Kidepo Valley National Park, one of Uganda’s wildest parks has come of age. Plans are underway by the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority in partnership with stake holders in the conservation and tourism fraternity to celebrate a golden jubilee for Kidepo. Kidepo is a Karamojong word meaning to pick from down.
UWA in partnership with Africa Wildlife Foundation will be implementing a project which is funded by USAID in Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and Murchison Falls National Park.
The project will be implementing conservation and tourism strategies as identified in the specific GMPs. The first stake holder’s workshop was held in Chobe Lodge which involved different stakeholders to sensitise them on the project.
Some of the activities UWA will carry out with AWF include development of tourism infrastructure, signage and branding, opening up of trails and building of capacity for UWA staff in tourism related skills.
The project will also develop a marketing plan, packages and promotional materials from existing and new products and services for the domestic market.
A total of 430 rangers recruited from communities neighbouring protected areas in the country are undergoing a four months intensive training in wildlife protection, interpretive guiding, intelligence gathering and ticket inspection.
Uganda Wildlife Authority management and staff on Wednesday donated assorted items including foodstuffs, drinks and clothes to the Missionaries of the Poor who look after over 400 disadvantaged children and young adults in Kisenyi and Busega homes, in the outskirts of Kampala.
Visitors tracking the awesome mountain gorillas in the Rushaga and Nkuringo zones of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s southern sector will soon have an opportunity to share their experiences instantly with the rest of the world.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) in South Western Uganda at the close of last year won a prestigious Certificate of Excellence from the TRIP ADVISOR which honors businesses that consistently earn top ratings from Trip Advisor travelers as an exceptional destination.
Trip Advisor is the world’s largest travel site With the rating of 5 BINP earned a place among the very best. The award is given to only the most exceptional performers by Trip Advisor global business community. It is a significant achievement deserving of recognition from both travelers and staff. Trip Advisor is the world’s largest travel site which recognizes the power of travelers’ feedback.
It was a lifetime experience for twelve of Uganda Wildlife Authority’s interpretive guides specializing in mountain gorilla and chimpanzee tracking, when management rewarded them with a visit to Budongo Forest eco-Lodge, where they closely interacted with the playful chimpanzees in the undisturbed Budongo forest reserve. On January 29th, 2013, the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) offered 12 guides from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (MGNP) and Kibale National Park (KNP) a unique opportunity to enjoy a guided tour of the Budongo forest where they tracked chimpanzees during which they shared their guiding experiences. This was in appreciation of their good performance and as an opportunity for them to bench marks their own performances
The return of Nyakagezi Gorilla family to its ancestral home range in Mgahinga National Park, the international mention of Kidepo Valley National Park by CNN Travel website as the third best protected area in Africa and the increasing wildlife populations particularly the mammals and mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park, are all good signs of a promising year ahead of us in the conservation and tourism sector.
Eco-tourism continues to be the leading attraction for the majority of the visitors to Uganda and with continued developments and improvements in the tourism infrastructure as well as diversification of products and services in the national parks managed by UWA, the sky will be the limit in 2013.
To enhance our visitor satisfaction, UWA is in advanced stages of rolling out a cashless system, training new staff to further galvanizes wildlife and visitor security, improving trails, developing a wide range of accommodation facilities, promoting Uganda's Pas regionally and internationally and improving communication channels including this newsletter that will be published online on a monthly basis. We welcome your feedback, sharing of your experiences as you visit our parks and we commit to maintaining and guarding our status as the leading eco-tourism destination in Africa. Nice reading!
Large mammal populations up in QENP
A recent aerial wildlife census in QENP was carried out and preliminary results indicate that the populations for most large mammal species in the park have gone up since the last census in 2010. Final results showing the population figures and trends will be released shortly.
UWA develops new strategic plan (2013-2018)
The Strategic planning team meeting in Fort Portal and Kampala has developed strategic objectives, strategies, and management functions. The management functions identified were used to develop UWA staff structure. The draft proposals have already been presented to Senior Management and the entire UWA family for their input
New Reservation Office
For purposes of enhanced corporate image and customer satisfaction, the reservation staff at the headquarters is now occupying a more spacious state of the art office with modern furniture and modern equipment. The customer care staffs also boast of new branded corporate attire.
Construction of an 800 metre Board walk at upper Bigo on the Rwenzoris was recently completed to ease hiking as the Bigo bogs have been a pain to all tourists hiking the Rwenzori along the Central Circuit. Besides, new metallic ladders have been constructed at the Stanley plateau to ease the final ascent to Margherita peak.
Re- habituation of Mubare gorilla group
Following the death of the dominant silverback last year, Mubare Gorilla family which had been at a verge of disintegrating has now stabilized and even grown stronger. This follows systematic acquisition of wild gorillas. The professional Bwindi National park staff has successfully re-habituated the group to have it viable for tourism It is currently one of the most sought after families by the visitors.
MGNP Shorter Batwa Trail picks ups
The shorter Batwa Trail developed ad launched mid last year by UWA in partnership with USAID STAR has attracted remarkable interest from the local and international visitors.
The trail begins at the park headquarters, Ntebeko, through varying vegetation zones as the Batwa guides interpret to the visitors through the history and culture of the first forest people. The climax of the trail is the new look Garama Cave, a volcanic lava tube which used to act the council hall, granary; Batwa kings chambers among other functions.
Inside and outside the Visitors are entertained to by the Batwa dancers and musicians.
Rwenzori mountain Shorter Trail
A new shorter trail to the Rwenzoris (can be one or two days depending on the visitors wish) was constructed with support from USAID STAR. The new trail that goes up to Lake Mahoma is now complete and available for use by tourists.
It is ideal for the nature walks while listening to calls from different bird species, spectacular sceneries and throbbing mountain rivers.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Board of Trustees has recruited new senior staff and confirmed others in acting positions. Dr. Andrew Ggunga Seguya was confirmed as the substantive Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer effective December 2012