Uganda’s beauty, tourist attractions thrill Kenyans

Tourism
Uganda’s beauty, tourist attractions thrill Kenyans
Murchison Falls is one of the marvels that Uganda is.

A group of Kenyans including tour operators, government officials and members of the private sector on an eight-day farmiliarisation trip to Uganda have hailed the country for the marvel it has in terms of tourist attractions.

The familiarization trip was part of the second edition of the Uganda-Kenya coast tourism conference held at the Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa in Kenya.

 Speaking at the end of the trip, Clara Ningome Chonga, the minister for tourism for Kilifi County said she was wowed by the tourism beauty that Uganda is.

“Being Uganda had never been on my bucket list despite having many friends here but when I finally visited, the experience was good and the hospitality was on another level. The nature was good. I liked the walk in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to track gorillas and it is a place I can walk the whole day and don’t get tired. The fresh air and green environment are so good and can’t be compared to what we have in Kenya,” Ningome said.

The minister of tourism for Kenya’s Kilifi County said she could not help marvel at Ugandan dishes prepared for the group during the eight-day familiarization trip to Uganda.

“We were told we would be given a fish experience and I asked not to be given fish fillet but fish with a head and tail. When I was given the fish, I couldn’t even take half of it because it was so big. We have always been talking about Ankole cattle and for the first time I had close range photos with these beauties. That was such a beauty and everyone back home who saw the photos asked where I had taken then and I had to brag that I had just bought land in Uganda.”

According to Ningome, eco-tourism differentiates Uganda and Kenya, noting that the former is well grounded in this aspect.

“Your eco-tourism is at another high level that we Kenyans need to copy. Uganda is a place where you want to come to relax, talk to nature and God only.”

Lilian Thom, a tour operator and director for Dream Kenya Safaris couldn’t agree more with Ningome’s observations about Uganda’s beauty.

“Before this trip, I had never thought of visiting Uganda and was not in our travel list( as a tour company). Whenever we received requests for travel to Uganda, we always deleted them. We normally say, what is there to see in Uganda but this trip has changed my thinking. I was surprised by what I saw and experienced,” the tour operator with 15 years’ experience said.

“There was so much for us to see. When I posted photos of myself at Murchison Falls, many of my friends back home in Kenya asked where this was. Many of our people go else where but they can experience the falls in Uganda and it doesn’t cost an arm and leg as one needs to pay for Zimbabwe and South Africa. It is high times Kenyans started coming to visit Uganda.”

The deputy governor Kwale County, Chirema Kombo said, “At Ngamba Island we could not help marvel at chimpanzees. In Mbarara in Western Uganda, I fell in love with the food. We were served with original matooke with ground nut sauce,” the tour operator with over 17 years’ experience said.

Uganda’s Consulate General in Mombasa, Amb. Paul Mukumbya, said it is high time the unique products by the two countries are exposed to the world to see but also noted that regional tourism will help the sector flourish.

“We need to ensure regional tourism works because those other markets are good for us but just  a simple advisory, we are affected. However, with our brothers and sisters from the region, these are things that will not stop someone. We should promote this concept,”Mukumbya said.

According to Samora Machel Semakula, the Uganda Tourism Board Quality Assurance Manager, it is high time the two countries joined synergies to tap into the opportunities presented by the two countries.

“It is high we realized that Kenya and Uganda are not competitors in tourism and the only way we can co-exist is by having our destination twined in a way of appreciating what each country has to offer. Once we do this, we will be able to sell what each country has to offer,”Semakula said.

 

 

 

 

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