Bigodi Town, a hotspot for tourism, housing investment

Wednesday October 16 2019

One of the hotels in Bigodi Town. Bigodi town is a tourism hotspot. Photo by ALEX ASHABA

The smooth newly tarmacked Fort Portal Kamwenge Road welcomes you to Bigodi. Its bends and straight stretch, reveal the sight of signposts of tourist cottages, lodges, hotels, restaurants, and nature walk offices, most of which are a stone’s throw away from the guard rails. The fresh air and green vegetation cover on either side of this main road in Bigodi has a calming effect on one seeking relaxation.
Bigodi Town is 40 kilometres east of Fort Portal Town - a few metres from Kibale National Park in Kamwenge District. A ride in a 14-seatre taxi from Fort Portal Town to Bigodi is Shs5,000.
Bigodi overlooks Kibale National Park, a common stop-over for tourists driving on the Fort Portal-Kamwenge Road. It is ideal for investment as the town is growing because of its tourism potential

In addition to hotels, lodges, and cottages, there are centres that offer guided community swamp and general nature walks. The homestay business here is also profitable so one can consider investing in it.

Investment gap
Several land owners are now putting up new structures, and others are demolishing houses to construct better structures to meet the tourist accommodation demand. Because of limited accommodation and hotel services in the area, some people have to travel to Fort Portal Town to access services. This means there is an opportunity for more people to invest in the area.
Bigodi is a property hotspot, because it has ventures for tourists like Bigodi Wetland Community walk that attracts many people to the town.
In future, when Bigodi is fully developed, it will be a tourism town with tourists from different parts of the country and world visiting more often.

Accommodation services
During peak seasons, the sight of 10 to 25 cars parked as their tourist passengers have lunch, supper, or seek other services is not uncommon in Bigodi Town.
A plate of food is between Shs8,000 and Shs40,000.
Cost of land
Bigodi Town Council chairperson Adolph Magoba says there is increased demand for land, which has led to rise in cost. A 25X150ft plot is between Shs20m and Shs25m.A 50X150ft is from Shs40m to Shs50m. An acre of land that borders Kibale National Park is from Shs10m to Shs15m.
Farm land away from Bigodi Town centre is Shs10m, an acre. The fertile soil is favourable for growing coffee, maize, potatoes, banana and g-nuts, grown on large scale here.
Rentals are from Shs80,000 to Shs100,000. Commercial houses are between Shs70,000 and Shs150,000. Apartments in the middle of town and a kilometre away from town, some of which are homestays, cost Shs150,000 a month.
There are also tour camps, the cheapest costing Shs500,000 a night.

Bigodi has one police post in the town centre, which conducts night patrols.
The town has nursery, primary and secondary schools.

Other services
The area has Bigodi Health Centre III in the town centre, and is connected to electricity. The National Water connection project is also almost complete. In the meantime, residents access safe water from Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED) an NGO that extended water to the area. A jerycan is at Shs200.