When Did Kidepo Become a National Park?

Kidepo Valley National Park is found in the Northeastern part of Uganda in the district of Kaabong nearly at the border with South Sudan and Kenya

When Did Kidepo Become a National Park?

When did Kidepo become a national park? Kidepo valley national park was first turned into a game reserve in the year 1958. The move to declare it as the game reserve was the result of the constant poaching and clearing of vegetation which put the wildlife in danger. The move to make it a game reserve was done by the colonial masters who accused the Ik and the Dodoth people who were the occupants by then of excess use of the resources within the park.

Kidepo Valley National Park is found in the Northeastern part of Uganda in the district of Kaabong nearly at the border with South Sudan and Kenya. Kidepo Valley National park consists of rugged terrain with hills, savannah, scattered trees rounded by Morungole Mountains

The Ik people and the Dodoth people justified their actions of destroying the vegetation and clearing the park by saying that they were trying to eliminate the tsetse flies which had to invade the park to reduce the risk of disturbances to their animals. Later Kidepo valley national park was gazetted as the national park in 1962, the year in which Uganda got its independence.

Of course, some people would wonder why the park was called Kidepo, or what does the word Kidepo means? You need to know that everything has an origin to be called something which is usually again attributed to something.

As earlier said Kidepo is among the top tourist destinations in Africa and has its history attached to it as to why it’s called Kidepo. The areas of Kidepo were surrounded or inhabited by the people known as the Ik and the Dodoth whose main activity was cattle keeping through nomads and fruit gatherers. They thrived on these for a living.

Kidepo National park lies in areas which were once filled with Borassus trees which could provide fruits to the local people and they use them to make the local beer and thus they found much love and respect for such trees and started seeing the park as the source of food and livelihood besides cattle keeping.

After the gazetting Kidepo as the game reserve, these people were relocated to another destination but they could not hide their love for the fruits and thus they could keep on illegally sneaking into the park to pick the fruits from the monitored and gazetted area.

So as they could come to pick trees for them in their language Karamajong where “to pick” is said as “akidep”. However because the whites could not know the meaning of the word “akidep”, they took it to mean Kidepo hence the name Kidepo valley national park emerged. Thus this presents a brief scenario as to why up to now we refer to this park as Kidepo valley national park.

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