Why Uganda is not a popular tourist and safari destination in Africa
Regrettably, Uganda is not a popular tourist destination in Africa, even with some of the stunning attractions in this beautiful country.
Most Popular Safaris
Below are reasons Uganda is not a popular tourist safari destination in Africa
- Scanty information about the attractions of Uganda
- Underdeveloped Infrastructure To Uganda Safari Destinations
- Uganda Tourism Advertising Techniques
- A lot of undiscovered tourism potential
- Landlocked position of Uganda in Africa
- Lack of transport orders in Africa
- Traditional beliefs of the people of Uganda
- The political environment of Uganda
- Ability to support the Communities Close to tourism destinations
- Past political instability in Uganda
- Competition from neighboring countries
- Willingness to Rehabilitating Uganda Tourism Destinations
- Government funding to the Uganda tourism sector
- Ability to protect tourism destinations in Uganda
- Lack of well-set and working tourism service standards of Uganda service providers.
Scanty information about the attractions of Uganda
Uganda still lucks well-detailed information out there to explain its attractions. Cultural norms hide some of its cultural-related attractions news from the world. This makes it hard to even market such a destination without content to sell it. Even the information given about the different sites needs to be more accurate, which brings doubt about these Uganda attractions. With a lack of proper knowledge about a destination, possible tourists find it hard to request it, and this is still the problem in Uganda.
Underdeveloped Infrastructure To Uganda Safari Destinations
Most attractions are in remote areas, but the roads leading to them are sorrowful. They require one to book 4×4 wheelers, which are few in Uganda. Even the ones present are in a poor state.
At the moment, some of the roads leading to these destinations are being worked upon, but the work could be faster and better done, which leaves the streets and bridges in better condition. Some are even washed away in a short time. With such infrastructures, marketing Uganda as a famous African destination is challenging.
Uganda Tourism Advertising Techniques
The methods used to advertise Uganda as tourism destinations still need improvement. The new methods used to sell Uganda are still not popular. Even the people who know what to do are limited.
The private sector is doing more popularizing Uganda other than the government. Yet, it needs to do more on its own.
More information still needs to be disseminated for the world to know more about Uganda. In addition, international tourism advertising campaigns must be changed to match the current technology.
A lot of undiscovered tourism potential
As a tourist destination, Uganda still has potential places that are not yet on the Uganda tourism map. However, this keeps these destinations undercover, and tourists cannot spare time to visit such destinations because of the time factor.
Most tourists come to Africa for a safari with a limited holiday time, so they must catch their flight back home.
Landlocked position of Uganda in Africa
Uganda is a landlocked country which can only be accessed by road or air transport. This limits those that sail on cruise ships to spend holiday time in a different destination. You even need another visa to go from one country to another, which is quite an expensive task. It is even time consuming
Some tourists love to have a feel of the ocean while on safari to do activities like scuba diving, snookering, cruise shipping, and so much more. With these activities, they combine wildlife safaris. This is not possible in Uganda.
The means of transport that can quickly connect uganda to other destinations like Tanzania and Kenya are in sorrow state, like the roads. Even the rail transport in Uganda is in shambles, making it quite difficult to access uganda apart from air transport which is limited on seats, and few airlines fly to Entebbe Airport too.
Lack of transport order in Uganda
Uganda’s transport means are not yet well set to meet international standards. Even those at the airport are not trusted too. One doesn’t know who to contact while to take them to a destination they wish to go to from the airport. In most countries, there are systems set up to make easy connections for tourists to the destinations of their choice.
Even the buses that go up country have no proper timetable, so one is unsure when they hope to arrive at these destinations from Kampala. Such an order makes it hard for tourists who wish to arrange their own safaris. With such transport disorder, it is pretty challenging to organize safaris in Uganda, making it an unpopular destination.
Traditional beliefs of the people of Uganda
Uganda’s cultural or religious safari destinations are still challenging to get the correct information from. The majority need more time to be ready for believers or intruders to learn more about them. When tourists visit, they wish to know the details of their destination.
Some Uganda traditions and religious destinations still need to be ready to give out this information.
The political environment of Uganda
During political campaigns, there is usually some instability in the country, making it challenging for tourists to choose Uganda as their destination. This also sometimes extends into the following year. With such a political environment, tourists must always check with the embassy to find out how safe it is for them to do Uganda safaris.
Since some of the popular activities in Uganda require prior bookings, like gorilla trekking permits and chimpanzee trekking permits, it is challenging for tourists to choose Uganda during this season.
Ability to support the Communities Close to tourism destinations
Although part of the profits accumulated from the sale of activities closer to the Uganda safari destinations is supposed to be given to the community, it is sometimes swindled away. Even the potential funders willing to support these communities are discouraged by such unfair behavior. This also makes Uganda not a favorable destination for possible donors.
Past political instability in Uganda
Uganda was known for its political instability and the deeds of the fallen H.E Idi Amin, who sent away all the white community in Uganda. Such a name is what people know Uganda for other than its tourist attractions.
For over 30 years, Uganda has enjoyed great peace, but that past still resurfaces, making it an unpopular tourist destination.
Competition from neighboring countries
Uganda is in the East Africa community with Kenya and Tanzania, which are famous for the great wildebeest migration. Uganda also has National game parks, but the wild animals’ population may not be as massive as those seen during the great wildebeest migration.
Some tourists may go to Kenya or Tanzania and watch the wildebeest migration other than do Uganda safaris in the wild.
Willingness to Rehabilitate Uganda’s Tourism Destinations
Some of the Uganda tourist destinations need to be in better condition. They must be renovated to meet the current standards, but the owners are not willing to revamp them.
There needs to be more money available also to renovate these destinations.
Government funding to the Uganda tourism sector
The government of Uganda gives a limited budget to the tourism sector during budget allocation. This makes it challenging to manage the tourism sector and meet the world standards that popular tourist destinations have.
Ability to protect tourism destinations in Uganda
Many encroachers have turned tourist sites into personal properties or changed them into other things that may not fit their original look. As a result, famous tourist attractions like the Mabira forest have perished and been turned into sugar cane growing centers.
The Bujjagali falls, one of Africa’s most sought-after white water rafting sites was turned into an electronic dam; Lwera swamp, the most extensive swamp supporting Lake Victoria, is now a rice growing scheme.
With such untimely changes, much money is injected into advertising these destinations, making it hard to market Uganda as a destination. This is one of the reasons why it is not popular.
Lack of well-set and working tourism standards of Uganda service providers.
Although standards are set for the Uganda tourism sector, the stakeholders may need more time to be ready to follow what is specified.
There still needs to be more commitment on the side of stakeholders to support the Uganda Tourism Board in fulfilling the need to set standards for the tourism industry.
What To Do During Uganda Safari
Gorilla trekking in Uganda
The most popular activity in Uganda is gorilla trekking. Still, you must book a gorilla permit to be allowed to attend. Each gorilla trekking permit in Uganda currently costs $700 per person per trek. These are limited to a maximum of 8 clients per gorilla family daily. Only 19 gorilla families are open for tourism in Uganda so far.
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda
Chimpanzees are man’s closest relatives in the animal kingdom, but you must get a Chimpanzee trekking permit. Currently, Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is done in Kibale National Park, Kyambura gorge, Kaniyo Pabidi forest, Ngamba Chimpanzee sanctuary, and others.
Game drives in Uganda
Uganda is endowed with several game parks like, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Semuliki, Kidepo Valley National Park, and Murchison Falls National Park, among others. You must hire a car to enjoy the game drives in either of the parks. You may have the chance to see animals like lions, leopards, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes, and others.
The launch trips that Uganda enjoys are amazing. First, they go to Murchison falls, the most powerful waterfalls in the world. Then, the River Nile squeezes through a 7 meters wide gorge and cascades down a 43 meters high cliff to continue with its course to Egypt.
In Queen Elizabeth National park is the Kazinga channel launch trip where you can enjoy the Riverine animals that love feeding on the freebies of the river banks.
Birding in Uganda is one of the best for the ornithologist. Uganda has over 1000 bird species, and the list is still expanding. It is also believed that the bird population in Uganda may be more than the number of birds in Europe. One needs a well-experienced birding guide to enjoy the entire experience.
Visit the source of the River Nile.
The source of the River Nile is in Uganda, and you can access it while on a boat trip to the point where River Nile water separates from Lake Victoria water.
Famous Tourist Sites in Uganda.
Uganda is indeed the pearl of Africa with its unique safari sites found nowhere else in Africa, like the source of the River Nile, the longest river in the world.
The mountain gorillas in Uganda are some of the highly sought-after animals for tourists to see during their Africa safari. However, these, too, still need to be more popularized by Uganda as one of their biggest hosts.
Some tourist destinations in Uganda include Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Rwenzori National Park, Elgon National Park, cultural sites, Religion sites, etc.
In terms of what to see, Lake Victoria, the largest freshwater lake in Africa, has its most extensive part in Uganda, mountain Rwenzori with its iced peak, source of River Nile, stalactites and stalagmites of Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru, and others. Several wild animals are residents of the Uganda National Parks, like lions, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, waterbucks, bushbucks, elephants, cape buffaloes, impalas, giant forest hogs, warthogs, wild cats, aardwolf, pangolin, black-backed and side-striped jackals, hartebeests, oribi, and others.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park, Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park, mountain climbing in Rwenzori National Park. Uganda Birding in Mabamba swamp, and other conservation areas or forests, sport fishing on the River Nile, Cultural tours in different country centers, and others.
Despite all the above attractions as a tourist destination, Uganda still needs to be more famous than her neighbors like Kenya and Tanzania because of the facts below.