Bush breakfasts are a must when staying at Apoka Safari Lodge. © Uganda Safari Company

Apoka Safari Lodge | Kidepo Valley National Park Luxury Uganda Safari Lodge

Hidden among several granite outcroppings, Apoka Safari Lodge’s cottages offer commanding views over the savannah, mountains and valleys of Kidepo Valley National Park. Delight in the remoteness of this unadulterated Ugandan wilderness, where spectacular wildlife sightings can be appreciated without another soul in sight.

The place

A group of 10 cottages appear out of the rugged savannah of Kidepo’s Narus Valley, set around a granite outcrop that offers 360-degree views of an arid, tan-coloured landscape dotted with acacia, sausage and jackalberry trees. It’s a great feeling to be here in the Karamoja region, in the heart of Uganda’s most isolated park.We walk through the thatch-roofed lounge of Apoka Safari Lodge to the swimming pool, which is carved out of a large granite rock. From here, we gaze out into the savannah, noting what could be more rocky outcrops, or perhaps even a passing elephant family. A hint of movement confirms the latter, and we quickly grab our binoculars for an excited closer look.

A group of 10 cottages appear out of the rugged savannah of Kidepo’s Narus Valley, set around a granite outcrop that offers 360-degree views of an arid, tan-coloured landscape dotted with acacia, sausage and jackalberry trees. It’s a great feeling to be here in the Karamoja region, in the heart of Uganda’s most isolated park.

We walk through the thatch-roofed lounge of Apoka Safari Lodge to the swimming pool, which is carved out of a large granite rock. From here, we gaze out into the savannah, noting what could be more rocky outcrops, or perhaps even a passing elephant family. A hint of movement confirms the latter, and we quickly grab our binoculars for an excited closer look.

The room

Our cottage is made from stone, wood, thatch and canvas, with a sitting room inside and shaded outdoor verandah where we can read, relax or soak in the endless views across the savannah and the distant mountains.Everything, including the large bed, has been handmade by local craftsmen, and the beamed high ceiling, wooden floors and hand-woven woolen carpets create a certain rugged stylishness.My partner, having discovered the outside tub, shouts that the water is ready. Seemingly carved out of rock itself, the tub has plenty of space for the two of us (you could fit a small family inside it), and from here we can observe the lodge’s waterhole.As we soak out the stresses of an almost-forgotten city life, we stare awestruck as a herd of timid oribi comes to the waterhole to drink, followed closely by a lone zebra. With the bountiful wildlife show we’ve already experienced today, we’re excited to see what tomorrow’s game drive will bring!

Our cottage is made from stone, wood, thatch and canvas, with a sitting room inside and shaded outdoor verandah where we can read, relax or soak in the endless views across the savannah and the distant mountains.

Everything, including the large bed, has been handmade by local craftsmen, and the beamed high ceiling, wooden floors and hand-woven woolen carpets create a certain rugged stylishness.

My partner, having discovered the outside tub, shouts that the water is ready. Seemingly carved out of rock itself, the tub has plenty of space for the two of us (you could fit a small family inside it), and from here we can observe the lodge’s waterhole.

As we soak out the stresses of an almost-forgotten city life, we stare awestruck as a herd of timid oribi comes to the waterhole to drink, followed closely by a lone zebra. With the bountiful wildlife show we’ve already experienced today, we’re excited to see what tomorrow’s game drive will bring!

What sets it apart

Whether luxuriating in your private outdoor hot tub, swimming in the rock-hewn pool, eating a three-course dinner or lounging on your verandah, Apoka Safari Lodge ensures you’ll never miss a second of endless savannah views and lively action at the waterhole.Its location in the remote Kidepo Valley National Park means that humans are scarce; you’ll be one of only a handful of visitors around to experience the plentiful wildlife that congregates in the Narus Valley for its year-round supply of water.Best of all, there are no hard and fast rules here – you can dine in several locations, enjoy game drives at your own pace or take the opportunity to truly unwind at your cottage. A highlight of our Uganda safari was getting to know the local Karamojong people – some of whom are now employed by the lodge – as was the sighting of a tree-climbing lioness on the branches of a sausage tree!

Whether luxuriating in your private outdoor hot tub, swimming in the rock-hewn pool, eating a three-course dinner or lounging on your verandah, Apoka Safari Lodge ensures you’ll never miss a second of endless savannah views and lively action at the waterhole.

Its location in the remote Kidepo Valley National Park means that humans are scarce; you’ll be one of only a handful of visitors around to experience the plentiful wildlife that congregates in the Narus Valley for its year-round supply of water.

Best of all, there are no hard and fast rules here – you can dine in several locations, enjoy game drives at your own pace or take the opportunity to truly unwind at your cottage. A highlight of our Uganda safari was getting to know the local Karamojong people – some of whom are now employed by the lodge – as was the sighting of a tree-climbing lioness on the branches of a sausage tree!

At a glance

  • Quiet and intimate safari lodge set in the heart of the Kidepo Valley National Park with ten cottages (four twins and six doubles), each with a large outdoor tub. The lodge has a curio shop and a natural rock swimming pool.
  • Remote national park, private dining and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, walking safaris, bush breakfasts and sundowners, cultural visits (additional cost), birdwatching and swimming.
  • Children from five years are welcome.

  • Quiet and intimate safari lodge set in the heart of the Kidepo Valley National Park with ten cottages (four twins and six doubles), each with a large outdoor tub. The lodge has a curio shop and a natural rock swimming pool.
  • Remote national park, private dining and flexible schedules.
  • Game drives, walking safaris, bush breakfasts and sundowners, cultural visits (additional cost), birdwatching and swimming.
  • Children from five years are welcome.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

In the two dry seasons, expect the mercury to climb on occasion above 40°C, with average daily temperatures of 30°C. Clouds are one of the few natural phenomena you’re unlikely to see! Vegetation seems to wither before the hot, northeasterly monsoon winds, which result in extreme drought, dried-up rivers and absence of green vegetation. This means that seasonal oases formed by remaining permanent wetlands and remnant pools in the semi-arid Narus Valley exert a magnetic influence on wildlife, ensuring great game viewing. Even in peak months, Kidepo is never busy.

The short and long rains mirror the corresponding dry seasons, with the short rains occurring first. Precipitation transforms the savannah from dry and dusty to lush and green and lends a welcome crispness to the air. The brief showers pose no real obstacle to going on safari, and the manageable temperatures are welcome. Resurgent rivers begin to flow again, and game tends to disperse with vegetation and water being more widely available. While the game viewing is still more than decent, it’s arguably outshone by the chance to spot migrating birds.

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