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“Stunning!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Apoka Safari Lodge

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Apoka Safari Lodge
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Kidepo Valley National Park | 15 Binayomba Road, Bugolobi, PO Box 23825, Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda   |  
Hotel amenities
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Stunning!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

I have been on many safaris in Africa and this was by far the most wonderful accomodation I have ever stayed in.
Imagine yourself, landing in a plan amongst the African bush on a grassy runway, a short drive taking you towards a cluster of lodges grouped together, slightly raised up on a hill, looking out over the savannah. Imagine being accompanied to your luxury accommodation where the huge bed is swooned in mosquito nets, and there are so many comfy looking places to sit you just dont know where to park your bottom. Imagine, opening the door to your bathroom and being slightly annoyed there is no bath to help soak that african dust off you, only to find another door and, voila! There is the biggest tub possible, inviting you in just outside your lodge, from where you can sit and become a prune all day as you watch the world, and the animals go by. Then imagine, the most wonderful swimming pool you have ever seen, set into the rocks, with a pagoda for the shade seekers and loungers for the sun-deprived, the infinity pool looks out over the land, and being able to get right to the edge allows you to look down at the buffaloes wallowing in the mud just below you. Just up from the pool is the restaurant where we were never disappointed, serving some of the best food in Africa, a particularly impressive feat considering it's isolation! Nothing was too much trouble and my particular favourites were pancakes with maple and bacon or eggs Benedict.

I would give my right arm to go back here, sadly my African tour was more of a once-in-a-lifetime experience, particularly Kidepo, but I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. Not only is the accommodation outstanding but the game drives too, I have never been somewhere where the guides were so efficient in going out and tracking down game for us to whizz along to, shortly followed by sundowner drinks by rivers or viewpoints.

The staff were all so helpful and there was nothing they would not do. I lost a dangely earring somewhere between my lodge and where we had had sundowner drinks and they went looking for it until it was found. Amazing!

Room Tip: all the rooms are stunning!!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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43 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    37
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    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Greyton, South Africa
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

Our second visit to this lodge in this remarkable lodge within 8 months surely gives some indication of our delight in discovering it. Great staff very friendly and helpful, food incredibly good for Africa especially given the isolation, having there own vegetable garden helps a lot!
The wildlife in this park is remarkable and we got to see a Cheetah, a very rare sighting in Uganda, everything else truly wonderful. We will return again as soon as possible!!!!!

Room Tip: Rooms 1 and 2 have best view of wildlife going to the waterhole!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxfordshire
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013

As a group, we have stayed at some stunning lodges over the years, but this took the top prize for its location above all, but for many other reasons too. The food was extremely good and we found that the staff were really attentive and caring. The proximity to the game was extraordinary, and the views from our rooms, the pool and the restaurant were great. There was only one other couple there and so we had a wonderfully quiet, relaxed time there, indeed you could not get crowded there. As long as you go to Kidepo knowing you won't see the volume of game you might in Kruger or the Mara you won't be disappointed. We saw elephant, giraffe, loads of buffalo, zebra, water buck close up, so were more than satisfied, both with our game drive and the memorable walking safari. To round it all off, after we had got back from our final game drive and were chiiling, the guides fetched us out again as lion had been spotted, resulting in our getting to see a group of five lion - a real bonus. The feeling of solitude - we never saw another vehicle (compare that with the Masai Mara!) was quite magical.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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jinja
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

Kidepo is certainly one of East Africas best kept secrets mostly because its hard to get to...but , oh so worth it . Feasting your eyes on miles of open space dotted with giraffe , elephant and buffalo herds , quirky sausage trees and.....no people! Which means no sharing......except for the buffalo carcass table where all four species of vulture found in this region were sharing their meal...at once.....amazing to see them close enough to compare them so closely . And it turns out , lions easily climb trees...five of them in one beautiful fig , at once........sharp intake of breath . My highlight had to be the brief but gorgeous sighting of the +/- 20 endemic Rose ringed parakeets.....very special .

This was a special treat so we splashed out at Apoka Lodge and it was worth every penny . The location is perfect , we LOVED the natural rock pool with its watering hole below......the rush hour of zebra , old boy buffalo , waterbuck , thompsons gazelle and hartebeest , and 3 naughty jackals seemed to last most of the day......the staff couldnt have been more flexible and attentive, and knowledgable . I could have stayed in the outside bubble bath for ever . The lodge is built into the granite outcrops and the massive look out tower is well worth the climb......I cant find a single recommendation to the owners to improve on things and I cant wait to go back .

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

After two nights in the standard Banda accommodation in Kidepo, we decided to treat ourselves to a night at the Apoka Lodge. And what a treat it was.

The accommodation huts, self-contained with balconies and outside baths, are arranged in such a way as to not overlook each other, giving you privacy and a real sense of being alone in the wilderness (a feeling that is emphasized by the fact you have to be accompanied back to your hut at night for your own safety due to the proximity of dangerous wildlife). The staff are attentive and welcoming, and the guides knowledgeable. The food is flown in from Kampala and is delicious and plenty. We had the place to ourselves and were made to feel like royalty.

We did an early morning game drive to the Hot Springs, had breakfast near the border with South Sudan and came back to a 3 course lunch and an afternoon by the pool. Our pool-side relaxation was interrupted by the viewing of a pair of lions by one of the members of staff, and we were ushered up the viewing tower in our swimming gear and then into our vehicle to get a closer look. It was a great end to our stay in Kidepo.

It is not cheap however, so if you are on a budget, the standard Banda accommodation is also very good.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
74 hotel reviews
Reviews in 99 cities Reviews in 99 cities
185 helpful votes 185 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2012

You will see more predators elsewhere and if are in Uganda you are probably there for the gorillas but this is an excellent place to see an unbelievable amount of birds, to have a relaxing time and to feel the solitude in the middle of the savanah. The rooms are individual cabins, very well appointed and providing good privacy.

If you like local food, make sure they cook some for you instead of putting up with the bland international fare they serve otherwise.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fourmies, France
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2009

Apoka is a lovely, comfortable lodge in one of the most amazing places I've been to on the planet. Completely remote, the Kidepo National Park in which the lodge is situated, has an abundance of lions and other African wildlife. Just looking out over the savannah from my porch in the morning I saw elephants, giraffes, zebra, buffalo, jackals, warthogs and many species of antelope. The guides based at the lodge are very knowledgable, and can spot where eg lions are so that you can view them up close. There's a nice tradition of evening game drives and sundowners. The lodge itself has 10 rooms, with solar-heated power showers, outdoor bath-tubs and comfy beds. The food is excellent, and there are games and books in the lounge for quiet moments. There's a very nice pool hewn out of the rock. All in all a magical holiday.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Apoka Safari Lodge

Address: Kidepo Valley National Park | 15 Binayomba Road, Bugolobi, PO Box 23825, Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Northern Region > Kidepo Valley National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Kidepo Valley National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
When you close your eyes and think of Africa, the landscape you imagine – the jagged hills, the golden grasses, the plains dotted with wildlife, the soft glowing light – is likely to be Kidepo. This is Uganda’s most remote park. Wildlife in Kidepo is abundant.Come and drink in the view, come and feel the lion’s roar in your chest. Come and stay a while. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Apoka Hotel Kidepo Valley National Park

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