Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda is a beautiful place that can surprisingly be reached via a self-guided trip. One of the surprising things that many clients/potential clients don’t believe is that this outstanding Protected Area can also be explored by travelers without thick wallets. Surprisingly, you can enjoy a very affordable and exciting self-guided tour and we are going to show you how.
With over 120 mammal species, over 200 butterfly species, and about 350 bird species, it is impossible not to be mind-blown by the beauty and diversity of this phenomenal safari destination. A self-guided tour to this 331-square-kilometer Protected Area provides nature lovers the ultimate gorilla trekking experience with memories that last a lifetime. Unbelievable as it sounds, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the best destinations for self-drive tours in Uganda hence perfect for families who wish to explore the jungles at their own pace and in the comfort of a rental car.
A self-guided tour to Bwindi provides the much-needed freedom to explore the natural beauty of remote southwestern Uganda where the Protected Area is found (marked by terraced rolling hills, vast banana plantations, Crater Lakes, forests, and meandering roads). Getting to Bwindi, you can choose from the wide range of accommodation facilities in/around the verdant tropical rain forest, as well as lots of wildlife and bird species.
Driving to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park during your self-guided tour
A self-drive trip from Kampala/Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park takes about 8-9 hours in normal conditions and is very safe. However, always keep an eye out for toll roads (especially when driving from Entebbe via the Expressway), speed limits, and potholes that are likely to cause damage to the rental car.
Do I need a 4WD Vehicle for a self-guided tour to Bwindi?
Yes, you will need a 4X4 safari vehicle for your self-guided tour to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park because the roads leading to the Park are rugged and thus not suitable for some vehicles. Depending on the number of passengers, you can rent a Toyota Rav 4, Safari Land Cruiser, Safari Vans, Super Customs, or coaster buses.
The most amazing accommodate options in/around Bwindi National Park for self-guided tours
For self-guided tours to Bwindi, visitors can enjoy the wide range of accommodation facilities, which range from basic Hotels/Lodges to Luxury Lodges and Tented Camps with en-suite bathrooms. Before you book your place of stay, you need to first consider the sector you are visiting because Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is divided into four sectors (Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo, and Ruhija) with various habituated gorilla families.
If your guided tour heads to the southern sectors of Nkuringo or Rushaga, then you can book to stay at Gorilla Safari Lodge, Four Gorillas Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Haven Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, and others.
In the Buhoma sector, you can stay at Mahogany Springs Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, Engagi Lodge, Ride 4 a Woman, or Conservation Through Public Health Camp, among others. Accommodation options in the Ruhija sector include Bakiga Lodge, Ruhija Safari Lodge, and Koho Gorilla Safari Lodge
The best time to take a self-guided tour to Bwindi
Self-guided tours to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can be undertaken all throughout the year, but the dry season is preferred because roads leading to the Park are less muddy or slippery. Also, the forest paths/trails are less muddy and slippery hence making it less challenging to walk through the forest during gorilla trekking, the Gorilla Habituation Experience, guided forest walks, forest birding, mountain biking, the Batwa community walks, or any other adventures in/around the Park.