On our website, we publish articles about Karamoja. News, stories about the community, culture, economy and development. But we never wrote about the beautiful and rich nature in Karamoja. With Kidepo national park in Kaabong, northeast Uganda, as an absolute highlight. Read more about this incredible national park and see the photos Dorian Cosijnse took in the park.
Kidepo was originally inhabited by the Dodoth herders (Karamojong clan) and Ik farmers. The area was designated by the British colonial rulers as a game reserve in 1958. The local people were forced to migrate. The Ik migrated to mount Morungole. The Dodoth migrated to other parts of Kaabong. Milton Obote, the first president of Uganda, changed Kidepo into a national park in 1962.
Kidepo is a valley, surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges on the borders of Kenya and South-Sudan. In the park, you can find leopards, elefants, lions, zebra’s, huge herds of buffaloes, gazelle’s, wardhogs, ostriches, jackals and a variety of bird species. Even Uganda’s national bird, the Crested Crane, can be found in Kidepo. The scenery is breathtaking.
Kidepo is the third largest park in Uganda, following Murchisons and Queen Elizabeth. But you will find few tourists in the park. It’s a long 8 hour drive on muddy roads full of potholes and bumps. But once you complete the journey, you’ll not stand in line to see a lion!
The park is protected by 120 rangers, preventing poaching and protecting nature. They work closely together with the local communities and continue to emphasize the positive effects of nature conservation. The local communities know the law against hunting. Illegal trade and poaching does occur, but mainly by other tribes from Kenya and South-Sudan. The local community is beginning to benefit from increased tourism in the park, through employment opportunities in lodges and increased cultural tourism. The park has the potential to contribute largely to the development of the local population, as long as they are actively involved.