The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak dealt with Uganda’s Tourism Industry a huge blow, but following the partial-lift of the lockdown, tourism in Uganda is once again thriving as a result of the birth of a rhino and gorillas.
In a bid to attract even more tourists so as to boost the tourism sector, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has revealed that on 2nd August 2020, Uganda was blessed with a newborn rhino and two baby gorillas during the weekend.
The baby rhino, which has since been christened Rhoda, was born on Sunday by her mother rhino called Mom Laloyo at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, bringing the total number of rhinos at the Sanctuary to 31.
On the other hand, the two baby gorillas were born at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and are part of the Mubare and Oruzogo groups. The baby gorilla’s mother is Nyampazi. Mubare family size is composed of 9 gorillas. In Oruzogo, Katoto, another gorilla, gave birth to a new addition onto the family. The birth raises the total number in the group to 15 in the Ruhija tracking zone. But Bwindi also boasts of the Rushegura Gorilla group, which is very hospital to tourists who often visit Bwindi.
This comes at a time when Uganda has just won the Rhino Conservation Award 2020, which was scooped by Sam Loware, a very experienced UWA game ranger.
Shortly after he was announced winner, UWA tweeted;
Operating under the Ministry of Health Guidelines, several operators of tourist sites in Uganda like national parks, game reserves, tourist lodges, and others are receiving tourists from Uganda and other parts of the world.
As a way of alerting tourists in Uganda and from abroad about the resumption of tourism activities in Uganda, the UWA tweeted thus;
“Our Savannah Parks are now open for tourism. However, Primate parks remain closed until further notice. Standard Operating Procedures have been put in place and there is strict observance of Government guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You are welcome! #StaySafe!”
It should be noted that tourism in Uganda is focused on Uganda’s landscape and wildlife. It is a major driver of employment, investment, and foreign exchange, contributing 4.9 trillion Ugandan shillings (US$1.88 billion or €1.4 billion as of August 2013) to Uganda’s GDP in the financial year 2012-13.
Tourism can be used to fight poverty in Uganda. There are tourism companies that employ people directly as drivers, guides, secretaries, accountants, etc. These companies sell products to tourists, for example, art and crafts, traditional attire. Tourism can also be operated online by online-based companies. Tourist attractions in Uganda include national game parks, game reserves, traditional/cultural sites, and natural tropical forests. Traditional occasions like Mbalu in eastern Uganda, boat riding, waterfalls, etc also attract tourists to the country.
Besides the flora, fauna, fierce cats a range of other wildlife, Uganda is blessed with rare bird species, among them the Malachite Kingfisher, Gray Crane, African Fish Eagle, and the Whalehead (Shoebill Stork), to mention but a few.