Uganda Wildlife Authority Reopens All National Tourist Parks
In a declaration announcing, the Uganda Wildlife Authority opened all national tourism parks-primate parks ( Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Kibale National Parks) inclusive to people interested in visiting them. The reopening followed consultations with different stakeholders; and the development of standard operating procedures for the containment of the potential spread of COVID-19 to protected areas. Since June 2020, its only savannah parks that have been open for tourism purposes. Borders and airport are still officially closed.
The opening of Uganda’s National Parks cames at a time when the country is experiencing extraordinary baby birth of mountain gorillas leading to increase in population. Over seven infants have been born this year compared to two in the whole of 2019. Five of these baby gorillas have born in just six weeks between July 22 to August 31.
In the statement released, all Uganda safari activities within the protected areas (Uganda National Parks) shall be undertaken following all COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures or guidelines set by the Ministry of Health Uganda as well as the directives by His Excellency President Museveni are adhered to.
i.) All travellers shall undergo mandatory temperature screening using non-contact infrared thermometers at all entry tourism gates of the different protected areas in the country.
ii.) Tourists are to practice mandatory hand washing or hand sanitizing at the entrances of all Uganda Wildlife Authority premises and protected areas.
iii.) You must all wear a face mask at all time while inside or during any activity during the protected area.
iv.) Observing social distance is must while in these protected areas.
v.) All tourists going for primate tracking activities (chimpanzee and gorilla trekking) in the gazetted parks should carry at least two N95 masks, surgical masks, or double-layered cloth masks with filters in them.
vi.) Government guidelines on transport in Uganda must be observed. Therefore, all tourist vehicles should carry half capacity in order to observe social distance in vehicles. This also applies to all tourist boats within the park.
vii.) Saloon cars (vehicles) are not be permitted to carry out safari game drive activities in the protected areas.
viii.) Travellers or Tourists visiting these National Parks are encouraged to carry their own hand sanitizers.
Following the reopening of Uganda National Parks for tourism, all Uganda Wildlife Authority staff have received COVID-19 training and given proper wear to protect them from acquiring the virus as well as affecting the visitors from any possible infection.
In addition, the Uganda Wildlife Authority staff on duty at its office premises and gates of all the protected areas will have to sensitize all visitors including all tourists on the general government-approved COiVD-19 standard operational procedure guidelines.
Is it possible to go on a safari in Uganda now?
Just like other countries, Uganda has continued to steadily lift its lockdown that was imposed on the country due to the COVID’-19 pandemic outbreak. Currently, visiting these Uganda national parks doesn’t apply to foreign tourists, but only to the domestic travellers because all the borders and airport in Uganda are still closed. However, when the borders and airport are reopened, tourists and all travellers will be guaranteed to access Uganda and those coming for a safari in Uganda will enjoy the best COVID-19 holiday break.
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