All is set for the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Kidepo Valley National Park popularly known as the True African Wilderness. The national park in north eastern Uganda was gazetted in 1962 and is famous for the river sand beds, spectacular landscapes, unique fauna and flora and 486 bird species. Of its over 80 mammal species,28 are endemic to the region.
The main celebrations will be in the Ugandan capital at the posh Kampala Serena Hotel on August 22nd,2013 and will be closely followed by another function in Kidepo during which funds from the Revenue sharing scheme and the sport hunting in the Karenga corridor will be disbursed to the neighbouring communities.
Some of the activities to mark the celebrations will be the official launch of the Kidepo brand as a True African wilderness, recognizing women in conservation, launching of the Uganda Wildlife Authority 2013-2018 Strategic Plan and appreciating partners who have been instrumental in conservation of various protected areas.
During the function to be attended by high ranking government officials, diplomats and international dignitaries, a comprehensive documentary of Kidepo Valley National Park Past and Present will be screened .Recent international accolades won by various parks will also be presented to the Chief Conservation Area Managers.
As part of the activities to mark the golden jubilee, a familiarization tour of Kidepo Valley National Park for leading local and international media personnel was conducted last week with UWA, AeroLink and Uganda/USAID Tourism for Biodiversity Project as co-sponsors.
Kidepo Valley National park was recently recognized by the CNN Travel site as one of the best national parks in Africa given its spectacular landscapes and incredible herds of wildlife. According to the Chief Conservation Area manager Mr. Johnson Masereka the visitor numbers have recently gone up and many investors have expressed interest in putting up tourism infrastructure.
A number of new trails are being developed, accommodation facilities being expanded and tourism products diversified. Access to Kidepo has greatly improved by both road and by air. AeroLink now makes scheduled flights to Kidepo while the roads through Moroto and Kitgum have also been improved.