UGANDANS TO PAY DOUBLE FOR PARK ENTRIES
Effective 01st of July did the Uganda Wildlife Authority raise entrance fees for Ugandan and East African citizens from previously 5.000 Uganda Shillings to now 10.000 Uganda Shillings, doubling the cost for wananchi to enter the 10 national parks. This puts a visit to the protected areas beyond the reach of many ordinary people who are already struggling with inflation and the fallout of wider economic woes, and might put a dent into the visitor number statistics when the full impact of this doubling of fees can be assessed in coming months.
UWA also raised park fees for foreign nonresident visitors and foreign resident visitors who pay in US Dollars, making safari holidays across the board more expensive too, with the cost of a safari in Uganda already comparing unfavourably with those in Kenya for instance.
Arrival data and projected income figures for the year 2010 and the first six months of 2011 are also slow in coming out, which has led to speculation that they are not being released because they are not yet ready, as was often the case in the past but because they may not be favourable in regard of medium term trends, with in particular the data for the months of political unrest now under intense scrutiny to see what damage the opposition’s shenanigans have caused to this important sector.
Watch this space.