From Bwindi to Sipi Falls, Uganda is Breathtakingly Beautiful – Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni says Uganda is the best tourism destination and that the country’s diverse attractions explain why it is thel ‘Pearl of Africa’.

Over the weekend, the President took time off while he was attending the Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting of the ruling NRM party at Chobe Safari Lodge, to interact with a group of tourists. The luxurious Chobe lodge is found in the Murchison falls national park.

The group of tourists, Israeli nationals, arrived in Uganda last week to visit the different sites and attractions in the country. Their visit was unique as they had connected directly from Israel to Uganda on a chartered El Al Israel Airlines carrier, the first ever direct flight since the Entebbe raid in 1976.

In a statement posted on social media, the President welcomed the tourists to Uganda, a country he said “has the best all-year weather in the world.

“We also have lots of tourist attractions, from wild game in our parks to other features like the Source of River Nile,” he added.

He as well cited the country’s location along the Equator which gives it average sunshine across the year.

“From the amazing gorillas in Bwindi in Western Uganda to the breathtaking Sipi falls in Eastern Uganda, any tourist would be spoilt for choice. Importantly, it is the warmth of Ugandans that would make any tourist feel at home here. Uganda is the best tourist destination,” – the President added, saying Uganda is the Pearl of Africa.

Uganda boasts of diverse attractions from wildlife, to physical features, numerous cultures, good weather. In Uganda, one will find the most unique wildlife including over half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, the biggest number of wild chimpanzees, over 1,000 bird specues and the big five – lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and buffaloes.

Along the River Nile, one will find the spectacular Murchison falls, a waterfall between Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert where the Nile forces its way through a gap in the rocks, only 7 metres wide, and tumbles 43 metres, before flowing westward into Lake Albert.

The outlet of Lake Victoria sends around 300 cubic meters per second of water over the falls, squeezed into a gorge less than 10 metres wide. The scene is a natural marvel.

Uganda is also home to the second highest moutain in East Africa, Rwenzori (5,109 metres) which despite its location near the equator maintains snow on its peaks.

Tourism remains Uganda’s highest foreign revenue earner contributing about 10% of GDP and 23% of exports. Over the last four years, Uganda earned USD 1bn annually from tourism. The international arrivals registered in 2018 were 1.81million people, according to Civil Aviation Authority statistics. This compares with 1.4m in 2017 and 1.32m in 2016.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, a total of 325,345 people visited Uganda’s national parks in 2018, representing an annual growth of 12.9% compared to 2017.

The average tourist expenditure in Uganda was recorded at USD 1,036 (Shs 3.8m) in 2016.

In 2015, President Museveni gave the green light for government to invest in aggressively marketing Uganda’s tourism to key markets like North America, UK and German speaking countries. Last month, other PR firms were hired to market Uganda in China, Gulf states and Japan.

According to the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) chief executive, Stephen Asiimwe, the investment in this marketing has resulted into more than 5% growth – increased visitor stay, increased visitor spend and arrivals.

“By 2018, we had sold out our gorilla permits, even 2019 they are fast being taken. We are now selling even 2020,” Asiimwe said.

The tour operators in the private sector have also said the benefits from the international PR firms are visible. Last year, most of the players in the hospitality business especially those with accomoaccommo facilities in national parks said they had been booked out.

Tarrus Riley’s New Music Video Showcases Uganda’s Bountiful Beauty

Jamaican singer, Tarrus Riley who in August this year performed in Uganda for his very first time, fell in love with the country and endorsed it as a Pearl of Africa. This, he did through a song titled ‘Uganda’ and the video is out.

The reggae star took time off during his recent visit to touch base in Jinja to witness first hand the source of the famous River Nile, the longest river in Africa.

The ‘Uganda’ music video captures his moments in Jinja as he digested with admiration the fact that he was looking at the Nile waters. He and legendary Jamaican saxophonist, Dean Fraser can be seen in the video literally feeling the waters of the Nile with their hands.

Aerial shots showcase bits of the green landscape that Uganda boasts of, the famous Tororo rock and the breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the Nile and Lake Bunyonyi.

Related: PICTORIAL: Tarrus Riley’s Electric Performance and More From Swangz Concert

Tarrus Riley who dons a jersey of the Ugandan national football team and a wrist band with Uganda flag colors, in the video interacts with not just the geographical attractions of the Pearl but also the people. He hugs, chats, takes photos with ordinary Ugandans and rides on a boda boda, one of the most significant aspects of life in Uganda.

In the chorus, Tarrus praises Uganda, and in a more organic way, uses Luganda to say ‘ewaffe mu Uganda’ (my home is Uganda) and ‘oli wa muwendo’ (how Uganda is priceless).

The music video was done by Ugandan music production house and record label, Swangz Avenue, on whose tenth anniversary concert, Tarrus performed in August.

In one of the scenes, a fruit stall serves as a backdrop for the singer together with two female vixens to give the world a sneak peek into the country’s organic and diverse food.

It (video) is a 360 degrees look into Uganda and he successfully achieves that. Including a fused dance of the diverse cultures in Uganda which is captured during his performance at the Lugogo concert.

Related: Jamaican Star, Tarrus Riley Records Song in Praise of Uganda

Uganda’s story is incomplete without the wildlife it is gifted with. A shot with a monkey feeding on a banana and the wooden bird artefacts serve to tell of the variety of animal species one will find in the Pearl of Africa.

During the concert in August, Tarrus said: “It’s a pleasure being in Uganda. It’s a dream come true in reality. Now I know what it means when they say Uganda is the Pearl of Africa”.

His latest video is a testament that he meant every word of what he said then.

 

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