Hope for Wildlife Tourism as Peace Gradually Returns to Karamoja

Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA has announced the revival of tourism activities in Karamoja region following the gradual return of peace. In 2019, the insecurity escalated in the region affecting several businesses.

Tourism was one of the most affected sectors since a number of tourists were unable to visit the region because of fear for their lives. But with the ongoing cordon and search operations that led to the recovery of over 600 illegal guns from the hands of cattle raiders, peace is gradually returning to the region. 

Edyau Echodu, the in charge of Bokora– Matheniko game reserve told URN that the insecurity greatly affected the development of the wildlife and tourism sector as many tourists could no longer visit the region. 

He, however, says that with the little peace realized, they have started receiving visitors from within and outside the country who come to visit wildlife. Edyau said that at least they are receiving about three to four visitors per week who come to book a tour of the conservation areas. 

‘’We have many animal species which include lions, spotted hyenas, giraffes as well as over 480 bird species, for example, Karamoja Apalis, this bird is only found in Karamoja,’’ Edyau said. He called upon the local communities to ensure that they maintain peace so as to boost the tourism industry which can raise more revenues for the region.

Herbart Byaruhanga, the president of the Uganda Tourism Association, says the increase in the number of tourists visiting Karamoja region will increase revenue and create jobs for the locals. He said the Karamojong youth should now focus on the activities that will earn them money rather than thinking of cattle raids that put their lives at risk.

In 2021, the European Union head of mission identified Karamoja as one of Uganda’s most promising tourism destinations. The region has a variety of wildlife, landscape, and cultural tourism, which attracts tourists who contribute to local economic development.

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