The tourism sector is the leading foreign exchange earner in the country
The Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, has unveiled the Ishasha, Uganda Wild Run that is slated for November 12 at Katookye Gate, southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kanungu district.
The event is organized by Kinkizi Tourism Club sponsored by various organizations like Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC).
He said the run is to emphasize awareness of the area’s tourism potential to the neighbouring communities so that they participate in wildlife conservation. He said 58% of the world’s mountain gorillas are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Speaking to the press on Thursday morning, Kamuntu said tourism in Uganda is nature based and that is through the country’s natural endowments like mountain gorillas, the source of River Nile among others.
He also said the tourism sector is the leading foreign exchange earner in the country.
“We are aggressively marketing tourism to increase tourist arrivals and employment opportunities to Ugandans,” said Kamuntu.
He however said human-wild life conflicts around national parks is being solved by digging trenches and building barriers to block animals from interfering with people’s crops and lives.
“Those local problems are being solved by the ministry,” said Kamuntu.
On behalf of the Uganda Wildlife Authority was the body’s director finance and administration Nightingale Mirembe Ssenoga, who said park entrance fees will be sh10,000 for Ugandans and $25 for foreigners.
“We need to become part of tourism sector instead of depending on the foreigners,” said Mirembe.
The board chairperson Federation of Uganda Tourism Initiative, Fred Daniel Kidega, said the event has been well packaged with an opportunity for people tour Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Impenetrable national parks among other attractions.
Muhiire Abdul an official from Kinkiizi Tourism Club said that the area (Kinkiizi) is home to tree climbing lions and chimpanzees among others.