CNN is currently airing a new documentary on how Uganda is deploying digital tools to revolutionize destination Uganda’s appeal to the nature-loving traveler.

Uganda is home to some of Africa’s cherished wild animals – the endangered Mountain Gorilla standing out as the crown in the country’s jewel. However, Uganda is much more – Africa packed into one what with the savannah game parks, mountains, rivers and lakes, prolific birdlife as well as other primates.

Travel journalist Solomon Mario Oleny, who has blogged about destination Uganda as well as used social media platforms Facebook and Twitter is the lens through, which this documentary is shot on location in Murchison Falls National Park and Mgahinga National Park.

Tour operator Amos Wekesa features in the documentary with powerful commentary expected of a veteran who knows destination Uganda like the back of his hand.

This documentary comes on the heels of other positive news and endorsements that are all going a long way in re-establishing Uganda as a top safari destination – a crown that slipped in the 1970s.

Uganda casts her spell wherever safari goers will go – attractions ranging from the jaw-dropping landscapes, the largest fresh-water lake on the African continent – from which the mighty Nile flows, prolific bird and animal life not to mention the people, cuisine and more.

Global media houses like CNN, world-reknowned guide books and big travel resellers that have visited Uganda have waxed lyrical about Uganda non-stop to really add to the genuine appeal of Uganda.

Early in the year, CNN ranked Uganda as the 5th best destination to visit in the world. The news network based its ranking on the country’s beauty – pointing out it’s known as the Pearl of Africa.

Before the shoot for the documentary now airing on its Inside Africa programme, CNN had ranked Kidepo Valley National Park among Africa’s 10 national parks – highlighting the remote park’s “phenomenal wildlife sightings and a level of exclusivity” as the reward for those who make it to the very picturesque park.

In January, Rough Guides, a UK-based travel guide ranked Uganda number 4 among its top 10 destinations for 2017. India topped the list, with Scotland and Canada coming second and third respectively.

Uganda’s appearance on the list has added to the destination’s appeal – fighting it out with safari draws like Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

Rough Guides, a UK-based travel guidebook and reference publisher owned by Penguin Random House, said that one of the reasons Uganda is a must-visit destination in 2017 is that “the small but incredibly diverse nation of Uganda remains a fascinating yet vastly underexplored destination.”

Two weeks ago, Nat Geo Wild added to the growing reputation of Uganda’s uniqueness when they added the Ishasha sector’s famous residents – the tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park as one of Africa’s seven incredible natural wonders.

It is this constant endorsement that is raising the country’s profile as a major safari destination once again. For those that have not yet visited Uganda, it is about time you made that consideration given the uniqueness of the country.

If still in doubt, speak to those that have already made the journey and speak to us and we will be happy to work with you to make your Ugandan safari a reality for that unforgettable experience.

Photo credit: http://www.holidaysbox.com/

Uganda is set to attract more French tourists into the country following an impressive performance that pulled crowds. This set a mark on the French people at a grand exhibition that included cultural presentations during France’s most significant event, Bastille Day. on July 14, Friday last week.

The much sought-after premier event known at the Diplomatic Garden Party, is an annual occasion organized every July 14 – the Bastille Day alongside other celebrations.

This year Uganda was chosen as one of four countries to exhibit at the Diplomatic Garden Party organized by the Uganda Embassy in Paris and facilitated by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB).

Uganda exhibited tourism, investment, culture, heritage and cuisine at the most prestigious event of the day, the Diplomatic Garden Party, held at Boise de Boulogne, an upper-middle and high-end western Paris suburb.

french-tourist-holding-France-flag
A French tourist holding the France National Flag

The Uganda Embassy in France, UTB, tourism private sector along with the Uganda Embassy in France hosted over 500 guests who were entertained by a Paris-based Ugandan dance troupe and ensemble.

Uganda was the only country that had a cultural troupe at the extravaganza. The other countries were Croatia, Suriname and Gabon. During the garden exhibition, the guests joined in the crowd-puller Ugandan music and danced and at the finale, chorused “Vive Uganda!”.

After the performance, many visitors came to the Ugandan pavilion to get more information on the countries attractions and it is hoped that the visibility the day gave Uganda will result into additional interest in Uganda as a destination, which should result into tourists choosing Uganda as a holiday destination.

The guests, who were invited mainly consisted of top diplomats accredited to France, influential business, corporate and government officials.

Uganda was one of four countries represented at the event that took place alongside the celebrations taking place at the Champs Elysees, the main celebration venue of the Bastille Day also attended by US president Donald Trump and other world leaders.

Under tourism, UTB showcased wildlife, nature, food, culture and heritage. Uganda’s outgoing ambassador to France, who is the brain-child of Uganda’s participation, was very excited at the performance.

The premier event’s organizer, VFC Group CEO, Mr. Didier Vidal, said Uganda’s performance was “Fantastic!’ He said the Uganda team was very organized and added colour and flavour to Bastille Day. He was glad Uganda participated and added this would pay off eventually.

Ambassador Nimisha Madhvani said Uganda applied to exhibit at the very competitive opportunity and was happy that UTB and the tourism private sector were very quick to embrace the partnership and take up the opportunity.

The UTB CEO, Stephen Asiimwe said France looks promising. He said UTB was looking to make inroads by engaging French tour operators and the media. Further, UTB will train embassy staff on destination marketing and branding the Uganda Embassy.

France is the second largest economy in Europe after Germany with a GDP of about US $2.8 trillion. Per capita income among the French people is estimated at $35,700.

In terms of tourism, France is the most visited country in the world – receiving about 65 million visitors every year. In terms of tourism spend, France is ranked number 4 in Europe but most of this traffic heads to Francophone West Africa.

Overlooking the expansive Narus valley, Nature stands the new Kidepo Savannah Lodge. It was opened at the start of last month (June 2017) as a very welcome addition to Kidepo Valley National Park’s accommodation options. Until its opening, visitors to Kidepo Valley National Park had only three options including the high-end Apoka Safari Lodge, Ngamoru Wilderness Camp ( a mid-range facility ) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) bandas for budget travelers.

What does the new Kidepo Savannah Lodge offer?

Overlooking the distant mountain ranges that form the border between Uganda with South Sudan, the new lodge is a wonderful inclusion for budget and mid-range clients. The ‘budget’ option is a non self-contained tented option – identical to what Nature Lodges offers in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest National Park and Murchison Falls National Park. Don’t be fooled by the look; the tents are comfortably equipped with beds, beddings and make use of one ablution block with showers and flush toilets. The more upgraded or mid-range option comes with the large self-contained safari tents. These tents are placed on platforms, with the guest having access to their own private toilet and shower unit.

The new mid-range Kidepo Savannah lodge while under construction
The new mid-range Kidepo Savannah lodge while under construction

Kidepo Savannah Lodge has a restaurant that is open to patrons for meals and drinks.

Meals and drinks with beautify scenery in the wild

“Should you have any groups in Kidepo National Park, you are welcome. Send them to us for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Or … when thirsty – feel free to pop in for a cold drink.  You’ll be amazed by the view!” joyous retorts the company spokesman. Kidepo Valley National Park, which has been twice featured by CNN Travel – once as the 3rd best park in Africa and as one of Africa’s most remote featured parks. When you close your eyes and think of Africa; the landscape, the jagged hills, the golden grasses, the savannah plains dotted with wildlife and fauna, the soft glowing light and more – that is Kidepo.

What do I do when in Karamoja?

In terms of activities, visitors can expect to visit the Karamojong people who neighbor the park in their nearby Manyattas to learn about their traditional way of life and possibly experience some traits of their culture. Safari goers can also trek up Mount Morungole to meet Uganda’s smallest tribe – the Ik people. The Ik hunted and gathered inside Kidepo Valley National park but were relocated over 50 years ago to create the park. They then migrated to the Morungole Mountains where they can be found today.

A hike up the mountains to meet the Ik, with beautiful scenery is not for the faint-hearted. However, a trail has been developed by the US Forestry Service. When you get to an Ik village, you get to learn  and appreciate their humble cultural traits. On the grassy plains, safari goers will be in for abundant wildlife namely lions, leopard, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, zebra, possibly Africa’s largest herds of buffalo, hartebeest, waterbuck, bushbuck, warthog and a lot more. African wild dogs have also been known to cross into the park from South Sudan.

Why won’t you check it out? Book a safari to Kidepo Valley National Park with us to have this experience.

 

Why is Precision Air back to Uganda?

Four years after it suspended flights to Entebbe Air travel (Uganda) to re-organise, Precision Air returns to Entebbe International Airport this weekend. The return of the airline has the potential to among other things boost tourism in the form of travelers who are interested in Uganda’s Mountain Gorilla safaris.

According to a press statement the company issued way back in March, Tanzania’s leading airline is expected to return to Entebbe on July 1, 2017.

With the re-launch, the regional airline will operate four flights per week with two direct flights from Dar es Salaam and two via Kilimanjaro.

So what if Precision Air comes back to Entebbe?

The two flights via Kilimanjaro are expected to boost tourism to Uganda. Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Mountain Kilimanjaro are big draws for safari goers and mountain climbers.

What a flight connection between Arusha and Entebbe can do is boost Uganda Gorilla safaris as it gives tour and travel agencies in Tanzania an opportunity to add a Gorilla encounter onto the itineraries of their prospective clients. Until now, a traveler coming from Uganda to continue their East Africa safari to Tanzania had to travel longer – connecting through Nairobi before arriving in Arusha.

Commenting on the relaunch, Precision Air’s commercial Director Mr. Robert Owusu, stated that the decision to relaunch flights to Entebbe came after a market study which revealed that there is potential demand for flights between Tanzania and Uganda.

“Apart from the business relationships Tanzania and Uganda have a very rich history and we are going to honour that history by connecting the two countries through our services,” said Owusu.

“We will start with four flights per week every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Passengers between Tanzania and Uganda should expect affordable and reliable flights.”

Why did Precision stop flights to Uganda in the first place?

Precision Air suspended flights to Entebbe back in 2013 during a route rationalization process and network restructuring.

Mr. Owusu said that after the company completed the process, they have concluded that Entebbe is a worthy addition to Precision Air’s already established extensive network.

Tickets sales commenced back on 10th March 2017 and passengers can book either direct by visiting the company website, their sales office or through their preferred travel agents.

“We encourage early booking for best fares and we remind our passengers to take advantage of our online booking for discounted fares,” Mr. Owusu said.

Precision Air is the only IATA member in Tanzania and has recently announced a code share agreement with Etihad allowing the airline to offer more connection for passengers.

It is also the only Tanzanian airline company lusted in the Dar Es Salaam Stock Market.

What other places does Precision Air cover?

Apart from Dar Es Salaam, Precision flies to and fro from Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Musoma, Mtwara, Bukoba, Kigoma, Nairobi, Tabora, Mwanza, and Zanzibar Island.