It hurts seeing man destroy natural habitats of the wild that are the main source of tourist attraction. Who can imagine the joy of watching a monkey jump from tree to tree, it hurts to see them being transported in cages for the new generations to be see.
That’s exactly what has been happening in Northern Uganda following the 20 year old insurgency in the region. Tourism activities is partly being revived though the potential of tourism here is enormous but activities have been prepared to rekindle the rich and diverse culture after the insurgency.
Northern Uganda was the least developed and least visited part of the country – a region that has been overlooked and felt overlooked ever since colonial times but with the return of peace to the war-afflicted region, tourism have harnessed cultural properties and historical sites including internally displaced people’s camps. Northern Uganda has a number of tourist attractions that should have attracted the most number of tourists in Uganda if promoted, like the natures, culture and history. Sometime back Tourism Uganda choose Gulu, the city of Northern Uganda as the host of 2011’s tourism day in order to boost tourism in the region
In fact Northern Uganda has steadily become an attractive tourists’ destination and as such a lot of the local communities have benefited; a number of local firm promoting tourism has been developed and is registering more tourist visits unlike before.
I one time visited Samuel Baker’s Fort Patiko and “coo pe” an internally displaced people’s camp highly benefitted from the tourist because the people used to sell their hand made crafts like mats and winnowers.
Of late now the IDP camp has been developed into a trading centre where people buy and sell but the biggest challenge is meeting the needs of tourists, most of whom prefer to stay in the town because there are no modern facilities nearby and yet the demand is high. Some sharp locals have taken up the advantage of the tourism to set up facilities modern facilities like modern hotels, transports and camping activities in town to benefit from the growing market.
With the return of peace government and tour operators have promoted tourism as one way of fighting poverty, can be witnessed when by how people near the tourist sites are empowered though there is low turn up of tourist in this region, but the reason for this is easy to understand, Northern Uganda was off limits for many years as the Ugandan government battled with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a war that tore apart the region.
I am happy that with the modernization and right to travel and visit any part of the country, Linguistic and cultural differences are now history and Northern Uganda is peaceful and ripe for tourism development.
At one point, our image as Northern Uganda was tainted, but we are steady now, giving hope to hotel owners, tours and travel operators, hand craft makers and the farmers-whose food is consumed by the visitors.