Uganda Wildlife Authority has said it is optimistic the number of visitors to Uganda’s national parks will hit a record high this year.
“As Uganda Wildlife Authority received 367,869 visitors between January and December 2022. Before Covid happened, 320,000 visitors is what we had as the highest number of visitors coming to our protected areas and this was in 2019 but we surpassed this last year,” said Dorcus Rukundo Twesigomwe, the Business Development Manager at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
“367,869 has been the biggest number we have ever registered in the history of Uganda Wildlife Authority.”
She was speaking during a media breakfast at Skyz Hotel in Kampala.
Uganda has 10 national parks, 12 wildlife reserves, 13 sanctuaries and 05 community wildlife areas, all of which are under the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Domestic tourists rise
The onset of the Covid pandemic brought the tourism sector to its knees as one of the most affected since airports and facilities were closed.
However, following the opening of the economy, the country embarked on a campaign for Ugandans to visit local tourist attractions.
Rukundo explained that comparing with pre-covid, 2019 had the highest number of visitors to Uganda’s protected areas ever at 330,000 but noted since the lifting of the lockdown, the number of visitors has shot up.
The UWA Business Development Manager reasoned that the growth in number of visitors to Uganda’s protected areas can be partly explained by the outdoor experiences for several Ugandans in the country’s national parks.
“Last year we saw many Ugandans choosing to visit our national parks and other protected areas comparing to the time before Covid. Many people now choose to visit our national parks when they would probably choose to fly out of the country.”
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