What has got Kidepo Valley National Park excited?

News broke early this week that one of the five ex-Presidents of the US will be visiting the spectacular but remote Kidepo Valley National Park.

Kidepo Valley National Park, which has been twice featured by CNN Travel – once as the 3rd best park in Africa and another time as one of Africa’s featured parks is as remote as you can get.

When you close your eyes and think of Africa; the landscape, the jagged hills, the golden grasses, the Savannah plains dotted with wildlife and fauna, the soft glowing light and more – that is Kidepo. This and much more is what the visiting United States president can expect to see and experience.

Where is Uganda Wildlife Authority in all of this?

According to Andrew Seguya, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) executive director, his identity will not be revealed yet for security reasons. However, the five former presidents of the US who are still living include Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), George H. W. Bush (1989-1993), Bill Clinton (1993-2001), George W. Bush (2001-2009) and Barrack Hussein Obama (2009-2016). I would place my bet on the latter three.

What can you do in Kidepo?

In terms of activities, the president can expect to visit the Karamojong people who neighbor the park in their nearby Manyattas to learn about their traditional way of life and possibly experience some traits of their culture.

Karimajong people housing -Manyatta
Karimajong people housing -Manyatta

He could trek up Mount Morungole to meet Uganda’s smallest tribe – the Ik people. The Ik hunted and gathered inside Kidepo Valley National park but were displaced 50 years ago to create the park. They then migrated to the Morungole Mountains where they can be found today.

A hike up the mountains to meet the Ik, with beautiful scenery is not for the faint-hearted. However, a trail has been developed by the US Forestry Service. When you get to an Ik village, learn about their cultural traits.

On the grassy plains, the president should expect to see abundant wildlife. Lions, leopard, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, zebra, possibly Africa’s largest herds of buffalo, hartebeest, waterbuck, bushbuck, warthog and a lot more. African wild dogs have also been known to cross into the park from South Sudan.

Because the president will reportedly sleep at Apoka Safari Lodge, he can expect to see much of the wildlife while seated at his veranda or the outdoor bathtub.

How do Kidepo National park Accommodations fare?

Apoka Safari Lodge is one of the ultimate safari lodges in Uganda. In this remote spot, Apoka has created an experience like no other for those who are lucky enough to afford it. The comfort, luxury and class is all around you in the middle of the African bush.

The rooms at Apoka have been built with comfort in mind. Everything is handmade by local craftsmen, everything is large and capacious. The lodge is made up of 10 expansive rooms with natural canvas walls that surround a rocky kopje with endless views across the Savannah.

With inside sitting rooms and private verandas, there are plenty of places to relax, read and sprawl. The décor is first class, en-suite bathrooms, stone bathtub outside of your room to enjoy a bath under the African night sky.

However, given that it is a US president we are talking about, he will be able to see wildlife way up close – on foot during a nature walk with armed rangers and the attendant security detail that accompanies a US president.

According to Seguya, Kidepo Valley National Park is a virgin destination on the African continent in terms of tourists visiting national parks for wildlife.

He was quoted by The New Vision newspaper saying: “Here, a tourist is not crammed in a traffic jam of other tourists as it is in Maasai Mara or South Africa. They are given personal attention by our rangers and trained tour guides. It has never been a better time to tour Kidepo.”

Would you love to be in Kidepo at this time in history? Let’s talk.

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