New guidebooks for Uganda’s parks help promote the country’s attractions

NEW GUIDE BOOK SERIES GIVES INSIGHT INTO SOME OF UGANDA’S TOP NATIONAL PARKS

(Posted 25th March 2015)

Mark Jordahl, who used to live in Uganda for quite some time, has just published four illustrated guide books for some of the country’s main national parks alongside a special guide for kids who are visiting the parks with their parents or on school educational trips. The new guides will no doubt become a much in demand piece of literature for visitors to the country when they take a safari across the ‘Pearl of Africa’.

Mark kindly enough wrote to this correspondent giving his own take on the new books:

Enrich Your Visit to Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo and Kidepo Valley National Parks

Filling a long-standing gap in Uganda’s tourism resources, African Wildlife Foundation’s Tourism for Biodiversity project, in partnership with Uganda Wildlife Authority, has just launched a series of guidebooks to Murchison Falls, Lake Mburo and Kidepo Valley National Parks. In addition, a Kid’s Activity Guide has been produced to keep children engaged while on safari and to help them learn more about Uganda’s parks.

These full-color books contain all of the information you need to plan your visit. Sections include an overview and history of each park, how to get there, what to do, where to stay (with current contact information and websites), relevant conservation issues, local cultures, mammal identification sections, bird checklists and more. Your relationship to these parks will be much deeper with an understanding of the history, ecology and cultures that have made these amazing places what they are today.

The author, Mark Jordahl, has worked in tourism and conservation in Uganda for over ten years, starting with his graduate research in Murchison Falls National Park. He has seen the tourism industry evolve significantly over the years, with better-trained guides and more lodging and activity options, but there have been no written resources available keeping up with these changes. These books reflect his decade-long relationship with Uganda’s parks, and will hopefully inspire a new wave of books about Uganda’s natural wonders.

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Where can you get your copy? Good question! Currently they are only available at the UWA Headquarters in Kampala, the Entebbe Wildlife Education Center and the African Wildlife Foundation offices. If Uganda Wildlife Authority sees that there is a demand for these resources, they will become more widely available. So drop by their offices and ask for a copy, or write to the tourism office via info or all them via +256414355000 or +256312355000

The books cover Murchisons Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park which CNN last year named as one of Africa’s top parks and Lake Mburo National Park, all of which are part of the ‘must visit’ circuit when on safari in Uganda. There has been a distinct lack of written material, and although UWA provides details on all the 10 parks they manage on their website www.ugandawildlife.org many tourists and visitors to the parks continue to prefer leafing through a book proper rather than looking up details on their smart phone, phablet or tablet.

In a related development will the tracking of gorillas in Uganda’s two gorilla national parks, Bwindi and Mgahinga, become a lot more affordable between the 01st of April until the end of May, when UWA traditionally lowers the tariffs for what has often been described as Uganda’s most visible tourism activity.

Foreign non-resident visitors will only have to pay US Dollars 350 for a day’s tracking, down from the regular US Dollars 600, while Ugandans and East African citizens pay Uganda Shillings 150.000. Expatriates living in Uganda or the East African Community will pay US Dollars 300 for a tracking permit.

The move is expected to help sell the permits which during the traditional low season have in the past not always sold out, giving visitors the incentive to come to Uganda at a time of the year when even lodge tariffs are lower. ‘This is part of our strategy to bring in more tourists to Uganda. Flights at this time of the year are cheap because airlines also offer promotional fares. Travel by expats from Kenya is now Visa free when they come to Uganda and use the Interstate Pass and it is also those we target to come for gorilla tracking’ said a regular commentator.

Time to pack those bags, come to ‘Uganda, the Pearl of Africa’ and enjoy the country’s traditional hospitality and at a greatly reduced cost. Click on www.visituganda.com for more details about the country’s tourism attractions.

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