UGANDA – Mbunga Community Campsite
In the heart of Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains, near the small town of Kasese, at the end of an eight-hour bus ride from Kampala, lies the Mbunga Community Campsite. Operating under the RWTAS (Ruwenzori Action for Tourism Services) Charity, the campsite is an example of a community-based tourism enterprise, offering accommodation and activities to tourists in and around the Ruwenzori National Park. The income from visitors goes to support the local community, making this a real example of sustainable tourism.
The Community camp is small, with currently just four simple ‘bandas’ (thatched huts) available for accommodation, and a staff of six to look after guests. There is also a small restaurant with beautiful views over the mountains and with a cook trained by a Norwegian chef. Activities for guests include hikes to waterfalls, visits to local families and the chance to learn about the local Bakonzo culture. Tourist guides at the camp have been trained by an Explore tour Leader, and the campsite offers incredible hospitality and endless enthusiasm. The first few tourists have lately started to visit, leaving great reviews.
What the camp lacks at the moment is electricity. Our funds will allow the camp to install a PV solar system, providing lighting for the bandas and in the restaurant, the possibility of storing food in a freezer, and security for the campsite at night. These improvements to the Mbunga campsite will benefit the local community of some 40 families, about 200 people.
Mbunga campsite is in a remote location but is a perfect example of a community-based enterprise where visitors can bring income which will help change the lives of the local Bakonzo people.
Our thanks go to Explore who introduced us to this Project and co-sponsored the funding with us.
Ahead of schedule the Solar PV system units have been purchased and installed at the camp. So visitors now have a phone-recharging facility, they can dine under the lighting in the restaurant and food for the restaurant can be kept in the refrigerator.