1100 visit Murchison Falls National Park as eclipse boosts tourism in Uganda

Murchison Falls National Park registered 11,260 visitors during the recent hybrid eclipse excitement and bagged shs100m in entry fees in three days, said the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) tourism warden, Joshua Masereka.

Tourism generated $1b (about 2.7 trillion) in 2012, according to a recent World Ban study. This is about 38% of exports, and it generated 56% of GDP, making it the biggest source of income.
The lodges in the park were all booked to capacity and tour operators such as Mpolampola and Jangu Kampala had brisk business,” said Maseruka.
“After the eclipse, the tourists saw the animals, birds and the vegetation Murchison Falls National Park is endowed with.”
UWA Executive Director Andrew Seguya said the guest list is expected to increase since the park’s Baker’s Trail was recently voted among the top 20 in the world.
“If it is appealing in a raw form, you should expect many more tourists upon completion,” Seguya said.
Nile Safari Lodge manager Davidson Kinyera said the eclipse gave Uganda exposure in a new perspective.
“Our accommodation, wines and food were on demand in October, which has always been low season,” he noted.
“Other than the eclipse, our guests were awed by the mighty Murchison Falls, the animals and a variety of vegetation:.
Kinyera adds that there is also spot fishing at Murchison Falls National Park with records of catches weighing more than 108kg.
“Spot fishing is a challenge for anglers who prefer to do it right on the banks”, says Kinyera.
“The strong current and highly oxygenates waters help breed huge Nile Perche, which gives the tourists a chance to make a record breaking catch.
A 120km game drive is evidence of the rejuvenation of elephants, bush bucks and antelopes. They compete for space with buffaloes, hippos and hyenas.
“The hunting of wild animals is as old as mankind in Uganda,” says Seguya, but adds that hunting animals for meat and skins has never been a threat to wildlife as poaching today.
The threat stems from the skyrocketing price of ivory and an increase in the number of foreigners. Arrests of foreigners in transit with ivory, scales and birds have been made at Entebbe Airport several times.
“Every effort is being made to protect our wildlife,” Seguya says.
Tours and Safaris to Murchison Falls National Park