Uganda is a birds’ haven

Uganda organised the big Birding Day in which the bloggers and journalists participated to count and appreciate different bird species.

The hospitable people and unique gifts of birdlife as well as the endangered Mountain Gorillas is part of what has impressed a group of foreign journalists and bloggers within the last two weeks.

 “What I have found remarkable about Uganda is the hospitality of people,” said Hanna Kleber, CEO Managing director, KPRN network in Germany, adding that it also has unique wildlife species such as birds and Mountain Gorillas. “It is the undiscovered jewel and visitors who think they have discovered Africa without coming to Uganda have missed a unique experience.”

Kleber was speaking to New Vision at the Kampala Carnival at Naguru Hill in Kampala where Journalists and bloggers who have been on an expedition in Uganda within the last two weeks were hosted to a dinner.

The journalists and tourists came from Austria, Germany, UK and the US and were invited by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and KPRN which is UTB’s representative in Germany.

“This has been an incredible trip. I am impressed and I have encountered a friendly country like Uganda,” said Garland Cunningham, a travel consultant, adding that the service they have received helped them to encounter 440 bird species and seeing different animals. “I want to tell you that seeing the shoebill was an incredible experience.

” He added, “You have a beautiful country and natural resources and the fact that you are protecting them and showing it to us means so much. We will go back to our people and talk about it. We will write about it and show it to the World.”

 Johnnie Kamugisha, one of the pioneer bird guides in Uganda with experience of about 20 years said, “I have been to many countries and there is no country as beautiful as Uganda. I can’t exchange it for any country. Uganda is the Pearl of Africa.”

Kamugisha and Herbert Byaruhanga were among the guides that took the bloggers and journalists to Uganda’s top tourism destinations such as Queen’s Elizabeth National Park, Kibaale, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as well as Lake Mburo National Park.

 According to Stephen Asiimwe said the journalists and bloggers were going to act as Uganda’s ‘tourism ambassadors.’ He said the bloggers have a huge following on social media and they are likely to influence the opinion of people about Uganda and that the more people get to know about what offers they are likely to make up their mind to visit Uganda.

A three day African Birding expo held in Africa for the first time concluded yesterday at Entebbe Botanical Gardens. Prior, Uganda organised the big Birding Day in which the bloggers and journalists participated to count and appreciate different bird species.

“We have encountered 768 bird species in 2016-Big Birding Day and this is the highest ever recorded in Uganda. In 2009, Uganda recorded 306 species,” said Asiimwe, adding that capacity of the guides is improving and the interest among the public is improving and support.

He added, “We have been engaging politicians and they know tourism will help to transform the economy.” Uganda has 1068 bird species and given its small size, it has the highest concentration of birds globally. Currently, tourism contributes 10% of GDP.

Source: New Vision