27 January 2013

Africa: Uganda Park Scoops Africa Award

Kampala — Kidepo Valley National Park, one of the National Parks managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority, has been named by the prestigious CNN Travel website as the third best national park in Africa for its spectacular landscapes and animal herds.

The picturesque park, lies in the far north eastern part of Uganda on the border with Sudan and Kenya, is arguably Uganda's most spectacular and pristine national parks endowed with unique sceneries and phenomenal wildlife. The huge buffalo herds are indeed spectacular sights to behold.

According to CNN Travel website with a network of 800 contributors and insiders around the world, Kidepo National Park with its sprawling savannah plains and soaring mountains in the background make it Uganda's most beautiful park. Its remoteness and low visitation make it the perfect destination for an African wilderness safari.

Kidepo Valley National Park came third after Maasai Mara of Kenya famous for its great cats and great migration, and Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana for its untamed limitless desert wilderness and tough Kalahari lions.

Other African parks considered were Ngorongoro Crater of Tanzania in fourth position, Etosha National Park,Namibia(5th),Parks along the Gambia River(sixth),Ahaggar National Park, Algeria(7th),Kruger National Park, South Africa(8th),Okavango Delta, Botswana(9th) and Perinet Reserve, Madagascar in the 10th position.

Visitors to Kidepo are rewarded with phenomenal wildlife sightings and a level of exclusivity that can rarely be found anywhere else within the region. The park is located some 700 km from the Ugandan capital Kampala and is not easily accessible by road.

There are chartered flights to Kidepo from Kajjansi and Government is keen to commence regular flights to the area. Kidepo can also be reached by road either via Gulu or Moroto. These access routes are preferred during the dry seasons.

Uganda Wildlife Authority's strict conservation principles of maintaining the protected area's integrity have ensured the park is free from encroachment and poaching which accounts for the big herds of mammals.

Kidepo Valley national Park, is Situated at 914m on Kidepo valley floor to 2749m a top Mount Morungole in Karamoja region.

This unique location account for the unique weather in the area, Generallly hot during the day and cold at night, the park offers an excellent game viewing experience due to the huge diversity of endemic species; given that it is the only park in Uganda where visitors are able to view both the Zebra and Cheetahs. There is a sense of supreme isolation that distinguishes this rare slice of wild life in Africa and as yet undiscovered by the mass safari market.

It is popular for the great diversity of other animal species than other parks concentrated within the Narus Valley. The carnivore species unique to Kidepo and Kilimanjaro can be viewed and the less common ungulates. There are also chances of viewing tree climbing lions along Narus valley and on the rocks as you enter the Apoka park headquarters. Foot safari can be a rewarding activity across the Narus valley and enjoying the isolated wilderness.

Visitors to Kidepo valley national Park enjoy the magnificent setting and services at Apoka Safari Lodge, an up-market accommodation facility within the Narus valley. UWA also operated accommodation bandas for others guests within the valley. The bandas are affordable and on average cost UShs. 60,000 per night. There are provisions for camping for clients who prefer to experience night life in the wilderness.

The naming of Kidepo Valley by an international website comes on the heels of several other recent accolades bestowed on Ugandan protected areas as leading tourism destinations and must visit spots. Recently, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in South Western Uganda was rated by the Trip Advisor, the World's largest Travel site as an exceptional destination. This recognition came few months after the same Gorilla harboring national park had been voted the best birding place in Africa by the World Birding Authority due to the diversity of migratory birds.

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