Uganda’s Registers Record Tourism Growth This Year
Uganda is naturally blessed with beautiful scenery that is contributed to by the conducive climate (cool and warm throughout the year), ever-green forests, fertile soils, wide variety of flora and fauna, the Equator, the Western arm of the great Rift Valley, glacial and snow-caped mountains, Volcanic summits, Fresh water Lakes, the Nile, the longest River in the world, among others. These natural blessings and many more are the major reason behind the success of the country’s tourism sector that is thriving year after year.
With her unrivalled wildlife safaris including excellent gorilla tours, breathtaking game drives, Chimpanzee tracking, birding and nature walk tours among others, Uganda is increasingly becoming the dream destination for every traveller. The effort to conserve, improve and promote her nature-given wildlife treasures is seeing Uganda’s tourism industry reaping big from this lucrative sector making it the highest foreign exchange earner for the county’s economy. 2018 has been recorded as the best year in tourism growth with even two months to spare according to the Uganda Tourism Board. The Pearl of Africa has received more visitors in 2018 than in any other year in history. According to officials this year’s figure of visitors has already surpassed that of last year by 300,000 guests.
Uganda’s tourism growth has been on a rising trend with figures indicators that the country received 1.4million tourists surpassing the previous year by 88,000 tourists while currently the number has exceeded 1.7million. New investments in the sector, hotels and new party places are among other factors that have boosted growth in the sector. The state minister for tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi says that the government’s aim for the sector is to reach at least four million tourists by 2020.
The ministry of tourism launched four different campaigns to promote the sector including; Tulambula Tourism Campaign that encourages local tourists to tour around their own country, Twende Uganda, which focuses on attracting tourists from the East African region, Destination Uganda, which aims at attracting visitors across the continent and the Pearl of Africa Tourism Campaign that targets international travellers.
Officials from the ministry emphasize that towards this festive season, they have prioritized among others the major factors including cleanliness, tight security and medical readiness to ensure a smooth running of activities in the sector. Uganda Tourism Police officials also assured that they are also on standby to secure all tourists at various destinations. The security organ calls upon all tour operators to contact them if they encounter any problems and they are also ready to work hand in hand with the Association of Uganda Tourist Operators (AUTO).
Combined all together, The Pearl of Africa has got more than twenty national parks and wildlife reserves where you can enjoy incredible safaris. Uganda’s top destinations for wildlife safaris include Bwindi Impenetrable national park best for gorilla safaris for trekking mountain gorillas, Queen Elizabeth national park and Murchison falls national park for incredible game drives, boat cruises and birding safaris. Others include Kibale Forest national park the best for chimpanzee tracking and birding.
Uganda is also a suitable destination for mountain climbers with her two highest points of Margherita (5,109m) of Rwenzori known as the mountains of the moon and Wagagai (4,321m) on top of the dormant volcano of Elgon at her Eastern border with Kenya. The Margherita peak of Rwenzori is above the snow line and the freezing conditions at the peak make summit resemble the Alps of Europe.
Other Uganda safaris popular among her travelers include birding in her numerous rainforests. The Pearl of Africa is a home to over 1,000 bird species the highest count on the continent. Birding safaris in Uganda lead to her magnificent rainforests that include Mabamba wetland, Bwindi Impenetrable forest, Semuliki valley, Budongo forest, Kibale forest and around all the national park. You will encounter unique bird species of which some are Albertine Rift endemics in these destinations. These include among others the elusive Shoebill stork, the African Green Broadbill and Shelly’s Crimson Wing.
Nevertheless, with the presence of such lucrative and attractive tourist potentials combined with the relentless effort from the government, conservationists and all tourism stakeholders to support and promote the sector, Uganda’s tourism success story looks to just get better