Uganda Travel News

why is Uganda an expensive tourist destination?

Uganda has been seen as an expensive tourism destination compared to other African and East African countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania. This has meant that Uganda cannot attract many tourists more especially the pack packers whose budget is always low. There many factors that can help to explain this as outlined below.

Uganda is a landlocked Country

It should be noted that Uganda is a land locked country and is boarded by Kenya in the East, Tanzania in the south, Rwanda in the Southwest, Democratic republic of congo in the west and southern Sudan in the North. This therefore means that what ever comes into Uganda has to be taxed through ports such as Mombasa. This therefore makes all services and goods bought in Uganda more expensive compared to other countries mentioned above.

No Carrier to her name.

Uganda as a Nation does not have a national carrier which could be used to transport tourists from one place to another. Our Neighbors like Kenya and Rwanda have national carriers which they use to transport tourists to their countries. After the collapse of Uganda Airlines, it took sometime to think about it. Later on, Air Uganda was introduced in partnership with the private sector but it collapsed in 2013 leaving Uganda with out any airline to her name. Uganda now relies on international companies such as LKM, British Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways among others for transporting tourists to Uganda. This makes travelling to Uganda more expensive than to any other countries that have national Airlines. There has been public outcries urging Uganda to bring back Uganda airlines hoping that this will help reduce the cost of flying to Uganda as well as marketing Uganda as a tourism destination.

Uganda Marketed as an ecotourism destination

Uganda is marketed as an ecotourism destination unlike South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania which are mass tourism markets. Uganda is seen as a primate capital of Africa and has fragile environments which include swamps, tropical rain forests that need protection. As such very few numbers are expected at any given destination or National parks in Uganda. In order to earn more from ecotourism, Uganda applies profit maximization instead of sales maximisation. For example, only eight people are allowed to track a given group of mountain gorillas every day and at United states dollars six hundred per person per trek. If you want to trek chimps in Kibale National Park, you have to part with United States Dollars one hundred and fifty per person per trek. This applies to birding where birding fees have been hiked for some national parks such as Semilki National Park. All these contribute in making Uganda an expensive destination to many tourists all over the world.

Less Competition

There has been less competition when it comes to services like accommodation. Uganda does not have many lodges most especially in National Park making it possible for the few lodges that are there to charge high fees. It is expected that if more investors join to construct hotels, this will cause enough competition to trigger a reduction in the price.

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