By Titus Kakembo
Bird watching is destined to be Uganda's ace over her competitors in attracting tourists in a market with similar attractions. This was revealed by Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) Chief Executive Officer, Steven Asimwe.
White winged blackterns. PHOTO/File
"With 1063 species," said Asimwe “Uganda offers 50 percent of all the birds found in Africa. It makes economic sense to an informed tourist who knows what they want. We have swamps, mountains and semi-deserts which offer a diversity of these beauties."
Asimwe made the remarks while meeting a group of Uganda Bird Guides Association at UTB headquarters April 17.
"The next National Birding Day is going to be given the prominence of the eclipse," said Asimwe.
"We will invite internationally renowned birders to be present. The entire world of birders ought to have their eyes on Uganda."
Pregnant with great expectations after a desk for birders was introduced at UTB, Uganda Tour Operator's Association president Herbert Byaruhanga did not spare government the barbs.
"We need tax holidays on our equipment," Byaruhanga counted the obstacles in their trade. "Secondly there is no literature about the birds one can see in Uganda and where exactly. In future we expect to have a one stop center for tourists with our contacts."
Summing up bird guides association's desires, Byaruhanga challenged leaders not to only think about birds when it is Christmas.
"People should not think about birds when they need a turkey for Christmas or chicken roast to chew while guzzling beer." Adding that, "Our folk tales have birds as characters. Lake Bunyonyi and Wandegeya town were named after birds."
UTB CEO Steven Asimwe (second left) and Uganda Tour Operators Association president, Herbert Byaruhanga pose for a group photograph. Photo by Titus Kakembo