
Naturally you will be comparing a trio to Kidepo with Murchison Falls, and I must admit that it is a hard decision since Murchison is quite beautiful and well worth the visit. Price wise I would say that both are really similar. It is no surprise that Kidepo’s park fees are a bit cheaper than Murchison’s, but you need to consider that getting there is much more of a hassle. Most must 2 night 3 days safaris to Murchison Falls run around $300, whereas the costs of our 2 night 3 day safari in Kidepo was about $200. However, we were left from Gulu and did not use a private safari operator. The added time and cost if you’re departing from Kampala would easily increase the price in case you’re hiring a driver or going with a tour operator.
As far as what to expect, Murchison is easy to go to and has the advantage of the falls and the Victoria Nile which are both really nice attractions. Kidepo on the other hand is quite far, hard to get to, and hence would consume more time from your itinerary. However, as I mentioned previously, the scenery once you get to Kaapong Distric is stunning. In addition, because accessing the park is so cumbersome, the number of tourist that visit the park is generally quite small. When we were there we were the only visitors in the whole park at that moment and having a whole national park to yourself is quite a unique experience that you can’t really put a price on.
Another of the big benefits of the lack of visitors is that our guide in the park seemed to be much more relaxed about leaving the vehicle behind in order to do a bit of walking and continuing the game drive on foot which I can’t recommend enough. There is nothing like walking close to a giraffe or a group of zebras without the constant noise of a car engine and the separation that that entails. There was certainly no walking during my game drives in Murchison Falls and don’t think the park rangers would allow that.
Kidepo is a much smaller park than Murchison Falls and I did not get the impression that the amount of game was probably as big as in MF. However, I was able to spot a greater variety of animals in Kidepo than in MF.
We also go to do other fun things like walking on the dried river bed of the Kidepo river, driving to a hot spring located right at the border with South Sudan, and visiting Idi Amin’s allege former hideout.
Overall I would say that if your itinerary in Uganda is quite time constraint and you’re looking for safari in an easy to get to place Murchison Falls is well worth the trip, but if you have a little more time to spare and are looking for a more unique adventurous experience Kidepo Valley National Park is a must see in my opinion.
Oct 27, 2012 3:38 AM
Nov 9, 2012 6:18 AM
2I was in Kidepo last June.. such an amezing place!!!
I travelled by pubblic means. It takes more than 2 days from Kampala.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$275.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$125.43 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$180.00 per night