A Happy and blessed year 2014 is what UCOTA/ Pearls of Uganda wishes our partners and stakeholders with whom we have walked the Hills and valleys during the year 2013. We appreciate your continued readership and positive feedback about our monthly e-newsletter and we pledge to give you even better coverage of News with more innovations in this New year. We had a productive year 2013 with a number of achievements including the Newly Developed Community Tourism Products around Lake Mburo National Park. We thank you for having stood with us to share these good moments of our work during the year.
Please find yet another collection of News we made during the month of December 2013. As usual, you will find News from our member communities, funding opportunities, tourism industry news, and lots more. We hope you enjoy!
- UCOTA participated in the meeting promoting e-services and tourism in Uganda:
UCOTA was invited by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities to a meeting with a team from Estonia to discuss promoting e-services and tourism in Uganda.
The development project aims to establish tourist information centres in Uganda’s capital, Kampala and in its nearest municipalities borrowing a leaf from the example of Tallinn’s tourist information centres and service offices; introducing job management as well as ICT solutions that are used in Tallinn’s and Estonia’s tourist information centres and service offices to the delegation of Ugandan Local Governments.
The goal of this project is to support the establishment and development of tourist information centres thereby raising the number of visits to tourism objects by -7%, introducing the usage of modern ICT solutions in tourism centres broadening the awareness of tourism services. In the course of this project, two training trips to Estonia will take place for the Ugandan delegation and three consultations/trainings conducted by specialists from Tallinn will take place in Uganda. The duration of the project is 16 months, the collaborative project started on the 20th of June 2013 and the project-completion date is on the 20th of October 2014.
- UCOTA Participated in Land use planning process for Karenga and Lobalangit sub-counties in the Karamoja region.
This has been a long process started in February 2013 and at this level, the document is in the final stages. It is the first one of its kind in Uganda facilitated under the USAID-AWF funded Tourism For Biodiversity program which is all inclusive covering all the land use practices in the region but falling under the five major programs listed below:
- Tourism and Wildlife Development and Management
- Livestock Development and Management
- Agricultural Development and Management
- Conservation and Ecology Management
- Operations and Management
This was a four day long program which had a Core Planning Team (CPT) consisting delegates from the two sub-counties. We believe this document will be the basis upon which any development of the sub-counties next to the Park (KVNP). The final draft will be out by Early February and co-opted in March 2014 and this will be a long way developing the area/ communities around the park basing on the 5 programs.
- UCOTA participated in a planning meeting of Porongo Cultural center:
On 17th December UCOTA attended a planning Meeting of Porongo cultural centre. It was the first time of meeting with the newly selected community representatives that took place during the sensitization process by Gulu University and Porongo sub county administration. The different partners present to this meeting were the UWA representatives, Community elders and representatives from Gulu University. The meeting was organized by the Sub County to discuss the way forward for the project. An interim committee was selected from the community representative to take on a number of assignments including; review of the constitution, do the legal registration of the cultural centre as a CBO, organize the procurement of the project inputs and other forthcoming activities until the next meeting.
UCOTA Community of the Month
Robs Rolling Rock. Up your adrenaline!!!! Rock climbing and abseiling in the foothills of Mount Elgon in eastern Uganda, East Africa
Located at Sipi trading Centre in the foothills of Mt Elgon which has the world’s largest intact Caldera, Robs rolling rock offers an exclusive product that can’t be found anywhere in East African region.
Up and down the rocks of Mount Elgon, is an unforgettable experience during your Mount Elgon or any Eastern Uganda trip. The Eastern region of Uganda is the best for adventurous activities like white water rafting, Bungee Jumping, abseiling by the Falls, rock climbing, cycling, and paragliding among others. A trip to this region will offer you great memorable moments. This is your opportunity to explore the ten years’ experience of community rock climbing in Uganda.
The project has up to six rock-climbing and abseiling routes from the easiest to the hardest for the senior climbers. A trip to Uganda is incomplete without an experience with Robs Rolling Rock.
The community involved in the rock-climbing is highly trained with reliable up to date equipment of Italian technology.
- Abseiling along the 100 meter Sipi falls
- Progressing from the easiest to the hardest until you do all the five routes of rock climbing and while taking the breathtaking views of the Sipi falls
- Partying in the evening after a successful rock climbing and abseiling.
- Coffee tour coupled with village walk to you first-hand experience of these local people.
- The traditional delicacy of bamboo shoots that will excites your taste buds, locally known as ‘Malewa’.
- If lucky you will get an opportunity to see the circumcision ceremony that takes place every other year.
- For bird lovers, Mount Elgon National Park is a good region for bird watching; in 2013 National Big Birding Day, the region emerged top with the highest number species of birds spotted in 24hrs.
- Fully locally owned and run.
- Providing local skills to the youth and provides employment to about five guides
- Some of the income generated is used to support local conservation and development projects
- Money made from the community village walk shared by families that manage the stopover points and the rest supports other community projects. Read more
Uganda Tourism Industry News:
- Walking the tight rope at Busiika: At first glance, the set up looks like the stuff only circus performers and the people from the Ninja Warrior TV show would dare to climb. But then the General Manager of the adventure park, Mark Mukisa Raczynski starts to name the type of people who visit the park and they include corporate team building groups, Ugandan cultural royalty, ambassadors and top politicians. Read more
- Unesco honours empaako tradition: And on Saturday, their wish was granted when Unesco inscribed Empaako as an intangible heritage during a conference held in Azerbaijan from December 2 to 8. Read more
- NFA to cancel all titles on forest reserves: About 15,000 square kilometres, (7%) of Uganda’s dry land area is protected as forest reserves. This comes at a time when the Government has been ordered to pay over sh40b in damages and compensation to 75 Namanve tree farmers whose 620 hectares were destroyed by encroachers. Read more
- Emirates airline appoints new country manager for Uganda: Emirates, Dubai’s award-winning national airline, has announced the appointment of Mr. Thani Abdulla Al Ansari, as their new Country Manager for Uganda. Read more
- Gov’t to buy shares in Air Uganda: Museveni, Aga Khan discuss deal: Air Uganda is largely recognized as the national carrier, following the collapse of Uganda Airlines in May 2001. Read more
- Brussels Airlines brings “Bike for Africa” to Uganda: Supported by the Brussels Airlines Foundation a group of cyclists will bike from Belgium come to Uganda between January 29 and February 5 to raise funds for children’s projects in the country. Read more
- Ugandan fashion designer shines in German: The 30-year-old Donkare showcased at the International Fashion Week in 2006 and the Afriq Fashion gala in Cameroon in 2010. She also showcased her work in Leuven, Vlaama-Brebant, Belgium in 2012, at Umoja Fashion Show in Belgium, and at the Afrika Film festival. Read more
- New regional tourism master plan launched in Nairobi: The master plan touches on crucial issues such as the need to harmonize the policy and regulatory framework among the member countries, where tourism was acknowledged to be at vastly different development stages. Read more
- President Kenyatta of Kenya signs new wildlife law: For years had the country’s conservationists demanded that harsher penalties be imposed as often poachers, when nabbed, were released on bond or bail almost immediately as they faced minimal fines and often short prison terms, which led to a sharp increase in poaching across the country with hundreds of elephants and dozens of rhino killed. Read more
- Training course aims to help preserve Al Ain’s ancient sites: ABU DHABI // Tourism workers have been learning how to preserve some of the UAE’s most important archaeological sites for posterity. Read more:
- World unites for Mandela memorial: Wrapped in the South African flags or yellow-green coloured shawls printed with the slogan "Mandela Forever," they danced and jogged towards the stadium entrance, some singing in Zulu: "Mandela is not sleeping, just kneeling." Read more
- Africa risks losing 20 percent of elephants in 10 years: An estimated 22,000 elephants were illegally killed across the continent last year, as poaching reached "unacceptably elevated levels," according to a report by CITES, TRAFFIC and IUCN. Read more
- African elephant survival top at Botswana talks: Poaching has risen sharply in Africa in recent years and the illegal ivory trade has tripled since 1998, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Read more
- Congo pygmies enslaved as poachers: Arwa Damon meets a pygmy poacher turned eco-guard and learns that turning against poaching gangs comes at a risk. Read more