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The rooms and surrounding at Apoka Lodge give you a good view of the animals at Kidepo park. PHOTO by Lawrence Ogwal

The only lodge with a pool in Karamoja

apoka lodge: In a place where the heat is unmatched, what you will yearn for as a tourist is a dip after a long day. But that won’t come easy when in Karamoja, writes Lawrence Ogwal.

A holiday in Karamoja is probably one not many people will fancy. Mostly because it is an arid area, so anyone would imagine lots of scorching sun and dry land. But when you visit Apoka Lodge, one of the safari lodges in Uganda, your perception will change.

Located in Kidepo Valley National Park, Kaboong District, Apoka Lodge will make you fall in love at first sight. As is synonymous with the community, you will be greeted by the Karimojong in a small village called Karenga. The lodge is about 40-minutes’ drive to Apoka Lodge.
At the lodge, you will be welcomed by a blackboard with an inspiring message written in Karimojong and it keeps changing every day. On the table are two preserved tortoises that are only there to design the table. A small shop that sells jewellery and other things made locally by Karimojongs is also somewhere in the corner at the reception.

Accommodation at Apoka
Another unique thing about Apoka is the way the rooms were built, According to the manager of the place, the lodge was designed by international architects. Everything at Apoka from the beds to the floor and the roofing, are hand-made using local materials. There are 10 rooms and all these give guests a clear view of the park, the dry savannah grasses, the birds, the animals and the most fascinating thing is the roar of the lions.

The only rock swimming pool
Karamoja region being a dry place, it is hard to believe that you will find a swimming pool. Apoka Lodge is the only place with a rock-made swimming pool, complete with a bar. At the pool, you get to enjoy a wide view of the park.
Outside the rooms is also a private bathtub on the veranda where guests can enjoy the beautiful view of giraffes, elephants, buffalos, and zebras.

About Apoka Lodge
It is located in the border lands of north-eastern Uganda, in Kidepo National Park.
It is situated on a kopje, and built from mixed materials (wood, thatch and canvas). Making the most of the Kopje’s lower slopes for support and shade, the main house is a large, raised, open-plan structure and the interior is divided into a lounge, dining area and bar. Overall, the style is largely European. A long and beautiful dining table runs adjacent to the lounge, which in the evenings is invariably dressed for a full silver service dinner. The furniture is low and comfortable.


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