Algeria, June 5, 2017

1

Uganda - Miles Ahead in Tourism

On a recent visit to Thailand, a country that I really like and admire, we were faced with very hot weather. As a matter of fact, in all my travels to Thailand, I rarely saw Bangkok cool and fresh.

So we decided to fly to one of its many touristic islands, however, the situation did not change and there was no escape from the heat except in air-conditioned hotel rooms and cars, which of course does not help a tourist who is going there for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Heat in the city

When we opted to take a city tour, at every point and step I was reminded that no matter how good and exciting any trip is, once you step out in unpleasant weather, half of the pleasure is gone. It is interesting that with all the above, a country like Thailand largely depends on tourism which makes a good percentage of its GDP, and here we are talking about billions of dollars spent happily by millions of tourists, some of whom have made of Thailand a regular destination, a home away from home.

Reconstructed sights

Although some of the sites one visits there are ancient, many have been constructed in recent years mainly to attract tourists. Whenever I am faced with weather related issues, I often remember what a wonderful weather we have in Uganda! It is obvious that when you live somewhere, one gets used to the weather patterns, to the extent that we almost forget how heavenly it is, until, you travel abroad and start appreciating home, every single day.

But my question has always been: Why are we not doing enough in our tourism sector to attract such massive numbers of tourists and make billions of dollars in revenues? In the process, employ hundreds of people and make Uganda rank high among the most sought-after destinations!

Compared to Uganda...

One of the attractions that tour operators take pride in showing you are waterfalls, and believe me, apart from Niagara Falls (boarder of Canada and America), I have seldom seen any as majestic and grand as our Murchison falls. Where ever you go, in every part of Uganda, there is an interesting thing to do, from white water rafting, to mountain climbing mountains, fishing on lake victoria, spending a night in Mabira Forest with birds and ancient medicinal trees, chasing wild game, rubbing shoulders with Giraffes and elephants, cruising the Nile while waving to hippos and crocodiles, searching for the source of River Nile, enjoying roast meat, chicken and gonja (roasted plantain) from the roadside sellers.

Above all, is that amazing and unique adventure of mountain gorilla trekking, an experience of a lifetime full of adrenaline. That one hour allowed encounter time with the nearest species to human beings.

The list is so long, I have barely scratched the surface! With years of Ugandan safaris, I have become a very discerning and difficult tourist when it comes to nature tours, flora and fauna in other destinations of the world. The added advantage here, is this genuine and loving smile of Ugandans working in tourism industry, a full package, only if people knew!

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