In a bid to reduce on guides carrying cash while going for safari. Uganda wildlife has introduced an electronic card where all trip funds and gorilla permits can be loaded on to it and then swiped using machines at Every National Park to ascertain whether the card has money that can be used by the clients.

The exercise started with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where all Tour Operators are now given gorilla permits in form of cards and these cards are checked at any of the Park headquarters like Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Ruhija.For one to have his/her gorilla permit on this electronic UWA card, you are required to send your passport details plus your Phyiscal address of where you stay.

The New Uganda Wildlife Authority Electronic Card is set to replace the old system where one would pay for gorilla permits and then get printed gorilla permits in return. When Uganda Wildlife Authority Card is taken to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, it is checked, used by the client to trek gorillas and then remains with Uganda Wildlife Authority staff who then returns them to UWA head office in Kampala.

This system of carrying money on Electronic cards was opposed by Tour Operators who urged that instead of launching it, UWA needed to first consult them and get their views and after that have them tried before launching it. The card system has suffered some initial set back ever since it was launched. Some tour operators have reported back to Uganda wildlife Authority offices that sometimes these Cards do not show that they were loaded with money for the gorilla permit. This has not sounded well to the clients who sometimes think that they have been reaped off. In response, as Uganda Wildlife Authority is trying to improve her card system, they have advised that each tour operator should carry a receipt issued by UWA on top of the card such that if the card fails, then the receipt can be used. Tour operators have also questioned the type and nature of receipts being issued as they tend to fade in quite a short time.

We all look forward to the success of this Electronic Card System as it was first introduced in Kenya National Parks and failed.

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