40.7K Followers

A little party with Karamojong kids
Home » Africa » Uganda » Kidepo Valley | The Legacy of Idi Amin | #pipikikitour2021 (7)

Kidepo Valley | The Legacy of Idi Amin | #pipikikitour2021 (7)

In part 7 of #pipikikitour2021 we make a few scooter safaris again, but we also notice that sometimes it is better to just stay in one place to experience great nature experiences. And while Chris remote works in the beautiful Savannah Lodge I visit the former holiday residence of Idi Amin. Oh and those Karamoja kids who threw their jerry cans of water off their heads and fled from two mzungus on bright blue scooters…

The new Kalokudo gate of Kidepo Valley NP
The new Kalokudo gate of Kidepo Valley NP

Also read:

pikipikitour2021 ? (1) Buying a scooter in Uganda & ViaVia Guesthouse
pikipikitour2021 ? (2) Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Refugees & Scooter Breakdown
pikipikitour2021 ? (3) Murchison Falls NP | The first scooter safari
pikipikitour2021 ? (4) Drone images scooter safari | Murchison Falls
pikipikitour2021 ? (5) Bad luck in Pakwach and Gulu Central Market
pikipikitour2021 ? (6) Struggling through the mud in Uganda (video)
pikipikitour2021 ? (7) Kidepo Valley | The Legacy of Idi Amin

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley NP is for me the most beautiful national park in the world. The view from the former holiday residence of Idi Amin on the Narus Valley is of unparalleled splendor. To think that two-thirds of the nature park is not in Uganda, but in South Sudan, ravaged by civil war. View or download the park's informative PDF below.

The most beautiful nature experiences at your doorstep

After a fantastic night at the Kidepo Savannah Lodge, we decide after a morning safari to take up residence in the Uganda Wildlife Authority bandas in Apoka rest camp. The bandas have been completely renovated during the Covid period. Now complete with shower and toilet for a very small price increase (10 us dollars in 2018, now 15 us dollars).

Our scooters in the parking lot of Uganda Wildlife restcamp, Kidepo Valley NP
Our scooters in the parking lot of Uganda Wildlife restcamp, Kidepo Valley N
My banda bulbul in Uganda Wildlife Authority Apoka rest camp
My banda bulbul in Uganda Wildlife Authority Apoka rest camp

During our stay we fully enjoy all the wildlife that is around the rest camp from the restaurant. The warthogs don't care at all about people. They waddle quietly back and forth to the watering hole with those tails wagging in the air.

There are always four jackals in a grove behind the kitchen. They wait for the cook to throw out the residual waste. Elsewhere around the camp, where the employees and their families also reside, there is much more wildlife. So you don't have to go on safari at all, because with a little patience the game will come to you.

A warthog has to do just as big an errand
A warthog has to do just as big an errand
On the way to the watering hole
On the way to the watering hole
A jackal is waiting for the kitchen waste in Uganda Wildlife Authority rest camp Apoka, Kidepo Valley NP
A jackal is waiting for the kitchen waste in Uganda Wildlife Authority rest camp Apoka, Kidepo Valley NP

On your rubber through the safari mud…

In two days we make quite a few scooter safaris over the slippery dirt roads of Kidepo Valley NP, in part 6 you see several video images of that. Especially the buffaloes are not to be dragged, but because of the mud we have to be on our guard. Sometimes there is a buffalo or two in a mud puddle right next to the road. Then it is important to give the buffalo the chance to convince itself that we have no bad intentions. Stay calm and wait until the buffalo has absorbed us well and continues to muddle.

Muddy roads in Kidepo Valley NP
Muddy roads in Kidepo Valley NP
jump! On the right, a gazelle almost disappears from view through a goat jump
jump! On the right, a gazelle almost disappears from view through a goat jump
Are those mzungus?
Are those mzungus?

Kidepo Savannah Lodge

On the second day we decide to return to the Kidepo Savannah Lodge. On the way there we take a wrong turn and end up in another beautiful lodge: Adere Safari Lodge.

The manager gives us a warm welcome and shows us around. Adere is steps away from Kidepo Savannah Lodge. The view is equally beautiful. However, a night costs $250 per person and that is a very big difference with the neighbor. The only plus is a swimming pool, but to pay $350 extra for that. Back at Kidepo Savannah Lodge, the price difference is explained. “Adere doesn't have good marketing. It is owned by a Ugandan who has too much money. Our lodge belongs to a mzungu, who knows very well how to market a lodge.'

In any case, a lot is being invested in Kidepo. Two more lodges will soon open their beautiful doors just in front of the new Kalokudo entrance to Kidepo Valley NP. Oh yes and of course there is the Apoka Safari Lodge opposite the rest camp. That's a 6 star story where I've never seen guests. The price per night fluctuates around 1.000 euros. Absurd.

But the most beautiful lodge has not yet opened… Although there are already reviews about the Katurum Lodge in Google Maps…

The Legacy of Idi Amin: Katurum Lodge

His beautiful private lodge in Kidepo Valley, the Katurum Lodge. After my last visit in 2018 I am very curious about the lodge, which I know as the Idi Amin lodge. The lodge is a stone's throw from the Katurum gate. In 2018 I learned that the owner, a very wealthy local Karamoja businessman and politician (also owner of Aerobeach in Entebbe), was busy with the final adjustments. The Katurum lodge would open its beautiful doors in December 2018.

View of the Narus Valley from Katurum Lodge in Kidepo Valley NP
View of the Narus Valley from Katurum Lodge in Kidepo Valley NP

https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/lifestyle/travel/former-idi-amin-s-luxurious-lodge-brought-back-to-life-1801280

A few baboons jump to the side as I guide my scooter over the steep cobblestone path to the lodge shed. There I am greeted by a guard. 'We expect to open the lodge around Christmas,' he says during a tour. "What Christmas?" I ask. 'That was the plan in 2018 and the lodge is still not open.'

Magnificent view

Just like in 2017 and 2018, I enjoy the magnificent view that this lodge offers. “The owner left in a hurry a month ago. All construction activities have been temporarily halted. Apparently his mother-in-law is in the hospital.

On the rock next to Katurum Lodge a baboon is enjoying the view
On the rock next to Katurum Lodge a baboon is enjoying the view

Well, let's hope that mother-in-law recovers quickly and that this unique lodge opens its more than 50 suites to guests. What a view!

The beautiful location of Idi Amin's former private residence in Kidepo Valley NP
The beautiful location of Idi Amin's former private residence in Kidepo Valley NP

By the way, wikipedia uses an earlier name of the lodge in its internet encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakuba_Lodge

Just like in Aerobeach, the owner treated a few leaders of African politics to a statue. The guard takes a photo as I sit between Obama and Ugandan President Museveni, holding his signature hat. Next to Museveni is the first president of Tanzania: Julius Nyerere.

The African Heroes at Katurum Lodge, Kidepo Valley NP
The African Heroes at Katurum Lodge, Kidepo Valley NP

Refuel in Kadepo

We drive off in and around Kidepo Valley NP. However, the capacity of our petrol tanks is limited to just three liters of petrol. Therefore, in the morning we drive to the nearest village in Karamoja: Kadepo. There we attract a lot of attention from the villagers.

Villagers in Kapedo look in amazement at that mzungu and his pikipiki
Villagers in Kapedo look in amazement at that mzungu and his pikipiki
Chris fills his gas tank with great interest from the Kapedo'ers
Chris fills his gas tank with great interest from the Kadepo'ers
Chris tied some extra bottles of gas on the scooter just in case
Chris tied some extra bottles of gas on the scooter just in case

Also read:

pikipikitour2021 ? (1) Buying a scooter in Uganda & ViaVia Guesthouse
pikipikitour2021 ? (2) Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Refugees & Scooter Breakdown
pikipikitour2021 ? (3) Murchison Falls NP | The first scooter safari
pikipikitour2021 ? (4) Drone images scooter safari | Murchison Falls
pikipikitour2021 ? (5) Bad luck in Pakwach and Gulu Central Market
pikipikitour2021 ? (6) Struggling through the mud in Uganda (video)
pikipikitour2021 ? (7) Kidepo Valley | The Legacy of Idi Amin

Eric on a scooter in Uganda

Eric

What is it like to drive more than 10.000 kilometers in Madagascar on a locally bought scooter? Or on a pikipiki (scooter in Swahili) through East Africa? In more than 20 years I have visited more than 100 countries. This has resulted in a lot of priceless travel experiences, which I would like to share with you.

ERIC – OVER 100 COUNTRIES
– Currently in Kenya.
– Share unique travel experiences.
– Favorite destinations: Madagascar, Uganda, Japan, India and Colombia.

Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!

Written by:

Eric on a scooter in Uganda

Eric

SOUGHT

TRAVEL CHECKLIST

✔️ This travel insurance also covers orange covid-areas.
✔️ Compare and book the cheapest airline tickets here..
✔️ Save and book the best activities on GYG..
✔️ Multiple hotels? Then book with 20% Genius discount.
✔️ Save and reserve your airport parking spot.
✔️ Roadtrip† Compare and book a discount rental car.
✔️ Prepare for a trip? Score a practical travel Guide.
✔️ Need a backpack or suitcase? Offers here.
✔️ Gift† I'm giving away 500 times 10 euros!

Translate »
Copy link