A luxury safari in Uganda is referred to as that safari with high end accommodation. Uganda is a land of contrasts, a geographic showpiece: the Western Rift Valley, the River Nile (the longest in the world!), Bwindi – the Impenetrable Forest, Lake Victoria, the legendary Rwenzori range – the Mountains of the Moon, the Ituri Forest.
In a matter of days, you can see some of the world’s rarest creatures: go tracking in the forest to see gorillas and chimps, search the marshlands for Shoe bill, wander the forest floor following the trail of Forest Elephant, and visit a Karamajong tribe or a Batwa (pygmy) village.
The rooms at Apoka 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, read and sprawl. Big hand – hewn beds with soft duvets are draped with mosquito nets, hand-woven woolen carpets, extra-large plush towels, over-sized dressing gowns…you may be as far away from the city as you’ll ever be, but you won’t miss a thing.
While here, stride out across the Savannah and walk with zebras. Spend time in a Karamojong village learning about their traditional way of life. Enjoy a Sun downer in the arms of a massive fig tree. Sit and watch a breeding herd of elephant frolicking in the mud.
The swimming pool at Apoka Lodge has been carved out of the big rock. This is the kind of pool that makes you want to jump in, splashing and yelling, feeling like a kid again.
Much of the wildlife can be seen from the privacy of your veranda or your outdoor bathtub, but the best way to see the wildlife is up close: on foot, or in one of our open-top Land cruisers.
Semliki Safari Lodge
Guests stay in golden-hued tents with gleaming hardwood floors. Staying under canvas is one of the most romantic and exciting things to do in on safari in Africa. You hear the sounds, you feel the wind, and smell the rain before it comes. But this isn’t roughing it either: the tents are protected by a thick thatch roof and feature en-suite bathrooms with running water, hot showers and flush toilets. Tea or coffee is brought to you in the morning so you can lie in bed or sit on your veranda and drink in the view before the day begins.
The main lodge with its soaring thatched roof is where guests gather round the chunky dining tables or sprawl in the comfy armchairs and sofas telling stories and sharing experiences. Lit by lanterns and open to the elements on one side, at Semliki you really feel like you are touching the wild. Get out and walk, there are miles of trails cut through the riverine forests that crisscross the Savannah.
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Clouds is remote, beautiful, intimate and raised over 2,000 metres above sea level known as Uganda’s highest lodge.
Guests at Clouds stay in their own cottage. Built of local volcanic stone, every cottage has a large sitting room with fireplace, vast overstuffed armchairs, and hand-woven carpets. Each individual cottage features the work of one of Uganda’s most respected artists. Their work has been so highly regarded by guests that they have commissioned their own pieces and now the work of these artists graces the walls of homes and offices in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and London.
The main lodge feels like someplace else with soaring ceilings, massive exposed wooden beams, big picture windows with endless views of treetops, volcanoes and mountains. It’s a stone palace in the Rocky Mountains. But with the gentle and warm welcome, the quiet dedication of the personal butlers and the smiles on the faces of virtually all the staff, this can only be in Uganda.