Kidepo Valley National Park is a 1,442 square kilometres (557 sq mi) national park in the Karamoja region in northeast Uganda. Kidepo is rugged savannah, dominated by the 2,750 metres (9,020 ft) Mount Morungole and transected by the Kidepo and Narus rivers.
Kidepo Valley National Park is located near Karenga in Kaabong District, in the northeastern corner of Uganda. The park is approximately 220 kilometres (140 mi), by road northwest of Moroto, the largest town in the sub-region. It is approximately 520 kilometres (320 mi), by road, northeast of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city.
Kanangorok (also spelled Kananorok or Kanatarok) is a tepid hot spring in the extreme north of the park, in Lotukei, South Sudanese boundary. This spring is the most permanent source of water in the park.
Maneless zebras, a form of the plains zebra
Most of the park is open tree Savannah. Because of differences in rainfall — with annual averages of 89 centimeters (35 in) in Narus and 64 centimeters (25 in) in the Kidepo basin — vegetation and animal populations vary between the two valleys.
Narus is a name given by the Ketebo or Mening or Amening Clan which were the people living in the Valley. Primary grasses in the Narus Valley are the shorter red oat grass and taller bunchy Guinea grass and fine thatching grass. Common trees in the drier areas are red thorn acacias, desert dates, and to a lesser extent drumstick trees. The iconic sausage trees and fan palms line the water courses. Euphorbia candelabrum and the shorter monkey bread (or camel’s foot) and Buffalo thorn trees are also found.
Perennial water makes River Kidepo an oasis in the semi-desert which hosts over 86 mammal species including spotted hyena, lion, cheetah, leopard, wild dog, elephant, giraffe, zebra, African buffalo, bat-eared foxes, Rothschild’s giraffe — as well as almost 500 bird species.
Streams in the Kidepo Valley are likewise dotted with palms. Higher areas have whistling thorn acacias bush.
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