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NORTHERN REGION OF UGANDA

The North provides yet another awe inspiring destination with ample opportunity to view Ugandan tribes, culture and wildlife in a stunning location. Discover all the breathtaking attractions that this Region has to offer.

Northern Uganda Key Highlights

  1. The Murchison Falls
  2. Kidepo National Park

The Murchison Falls

The Murchison Falls National Park lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the bulky Bunyoro escarpment merges into the vast plains of Acholi land. One of Uganda's oldest conservation areas, it was initially gazetted as a game reserve in 1926 to protect a savanna that Winston Churchill described in 1907 as 'Kew Gardens and the zoo combined on an unlimited scale'.

The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile which first races down 80km of white-water rapids before plunging 40m over the remnant rift valley wall at Murchison Falls, the centre piece of the park. The Falls drains the last of the river's energy, transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor for 55km to Lake Albert.

This stretch of river provides one of Uganda's most memorable wildlife spectacles. Regular visitors include elephant, giraffe and buffalo while hippopotamus and Nile crocodile are permanent residents.

The park covers 3,893 sq km and is Uganda's largest protected area. Today it is part of the even larger Murchison Falls Protected Area (5,072 sq km) which includes the adjoining Karuma and Bugungu wildlife reserves.

How to get there:
Its is approximately 5hrs drive from Kampala (305km). A longer (135km) alternative route passes through Budongo forest and enjoys spectacular views across Lake Albert from the Riftvalley escarpment above Butiaba.

Activities:

  1. Trips to the base of the falls offer fine game viewing and bird watching.
  2. Boat trips to the Lake Albert delta provide the best chance in Africa of sighting Shoebills.
  3. Chimp tracking at Rabongo Forest, and en route from Masindi in the Budongo Forest.

When to visit: Any time of the year.

Kidepo National Park

Kidepo ranks among Africa's finest wildernesses. From Apoka, in the heart of the national park, a savanna landscape extends in all directions, far beyond the gazetted area of 1,442kms towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.

The park has a semi-arid climate with just one rainy season per year (April-September) and rainfall is light. The valley of the Narus river in the south of the park receives some 890mm of rain/year while just 635mm of rain/year falls in the Kidepo valley to the north. Both rivers are seasonal, and dwindle and disappear in the dry season.

During these months, the only permanent water in the park is found in wetlands and remnant pools along the southern Narus valley near Apoka and as a result, wildlife is concentrated in this area. This consideration, combined with the valley's open, savanna habitat, makes it the park's prime game viewing location. Indeed it is possible to sight a good variety of wildlife simply by scanning the valley with binoculars from the comfort of the Apoka lodge.

Location: Kidepo is located in the North-eastern corner of Uganda, some 700 km from Kampala and tucked between the borders with Sudan and Kenya – and it is 1,442 sq km in size.

How to get there: The park can be reached by both road and air. Driving is more rewarding, as much of Karamoja, like Kidepo itself, is a vast and unspoiled wilderness. However, road conditions are sometimes difficult and 4WD vehicles are usually essential.

• Kampala-Mbale-Soroti-Kidepo (792km)
• Kampala-Karuma-Gulu-Kitgum-Kidepo (571km)

Activities: Game viewing and Wildlife & Nature study.
When to visit: Any time of the year.

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