Why is Kidepo Safari Lodge still in ruins?

Recently, I had the thrill of visiting and touring Kidepo Safari Lodge, now renamed Katurum Lodge Kidepo. It is located on Katurum Rocks of Kidepo Valley National Park and was apparently built in 1971 during the reign of President Idi Amin Dada Oumee.

Certainly, without a doubt, Kidepo Safari Lodge is clearly one of President Amin’s great legacies for Uganda, especially so our tourism sector.

It must have been a truly magnificent place then, in the 1970s, and a jewel of its time. Sadly, even though there is semblance of renovation work that had begun, Katurum Lodge Kidepo, pretty much remains still in ruins. When President Amin’s regime was overthrown in 1979, Kidepo Safari Lodge was vandalized.

Katurum Lodge Kidepo – Photo credit: Ms. Norah Owaraga

Apparently, since 2014, the lodge is under a 15-year concession to Mr. Lorika Cornelius Kodet, but seven years later, Mr. Kodet’s reported promise of a refurbished lodge with 100 rooms, presidential suites, health club, spa, bar and restaurant is yet to be fulfilled.

Which begs the question: Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), why is Kidepo Safari Lodge still in ruins?

It is tough for me to understand the logic and the reasoning of those in charge at the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, at UTB, at UWA, at Uganda Revenue Authority, at Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, and yes, at the Ministry for Karamoja Affairs.

Katurum Lodge Kidepo – Photo credit Ms. Norah Owaraga

How is it that the refurbishment and smooth functioning of such a treasure as the Kidepo Safari Lodge that can potentially generate significant financial resources and good publicity for Uganda are not a priority?

Featured photo of Kidepo Safari Lodge @ Mr. Emmanuel Owaraga II on Instagram or Facebook

One response to “Why is Kidepo Safari Lodge still in ruins?”

  1. Norah Owaraga

    Thankyou for your concerns about Kidepo Safari Lodge .

    As a progeny of the late Idi Amin Alemi Dada

    I would like to make one correction, We have no names in Kakuwa like the misnomer Oumee ; The third President of Uganda’s Kakwa name is ALEMI .

    We salute the efforts made by Karimojong Elder Cornilius Lorika Kodet since 2011.

    The National asset was a Uganda Development Corporation Project under the Uganda Hotels Franchise

    The Safari Lodges were commissioned under a DANIDA Grant in 1968

    1. Semiliki Safari Lodge 1968
    2. Pakuba Safari Lodge 1975
    3. Kidepo Safari Lodge 1976

    By Master Architect Hans Munk Hansen of Denmark.

    Your Concens can be greatly enhanced if we formally approach the Embassy of Denmark and DANIDA with a few to inviting the worlds formost reatoration Expert to reatore his Three Crown Jewel Eco Luxury Lodges in Semiliki,Pakuba & on top of Karurum Kolp in Kidepo Valley National Park.
    UWA awarded 15 Years Concessions to Kodet International in 2014…

    Let us collaborate and see THE Jewel in the Crown reatored to its former glory before unknowing honey gathering left burning ember that caused the perinnial bush fires that torched Kidepo Safari Lodge .

    We pray Katurum Lodge that rose from tyw ashes in 2011 is given a chance to shine under the Leadership of Mzee Kodet in 2023

    i remain yours and your brother Emmanuel’s administration and love.


    Jaffar Remo Amin


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