NIGHT GAME DRIVES LAUNCHED IN MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK.

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The leadership of Bunyoro Kitara kingdom whose three districts of Buliisa, Kiryandongo and Masindi border Murchison Falls National Park, has committed to supporting Uganda Wildlife Authority in the conservation of wildlife which will in turn boost tourism.

During his three day visit to Uganda's largest and oldest protected area between November 24-26th,2013, the King of Bunyoro-Kitara Dr. Solomon Agutamba Iguru, said through his prime minister Mr. Apollo Rwamparo that most of the animals in the park are also symbols/totems of Bunyoro's 26 clans and thus treated as sacred. He also observed that the national park houses a number of cultural sites including burial sites for the past kings .

It is believed that at some place near the top of the falls was the place where the Babiito dynasty sprung up to spread to various regions up to current day Congo and northern Tanzania, following the separation of brothers Kato Kimera and Isingoma Rukidi.
The King called upon his subjects to stop the rampant habits of poaching animals for protein and ivory, encroachment on the park land, illegal grazing, illegal fishing and all sorts of illegal activities. He later laid a foundation stone in commemoration of his visit as the first sitting king of Bunyoro-Kitara to visit Murchison Falls National Park.

Dr. Iguru who officially launched the night game viewing vehicles recently purchased by UWA, also discussed with the UWA management about the possibility of opening a Bunyoro trail in the park as another tourism product which would promote cultural tourism through showcasing and reliving the past Bunyoro culture. The new trail would be an addition to the Te-Bito track in the northern bank, the Bottom-Top of the falls trails which offers the best view for the twin falls (Murchison and Uhuru)as well as the planned Baker trail which will be established to retrace the 19th century Victorian Explorer Sir. Samuel Baker's footsteps. It was Sir. Samuel Baker who named the falls Murchison after the then President of the Royal Geographical Society and Lake Mwitanzige after Prince Albert.

Uganda Wildlife Authority boss Dr. Andrew Seguya told the king's entourage that Murchison Falls National Park was in the 60s the most visited parks in East Africa and that the conservation agency is on the course to restore this lost glory.
He hailed the Bunyoro community for having fought hard to rout insecurity from the park during the Lord's Resistance Movement insurgency and said it was now the right time to partner with UWA for mutual benefits. He said following the restored peace, the resurgence of wildlife population is evident and so is the increasing number of visitors.

The ED offered an open day each year for the Bunyoro and other neighbouring communities to freely visit the park and enjoy the attractions there including cultural sites. He also said there are arrangements to allow communities on a sustainable basis to access some resource

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