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Atravelynn

Thanks for your detailed account of Kidepo, including info on getting there and back.  Did you have several people who chartered a flight?  Is there a scheduled charter?  Your comment that there is no place to refuel in Kidepo is an important consideration for driving.  Kidepo looks like a wonderful, remote wilderness.  The additional lodging you mention seems to indicate that others believe the park will thrive and entice more visitors.  I noted your concern about too many visitors.  You are lucky to have seen Kidepo twice at this point.

 

You certainly had your share of roof thatching on this trip.

 

For anyone going to Kidepo or the other Uganda destinations you visited, this report will be excellent reading for a sound background.  Thank you for creating this outstanding resource!

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inyathi

@Atravelynn 

Thanks,

 

Sorry I was still in Ghana on the 23rd of Feb, when you posted your question and then I guess as a result of ST being off air for a bit, I hadn’t spotted it until now.

 

There were three of us on the flight from MFNP to Kidepo.

 

There are scheduled flights to Kidepo with Aerolink, just have a look at their website, based on my experience though the flights might be scheduled, but they don’t exactly run on schedule, they flew us from MFNP to Kidepo and from Kidepo to Entebbe and both flights were pretty late.

 

Aerolink route map

 

I’m pretty sure that if you drive up to Kidepo you can’t get fuel once you are there, and I don’t know where the nearest place you can get fuel is, but I didn’t check this, when I wrote the report and I wouldn’t know if the situation has changed. Anyone thinking of travelling to the park by road, should check what the actual fuel situation is.

 

Since my visit UWA and the GCF, have as I hoped they would boosted the park’s giraffe population, I posted something on this a short while back, besides just being very good for the giraffes, more of them should obviously make them easier to see, great for anyone visiting Kidepo. 

 

Operation Twiga III Translocating giraffe to Kidepo Valley National Park

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Botswanadreams
3 hours ago, inyathi said:

I’m pretty sure that if you drive up to Kidepo you can’t get fuel once you are there, and I don’t know where the nearest place you can get fuel is, but I didn’t check this, when I wrote the report and I wouldn’t know if the situation has changed. Anyone thinking of travelling to the park by road, should check what the actual fuel situation is.

 

On the eastern route we filled up in Moroto and than after Kidepo in Kitgum. I think the car our company used had a long rang tank. We were fine including all game drives for four nights. 

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jeremie

@inyathiHi Rob, I have been reading a lot these last days about the lion populations in the Great Virunga Landscape.

 I am quite shocked to read that there is a continuous decline in QENP, while there is a clear rebound in the kob population in the park from 14.000 to 20.000 animals.

 

I have thus read a lot about kob populations in East Madi, Aswa Lolim, Murchison Falls where they corrected the number ok kobs to 120.000 instead of 50.000 through better aerial surveys using cameras (the observers tended to underestimate the animals of smaller species).

And I came to Kwaboya wildlife reserve and Toro Semliki... I have read on the new Management plan that the kob population is coming back very quickly, there are now more than 6000 kobs. This number could clearly feed some 50 lions just thinking of the carrying capacity. I have tried to have a look on Google Earth north of the reserve, in the Albert flats until the Semuliki river which is the border with Congo. It seems the images are very old, but I it seems there are very few people living there. I am thus wondering if there more animals outside the park. Do you remember how is the land there? did you get close to the North West of the reserve during your safaris?

 

I agree that fencing the park should be the solution before re-introducing any lion, but it seems UWA does not have any plan about it. In my opinion, they have a lot of work (and suffer of underfunding) to enhance law enforcement and lion protection in Queen Elizabeth and in Murchison Falls where Total will drill dozens of wells (400 planned, I cannot imagine this disaster....). Is the park still home for hyenas?

I also agree they should start to think to reintroduce hartebeests there, but it is again not the priority of UWA. It seems the priority right now is on Pian Upe and Katonga reserves, mainly by translocating animals from Lake Mburo which is "overcrowded" (zebras and impalas).

 

I will also ask you if you have any idea about the kob small population present in Kwaboya reserve. I have read a WCS report but there is no number. 

 

Thanks!

 

Jeremie

 

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jeremie

It's too late to edit, here is the paper with the new figures for wildlife populations in MFNP:

https://zslpublications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/rse2.154

 

I was surprised through your report to see very few pictures of kob in MFNP. I was there in September 2018, and the delta area (especially the Burigi track) was full of them. They had a lekh there of hundreds, probably thousands all concentrated here btween Tangi gate and the delta.

Do you think they are migrating according to the dry and rain season?

 

As far as the best locations, we stayed at Bwana Tembo, outside the park. It is a nice rustic, family owned lodge. The man-made food (italian) is exceptional. If I had to return to MFNP, I would prefer to stay at Paraa, in order to be located at the best place, and start earlier and finish later on the tracks to see more cats. It would be the perfect place to do night safaris, which are allowed in the park, but as far I understand, not commonly done.

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inyathi
Posted (edited)

@jeremie

 

I have been through my photos of MFNP, I have not found any that really show herds of kob, I don’t particularly remember seeing large herds of kob, I generally just have shots of a few males from close to the road, if we had seen impressive herds, I would have photos of them. I know that MFNP has a large population of kob, I guess the herds of kob, at the time just weren’t in the areas where we were driving or weren't near the road. There certainly are spotted hyenas in MFNP and there should be striped there as well, but I don’t think spotted hyenas are seen that often.

 

With regards Kwaboya WR, you’ve mistyped the name, easily done, it is actually Kabwoya WR, now I have to admit having said that, that at this point that was about as much as I knew about it, I wasn’t aware of it until you mentioned it and was struggling to find any information as I had copied your spelling :lol:. I then looked at the UWA website and saw the management plan, initially I just skimmed through to find a map to see where it is, so I do now know that. I have now read parts of it, so I likely know about as much as you do.

 

I was interested to read the following

 

Quote

In order to build wildlife numbers, efforts are being done to re-locate and introduce some animal species from other PAs e.g. Jackson hartebeests from Murchison Falls National Park, Giant forest hogs from Queen Elizabeth National Park and Reedbuck from Kidepo Valley National Park.

 

I imagine if this happens it may not be for some time, likely another victim of Covid.

 

I was interested that the T-SWR management plan does mention the possibility of reintroducing hartebeest and zebras, but doesn’t exactly suggest that they are definitely going to do so any time soon. UWA obviously isn’t getting a lot of money from tourism at the moment, I suspect that they might not see this as a priority, and I’m not sure who is going to fund them to do this, with giraffes the Giraffe Conservation Foundation can fund them, although they aren’t awash with money at the moment, in one of their videos, Julian Fenessy explained that they get a lot of money from zoos, many zoos fund conservation around the world, but because of Covid most zoos are closed and don’t have money to donate at the moment. I wasn’t sure from what I had read, if plains zebras were really present, in the area that is now T-SWR in the past or not, but their range was fairly close to the area, so I guess there might well have been zebras there. There were certainly hartebeest, from a tourism point of view bringing in hartebeest and zebras would add more variety, really restoring lions ought to be the next step if they want more tourists. I can’t see the reserve being fenced or lions being brought in anytime soon. It would nice to hear some good news about lions in Uganda for a change. I don’t recall much about areas outside T-SWR.

 

I suppose Kabwoya WR is relatively close to MFNP so reintroducing hartebeest would be easier than taking them to T-SWR, I will interested to see if any other translocations do occur in Uganda, but I suspect they won’t for a while, because of the impact of Covid.

Edited by inyathi
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jeremie
On 4/6/2021 at 7:45 AM, inyathi said:

@jeremie

 

I have been through my photos of MFNP, I have not found any that really show herds of kob, I don’t particularly remember seeing large herds of kob, I generally just have shots of a few males from close to the road, if we had seen impressive herds, I would have photos of them. I know that MFNP has a large population of kob, I guess the herds of kob, at the time just weren’t in the areas where we were driving or weren't near the road. There certainly are spotted hyenas in MFNP and there should be striped there as well, but I don’t think spotted hyenas are seen that often.

 

With regards Kwaboya WR, you’ve mistyped the name, easily done, it is actually Kabwoya WR, now I have to admit having said that, that at this point that was about as much as I knew about it, I wasn’t aware of it until you mentioned it and was struggling to find any information as I had copied your spelling :lol:. I then looked at the UWA website and saw the management plan, initially I just skimmed through to find a map to see where it is, so I do now know that. I have now read parts of it, so I likely know about as much as you do.

 

I was interested to read the following

 

 

I imagine if this happens it may not be for some time, likely another victim of Covid.

 

I was interested that the T-SWR management plan does mention the possibility of reintroducing hartebeest and zebras, but doesn’t exactly suggest that they are definitely going to do so any time soon. UWA obviously isn’t getting a lot of money from tourism at the moment, I suspect that they might not see this as a priority, and I’m not sure who is going to fund them to do this, with giraffes the Giraffe Conservation Foundation can fund them, although they aren’t awash with money at the moment, in one of their videos, Julian Fenessy explained that they get a lot of money from zoos, many zoos fund conservation around the world, but because of Covid most zoos are closed and don’t have money to donate at the moment. I wasn’t sure from what I had read, if plains zebras were really present, in the area that is now T-SWR in the past or not, but their range was fairly close to the area, so I guess there might well have been zebras there. There were certainly hartebeest, from a tourism point of view bringing in hartebeest and zebras would add more variety, really restoring lions ought to be the next step if they want more tourists. I can’t see the reserve being fenced or lions being brought in anytime soon. It would nice to hear some good news about lions in Uganda for a change. I don’t recall much about areas outside T-SWR.

 

I suppose Kabwoya WR is relatively close to MFNP so reintroducing hartebeest would be easier than taking them to T-SWR, I will interested to see if any other translocations do occur in Uganda, but I suspect they won’t for a while, because of the impact of Covid.

 

Thank Rob! And sorry for the bad wording of WGR!

 

You are true that we urgently need good news about lions from Uganda. I have beem in touch with people there. It appears there are only 2 known prides left in the park (1 in ishasha, 1 in Kasenyi plains), but they still hear lions roaring in Kyiumbura and kigezi GR. This is huge drop since 2018, when they detected 10+1 prides. This means that the population is now less than 70 lions, as estimated by Braczwoski in 2018.

There are now no more pride in the Crater region, in the Katwe/Kabatoro area, in Mweya peninsula...

There are only 20-25 lions left mainly around Lulimbi, in the Virungas, just across the border. just a sure pride from Lulimbi, but probably some lions in Ishasha, not sure if Rwindi still have some, as the large game species dramatically collapsed there. Maybe another pride in the Northern sector.

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