Thursday, 15 March 2012

KARAMOJA: Uganda’s best tourist destinations 2012

On October 27 2011, Lonely Planet voted Uganda the best tourist destination the world over for the year 2012.

•Chater flights can be hired from Entebbe airport
Fauna and Flora
•There are over 460 species of birds.
•The Reserve boasts lions, elephant, buffalos and leopards.
•It is the only park in Uganda with cheetah.
Fun activities
•Community Tours
•Picnics & private Dinners
•Game Drives
•Walking Safaris
•Bird watching
•Karamajong Dance Presentations

Legend has it that after a successful hunting season, Karamajong warriors gathered at a remote place in the Kidepo valley to celebrate and feast. This place was called Apoka, meaning “the place of gathering”.
With time the warriors, especially the lonely, the old and the weak decided to stay. In the 1960s, the Kidepo was gazetted as a national park. It has been classified as semi desert- but this classification can be very misleading. Expansive grassy plains are dotted with big rocky outcrops and flanked by steep jagged mountains. It is located on a picturesque kopje overlooking the Narus river valley in the south-western sector of Kidepo Valley National Park. The Park itself is located in the far North-eastern section of Uganda, bordering Sudan to the North, the Napore Mountains to the West, and the Morungole Mountains to the South. The Kenyan border is just 5 kilometers from the Park’s Eastern boundary. At the crossroads of Kenyan, Sudanese and Ugandan ecosystems, Kidepo provides an amazing wildlife experience in a remote and pristine wilderness.

Home in the wilderness

The Apoka Safari Lodge is found within the Kidepo valley. The lodge is rustic, set naturally among the boulders and valleys of the reserve. From the vantage point of a private veranda, off a wood, grass thatched and canvas cottage room; one can behold a parade of giraffe, elephant, buffalo, antelope, zebra and some 200 bird species.

The rooms have been built with comfort in mind. Everything is handmade by local craftsmen, everything is large and capacious. 10 expansive rooms with natural canvas walls surround a rocky kopje with endless views across the savannah. With inside sitting rooms and private verandas there are plenty of places to relax. Big hand-hewn beds with soft duvets are draped with mosquito nets, hand-woven woolen carpets. Each room is decked and has its own ensuite bathroom with double sink and large tropical shower. Step outside to a sheltered terrace and slip into your own outdoor stone bathtub, big enough to fit the whole family. The Lodge interestingly employs only male staff. Mostly from the Karimojong community, a majority have worked here since the reconstruction of the lodge in 2004.

Adventures to enjoy

A morning game drive leaves by 6.30am to find the nocturnal animals like the hyenas, hartebeest, porcupine and this is the time lions are most likely to be seen as they finish off their catch. Halfway through the game drive, one can sit in the bush for a good coffee as they watch herds of animals as they come out of hiding. These will include buffalos, elephants and giraffes. You can opt for a walking safari where the game viewer will drop off you in the wilderness and leave you for the entire duration of your walk with a qualified guide and UWA ranger. You will normally trace foot prints and you could be lucky to find those animals. For birders, this is also a good trip to take. The park is famous for the rare Karamoja apalis, and the Abyssinian ground hornbill among other species
After morning walk or drive, one can return to the lodge for breakfast and then relax in the pool, or take advantage of the the view tower or the verandah at your room. Better still, watch animals at the watering point wallowing and drinking right at the main lodge. Sometimes you are lucky to see them mating. Lunch is normally served at 1 pm, and afternoon game drives start at 4.30pm. This is when you will have the famous sun downer in the park with cold drinks and nuts. Dinner is ready at 7pm and you can relax in the main lodge until you are ready to retreat to your luxurious, blissfully isolated room underneath the stars, as lions roar in the distance. Apoka safari lodge is a true luxury in a remote and wild place.
When To Go
Accessible year round. Dry Season, June – August. Wet Season November – December, March – February.

You can experience the fascinating combination of natural beauty and cultural heritage through contacting;
Eco Culture Tours and Adventures
Mobile: +256772379339

1 comment:

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