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    Uganda National Parks are Safe for Tourists

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    The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is appalled by the American Embassy’s insistence on issuing negative travel advisories against our national parks despite the vigilant steps that have been taken and achievements made in ensuring the security of tourists.

    The Daily Monitor of 28th October 2005 reported that the American Embassy instructed American citizens in Uganda “to seek permission from the Chief of Mission to visit all national parks in the country “. This insinuates that all Uganda’s national parks are unsafe, which we at UWA consider unfounded and unfair since it is not true and not supported by any facts.

    Uganda has 10 national parks scattered across the country, and of these only one, Murchison Falls National Park is close to the north where rebel activities are being reported. But even then, Murchison Falls National Park is not affected because of the security mechanisms that have been put in place to keep security rodents out of the park.

    The other nine parks, which are located in the west, southwest and east of the country, are several hundreds of miles away from the disturbed north. So why the travel advisories? Moreover, the American Embassy never bothers to verify any information with us before issuing the dreaded travel advisories; little knowing the drastic impact this has on our young tourism industry.

    We appeal to all nature and wildlife lovers as well as the general public not to believe or be shaken by these travel advisories. As we write this, our national parks including Murchison Falls National Park are teeming with tourists from all over the world. And they are having a wonderful time. Members of the public are therefore encouraged not to cancel their trips, because if there were a problem beyond UWA’s means to solve, we would immediately inform you.

    The American Embassy owes this country an apology for putting our best performing sector in jeopardy through their negative travel advisories, which are issued without consulting the concerned government agencies.

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