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Promoting Conservation in Uganda

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Uganda has over 10 national parks and reserves that help to preserve and protect rare and endangered species. This has been very important for conservation since almost half of all species in Uganda are of some conservation concern. The Conservancies have helped to increase the perceived value of wildlife which has helped to mitigate human-wildlife conflict and increase economic development in ecotourism. Though Uganda is renowned for gorilla safaris, the county is now one of the best ecotour destinations with many wildlife populations are now on the rebound including rhinos, elephants, lions and buffaloes.

The Uganda tourism board has tried to become a dynamic and integral part of Uganda’s tourism industry but making the Ugandan masses accept the co-existence with the wildlife by stopping their culture of poaching and encroachment on to the gazetted national parks and game reserves’ land.. There are currently a lot of Joint-Ventures working with Conservancies countrywide to conserve the environment.

There are mainly four different types of Communal Conservancies tourism operations/ventures that are elucidate as below;

Arts and Crafts

Uganda has a wealth of material arts manufactured from natural resources which include basketry, drum making,pottery and beadwork. Traditionally produced as functional household items, the production of arts and crafts for the tourist market creates income for local residents, especially women.

Community Campsites

Several community-owned campsites exist throughout Uganda like Kaazi camping site. They provide an accessible and affordable option for travelers to explore Uganda in totality, and they provide revenue for the communities that operate them.

Joint Ventures

Numerous joint-ventures between lodges and campsites operate in partnership with several Communal Conservancies. They provide travelers with a range of options—from luxurious Eco-lodges to more rustic tent camps. This in turn provides adjacent communities with very many jobs and a secure source of revenue to both the community where they are located and the government

Traditional Villages

A number of villages openly share their traditions with outsiders. This helps to conserve Uganda’s cultural heritage while providing a source of employment and revenue for local communities.

The remarkable restoration of wildlife that has occurred in most communal areas over the last decade has been facilitated by a sense of ownership over the resources and direct benefits from managing them. The Government of Uganda has been extremely innovative in managing its natural resources and improving the quality of life of its rural population. Communal Conservancies are now taking a leadership role in preserving large landscapes and safeguarding the Ugandan environmental identity by conserving indigenous species in large, unfenced areas. This approach is providing a growing number of travelers with authentic experiences that are not only unique to Uganda but unique to Africa as well.

Uganda’s progressive policies and planning have resulted in one of the greatest wildlife recovery stories on earth. Populations of rare and endangered species such as rhinos, and impala have recovered through natural recruitment.

Uganda was one of the first country in the world to specifically address habitat conservation and the protection of natural resources in its constitution that was promulgated in 1995. This led to the Government of Uganda giving its communities the opportunity and rights to establish communal conservancies, manage their wildlife and other natural resources, and share the related benefits.This growth largely stems from tourism and the increasing number of travelers seeking out remote wildlands of Uganda, much of which are now covered by Communal Conservancies.

Many of the Communal Conservancies contain spectacular scenery, rich cultures and burgeoning wildlife populations. Within the Communal Conservancies, there are also an increasing number of Joint-Venture lodges and campsites. These Joint-Ventures are unique in that they work in collaboration with their host communities to achieve both conservation and economic development objectives at a local level, and they share in the profits of the enterprise.

Take some time to review the diverse array of lodging options, from community owned campsites that provide an accessible and affordable way for travelers to experience Uganda to luxury lodges that feature the finest amenities. No matter how you choose to explore Uganda, rest assured you’ll have a positive impact on the people you meet and the places you visit.

However,the best time of year to travel to Uganda depends on where you want to go. Fortunately, most of the country enjoys conducive temperatures and receives arguably moderate rainfall throughout the year. So there’s not really a bad time of year to visit.

Getting to Uganda is via various modules of transport though is a land locked country.You can reach Uganda on road through the various borders that surround Uganda the East African countries of Kenya,Tanzania and Rwanda.All the same Uganda can be accessed by air transport via its Entebbe international airport.Various international airlines grace and land here on daily basis like Fly emirates,KLM,BBA and the national Air Uganda.

The best way to experience Uganda is through one of the Joint-Venture tour operators that are found majorly in the capital city of Kampala or in the comfort of a rental car. Keep in mind that Uganda is sparsely populated, so distances between towns and villages can be significant. As a result, the public transportation network is pretty limited and is not focused on visiting the major sights. Fortunately, the country has an excellent infrastructure of well-maintained tarred and gravel roads.

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Linda Barbara

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