Gov’t  to cast light on country’s best-kept secrets in Western Uganda with latest domestic tourism drive

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The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities has said it is looking at casting the light on tourist attractions in Western Uganda and creation of new itineraries in the area.

Speaking during the launch of Explore West tourism campaign at the Kampala Tourism Information Centre at Sheraton Hotel, Vivian Lyazi, a commissioner, Ministry of Tourism said whereas a number of tourist attractions are popular, especially to Ugandans, it is high time new itineraries are developed.

“We are discovering new itineraries with this initiative. Whereas we are used to visiting some areas, there will be niche products that we will be spotlighting during this campaign. We would like to promote these attractions and spotlight some of those that you rarely know so that you include them on your itineraries when you move,”Lyazi said.

“Uganda is such an endowed country with both natural and cultural attractions and we think it is time for Ugandans to explore and enjoy this beauty. For a very long time we have always thought of tourism as a thing for foreigners. This has got to change. This is time to take advantage of this beauty and enjoy it.”

He said as part of the campaign, youths, schools and corporate companies will specifically be targeted so as to appreciate the beauty that Uganda is.

“Whenever you enjoy this beauty, resources transfer from the centre to these areas and it is one of the best values created by tourism. It spreads the benefits across the entire value chain.”

According to State Minister for Tourism, Martin Mugara, the campaign is one of the ways government is promoting domestic tourism.

“We want to tour and share so that everyone can know the beauty that western Uganda can offer. Covid has taught us that in order to have resilient tourism sector, domestic tourism is the way to go. We believe if this trend continues, we will be able to sustain the sector,”Mugara said.

The itinerary

The Explore West campaign that will run from April 12 to 16, 2023 will see caravan set off from the Uganda Museum in Kampala with stopovers at the Equator in Kayabwe and Lukaya along the Kampala Masaka highway before stopping in Mbarara to view the long horned Ankole cows.

The caravan will then stop at Igongo where they will hike the Biharwe hill to the eclipse monument before a cultural evening at Igongo , a visit to the Omugabe palace.

Later, the caravan will then move to Bushenyi and visit tea gardens, view the two pairs of twin lakes Kyema and Kamweru, Katinda and Murambi, Lake Nkugute.

The journey will then lead the group to Kyambura lodge and Katungulu then to Kazinga channel for a boat rider before camping in Queen Elizabeth National Park to enjoy safari rides.

The group will also visit Lake Katwe, watch flamingos and later head to Kasese to experience the Rwenzori mountains and the underground tunnels of the Kilembe copper mines.

The caravan will then move to Fort Portal City where they will be welcomed by the Omukama of Tooro, visit Ssempaya hot springs in Semliki national park before embarking on the journey back to Kampala but along the way, they will visit the Amabeere ga Nyinamwiru, visit the Katoosa martyrs site to renew faith then the Nakayima tree in Mubende and then end the journey with at Ttanda to listen to the story of Walumbe.

Comedian Patrick Salvado Idringi and kickboxer Golola Moses among other celebrities will be part of the caravan.

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