The park has a great diversity of animal species than other parks. Of the 80 species of mammals listed in 1971, 28 were not known to occur in any other Ugandan park. Carnivore species unique to Kidepo and Karamoja region include the bat-eared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf, caracal, cheetah and hunting dog. Less common ungulates include the greater and lesser kudu, Chandlers Mountain reedbuck, klipspringer, dikdik and bright gazelle; beisa oryx and roan antelope have been severely depleted by poachers in the recent years. Among other large ungulates are elephant, burchell’s zebra, bush pig, warthog, Rothschild giraffe, Cape buffalo, eland, bush buck, bush duskier, defassa water buck, bohor reed buck, jackson’s hartbeest and oribi. Five species of primate are found in the park of which the Kavirondo bush baby is endemic. Carnivores present include lion, leopard, several small cats, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal and side-striped jackal. This park is the easiest to see being the jackals.
One of the spectacles is a chance to encounter the tree climbing lions at Narus valley. Other interesting wildlife includes elephants, leopard, bush duiker, jackal, bush buck, bush pig and Kavirondo bush baby.
The park is outstanding for its birds of prey. The park is known for its 14 endemic species among the 58 species recorded including in the wider Karamoja region. These include Verreaux’s eagle, Egyptian vulture and pygmy falcon. There are four species of hornbills which are peculiar in Kidepo. They are red billed, the yellow-billed and Jackson’s hornbill. The giant Abyssinaia ground hornbill is quite common.