Apoka Safari Lodge is an excellent option for travellers looking for an off-the-beaten-track safari in a wildlife-rich part of Uganda - highly recommended by YZ.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The closest international airport to Apoka is Entebbe. From Kampala, the journey by road is rather time consuming, at 12 hours. However, both scheduled and charter flights are also available, on average taking a couple of hours – and the airstrip is just a few minutes from the lodge. The site occupies a lofty position, on top of a kopje above the Narus valley.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The communal lodge is set up at the highest point, guaranteeing great views across the Kidepo plains. It is made out of timber, stone, and thatch. Inside, there is an open-plan lounge, dining area, and bar, featuring comfy sofas and armchairs, coffee tables, patterned rugs, and a long table where everyone is invited to eat together. At a short distance from the lodge, there is the property’s swimming pool – carved out of a large rock, the pool is deep, cool, and perfect for relaxing in between activities!
Guest accommodation at Apoka consists of ten cottages, all located a little lower on the kopje than the communal lodge yet offering fabulous vistas of the valley, the plains, or the surrounding mountains. Six cottages contain a double bed and four have twin beds. Extra beds may be added for children aged 5–12 years. In common with the lodge, each cottage is constructed from timber, stone, and thatch, blending pleasantly into the landscape. Interior features include mosquito nets, bedside tables and lighting, snug rugs, ample storage space, and en-suite facilities comprising flush toilet, washbasins, and shower with hot and cold running water. Outside, there is a private veranda, and a bathtub hewn into the rocks! You can enjoy soaking in the tub while watching the local wildlife.
Apoka offers a fine assortment of activities – game drives, game walks, birding, and community visits. Kidepo’s Narus valley is famous for the amount of wildlife it attracts throughout the year, while the sprawling savanna around camp is popular with plenty of herbivores – and their predators! Lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, wild dog, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, antelopes… there really is a lot to see here. Bat-eared fox are in residence too, as are black-backed and side-striped jackals, and even a few primate species.
Keen birders can look out for ostrich, kori bustard, red-and-yellow barbet, little bee-eater, and a few Kidepo highlights such as pygmy falcon, white-eyed kestrel, golden pipit, and rose-ringed parakeet. And culture fans will appreciate taking a trip to a nearby Karamojong village, to find out about the way of life of the local people.