The Ultimate Guide to Camping Sites and Facilities for Self-Drive Tours

The Ultimate Guide to Camping Sites and Facilities for Self-Drive Tours. Embarking on a self-drive tour in Uganda is an adventure like no other. This East African gem, often referred to as the “Pearl of Africa,” offers a diverse landscape, from lush rainforests and towering mountains to expansive savannahs and serene lakes. Camping in Uganda allows travelers to immerse themselves in the country’s natural beauty, experience its wildlife up close, and engage with local cultures in a unique and intimate way. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore some of the best camping sites across Uganda, highlighting their facilities and what makes each spot special. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or new to the experience, this guide will help you plan an unforgettable self-drive tour.

The Ultimate Guide to Camping Sites and Facilities for Self-Drive Tours
The Ultimate Guide to Camping Sites and Facilities for Self-Drive Tours
  1. Murchison Falls National Park: A Wilderness Haven

Firstly, Murchison Falls National Park is a must-visit for any self-drive tour. Located in the northwest, it is the largest national park in Uganda. The park is named after the dramatic Murchison Falls, where the Nile River plunges over a narrow gorge.

Camping Sites:

  • Red Chilli Rest Camp: This budget-friendly campsite offers basic facilities such as hot showers, flush toilets, and a restaurant. It is an excellent base for exploring the park and organizing game drives and boat trips.
  • Sambiya River Lodge Campsite: For those seeking a bit more comfort, Sambiya provides tented campsites with access to a pool, bar, and restaurant.


  • Clean restrooms and shower facilities.
  • On-site restaurants and bars offering a variety of meals and drinks.
  • Guided safari drives and boat cruises.
  1. Queen Elizabeth National Park: Diversity and Beauty

Secondly, Queen Elizabeth National Park is renowned for its biodiversity. Located in western Uganda, this park offers stunning landscapes, including the Kazinga Channel, lush forests, and vast savannahs.

Camping Sites:

  • Mweya Peninsula: This area features several campsites with basic amenities. It’s a prime spot for viewing hippos and birds.
  • Ishasha Wilderness Camp: Situated in the southern part of the park, Ishasha offers more luxurious tented camps with ensuite facilities and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.


  • Basic to luxury camping options.
  • Facilities such as toilets, showers, and sometimes kitchen areas.
  • Game drives, boat cruises, and chimpanzee tracking excursions.
  1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Gorilla Tracking Paradise

Moving on, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is famous for its gorilla trekking opportunities. Located in southwestern Uganda, the park’s dense forests are home to nearly half of the world’s mountain gorillas.

Camping Sites:

  • Bwindi Backpackers Lodge: This budget-friendly option offers camping facilities with access to showers and toilets, and it’s close to the starting points for gorilla treks.
  • Buhoma Community Rest Camp: Provides a range of accommodation options, from tents to cottages, with the added benefit of supporting local community projects.


  • Basic amenities including clean restrooms and showers.
  • Proximity to gorilla trekking starting points.
  • Community-run initiatives that enhance the local economy.
The Ultimate Guide to Camping Sites and Facilities for Self-Drive Tours
Buhoma Rest Camp


  1. Lake Bunyonyi: The Swiss Alps of Africa

Further south, Lake Bunyonyi is an ideal spot for relaxation after a long drive. Known for its scenic beauty and serene environment, this lake offers several small islands to explore.

Camping Sites:

  • Byoona Amagara: An eco-friendly campsite on Itambira Island, offering basic facilities and stunning views.
  • Bunyonyi Overland Resort: This resort provides a variety of camping options with modern facilities, including a restaurant and bar.


  • Eco-friendly accommodations with compost toilets and solar showers.
  • Water sports such as canoeing and swimming.
  • Hiking trails around the lake.
  1. Kidepo Valley National Park: Remote and Untamed

Transitioning to the northeastern part of Uganda, Kidepo Valley National Park is the most remote and least visited park, offering a truly wild experience.

Camping Sites:

  • Apoka Rest Camp: Managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority, this campsite offers basic facilities and a truly authentic wilderness experience.
  • Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp: Located just outside the park, it provides comfortable camping facilities with access to guided tours.


  • Basic amenities with clean restrooms and showers.
  • Proximity to wildlife and scenic landscapes.
  • Guided walks and game drives.
  1. Lake Mburo National Park: The Miniature Park

Additionally, Lake Mburo National Park is conveniently located near Kampala, making it an excellent stop either at the beginning or end of your journey. The park is known for its zebras, impalas, and birdlife.

Camping Sites:

  • Rwonyo Rest Camp: Offers basic camping facilities with easy access to park activities.
  • Eagle’s Nest: Located on a hill overlooking the park, this site provides stunning views and more comfortable camping options.


  • Basic to mid-range amenities including restrooms and showers.
  • Activities such as horseback riding, boat trips, and nature walks.
  • Close proximity to Kampala for easy access.
  1. Sipi Falls: Waterfalls and Coffee

Lastly, Sipi Falls, located on the edge of Mount Elgon National Park in eastern Uganda, offers a picturesque setting for camping. It is also famous for its coffee tours.

Camping Sites:

  • Sipi River Lodge: Offers a range of accommodations including campsites with beautiful views of the falls.
  • Crow’s Nest: This budget-friendly site provides basic camping facilities and excellent hiking opportunities.


  • Basic amenities with restrooms and showers.
  • Coffee tours and waterfall hikes.
  • Stunning views and cool climate.

Practical Tips for Camping in Uganda

Safety and Security:

  • Always check the safety guidelines for each park.
  • Store food securely to avoid attracting wildlife.
  • Respect park regulations and follow ranger instructions.

Packing Essentials:

  • A sturdy tent and sleeping gear.
  • Cooking equipment and a portable stove.
  • Sufficient water and food supplies.
  • Insect repellent and sun protection.
  • A first aid kit and necessary medications.

Vehicle Preparation:

  • Ensure your vehicle is in good condition and suitable for off-road driving.
  • Carry spare tires, a tool kit, and extra fuel.
  • A GPS device and detailed maps can be incredibly useful.


In conclusion, Uganda offers an array of camping sites that cater to different preferences and budgets. From the dramatic landscapes of Murchison Falls to the serene shores of Lake Bunyonyi, each site provides unique experiences and opportunities for adventure. With the right preparation, a self-drive tour in Uganda can be a rewarding way to explore the country’s natural beauty and rich wildlife. So, pack your camping gear, prepare your vehicle, and set out on an unforgettable journey through the Pearl of Africa.

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