One of the places I have always admired and dreamt of visiting was Kidepo National Park, its vast savannah grasslands, and the hundreds of mammal and bird species made just made it ideal.
So you can imagine my excitement when I saw a trip being organized by Travel Neza to this beautiful destination.
The journey to Uganda’s most Isolated park took us about 11 to 13 hours and this was mostly due to the bad road between Kitgum and Kidepo. The heavy rains in the region only made it harder for us to get through but on a lighter note, it was all the comedy we needed. Watching people slide in the mud as they tried to push the cars was quite the entertainment.
I often like to be surprised on group trips, even though I may have an idea of where we are going, I’m not one to go online to check out the facilities, I just pack my bags and wait for the reveal party.
We arrived at Kidepo Savannah Lodge a few minutes before midnight, the moon was a warm milky glow in the sky, so mesmerizing that it made forget me the cold air which was sweeping in from majestic valleys.
“This is going to be one awesome weekend” I whispered to myself.
It’s said that you can hear a lion’s roar 5 miles away, but what I heard in the middle of the night felt like it was 200 meters. My eyes opened wide as I tried to listen for any movement outside my tent. 30 minutes later, I heard it again but instead of feeling scared like normal people would, I grinned in the dark as I thought about seeing them in the daylight.
According to the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Kidepo National Park is home to 86 mammal species and the second-largest number of bird species in Uganda currently standing at 475.
The game drive through the True African Wilderness is everything I could hope for and more. I got to see animals like zebras, elephants, kobs, antelopes, waterbucks, lions, and buffalos.
As we slowly drove through the rich green savannah taking in the sights of rugged mountains at all the corners, I asked our guide which animal he fears the most in the wild, he said, “the buffalo.”
“It’s very unpredictable and can attack you out of the blue. But luckily for me I know how to escape a buffalo attack,” he smiled before he went on to explain how.
“Don’t run, just lie down and have your 2 fingers ready. Since its eyesight isn’t that good, when it approaches you, be swift and stick your 2 fingers in its nostrils, it will run away.”
Since I looked like the daredevil of the group, this is advice I took to heart and increased on my life hacks.
Despite Kidepo’s rich big game, the animals tend to migrate in the rainy season and it’s hard to spot any lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, and giraffes among others if one isn’t patient with the game drive.
Having seen what I saw, I can confidently say Kidepo National Park is one place you have to put on your bucket list. And the amazing thing is that you don’t have to wait for long, Travel Neza is organising an Independence weekend trip to it that you wouldn’t want to miss out on. The experience is worth every penny.