Adventure Travel News African Tourism Board Associations Breaking Travel News Business Travel News Destination News eTurboNews | eTN feeds Government News Hospitality Industry Meeting and Incentive Travel News Update People in Travel and Tourism Rebuilding Travel Responsible Travel News Safer Travel Sustainable Tourism News Theme Parks News Tourism Tourism Investment News Travel Wire News Uganda Travel

Uganda Wildlife Authority Reviewing Tariffs and Performance

, Uganda Wildlife Authority Reviewing Tariffs and Performance, eTurboNews | eTN
Uganda Wildlife Authority Reviewing Tariffs and Performance

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) organized a stakeholder engagement at Protea Skyz Hotel, located in the suburbs of Kampala on Naguru Hill.

SME in Travel? Click here!

On Friday, July 7, 2023, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the body in charge of managing Uganda’s National parks and protected areas, organized a stakeholder engagement at Protea Skyz Hotel, located in the suburbs of Kampala on Naguru Hill.

Present at the meeting were representatives from Uganda Tourist Association (UTA), Association of Uganda Tour Operators( AUTO), Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA), Exclusive Sustainable Tour Operators Association (ESTOA ), Tour Guides Forum Uganda (TOGOFU), freelance guides and concessionaires.

Presiding over the engagement were UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha, Business Development Director, Stephen Saanyi Masaba and Paul Ninsiima – Sales and Marketing Manager, who were later joined by The State Minister for Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Martin Mugarra Bahinduka.

The Executive Director welcomed all present.

“We appreciate that you have taken off your afternoon to join us. I will Straight away dive into the guidelines, ” he said in his opening remarks. He also welcomed State Minister who opted to take a back seat as an observer.

Masaba announced that tourist numbers have surpassed pre-Covid numbers, showing a positive trend since the end of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Visitor numbers increased from 265,539 to 382,285 for FY 2022/23, representing 44% increase. Murchison Falls National Park continued to top visitor arrivals records with 145,116 visitors, followed by Queen Elizabeth National Park, recording 97, 814 visitors for FY 2022/23.

He also presented the following updates for consideration:
That the current tariff is being reviewed for the private sector to give their input through their different associations, by July 15th 2023,cashless operations enhanced at all UWA gates and a new booking system is to be launched by the end of July 2023, a new reservations office has been opened at Kampala Sheraton hotel and new tracks are being created on the Buligi and Albert circuit due to development oil in Murchison Falls National Park.

Regarding Promotion and Market, Masaba announced that UWA has continued to work with the private sector in marketing through participating and supporting some expos, availing photo and video content on all parks on google drive and physically, continued to carry out sponsorship and support FAM Trips for Tour Operators plus discounting filming for promotional purposes.

On UWA Tariff Incentives, UWA has supported incentive on group travel with two free permits to operators for groups of ten, free one day entrance to Mt. Elgon and Toro Semliki Reserve on purchase of a gorilla permit.

UWA has also continued engagement with Presidential Investors Round Table (PIRT), Engaging Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and other development partners such as the World Bank on improvement of Roads.

Other initiatives have been sharing of key UWA contacts for engagement, working on signage, game spotting tracks, branding and strengthening tourism focus.

Regarding Gorillas and Chimpanzee bookings ,management resolved to revert to the old guidelines as well as make some changes or introduce some new ones namely: Gorilla and chimpanzee permits are to be sold to only tour operators licensed by Uganda Tourism Board, for booking of a permit where tracking date is within 6 months full payment, of 100% payment should be made, for booking of a permit where tracking date is beyond months, a deposit of 50% of the value of the permit may be made, where a deposit has been made, the balance of 50% shall be paid within 90 days to the tracking date, where the balance of 50% is not made within 90 days to the tracking date, the permit shall be automatically cancelled and the client shall forfeit the deposit.

For online reservations, payment has to be completed within 72 hours, reschedule requests have to be made within 14 days to tracking date or be subjected to 25% surcharge, the new tracking dates for all rescheduled permits shall be within a period of twelve months from the initial booked tracking date, only one free reschedule is allowed. From 2nd reschedule onwards, surcharge is 25% of permit value, reschedule of complementary permits is not permitted, downgrading of habituation to normal tracking is not permitted, advance payments made for entrance and park activities shall not be eligible for rescheduling, cancellation and refund except for Gorilla and Chimpanzee tracking, funds paid for an activity shall not be transferred or utilized for another activity.

This provoked serious concerns from stakeholders.

Dona Tindyebwa of Jewel Safaris said contrary to UWAs’ positive outlook on recovery in the sector, businesses were affected by the anti LGBTQ bill and the recent incident in Mpondwe where students were killed.

The Chair Lady AUTO Civy Tumusiime observed that UWA stood to lose by amending the booking deposit requirement from 30 percent to 50 percent since it would attract less speculators.
Frank Wataka USAGA guide recommended that assessment of field guides should be extended to UWA rangers in order to equip them with customer savvy skills which were wanting from recently brushes in the field.

This ETN correspondent requested that UWA absorbs the surcharge on online and Point of Sale Card visa, Master Card,Cirrus ,etc payments as they have done for Airtel Money and Mobile Money MTN Merchant Code payments as is done with some other enterprises.

The Executive Director promised to have a follow up engagement due to overwhelming reactions from members present that could not be exhausted in one afternoon seating.

He used the opportunity to announce that Four Gorilla families are being habituated: One group in Buhoma, one in Nkuringo and two in Rushaga sector of the park.

About the author


Tony Ofungi - eTN Uganda

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Share to...