Renowned Senegalese-American musician, investor, and philanthropist Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam, popularly known as Akon has said his view about Uganda has greatly changed, courtesy of the four–day he has had.
Akon, together with wife, Rozina Negusei made an excursion with visits to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable forest where he tracked gorillas.
The singer excitedly referred to himself as “the papa of Gorillas”.
Speaking after the two excursions, he said he was elated by the warm welcome according to him while in Uganda.
“I have had an amazing time. Oftentimes I don’t get time to visit the country and have fun. Thank you so much for the warm hospitality in the past few days. I thank president for opening the doors and for making me feel super welcome and super safe. I am leaving determined to do something amazing,” the singer said.
Nicknamed “the pearl of Africa”, Uganda is home to more than half the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas and trekking to observe these gentle giants in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the world’s top bucket list travel activities.
Uganda has 10 national parks where visitors can come face to face with “the fig Five + 2 ” including the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, chimpanzee and mountain gorilla as well as giraffe, zebra, hippopotamus, crocodile, and more than half of all bird species found in Africa.
Speaking about his experience, the Senegalese-American singer cum investor said Uganda was one of the five out of 10 countries that he had chosen for the construction of the Akon City as a tourist attraction but noted he has been wowed by the tourism potential the East African country has.
“I believe Uganda has the biggest tourism potential in the whole of Africa. Believe me, I have been everywhere in Africa and I haven’t seen the potential like this. I am super excited. When I look at the potential in a tourist point of view, I believe Uganda has one of the biggest potentials,” he said.
“Just with my visit here, so much about Uganda that I never knew even existed. When you look at how Uganda and Ugandans have been promoted internationally, you will be scared to come to Uganda. They only tell you about the times of Idi Amin and all that happened then. They don’t tell you about what I saw. It is time to expose that. I want people to understand how beautiful Uganda is and the best way to do it is to build a city here.”