Uganda on New York Times’ Top 52 Places to Visit in 2020

President Museveni chats with foreign tourists at Chobe resort in Murchison falls national park in Feb 2019.

Uganda has featured as one of only five African destinations that New York Times is recommending to travelers to visit in its ’52 places to go in 2020′ list.

Uganda is described as a private capital and birder’s paradise, while also highlighting the ease in accessibility with the recent revival of the national carrier, Uganda Airlines.

Prominent in the guide is the fact that Uganda is home to over half of the world’s mountain gorilla population, the variety of birds and the primates.

Below is an excerpt from Vivian Song’s review:

The “Pearl of Africa,” with its own rich wildlife, is set to become more accessible, thanks to the resurrection last summer of the country’s national carrier, Uganda Airlines.

Uganda is one of the world’s primate capitals, with 15 species (four of which are endangered) and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, in southwestern Uganda, is home to roughly half the world’s mountain gorillas.

The park’s gorilla-trekking safaris limit contact to eight visitors per gorilla group per day, and proceeds from their trekking permits go toward conservation efforts and protecting the animals from poachers. The dense forest mountain park, which ranges in elevation between 3,810 feet and 8,880 feet, also features a scenic waterfall trail framed by ancient ferns and wild orchids, and is a birder’s paradise, with 350 species of forest birds.

Read more here: 52 Places to Go in 2020

Tourism in Uganda

Uganda’s international tourism performance in 2018 was above the rate of continental and global tourism growth.

Tourists from international air accounted for approximately 31% of the total international tourist arrivals to Uganda in 2018, growing by 10.2% compared to the previous year.

Growth was recorded from Europe (+13.8%), the Americas (+9.2%), Asia (+10.2%) and the Middle East (+9.7%) in 2018. African land markets (regional and neighboring countries) that entered Uganda by road make up 69% of Uganda’s international arrivals, and grew by 6.1% in 2018.

The biggest number of tourist arrivals to Uganda in 2018 was from Africa. The top ten sources of tourist arrivals into Uganda made up about 82 per cent of the total arrivals.

Uganda witnessed a 7.4% increase in international tourist arrivals in 2018, growing from 1,402,409 in 2017 to 1,506,669 in 2018. Direct revenue from international tourism rose to US$1.6 billion in 2018, compared to US$1.453 billion in 2017.

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