Birding in Kidepo

Uganda birding sites: Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo valley national park is one of Uganda’s most beautiful game parks in Uganda. It is found in the remote Kaabong district in North Eastern Uganda, in the Karamoja. The park has breathtakingly beautiful savannah and mountain landscape and a very picturesque scenery unspoilt by human activity.

Located about 700km from Kampala, the Uganda capital, Kidepo is Uganda;s most isolated park. Because it is so remote it is not visited as often, and by as many people as it should, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. In Kidepo you get to experience the African wilderness at its best, with as little human interference as possible.

This magnificent park covers an area of about 1442 sq. km, and stands at an elevation of 900-1200m above sea level at the Uganda- Sudan border to 2750m at the top of Mt. Morungole.

Kidepo is provides habitat to several wildlife species with its Semi-desert scrub, open thorn scrub, open thorn bush, long and short-grass open tree savanna, riparian woodland including Borassus and Kigelia woodland, thick “miombo-like” woodland, montane forest and granite outcrops.

Wildlife and vegetation

The park is has two valleys each with vegetation and wildlife; the Narus valley and the Kidepo basin. Vegetation and wildlife differ in the two valleys due to differences in rainfall received.

The park has over 80 species of mammals, 28 of which are not found in any other park in Uganda. Some of the wildlife in the park-mostly in the Narus valley include: Lions, leopards, cheetah, bat-eared fox, giraffes, elephant, oribis, zebras, klipspringers, kongoni, waterbuck, Guenther’s Dik Dik and many others.

The vegetation coverage comprises shorter red oat grass and taller bunchy Guinea grass, fine thatching grass and trees such as red thorn acacias, desert dates, and drumstick trees. There are also sausage trees and fan palms along water courses. Euphorbia candelabrumm the shorter monkey bread and Buffalo thorn trees can also be seen in the park.

Birding in Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo valley has an amazing variety and population of bird life. It has close to 500 bird species recorded, which makes it second to only Queen Elizabeth National Park in bird diversity. QENP has over 600 bird species.

Kidepo has 23 of Uganda’s 32 Somali-Masai biome species, 21 Afro-tropical highland species (recorded mainly from highlands of Lonyili, Morungole, Zulia and Lomej with their characteristic mosaic of forest, savanna and thicket). There are also 16 Sudan and Guinea savannah species and 4 Guinea-Congo forest biome species in the park. Other interesting species include the Little Rock thrush and Brown Parisona. The karamoja Apalis and the Black-breasted Barbet which are some of rarest birds can also be seen in this park.

Other birds found in Kidepo valey National Park include: pygmy falcon, Ostrich, African swallow tailed kite, Eastern pale chanting goshawk Fox Kestrel, Clapperton’s and Heuglin’s Francolins, Stone Partridge, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Kori, Rose-ringed Parakeet, White-bellied and Hartlaub’s Bustards, Violet-tipped Courser, Black-headed Plover, Four-banded Sand Grouse, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, White-crested Turaco, White-bellied Go-away bird, Eastern Yellow and Jackson’s Hornbills, White-faced Scoops Owl, Eastern Yellow and Jackson’s Hornbills, Long-tailed and Standard-winged Nightjars, Foxy and Red pate Cisticolas, Little Green Bee-eater, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers, Abyssinian Ground, Red-fronted and Black-breasted Barbets, Singing Bush Lark, Red-winged Lark, Ethiopian Swallow, Pied, Isabelline and Heuglin’s Wheaters, African Grey Flycatcher, Yellow-spotted Petronia, White-bellied Tit, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, White-headed and White-billed Buffalo Weavers, Northern White-crowned and Yellow-billed Shrikes, Slate-coloured Boubou, Fan-tailed Raven, Superb Starling, White-browed and Chestnut- crowned Sparrow Weavers, Red billed Ox-pecker, Eastern Violet backed, Pygmy and Beautiful Sun birds, Grey-capped Social and Speckle-fronted Weavers, Rufous and Chestnut Sparrow, Golden Pipit, Taita Fiscal, Rufous Chatterer, Ring-necked Spurfowl,Fox’s Cisticola, Yellow and red spotted Barbet, Red-winged Lark, Black-rumped Waxbill. Fox’s Weaver, Lesser Kestrel, Pallid Harrier, Black-winged Pranticole, Hartlaub’s Turaccos, Dusky-turtle Dove, White-bellied Go-Away bird, Abyssinian Scimitar bill, Jackson’s and African-pied Hornbills, Emin’s Shrike, Piapiac and many more.


The best place to start your birding in Kidepo valley National Park is the Narus valley. Here you will see some very interesting bird species such as the silver birds and vinaceous doves.


As you enjoy your birding safari in Kidepo, be sure to enjoy the game drives that the park offers, enjoy walks through the guided walks through the park, and take some very amazing pictures to keep your memories fresh.


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