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For visitors who are highly interested in seeing more of the game in the park, a dry season tour is recommended because you are likely to see almost all animals as they come at intervals in their respective groups to drink water from the watering well near Apoka safari lodge since it remains the only source of water in long dry seasons. We then compared all the different prices on offer and just as top did in our football online, we were then able sites compare on a like for like basis. Due to the weather in the North East being highly unpredictable, the all-weather track means that meeting no longer need to be cancelled based on the condition of the turf, something that is vital for a racecourse such as Newcastle. Even though the venue is quite small, there are two main stands and a pavilion for punters to enjoy hospitality when at the racetrack. Free bet must be used on set events. The oval racecourse measures about 13 furlongs in total length, which makes it one of the smaller tracks in existence. They have lots of esports markets, offers, and excellent customer service.
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As a result, the process was very new to everyone involved, but even at this relatively early stage, reports have been positive. The site had a huge number of amenities added to it, such as turfed track, useable for both flat and National Hunt racing, enclosure and grandstand, hotel, pubs, restaurants, betting facilities and even residential facilities for its staff.
The meeting saw a sell-out crowd of 10, people turn up and was an evening National Hunt meeting spread across 2 days and included a Ladies night.
Oscar Whiskey is probably the best-known horse to have won this race back in As it stands, future plans have already been set afoot to increase capacity for up to 20, people, upgrading facilities and to accommodate up to horse boxes in order to gain more traction for more events throughout the year. Fontwell Park has been open since and with it is based within the West Sussex countryside of Fontwell.
The surroundings are simply stunning and whilst not one of the better-known tracks for most casual horse racing fans, a must see nevertheless.
The mastermind behind the racecourse is that of Alfred Day who brought racing here in After he had finally been able to accumulate enough land to open, there were initially two tracks for hurdles and steeplechase.
What was unique about the steeplechase track is that they ran it as a figure of 8, running through the middle and in turn utilising more of the somewhat limited space that was needed for site. In terms of racing at the track, the highlight of the year has to be that of the National Sprint hurdle, which is run as part of their February meet, not long before the end of the National Hunt season. In terms of racing in the UK, few tracks are better known than that of Goodwood.
Situated in Chichester, West Sussex, the track plays a huge part of the British flat racing season and also plays host to 3 Group 1 races. In fact, all three of these races are held in the Glorious Goodwood festival that takes place across late July-early August every year. The coastal views across the course are another massive hit for visitors and the attractive setting across the Trundle Iron Age hill fort is often considered to be a more informal grandstand than anything else.
The courses are essentially set up as different race distances, with the majority starting off with an uphill climb, before the latter part of the home straight is downhill and the fastest section on the course. Whilst Glorious Goodwood Officially now known as Qatar Goodwood Festival holds the three Group 1 races in the form of the Sussex Stakes, Goodwood Cup and the Nassau Stakes, there are a plethora of other race meetings that are equally as popular.
The two standout meetings come in the form of the Spring Meeting and the August Meeting. Set in the Norfolk countryside, Great Yarmouth racecourse has hosted racing since , making it one of the oldest currently in existence within the UK. The course has seen many changes over the years, including improved facilities such as grandstands, paddocks and parade rings, along with bars, restaurants and amenities for their punters.
The course is an important part of the local infrastructure in Great Yarmouth. Many times the track and grounds are used for car boot sales, concerts and music festivals in order to generate money and get people coming into the local area. The track is actually very narrow which makes it imperative for horses to get into position early before they strike for home.
The two straights are roughly 5 furlongs each, but the homestretch can be extended to as much as a mile if needed, depending on the calibre and type of race that is going to be run. The track is quite famous for being somewhere that a lot of rising superstars are first able to ply their trade.
One of the most notable was that of Dubai Millennium who won at Great Yarmouth in Racing in Hamilton Park has been dated back as far as and the course is now an institution within sports in Scotland. Hamilton is based just south of Glasgow, which means that it offers a good range of transport links to and from the racecourse.
This has proved to be massively popular with racing fans and as a result they flock to the course, with it being as much a social event than simply a horse racing meeting.
For example, they were the first racecourse to host an evening fixture in Britain back in and in they were the first to host a morning meeting as well, two things that are very much part and parcel within British horseracing.
The track is also owned by that of the Hamilton Park Trust, who are non-profit, meaning that any money made by the course is ploughed straight back into the course and reinvested. There are several meetings held at the track throughout the year, but the most notable race comes from the July meeting in the form of the Glasgow stakes. Probably the most notable winner in more recent times has been that of Postponed in Racing at Haydock Park has taken place since the early 19 th Century, but the current racecourse only opened their doors for the first time in The actual track measures just over 1 mile and 5 furlongs.
Haydock Park has been widely recognised by its peers throughout the years, including being awarded Racecourse of the Year in and As aprt of the lure to the track, the course holds two group 1 races that take place in the September meeting towards the end of the flat racing season. Other notable winners have included Cue card, Silviniaco Conti and Imperial Commander, all modern-greats in the horse racing industry.
Hereford racecourse has seen a bit of a tough time of late if truth be told. The course has been in use since when it first opened its doors and was formerly owned by that of the Arena Racing Company, who owned several racecourses throughout the UK. But, in the company were unable to gain a license from Herefordshire Council which meant they were to cease operations and all National Hunt racing there was then stopped. Between and only a few point to point meeting a and racing for Arabian horses was allowed on site, with special permits from the council.
Fast forward a few years and in they were able to open their doors once again to National Hunt racing. Initially they were granted three meetings that ran from October to the end of the season. This number was then increased for the calendar year with 11 National Hunt fixtures included in total. Since then the racecourse has continued to grow and more meeting seemingly added each year.
The re-opening of the track in proved just how important it was with over 5, people turning up for the meeting, a huge crowd in relative terms for what is a fairly small track in all honesty. Hexham racecourse is located within the county of Northumberland and has been in existence since , making it one of the oldest tracks still in existence.
The place is probably as famous for its point to point meetings and farmers markets as it is National Hunt racing, but it offers fans of the sport a fantastic opportunity to view some quality racing throughout the year. The course is spanned out over one and a half miles. Interestingly, the home straight is dead flat, with zero gradient at all. But, due to the fact that weather can play a huge role at the track, it actually has no racing at all through February in order to give the ground a chance to come good for the final couple of months of the season.
Huntingdon racecourse is a key spot for National Hunt racing within the UK. The track itself measures a little over one and half miles and with it has 11 testing hurdles that horse need to navigate over with each lap of the track that is needed. Huntingdon is another course that has a huge role to play as part of the community.
The Boxing Day meeting is probably the courses biggest event and with they see over 8, people flock and enjoy a solid days racing. The Boxing Day meet also includes what is arguably the biggest race of the year as well, in the form of the Grade 2 Peterborough Stakes.
Kelso is probably one of the more iconic racetracks that is located in Scotland. Whilst the place might be much smaller than the likes of Ascot and Cheltenham, Kelso comes with its own charms and as a result, has won numerous awards, including that of the Best Small Course in Scotland and North of England three times in , and by the Racegoers Club. The track layout comes in the form of a 1mile yard chase track and a 1mile yard hurdle track.
Whilst National Hunt racing is exclusively run at Kelso these days, it was initially set up as a flat season track until when it switched platforms. In terms of racing, there are two races that standout throughout each season in the form of the Morebattle Hurdle and the Premier Kelso Hurdle. The Morebattle Hurdle has been running since and with it has seen a big increase in popularity. The most successful horse to have raced in it is that of Jinxy Jack, winner 4 times in a row from through to Opened in , Kempton Park has been a firm favourite within British horse racing circuits for a long time now.
Based just outside of London in the Surrey countryside, the racecourse has not only been able to carve its way into the best UK racecourses, but has to be up there with one of the best in the world, such is the calibre of racing it now attracts. In the site closed briefly in order to bring in a new synthetic track which allowed flat races to run on, whilst preserving the turf for the National Hunt fixtures throughout the winter. The all-weather track is now known as the Jubilee Course and is a mile long, which does join on to the main track if needed.
The most iconic event has to be that of the Boxing Day meeting, which includes no fewer than three Group 1 races for what is widely regarded as one of the best National Hunt meetings of the year. The course is able to host both National Hunt and flat racing throughout the year, which makes it one of the more accessible tracks that you will see. The track is often thought to be one of the tougher tracks to navigate for the horses, mainly down to the fact is that it was quite undulating and included 4 fences on the run in to the finish line for National Hunt racing.
It includes a number of open ditches, with one being moved from the fourth last to the third last in order to add another layer of difficulty for the horses as they begin to tire coming in to home. Interestingly, Leicester race course was actually at the front of one of the most famous scandals in recent times. A horse called Flockton Grey was entered into a race in , but as the trainer had suffered no winners for several years and was falling on hard times, decided to run a ringer instead.
The horse that was actually entered was that of Good Hand and in turn, was carrying around 47 pounds less than his younger opponents. The summer flat meetings are mainly ran on the turf and they also offer winter National Hunt racing on turf as well, making it one of the busiest racecourses in the UK.
The course is situated in the Surrey countryside, just a few train stops from the centre of London and a popular spot for people travelling from within the city. As a result, they are able to get huge crowds for meetings held over several days, but also benefit from evening racing with visitors communing from the city after work or even on their way home. The course has had serval owners over the years and each have tried to improve it in some way.
Ladbrokes were one of the owners at one point until they sold up in Facilities such as flood defences were added along with the decision to include the all-weather track opening in Lingfield is probably best known for its feeder races, where up and coming horses are tested to see how they will fair in larger races.
The main reason is that the B road passes through the course at three different points. The location of Ludlow is within the county of Shropshire and the course is used exclusively for that of National Hunt racing throughout the winter months.
There are 17 meetings in total running from October through to April. Even though the venue is quite small, there are two main stands and a pavilion for punters to enjoy hospitality when at the racetrack. Market Rasen racecourse is, rather unsurprisingly, lactated in the town of Market Rasen in Lincolnshire.
The length of the course is around one and a quarter mile, and with it offers a tough right-handed oval that jockeys and horses need to navigate their way around. There are four main races that are held each year at the track which we would state are probably the highlights of the years. The Summer Plate is the biggest out of the four and this takes place in late July running over 2m 5 furlongs around the course.
Musselburgh is one of the biggest racecourses in Scotland. Racing has been taking place at the course since and due to its size, is able to host a 9 hole golf course within the centre of the track. The golf course actually dates back to as far as and there are even reports that horse racing was on site before the golf, although this cant be proved, hence the official open date. In truth they were never really able to recover from this and whilst courses nearby were closing, they were able to stay open by the skin of their teeth.
An all-weather strip was also added in in order to maintain the bends on the racetrack. The fact that they now get over 70, through the turnstiles each year, compared with just 38, in shows that these improvements have been a massive positive for the racecourse. Newbury racecourse first opened their doors in , which interestingly actually makes it one of the younger racecourses in the country, even though they now over years old. The course is undoubtedly one of the more iconic tracks though and is able to host both flat and National Hunt racing throughout the year.
Newbury is a course that is often frequented by the Queen. In fact, she actually spent her 86 th birthday there watching two of her horses run in the form of Sequence and Momentary, although both failed to win. As mentioned the Lockinge Stakes is the highlight of the year when it comes to flat racing. Leading trainer in the event is that of Sir Michael Stoute, with leading jockey Lester Piggott and leading owner, Godolphin. As the biggest racecourse in the North East of England, Newcastle has a hue role to play in not only the participation of the sport but also in the showcasing of it.
The racecourse has been open since and in that time has seen its fortunes fluctuate somewhat. Upgrades to the facilities and the course have seen it flourish in recent years. One of the more notable changes has been the inclusion of the all-weather track that was installed ion Due to the weather in the North East being highly unpredictable, the all-weather track means that meeting no longer need to be cancelled based on the condition of the turf, something that is vital for a racecourse such as Newcastle.
Newcastle is actually able to offer a really strong range of races throughout the year. Newmarket is probably the most important racetrack in the UK. There are an astonishing 9 of 36 Group 1 flat races held at the course every year, but the two biggest have to be that of the 1, and 2, Guineas. Once more, the races have been about since the early 19 th Century, which again highlights their importance. The former is 1m and 2 furlongs in length which undulates quite a lot and is mainly used in the spring and autumn, also playing host to the majority of the Group 1 races.
The latter is 1 mile in length but can use the Beacon course if needed for extended races and runs throughout the summer months. Newton Abbot is visually a stunning little racecourse that is surrounded by the Devonshire countryside. The track is set up to host only that of National Hunt racing and measure just over 1 mile and 1 furlong in total length.
The main grandstand on site was actually opened by that of the Queen Mother in and whilst the corporate facilities were open some time alter in , it still has a fairly rustic charm to it all. Investment has been hard to come by for the course and whilst still more than adequate, is starting to get a little tired. Even though Newton abbot only host National hunt racing, they are able to offer up racing throughout the summer months as well.
The course has been boosted by being able to offer evening race meetings, along with the addition of ladies days within some of their 2-day meetings. Racing in Nottingham actually dates back to when it used to be hosted by the Nottingham Forest Recreational Ground. But, it moved to its current home in Colwick Park in and the rest, as they say, is history. The track is actually very unique in that there are two that run directly inside one and other.
There are three races that take place each year which you could argue are the standout races of the year. This takes place over the 6-furlong tack at Nottingham and takes place in May. The final, and arguably biggest of the three is that of the Nottinghamshire Oaks.
As one of the few racecourses in Scotland, Perth has a strong role to play in the heritage of Scottish Racing. The racecourse first opened their doors in and with it has played an integral role within the racing sector. The racecourse lies adjacent to the ancient Scone Palace, a category A Listed historic house.
The width of the course means that there are actually two layouts that come in the form of the Steeplechase course and the Hurdle course.
The latter runs along the inside track and switches back to the outside as they move their way across and past the main grandstand. Whilst the course only caters for National Hunt racing, it is worth noting that they run racing throughout the year, including the summer months, even though this is technically out of season for the most part of National Hunt venues. Plumpton is one of the smallest courses in the country.
One of the things that the course does have going for is that it sits advancement to that of Plumpton railway station. The course relies heavily on commuters from the city and with it sees some great crowds, especially for Ladies days and the like. The course itself is actually the one of smallest National Hunt tracks in the country. Plumpton has made some fairly recent history as well. Pontefract racecourse is located in West Yorkshire and is one of the most honest tracks in the country.
It was built within a pit community and everything that epitomises that generation is true with this racecourse. In fact, back in the day racing used to start much later than most courses at 2: Sadly, this was changed when the puts were closed in The racecourse is set up for flat racing and it runs exclusively with this discipline.
With it, the course has been able to host one of the longest flat races in the country, measuring 2m 5f. The summer months dominate the racing at Pontefract and with it are able to host some of the biggest races of the year.
Based in North Yorkshire, Redcar is one of the norths most iconic racecourses. Redcar is a flat racing track and is just that, perfectly flat all the way around, which is something that is very unique in this day and age of racing. The facilitates are actually pretty poor and the main stands sit on the inside of the track, which is where you get the best vantage point of the course as well.
The track itself measures around 1m and 4 furlongs in total length. The corner has a tight bend which makes the draw important for these races.
But, it also has a 3-furlong chute that is able to create a 1-mile dead straight, dead flat run in for certain races. The Zetland Gold Cup is the oldest of the three and this has been running since The market town of Ripon plays host to another iconic racetrack based within North Yorkshire.
Ripon racecourse as we know it today has been in existence sine but racing within the town has been dated back as far as when it hosted its first ever meeting on Bondgate Green. Racing within Ripon is actually of great importance to racing history in that it was the first place to host a female only horse race back in The highlight of the racing calendar at the course is that of Go Racing in Yorkshire, which is held in July and attended by thousands of punters across the meeting.
The cramped bends and undulations throughout the course make it a tough ride for the horses, but a chute added to the home straight means this has been designed to make a 6 furlong run it on straight ground. Wilfrid Stakes, both run in August.
Salisbury is very much seen as the breeding ground of British horseracing. The track is one that is often quite fast, but also fair, which means that it gives trainers a really good insight to see just how far along their young horses are. The course is set in the rolling countryside of Wiltshire and visually is one of the better-looking tracks in the country. It only hosts that of flat racing and is open from May to October, which makes it a fairly small window of opportunity to see racing there.
Salisbury racetrack carries a fair amount of history with it and has seen some of the best horses to have raced ply their trade their. It was also the first place that a horse owned by Winston Churchill would win a race in and also the place where Lester Piggott won his first professional race, aged just There are 16 meetings held throughout the year, with a mix of handicaps and maidens on offer.
Sandown Park is one of those racecourses that has embedded itself into British horseracing folk law. Whilst they quietly go about their business surround by the likes of Newmarket, Ascot and the like, Sandown Park has consistently been able to offer quality racing since they opened their doors back in The money was invested back into the facilities and the racing, which many believe is why they are now able to offer up 5 Grade1 National Hunt races and one Group 1 on the flat racing course.
The Group 1 race on flat is that of the Eclipse Stakes, which is run as part of their July meeting. Sedgefield is the only racecourse that is situated in the north eastern county of Durham. The track is owned by the Arena Racing Company and has seen racing take part there since , although admittedly little is known of the early meetings, with most referencing a start date on the current site of A horse called Fatehalkhair is one of the favourites as the racetrack who went on to win 20 races in its career, with all of them coming at Sedgefield.
Southwell is one of the most versatile racecourses in the country. Not only do they offer both flat and National Hunt racing, but they do so on both turf and all-weather surface as well. In fact, the all-weather surface makes them one of just 6 tracks in the UK and the only tack to be running a fibresand surface, whereas most others are using synthetic. The course is located within Southwell, which is in the county of Nottinghamshire. Fibresand is often much heavier than turf or even other all-weather surface, so offers a really stern test for both horses and jockeys alike.
The site has been the scene of many refurbishments over the years and it has suffered from bad flooding, which caused it to close in for 2 months. This forced the hand of the all-weather surface to be installed, which allows for much flexibility in tehri racing.
The tracks biggest race has almost come as a default when they hosted the Great Yorkshire Chase now Sky bet Chase whilst building work at Doncaster Racecourse was taking place in Jockey Hayley turner is also associated with the Southwell course, growing up and working there, before carving out a successful racing career of her own.
Stratford on Avon is probably better known simply as Stratford Racecourse and is based out of Warwickshire. The course is one of the smaller ones in the UK and with it only host a handful of meetings each year.
The racecourse has been open since and with it they have been able to ensure racing on the site for a long period of time, making it one of the oldest racecourses in the area. The course does come with three enclosures that are the Club Enclosure, Tattersall Enclosure and the Centre Course, allowing a wide variety of hospitality experiences for each meeting.
In fact, the course was the youngest full stop until Great Leighs was opened in , although that is for flat racing. The course is based out of Taunton, which is in the county of Somerset. The grounds of the track are some of the most visually stunning that you can find, with the Backdown Hills offering a stunning backdrop to this charming racecourse.
In the early years, the grounds and the facilities were liable to flooding, which meant that it took a while to really catch on in the area.
Subsequently, massive improvements have come from the wooden huts that were originally on offer and now are able to offer the Orchard Stand along with the AP McCoy Stand, which is available to host functions outside of race meetings as well.
The oval track measures 1 mile and 2 furlongs in total length. Thirsk racecourse is based in Yorkshire and actually runs fairly near to that of Ripon. The course has been open since , but racing has been on the site for around a hundred years prior to that, giving it great heritage. In fact, it gets so popular that many folk thinks too many people are allowed in which makes it crowded, but the racecourse argue that it needs to make money whilst it can, given its size, which is fair enough.
It was used in as a war time substitute to keep the race running as it moved from Doncaster racecourse that was used as an airfield. Towcester Racecourse went into administration in August and has been closed since. All races have been cancelled. Towcester Racecourse can be found in Northamptonshire and has been open since The course plays host to several National Hunt meeting over the course of each winter and with it are able to offer a fantastic days racing as a result.
The course has become kind of synonymous with having sharp bends and fast straights. The final gallop is all uphill as well which means that it really sorts the men from the boys, often with weaker horses being pulled up as a result of not anticipating the energy needed to get round what in fairness looks pretty innocuous.
One of the ways in which Towcester really became one of the crowd favourites was the fact that between and attendance into the racecourse was free. Obviously, this sort of offer meant that attendances shot up and they were still able to make money back from things such as food, drink and sponsorship.
In , the pricing structure changed a little, charging for the courses two biggest meets in that of the Boxing Day meeting and the Easter Sunday meeting, whilst keeping the rest of the years racing still free. Uttoxeter is one of the more important and unique National Hunt tracks in the country. The doors have been open since and based out of the county of Staffordshire, has seen many of the greats race at the track at some point in time. This allowed Uttoxeter racecourse to not only allow for more high-profile race meetings, but also events and functions outside of horse racing in the off season.
Following this, Uttoxeter continued to flourish and the course was known for producing Lord Gyllene, who was one of the most successful National hunt horses ever, winning the Grand National in by over 25 lengths. The highlights for this is that of the Midlands Grand National, which is run almost a month to the day before that of the Grand National at Aintree. The most iconic winner of the modern day is that of Synchronised in Exactly the opposite, by running charities, similar to Responsible Gambling Trust they help gambling sites and other people who show worrying signs.
It is inevitable to mention money transactions when talking about betting sites security. Unlike back in the days, when betting on sports was only associated with splashing the cash at the gambling shop and eventually getting more back.
In general, types of transactions can be sorted in three groups. Why Visit Kidepo Valley National Park Kidepo valley national park may be the remotest National Park in Uganda but what it has to offer ranks it among the first destinations to be visited on your Uganda wildlife Safari.
The park is located in the far Northeast corner of the country in the Karamoja sub region bordering South Sudan to the Northwest and Kenya in the East. It is heavily endowed with one of the highest population of the big five in particular the buffalo population in the park is believed to be the largest in the whole world together with large herds of elephants, hundreds of lions and leopards.
Numerous small animals and thousands of birds are also available in the park. Kidepo has a very wide and flat game-viewing wilderness particularly in the Narus valley, which is more endowed with most of the game compared to Kidepo valley.
In terms of size Kidepo is the third largest National Park in the country after Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls with a total land area of 1, sq.
Flora Kidepo is dominated by open grasslands with some short and scattered trees including the unique tall sausage trees that are full of massive elongated fruits in sausage form that are available in the trees all year round. Acacia woodlands that tend to dry up during the dry season and some scattered palm trees line up along the watercourse. Slopes of the bordering hills have some kind of light montane forests and riparian woodland.
Beautiful cactus trees are also scattered in different areas in the park. During the dry season, the park rangers are authorized to carryout controlled burning in the park especially in parts where the grass has completely dried and cannot be eaten any more by the animals. This allows some new and fresh grass to grow in those areas. Fauna The Park has up to 77 mammal species representing different animal groups including predators like lion, leopard, and spotted hyena.
The black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, aard wolf, cheetah and caracal cannot be found in any other park in Uganda. There are five primate species in Kidepo including the localized patas monkey.
The population of elephants in Kidepo is estimated to be around today while the African buffalo make up the highest mammal population in the park with more than 10, individuals, the numbers of the localized Rothschild giraffe in the park have also been growing steadily estimated to be around 50 today.
For visitors who are highly interested in seeing more of the game in the park, a dry season tour is recommended because you are likely to see almost all animals as they come at intervals in their respective groups to drink water from the watering well near Apoka safari lodge since it remains the only source of water in long dry seasons.
During the wet season, there are various water collecting points around the park where animals drink from and therefore you will need to take a guided drive to find them in such areas. Birds Kidepo valley national park has up to 60 bird species that are not found in any other National Park in Uganda out of the entire population of more than species. There are about 50 species of raptors in the park, which include the dark chanting goshawk, pygmy falcon, tawn eagle, bateleur and several vultures.
Guided game drives can either be offered by Apoka safari lodge or from the Uganda Wildlife Authority office, which is near Apoka. An experienced guide drives you around the park looking out for areas where more game is concentrated. The best game driving experience is always early in the morning from 7am because it allows you to meet most of the big game in the park as they are heading to grazing areas.
You are assured of meeting different groups of buffaloes and elephants crossing the driving trails, which allows you to photograph them from a close range. Still on the game drive you are likely to meet the several lions hanging high in isolated raised rocks trying to spot the prey while their cabs are waiting nearby in another light-bush surrounded rock where the mother can easily watch them.
Numerous small game species including several species of antelopes like the common hartebeest, waterbeest, Kob, Oribi are found almost everywhere along the driving trails. Other species likely to be met include the warthog, zebra and the rare eland that usually graze together with the zebra.
During the rain season, buffaloes are found bathing in muddy ponds along the trails and they always turn around to look at you intently while some will try to scare you by running after you.
This is a big opportunity for close range photographs and videos. The only threat during a game drive in Kidepo comes during the rain season and that is the flooding of the Narus River, which cuts off the road from Apoka safari lodge forcing you to wait for over four hours for the water to go down and due to this, you are always advised to stay and wait whenever they see that it is threatening to rain.
Game Watching Kidepo valley national park has got some nice elevated areas where excellent game watching can take place. The park management has also gone an extra step to place permanent binoculars at elevated areas where tourists can view the distant animals and they really offer a spectacular view of the game from whatever corner of the park they may be. The still and calm lions with their cabs hanging on open raised rocks offer you an endless view as you take photos of every pose they make.
The fearful and always retreating hartebeests together with warthogs are very interesting to view as they immediately take off after seeing any stranger approaching them despite having an ever watching male counter part standing still on a raised rock to spot any likely threat from the predators. Large herds of zebras are also very interesting to watch as they cross the trails in a close range while going to graze from the other side.
Guided Walks Guided walks in Kidepo valley national park are led by an experienced guide and an UWA ranger with a rifle. These walks are basically arranged to help tourists see more game and other small species that cannot easily be seen during game drives. Indeed the guide will identify an area that is fruitful in both flora and fauna, which he uses to explain to the visitors about their different behaviors.
Due to the possibility of meeting some big game like buffalo and elephant that may threat the life of visitors, the ranger with a rifle comes along majorly for this reason to ensure that everyone is safe. However, the rangers have also got extensive knowledge about several species in the park and therefore they work hand in hand with the guides to explain any necessary information to the visitors during these guided walks.
Visitors are given chance to ask any questions about any unique specie they come across while on the walk be it a plant or an animal. During the guided walks, tourists are able to see some of the rare species in the park especially the small ones including the unique leopard tortoise that is always found feeding on mushroom, the safari ants found walking in a straight line going to collect their food and the guide will always tell you to skip them with care as they can give such a painful bite if stepped into mistakenly.
Hartebeests, kobs, waterbucks, oribis and warthogs like running in front of the walkers in a distance of about 50m ahead while they keep turning to look at them as they proceed. Birding Birding in Kidepo has got no specific area since the birds can be seen anywhere in the park and therefore birding can be done alongside other activities like game drives and on guided walks. During these activities, you likely to come across the ground hornbill that rarely flies but rather prefer waking near the trails and only flies away when you get so close.
The cattle egret is commonly seen flocking around large herds of buffaloes. Several types of birds can also be seen flying in the air and some singing from the nearby trees.
It will take you six hours to hike to the village and six hours to come back. The village is worthy a visit due to its unique people and their culture though some fear them due to their scary nature and rumored stories of cannibalism in the community. Community Visit The park management and Apoka Safari Lodge organize visits to the Lorukul village found 20km away in the Western side of the park.
This village was specifically chosen due to its vulnerability and poor conditions. Therefore the fee paid for community visit is partitioned in a way that a percentage goes for community development and the other is shared among the community members to solve their immediate needs.
Apoka Safari Lodge undertook a project and constructed a clinic in the community and the funds now collected are used to stock drugs for the major epidemics in this village. Driving to the village takes about forty minutes from the UWA office in the park. When you get to the village, you will be welcomed by a community guide who introduces the village and its activities. The community members welcome the visitors with welcoming songs accompanied with clapping and a high jumping dance.
The amazing aspect of the dance is that the higher one jumps, the stronger the spouse they get. Therefore a weak man who cannot jump high to impress is given a weak girl who also cannot jump high. So the policy is that strong men get strong wives and vice versa and it is determined through dancing.
Visitors are always chosen to go and join the dance as they stand watching on sides. The age bracket for marriage in this community is between years. After watching and participating in the dance, the guide takes you around the community exploring what they have got including the small bandas they sleep in, their gardens and livestock. Finally, you will be introduced to the handicrafts produced by the community members to be sold to the visitors. These include several beautiful items like necklaces armbands, belts, scuffs, sticks, pottery, and sandals among others.
By air transport Being the remotest national park in Uganda, using air is the quickest way to get there. There is a minute flight from Entebbe to Kidepo airport. Fly Uganda flies to Kidepo daily from Kajjansi Airstrip. Aerolink also flies from Entebbe on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The easiest route is through Gulu to Kitgum to Lokumoit gate with km. With public transport, the most convenient way is using a bus from Kampala to Kitgum where the UWA office can connect you to the vehicle heading to Kidepo.
Apoka Rest camp is their sister accommodation facility for budget visitors. UWA has also got some nice hostels at their offices in the park suitable for budget visitors. The formerly abandoned Cliffside Katurum lodge in the Western side of the park that was constructed by former president Idi Amin is under rehabilitation and hopes are high that soon it will be in use. Although Kidepo Valley National Park is the remotest in Uganda, the benefits it rewards to the few travellers who go against the odds of transport to visit the park greatly out weigh the cost of getting there.
The most beautiful scenery of the park is seen in early mornings during your early game drive as the sun rises from the Eastern side with the rays striking into the thick white mist covering the lower slopes of the hills across on the western side. The absence of significant obstructions in the park like tall trees and hills gives almost an endless view of every feature in the park in all its corners ranging from game, birds, Rivers, trees, grass, to beautiful hills surrounding the park.
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Why Visit Kidepo Valley national park July 2,