For most of the year, a lack of surface water means that little wildlife is found in Kidepo Valley, though it is still worth the drive to visit the dry Kidepo River to stroll along its 50m wide bed of white sand between banks covered with borassus palms. Kidepo means to pick from below and the valley was visited by people coming to gather fallen borassus fruit for fermenting to make palm beer. The Kanangorok Hot Springs lie 11km beyond the Kidepo River on the Sudan border. This is a glorious place to sit and view the mountains beyond the frontier.
Some of the more unique wildlife in this park includes grazing animals such as the impala, and Lake Mburo is the only park in Uganda that supports this ecotone species. It is also home to the last Ugandan population of eland, the largest African antelope. Hyenas, leopards, buffalo, hippo, Burchell’s Zebra and warthog are all found in the acacia woods and grasslands that surround the lakes of the park. There is a good chance you will see crocodile, hippo, reedbuck and waterbuck here too, as well as some of the 315-strong bird species that have been recorded to date, including the elusive African finfoot. The wildlife is best enjoyed on a game drive or a guided walk and the guides are experience and knowledgeable at taking you to the best spots. There is also the opportunity here for boat safaris down Lake Mburo, horse-back safaris and night drives, for the chance to see the more nocturnal animals, such as leopard, hyena, civet and porcupine. The best end to the day is, of course, sundowners in the park, as the sun settles itself neatly below the horizon.