7 Best Kidepo Budget Safari Tours 2023/2024
In the far northeastern corner of Uganda, Kidepo National Park is possibly the most remote safari destination in East Africa. It is one the most beautiful as well.
Situated below a range of craggy peaks bordering South Sudan, this underrated Uganda safaris park protects an atmospheric tract of savannah grassland carved by two perennial rivers and studded with giant boulder-strewn hills.
Despite its remote location, Kidepo Valley National Park offers exceptional wildlife game viewing, including 4 of the Big Five (no rhino), with large herds of buffalo, especially prominent.
Very few travelers on wildlife safaris in Uganda make it up to this forgotten corner of Uganda. But it’s as affordable to visit as other top Uganda safari national parks. And boasts a more untrammeled wilderness feel than any of them.
Cheap Kidepo National Park Tours, Holidays & Packages
14-Day Budget-Friendly Uganda Safari
Day 1: Arrive at Entebbe Airport, pick up and transfer to the booked Hotel
Day 2: Drive to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for on-foot rhino tracking (2hr) and then, continue to Gulu City
Day 3: Travel to Kidepo National Park, lunch, and then afternoon-to-evening game drive.
Day 4: Morning game drive and later, Karamojong community encounter
Day 5: Exploring Kidepo National Park – morning nature walk and afternoon game drive/safari.
Day 6: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park and late afternoon/evening game drive/safari
Day 7: Murchison game drive and afternoon boat trip upstream to the falls
Day 8: Drive to the top of the falls and transfer to the edge of Kibale Forest National Park
Day 9: Chimpanzee tracking and transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park, game drive.
Day 10: Morning game drive in Kasenyi Plains and afternoon boat trip on Kazinga Channel.
Day 11: Sunrise game drive Ishasha sector in search of tree-climbing lions, then connect to Bwindi
Day 12: Gorilla trekking Bwindi Forest and take the afternoon/evening relaxing
Day 13: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park and enjoy an afternoon (evening) game drive
Day 14: Morning walking safari in the park and return to Entebbe/Kampala.
8-Day Jinja, Sipi Falls, Kidepo, and Murchison, Safari
Day 1: Visit Mabira Forest and transfer to Jinja, Boat Cruise to The Source of the Nile.
Day 2: White water rafting or Kayaking on the Nile River and transfer to Sipi Falls Area.
Day 3: Sipi Falls hike and Coffee Tours
Day 4: Travel to Kidepo Valley National Park Via Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
Day 5: Game drive in Kidepo and Karamojong Village Tour
Day 6: Drive to Murchison Falls National Park
Day 7: Murchison game drive and afternoon boat trip upstream to the falls
Day 8: Visit the Top of The Falls & Transfer Back to Kampala. Optional Rhino Tracking in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
8 Days Adventure Tour to Eastern & Northern Uganda
Day 1: Arrival in Uganda – Entebbe International Airport
Day 2: Drive to Sipi Falls via the Source of the Nile in Jinja
Day 3: Sipi Waterfall Hike & Coffee Experience
Day 4: Hike Mt Moroto and visit the Tepeth tribe
Day 5: Visit a Manyatta & Game Drive in Kidepo National Park
Day 6: Full-day game drive in Kidepo National Park
Day 7: Morning Game Walk in Kidepo & Transfer to Gulu Town
Day 8: Track Rhinos in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary & Drive back to Entebbe
6-Day Kidepo Valley & Murchison Falls Budget Safari
Day 1: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park.
Day 2: Game Drives & Boat Trip Murchison Falls National Park
Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park – Kidepo Valley National Park
Day 4: Game Viewing Kidepo & Karamojong Community Tour
Day 5: Game drive/Nature Walk in Kidepo & Transfer to Gulu
Day 6: Rhino Tracking in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary & Transfer to Entebbe/Kampala
4-Day Kidepo National Park Wildlife Safari
Day 1: Pickup from Kampala and travel to Kidepo Valley National Park
Day 2: Full day of game drives in Kidepo National Park
Day 3: Morning nature walk/game drive and afternoon Karamojong Village Tour
Day 4: Transfer back to Kampala
18 Days Uganda Safari, Gorillas, Chimps, Wildlife, & Cultural Experience
Day 1: Arrive at Entebbe International Airport & Transfer to Your Hotel.
Day 2: Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary & Transfer to Gulu.
Day 3: Travel to Kidepo Valley National Park, Afternoon Game Drive.
Day 4: Whole Day Game Drives in Kidepo Valley National Park
Day 5: Morning game drive in Kidepo & afternoon cultural tour of the Karamojong Traditional Village (Manyatta).
Day 6: Drive to Murchison Falls National Park
Day 7: Morning Game Drives in the Northern Savannah Plains & Afternoon Boat Cruise to the Bottom of Murchison Falls.
Day 8: Morning Nile Delta Boat Cruise with a Bush Breakfast & Evening Game Drive.
Day 9: Visit the top of the falls & transfer to Kibale Forest National Park
Day 10: Morning Chimpanzee Trekking & Afternoon Bigodi Community Walk.
Day 11: Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park, afternoon game drive
Day 12: Morning game drive in Kasenyi Sector & afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga Channel.
Day 13: Crater Lake Drive with a Visit to Katwe Salt Lake Community. Transfer to Ishasha Sector, the home of tree-climbing lions.
Day 14: Game Drive in Ishasha Sector & transfer to Bwindi National Park
Day 15: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi & travel to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation.
Day 16: Whole day Relaxation at Lake Bunyonyi; Optional Activities: Boat Cruise, Canoeing, Hiking, or Community village walk.
Day 17: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park. Have a Lunch stop at Igongo Cultural Centre, and an evening game drive on arrival.
Day 18: Morning game walks in Lake Mburo National Park & Drive back to Entebbe via the Uganda Equator.
21 Days Uganda Safari
Day 1: Arrive at Entebbe International Airport & Transfer to your Hotel.
Day 2: Visit Ssezibwa Falls & Travel to Jinja, Boat Cruise to the Source of the Nile.
Day 3: Half-Day Water Rafting on the Nile. Travel to Sipi Area/Mt Elgon.
Day 4: Full day in Sipi, Waterfall Hike, & Coffee Experiences.
Day 5: Transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park via Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve.
Day 6: Whole Day Game Drives in Kidepo Valley National Park
Day 7: Morning Safari in Kidepo National Park & Afternoon Karamojong Cultural Tour.
Day 8: Drive to Murchison Falls National Park
Day 9: Morning Game Drives in the Northern Savannah Plains & Afternoon Boat Cruise to the Bottom of Murchison Falls.
Day 10: Nile Delta Boat Cruise with a Bush Breakfast & Game Drive.
Day 11: Visit the Top of the Falls & Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park
Day 12: Chimpanzee Trekking & Bigodi Community Walk.
Day 13: Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park, Afternoon Game Drive
Day 14: Game Drive in Kasenyi Sector & Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel.
Day 15: Crater Lake Drive, Visit to Katwe Salt Lake Community & Drive to Ishasha Sector, Home Of Tree-Climbing Lions.
Day 16: Game Drive in Ishasha Sector & Transfer to Bwindi National Park
Day 17: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest & Relax at the Lodge.
Day 18: Leisurely Breakfast & Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for Relaxation.
Day 19: Whole Day at Leisure; Optional Activities: Canoeing, Hiking, Zip Lining, or Community Village Walk around Lake Bunyonyi.
Day 20: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park, Boat Ride.
Day 21: Morning Game Walk; Drive to Entebbe via the Uganda Equator.
Six Questions About Kidepo Budget Safari Tours
1. How Many Days Are Recommended For A Budget Trip To Kidepo National Park?
While some tour operators offer 3-day Kidepo Valley National Park budget safaris, Tulambule Uganda safaris recommend at least 4 days for a drive-in trip that visits only the park, and 5 or more days for an itinerary that combines it with other Uganda safari destinations.
This is because Kidepo National Park is located more than 550 kilometers/340 miles northeast of the capital Kampala (or nearby Entebbe International Airport) by road.
And the drive can take more than 10 hours in either direction. In other words, a 3-day Kidepo National Park tour will involve 2 full days of driving, leaving only 1 day to explore the national park.
In our opinion, if your time is that limited, it would be better to book a safari somewhere closer to Kampala or Entebbe, such as Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth National Park, or Lake Mburo National Park.
2. What Wildlife Can I Expect To See On A Budget Safari To Kidepo?
Kidepo National Park has a variety of savannah wildlife.
On a budget Uganda safari, you can be almost certain of spotting elephants, buffalo, warthog, Rothschild’s giraffe, patas monkey, and plains zebra.
You are also likely to see a fair variety of antelope including Jackson’s hartebeest, oribi, bohor reedbuck, and possibly eland.
The carnivores most likely to be encountered are lion and side-striped jackal, but very lucky visitors might also see a leopard or spotted hyena.
Kidepo shelters several dry-country species otherwise absent from or uncommon in Uganda, including cheetah, aardwolf, bat-eared fox, greater kudu, lesser kudu, black-backed jackals, and Guenther’s dik-dik.
The park also has an alluring checklist of almost 500 bird species, and it’s the only Ugandan stronghold for the likes of ostrich and secretary birds.
3. What Other Parks Can I Visit In Combination With Kidepo National Park?
The easiest place to visit in combination with Kidepo is Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. This small wildlife sanctuary lies alongside the main road coming from Kampala and offers the thrill of tracking Uganda’s only rhinos on foot.
On an itinerary of at least 5 days (but better 6 or 7 days), you should be able to combine Kidepo Valley and Ziwa with Murchison Falls, Uganda’s largest national park. Highlights of Murchison Falls include seeing the world’s strongest waterfall, safari boat cruises on a stretch of the Nile River that teems with hippos, crocodiles, and waterbirds, and chimp trekking in the neighboring Budongo Forest Reserve.
Some longer safaris to Kidepo include other attractions in eastern Uganda, such as the culturally fascinating Karamoja region, Sipi Falls on the slopes of Mount Elgon, and white-water rafting on the Nile near Jinja.
Because Kidepo lies in the far northeast of the country, it is very remote from busier and more popular southwestern parks such as Bwindi Impenetrable, Queen Elizabeth, and Kibale National Parks. These two regions are usually combined on Uganda safari tours of 2 weeks or longer.
4. What type of accommodation can I expect on Kidepo Budget Safari Tours?
Accommodation options in Kidepo Valley National Park are somewhat limited. So, almost all budget tours stay at one of two relatively cheap places.
The more established of these is the Apoka Rest Camp which is operated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The camphas a prime location in the wildlife-rich Narus Valley. It offers simple hut accommodation and also has a budget restaurant/bar.
The slightly smarter but less central Kidepo Savannah Lodge is a delightful old-school camp whose safari tents offer a wonderful view over the plains. Both places are very comfortable and ideally suited to budget safaris in Uganda.
5. What Is The Best Time Of The Year For A Budget Kidepo Safari Tour?
Because Kidepo National Park lies in a semi-arid region, it receives low rainfall even in the Wet season and can be visited at any time of year.
The most productive time for wildlife viewing is usually the Dry season months of September to March when large animals tend to gather around permanent water sources.
Climatically, there is a lot to be said for visiting Kidepo during the Wet season (April to August), when daytime temperatures are more comfortable and the countryside is attractively green.
If you plan on gorilla trekking or chimp tracking during your Uganda safari holiday, it is probably best to focus on seasonal factors that affect these activities, rather than Kidepo, when deciding on the timing of your visit.
6. How Much Will This Safari Cost?
Expect to pay in the range of US$150 to US$260 per person per day for 4- or 5-day budget packages that focus solely on Kidepo National Park and sites en route.
Daily rates for longer-budget tours that continue to Murchison Falls National Park or elsewhere tend to be similar, but they may work out higher if a gorilla trekking permit is included.
You can usually assume that the quoted price will cover all transport, accommodation, meals, and park fees for the duration of the safari in Uganda.