Dear Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, it is your responsibility to actively engage in the “safe keeping of historic sites and monuments” of our country. Kidepo Safari Lodge is such a historic site.
Kidepo Safari Lodge – Photo Credit: Emmanuel Owaraga II on Instagram or on Facebook
First of all, Kidepo Safari Lodge is built atop the naturally occurring Katurum Rocks of Kidepo Valley National Park. Add to that the fact that it was built in 1971 by a master Danish architect – Hans Munk Hansen and as it was commissioned by President Idi Amin Dada Oumee.
Furthermore, the furniture and the art décor of Amin’s Kidepo Safari Lodge are rich with a fascinating history of the time period. President Amin was reportedly famously known to be an avid hunter of wildlife; and that he used Kidepo Safari Lodge to entertain dignitaries (hunting parties, presumably) and this can be deduced from the lodge’s furniture.
I wonder if the furniture of Amin’s Kidepo Safari Lodge was made out of ivory from the animals that President Amin himself shot?
Chairs of Amin’s Kidepo Safari Lodge – photo credit @ Ms Norah Owaraga
Whatever the case, there is no doubt that the furniture of Amin’s Kidepo Safari Lodge qualifies as artifacts – they are manmade and are of cultural and historical interest. And, therefore, they form part of our country’s antiquities. Why is it that these artifacts are not being preserved and are being allowed to rot and waste away?
By the way please, those whose moral sensitivities now find it unacceptable for wild animal parts to be used as such, know that in 1975, “elephant hunting in Uganda and Ivory sales were banned” by President Amin. Such history should be documented, preserved, and archived for posterity; for the learning and enjoyment of generations to come.
Now, if Kidepo Safari Lodge is not a historic site, I need to ask: How does the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities determine historic sites?
Featured photo is of Amin’s Kidepo Safari Lodge Chair @ Ms. Norah Owaraga
2 responses to “Preserve Kidepo Safari Lodge as a historic site”
I think it is because of the way the Government of Uganda looks at Idi Amin.
In 2019, UTB launched a new tourism product called “Dark tourism” as part of Uganda’s tourism products.
In that Dark tourism product launch, a lot of emphasis was put on Idi Amin and what he did in his era – an era the government considers brutal and dark.
So, this is likely to be the reason why Amin’s projects or things to do with Amin are left non-preserved or “abandoned” (since they are considered dark tourism).
Kidepo Safari Lodge is not the only abandoned Amin lodge/infrastructure. Pakuba Lodge in Murchison Falls is abandoned too. In fact, a new lodge with almost a similar name (Pakuba Safari Lodge) was established opposite to it. This could support the idea that Amin’s lodges are deliberately abandoned for Dark tourism purposes.
In 2019, BBC Earth did a video about Pakuba Lodge and it tweeted it here:
So, no matter the reason for the non-preservation of Amin’s lodges, I agree with you that they have to be preserved or at least get some sort of deliberate government preservation, since tourism, even if it’s dark tourism, needs preserved sites.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Let’s preserve history