Uganda to be rebranded
Uganda needs to be rebranded! Says Lilly Ajarova the new Executive Director of the Uganda Tourism Board. The country is to be rebranded with a particular identity to make it easy to market the country by the end of the year.
Ajarova said that Uganda needed to get a brand identity for its tourism sector with the aim of making it unique and attractive to the tourists. She was speaking in Kampala on Wednesday during a half-day conference under the theme: “More than Gorillas: Tourism Development at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park”. The meeting was opened by the British High Commissioner, Peter West. Tour operators, as well as representatives of the community enterprises, also attended.
The UTB chief said that the board is also working with the different clusters across the country in order to engage everyone in tourism. “We are identifying various iconic products in each of the clusters which will help in representing the biodiversity of Uganda like culture, landscape, diversity among others,” Ajarova said.
Ajarova added that changing the nature of tourism into quality standards would help produce a coordinated and well-managed identity of tourism in the country.Read More
Aero Link Uganda Launches New Flying Routes
Discover a new domestic flight experience in comfort & luxury as you explore almost all Ugandan National Parks. Aero Link Uganda, the new scheduled flight service in Uganda, have just announced they will soon be offering scheduled flights to the remote Kisoro and Kidepo airstrips.
Kisoro is the airstrip used by those heading for gorilla trekking in southern Bwindi. Kidepo Valley National Park is a remote Savannah park in the far northeast of the country, previously only practically accessible by private charter until last week – when Fly Uganda announced they would add the destination to their new ‘seat rate’ route. The service has already proved popular, connecting safari visitors to Uganda’s National Parks for more affordable flying safaris. The other destinations on the Aero Link schedule include Kihihi (for northern Bwindi and Ishasha), Kasese (for Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale Forest), and Bugungu and Pakuba in Murchison Falls National Park.
The company also recently confirmed they would be landing at Mweya (Queen Elizabeth National Park) and Chobe (Murchison Falls National Park) on request at no extra cost. If you fancy a journey discovering Kidepo, or anywhere else in Uganda for that matter, there has never been a better time to do in style and fly to the national parks without breaking the bank.
One can note that traversing Uganda on the wings of Aero link is another memorable encounters of its own that a traveler on Uganda safari tours can boast to have had. Aero link is a domestic carrier company that operates both chartered and scheduled flights to various destinations that are encountered by travelers on safaris in Uganda.
Having its ground base at Entebbe International Airport which is the main air point of entry and exist for all travelers to and from Uganda including those on safari tours to Uganda, Aero link capitalizes on its Cessna Grand Caravans to provide flights to re-known destinations of Bwindi (Kisoro and Kihihi airstrips) famous for gorilla trekking safaris, Queen Elizabeth National Park (Mweya and Kasese Airstrips), Murchison Falls (Pakuba, Chobe and Bugungu Airstrips), Semliki National Park (Semliki airstrip) and Kidepo Valley National Park (Apoka Airstrip) famous for wildlife safaris in Uganda.
Aero link provide lasting encounters as the passengers are enabled to fly with their pilots in a clear glass cockpit thus doubling as transportation and learning adventure. The carrier company enables Uganda safari undertakers to connect to distant places like Bwindi which would take 10 hours if transferred by road to just one hour and fifteen minutes saving them great time and energy.Read More
Uganda, an Ideal Habitat for a Variety of Birds
Uganda’s remarkable avian diversity (over 1000 species within an area the size similar to that of Great Britain) can be attributed to its location between the East African Savannah, West African rain forests and semi-desert of the North. Uganda offers easy access to bird-rich habitats that are difficult to reach elsewhere. Uganda is a prolific and one of the best birding destinations in Africa. It is the ideal habitat for a variety of birds. It’s gifted with serene undulating hills of tea plantations, lush but ordered, give way to tangled jungle and rainforest with the musical accompaniment of chaotic, cacophonous birdlife. The tiniest sunbirds, iridescent in the morning light to the massive lumbering wildlife.
The following species are regarded by birders as special and these include; shoebill, nahan’s francolin, brown-chested lapwing, Ruwenzori turaco, montane night jar, short- tailed warbler, stripe-breasted tit, Ruwenzori’s batis’,purple- breasted sunbird, strange weaver, dusky crimsoning, Shelley’s crimson wing, red throated alethe, kivu ground thrush, African green breadbill, green-breasted pitta, karamoja apalis, puvel’s illadopsis and jameson’s antpecker Short-tailed Warbler, Blue-headed Sunbird, Black billed Turaco, Yellow eyed black flycatcher, Black bee-eater, and Kivu ground Thrush, Garners Warbler, Bar-tailed blue Trogon, Africa blue and white-tailed blue flycatchers and Red-headed bluebill, black-headed heron, cattle egret, hamerkop, marabou stork, hadada ibis, black kite, African fish eagle, long crested eagle, helmeted guineafowl, red-eyed dove, ring-necked dove, eastern grey plantain eater, white browed coucal, African palm-swift, little swift, speckled mouncebird, grey-headed sawing, African pied wagatail,common bulbul, little green bul, tawny-flanked prinia,swamp flycatcher,scooty chat, African paradise-flycatcher, scarlet-chested sunbird, grey-backed fiscal, pied crow, rueppell’s glossy-starling, grey-headed sparrow, baglafecht weaver, ostrich, goliath heron,hammerkop, Egyptian goose, comb duck vieillot’s weaver, golden- backed weaver, red-billed quelea’ black-winged bishop, orange( northern red) bishop, African firefinch, bronze manikin, pintailed wydah, yellow-fronted canary and many others. Book your birding Safari to Uganda with Terrain Safaris. We have a well-trained team of birding guides working on birding safaris to different birding habitats/ areas in Uganda. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire for detailed itineraries, we always aim at perfecting your safari and exceed your expectations. Whether you are traveling alone, family or with a group of friends at Terrain Safaris Uganda, we have packages that fits your budget and interests.
UK Firm Presents Proposal for Kabale Airport
On 2 December 2016, SBC – a joint venture between UK company Colas and local company SBI Uganda – formally presented its proposal for the Kabaale International Airport project to the Ministry of Works and Transport. The SBC team submitted its proposal to the Ugandan Minister for Works and Transport, Hon. Monica Azuba Ntege, in the presence of Uganda’s Attorney General, William Byaruhanga and the British Deputy High Commissioner Mary Shockledge.
At the event, Deputy High Commissioner Mary Shockledge stressed the importance the UK government attaches to supporting UK companies operating in developing markets such as Uganda
Following its submission of the proposal, SBC gave a brief presentation. The Kabaale International Airport project is expected to offer immediate benefits in facilitating the movement of materials and manpower for the development of the oil sector in Hoima District, and the Western Uganda region in general. In the longer term, there are expected to be wider benefits for the development of tourism and agriculture in the region.
At the event, Deputy High Commissioner Mary Shockledge stressed the importance the UK government attaches to supporting UK companies operating in developing markets such as Uganda. She thanked the Government of Uganda for its work to date on the development of the project. She lso commended Colas UK as a reputable UK firm that has delivered similar projects on time and on budget, meeting high environmental and social safeguarding standards.Read More
Uganda Eyes $700M from Bird watching Over the Next Decade
Uganda, home to more than half of Africa’s bird population, seeks to earn over $700 million from its rich birding variety over the next decade, government officials said during the Africa Birding Expo held in Entebbe from 18-21 November.
The East African nation hosted the event for the first time at Botanical Gardens in Entebbe and hopes to use the show to increase its tourism revenue. Tourism currently contributes about 10 percent of the country’s GDP.
“We have more birds than U.S. and Europe combined but they earn more than us. We are targeting 100,000 birders who will bring in $700 million a year in the next 10 years,” New Vision quoted Stephen Asiimwe, the chief executive officer of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), saying.
The event which attracted over 100 exhibitors from Africa and across the world, is organized by UTB and Uganda Safari Guides and funded by the World Bank in efforts to showcase the country’s vast bird heritage.
Uganda has over 1,000 bird species but its tourism numbers are about 500 visitors every year, paltry figures compared to other nations like the U.S., which attracts about 17 million bird watchers every year despite its paltry number of species.
The East African nation has about 10 percent of the world’s bird population.
Some of the most sought-after birds in Africa that are found in Uganda include Shoebill, Fox’s weaver, Black bee-eater, Rwenzori Turaco and the Green-breasted pitta, which are mainly found in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Ichuya Forest and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park, found in the western region of East Africa’s second biggest economy has over 600 species, the highest for any protected area across the continent, Advantage Safaris Africa reported.
The Ugandan government is increasing its efforts to tap more earnings from this rich bird diversity, through extensive training of its bird guides, developing infrastructure to help tourists access the birds easily and improved marketing of sector as a major tourism attraction product.Read More
110th Anniversary of the Rwenzori Expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi
On the occasion of the celebrations for the 110th anniversary of the historic expedition to Uganda of the Duke of Abruzzi – organized by the Ugandan Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities with the support of the Ugandan Ministry of Defense – and of the first climb to the Margherita peak (5.109mt), the Embassy of Italy has given its patronage to a new Italy-Ugandan expedition. Two Italian military officials from the Alpine Training Centre of Aosta (Marshal Giancarlo Graziosi and Corporal Major Jules Pession) and four officials from the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) reached the highest peak of the Rwenzori on the 22nd of October 2016.
The achievement was made public on the 26th of October during a press conference held at the Uganda Museum in presence of the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu.
To mark the 110th Anniversary of the achievement of the Duke of Abruzzi, pictures of the historical expedition of 1906, taken by renowned photographer Vittorio Sella, were exhibited at the residence of the Ambassador of Italy on June 2nd on the occasion of the Republic Day.Read More
‘Queen of Katwe’ is Good News for Uganda’s Sports Tourism
The biographical film Queen of Katwe, which tells the story of Chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi, is going to be released this September in cinemas around the world. The film, which stars Oscar Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo plus Ugandan child actress Madinah Nalwanga, is a big deal for Uganda.
The film will be released by Walt Disney, a company that boasts some of the highest box office grossing films in years.
Before the hype about the film started and the fact that Lupita was involved, very few knew who Phiona Mutesi was to the Chess world: a young girl from an impoverished background who went on to become a chess master.
So, what does this film mean for Uganda and its tourism sector? Do we find a way to capitalise on it? Do we read between the lines and see what message it brings out for the rest of the world to see?
The best part about this is that the film is going to give Uganda free worldwide publicity that is beyond Hollywood’s stereotypical view of “Idi Amin’s Uganda.”
Hopefully, people will now see that this little landlocked country has got a lot more to offer than just mountain gorillas and the source of the Nile.
It should shine a light on an enterprise that has long been neglected only to be remembered when the world sees its benefits and awards it. Sports Tourism.
Sports tourism, or sport tourism, refers to travel which involves either observing or participating in a sporting event staying apart from their usual environment. Sport tourism is a fast-growing sector of the global travel industry and equates to $7.68 billion.
In Uganda, many youth have started eyeing the sporting industry with hopes of their talents being discovered due to people like Dorcus Inzikuri and Stephen Kiprotich who have inspired them to push on with their dreams.
Away from the running track, boxing and soccer, there are several young people with dreams of being World Chess Masters just like Miss Mutesi, but they are not accorded the support they need to make it; yet they keep dreaming on and working hard on their dreams.
Sporting activities such as rugby, golf, basketball and cross-country cycling should be on top of the list when it comes to promoting Uganda’s sports tourism. There are several different sports tournaments held throughout the year in Uganda and out of all those, football and rugby are the most promoted.
Is this because the football fraternity has more means than the rest? Or because it’s viewed as the one with the most returns for the promoters? Can we build solely on football or we can branch out and elevate the other talents of the general sports fraternity?
Sports tourism includes the several activities that our tourism economy benefits from such as water rafting, kayaking and bungee jumping that take place around the falls in Jinja and Murchison. There are several other locations that would be very suitable for such activities but due to lack of proper promotion from the people in charge, they seem to be missing out on making it big in the industry; so they lie dormant and underappreciated from what they can bring to the table.
If concerned stakeholders gave more support to the sports fraternity and several different sectors of our tourism sector, would we have more “Mutesis?” Talented young people that have a dream to shine for their country with the gifts that they have been given?
Would we have more visitors in the dormant areas that would make a wonderful tourist attraction? We do not know, till we try.Read More
Cheap Treks in Uganda’s Green Forests
It’s no secret that Uganda has the best treks in the East African region especially in the main parks and forest reserves. You only need a few essentials for the treks, the permits, comfortable walking shoes, the warm jacket, long sleeved wears, insect repellents, and the right timing. Uganda trekking tours run year round in all National parks and reserves but those done in the low season are more affordable than those during the high season a reason. Of course Bwindi forest has the most spending trek in Uganda and others follow Kibale forest, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison falls. For great Uganda trekking experience one has to do at least two with a visit to two different park but bwindi shouldn’t miss out on the two chosen. Gorillas and Wildlife safaris are the commonly done trekking tours in Uganda that most travelers prefer doing the treks in Bwindi & Queen Elizabeth National park or Kibale & Bwindi forest. Unless if one needs to see only a particular type of primate like only Gorillas or chimpanzee, that’s when one destination is visited.
At the edge of western Uganda in a sleepy cool hills & rain forest is your amazing Gorilla trekking sky without ends and a place to be for outstanding Gorilla safari in Africa. Though Mountain Gorillas are shared with other two countries, Uganda has a great number with rewarding challenging hikes in the rain forest which make your life memories a precious gift to cherish and love every day. All Gorilla trekking tours start and end in either Kampala, Entebbe or Jinja the main Uganda cities. Usually tourists leave the city having confirmed all that all their trekking essentials are fully booked, the Gorilla permit, Accommodation and transport. Backpacker travelers using public means of transport also book public bus seats at Kampala bus offices which enable them leave connect easily to the park but the best tracking section if backpacking should be Ruhija or Buhoma since you can hire a tax or use a matatu to connect from Kabale town to the park headquarters. The shortest Gorilla trek in Uganda goes for 3 days one for transferring to the park, second for tracking and the third reserved for return. Different accommodation facilities are available to cater for every travellers need bit budget, mid-range or luxury but budget camps and lodges usually charge $10-$50,Midrange$150- 250 while luxury $300-$600.However sole travelers pay higher than Group travellers since those in the Group share some costs transport and accommodations hence becoming affordable for all of them.
Uganda the country of endless beauty has still Queen Elizabeth National park a place for chimpanzee trekking at Kyambura gorge and Kalinzu forest reserve. Tourist here normally do the trek on that last day of their stay that is if they are visiting only one park and do it first or mid if they are going to visit other parks .Bwindi is the most thought of destination of every travellers to Queen Elizabeth and a Gorilla & Wildlife to Bwindi & Queen is one of the most fascinating tours in Uganda. Travellers who take on this tour have the best fun having a chance to visit the home of man’s close relative and cousin. Also other exciting activities are done Game drives during morning and evening, Boat cruise on the wonderful kazinga channel, cultural tours to the nearby villages, Nature walks, crater lake excursions among others. Baboons and monkeys are a must see during every trek unless if you aren’t lucky. Interestingly is that after the first activity the beauty call can beg you to take on other park activities even those not included in your tour program.
Kibale forest is another park fulls of beautiful primates the chimpanzee, bush baby, black and white colobus monkey, baboons which welcome you just as at start of the forest asking if you have got some bits for them. Chimpanzee trekking is the main park activity but the chimpanzee habituation activity unveils the chimps’ natural beauty in depth an activity I recommend you to do while here is if time permits. Birding at Bigodi wetland is another exciting adventure and the most fun one for bird lovers and nature lovers. Don’t miss spending a night in the tree house at Chimps nest an accommodation which will expose you to their park wildlife and birds. The sounds of birds and other forest habitants wake you up as they keep reminding about the waking up time. A beautiful walk to the restaurant and to the park head quarter is unforgettable that you can’t miss to find a monkey on the way. Up market travelers sleep at Primates Lodge located at the park entrance and other budget travelers use the available park budget accommodation, chimpanzee guest house, Kanyanchu River Camp, Kibale forest camp, and Nyinabulitwa country Resort.
If may be required to wake up early if your connecting from Kibale forest to Murchison falls National park thus begin the day with a scenic drive to the park famed for great wildlife, might falls and primates. You’ll have company on this popular route of the game, but you’ll have an exceptional moment as you climb to the top of the fall after the afternoon boat cruise. The Chimpanzee trek in Budongo forest is satisfying and doesn’t require a lot of fitness, the treks are done both morning and afternoon as in the other parks plus Chimpanzee habituation as well. Travelers here enjoy not only treks but also the park amazing wildlife, the Giraffe, lions, elephants, Buffaloes, the kobs etc plus the Rhinocelaus found just a few kilometers to the park at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. Several scenic miles come your way especially the endless wild planes, the green rain forest the lakes mention just a few. A short hike down the falls is too adorable and the most memorable moment one can never forget at Murchison falls. The natural water sound make you recognize the falls scenic movement but the glimpse of the stunning fall views mixing up on rocks from a distance is a perfect scene for photo life memories.Read More
British Airways Suspends Flights to Uganda
British Airways has confirmed its flight suspension from Heathrow to Entebbe International Airport in Uganda. The Airline Regional manager Edward Frost has announced that the airline will have its last flight to Entebbe on 2nd October, 2015 and out of Entebbe to Heathrow on 3rd October 2015. The airline suspension is due to commercial reasons with some sources reporting low profitability on this route.
Frost while announcing the chances said that “Looking at the plans British Airways had for Uganda in the past six years a lot has changed”. The airline was committed to serve the travel market that was a main factor to host more flights between Entebbe and Heathrow.
The Discovery of Oil in Uganda is one of them, the 2010 world cup in South Africa, and the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The airline flights increased from three to five a week due to the high demand. However after the World cup, the Uganda Oil production delays by years made British airways to weigh the Uganda market as not viable to sustain its operations making it cut its flights back to three.
Come 2014 the Airline grow prospects where high with plans of looking at East Africa as a region instead of a single destination. The airways announced to increase its flights from 3-4 times a week a plan which failed in some months later due to the increase of the ground handling rates by the Civil Aviation Authority something it had never done for a period of 20years. The authority believed that the older rates did not make business sense. Tariffs for a Boeing 737 (B737) aircraft, for example, initially used to be $1,100 per turnaround. However, the tariff was increased to $1,200. Depending on the category of the aircraft, tariffs can go up to $2,500 per turnaround. The increase made Entebbe airport lose some bit of its competitive edge, although the rates were still lower than those at the busier and bigger Jomo Kenyatta airport in neighboring Kenya.
Also the escalating volumes of trade between Uganda and countries in the Middle East have recently attracted several airlines offering services to countries like UAE, China and Turkey among others. There is now a record five Middle East based airlines operating in Uganda, including Fly Emirates, Fly Dubai, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Brussels airlines and Etihad Airways. Besides the best option airlines to London and USA.All customers who booked with British airways after 3 October 2015 will be given a full refund or can alternatively be re-booked, says Edward Frost, the airline’s commercial manager for East and Southern Africa though he wasn’t clear how many staff will be affected by the decision.Read More
International Birders Praise Uganda
Uganda receive the three prominent international birders recently, one is the organizer of the world’s largest bird fair in the UK called Tim Appleton, the other is Bill Thompson, the editor and co-publisher of Bird Watcher’s Digest, one of the most read North America’s birding magazines, and Dominic Mitchell, who is the founder and managing editor of Bird Watch, Europe’s leading monthly magazine. These three prominent international birders roomed the country, a first ever since the Big Birding Week started 11 years ago and paid glowing tribute to Uganda’s nature and proved that Uganda is really a pearl of Africa.
As he was speaking on the event, Appleton said that Uganda has the possibility to attract ten of thousand traveler’s whole over the world because Uganda is proved as a bird’s paradise with all most all types of birds. These entire where said during the launch of the big birding week at forest resort in Kasenge, Mukono district. He also noted that, ‘’Uganda has the highest population of birds not only in the east Africa but also in Africa, and not only seeing birds but birders also have the chance of seeing other mammals and primates like the gorillas on a gorilla safari and chimpanzees among others,’’. Appleton, however, noted that Uganda needs to improve its infrastructure if it is to attract more birdwatchers. He also added that Uganda needs more nice wide trails for better viewing of birds because there is no point in having small trails where if some in front of you sees a bird, the one behind misses it,” he said’’. He also asked the Uganda tourism board (UTB) to get involved in the UK Bird Fair, which, he said, attracted more than 22,000 people from 68 different countries annually.
Uganda is a God gifted country with very many species of birds and Uganda is considered the best safari destination for birders and it boosts of more than 1,057 species accounting for 11%of the globe’s total and 50%of Africa’s. The African bird club ranking Uganda as home to two of the top 10 birding sites on the continent. Bwindi impenetrable national park is ranked number one birding destination and Murchison falls national park in the ninth position. Nature Uganda in 2003 started the concept of the birding week which is developed into the big birding day, this came after seeing the potential that lies in birds. This year the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Uganda Bird Guides’ Club, among others, partnered with Nature Uganda to organize the event which was so colorful.
Maria Mutagamba the minister of tourism, wildlife and antiquities was represented by Rosemary Komutagi, the acting commissioner for tourism development in the ministry of Tourism. As she was speaking on the event, she said that very may bird species visiting Uganda had increased and this has resulted to the increase in the number of tourists who droop in to watch them in their natural habitat last year alone over 3,000 birders where registered in the country, according to Komutagi, spent $5,000 on average, bringing in $15 million. She urged tour operators to prioritize birds because they bring in more money than all the other tourism products. According to records she said, ‘’on approximation, each birder spends about 3 weeks on safari as compared to one week of a safari tourist’’
The executive director of nature Uganda Mr. Achilles Byaruhanga in his speech on the event said that despite the growing interest in birds and tourism in general, the number of birds is reducing, in the last 30 days over 90% that’s from 10,000 to 100,000 of the grey crown crane (crested crane), which is the country’s national symbol. “Although the interest is growing, we are losing the numbers. The challenge is matching the enthusiasm in bird watching to conservation,” he said. However he credited the decline to the fact that most of the birds are living outside the protected areas that’s on people’s private land, where they are easily killed. He said that there are over 34 birding areas according to the research carried out by Nature Uganda including Mabamba, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Murchison fall national park, queen Elizabeth National Park among others. He said also that some thing must be done to preserve birds because they can easily migrate since they don’t need visa to fly.Read More