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Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) on Tuesday presented its new branding of the Entebbe International Airport with a nature theme that both highlights the country’s natural attractions and leverages recent media accolades.

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has officially opened an 18.5km track from Te Bito to the top of the Falls worth USD 200,000 in Murchison Falls National Park.

The construction was funded by Tullow Oil Plc as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme to support promotion and preservation of wildlife and tourism in Uganda.

The official opening on Tuesday December 6, 2011 was presided over by the minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Professor Ephraim Kamuntu and witnessed by leaders from Acholi and Bunyoro regions, the Executive Director UWA, Dr. Andrew Seguya, the General manager Tullow Oil Mr. Eoin Mekie, the Uganda Tourism Board boss Mr. Cuthbert Baguma and other stake holders in the tourism industry.

Uganda Wildlife Authority bagged many accolades from the just concluded 9th Edition of the Inter-Forces Games. In a closing event held at Namboole stadium on 25th November, UWA scooped sixteen best titles in different games.

Two winners of Buganda Tourism Expo quiz  Relax after trackingCharles Kikomeko, a second year Bachelor of Commerce university student and Simon Seruyange a self employed entrepreneur in construction industry, last week became the latest celebrities who joined international tourists in tracking the much coveted mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park courtesy of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

The duo who tracked Habinyanja family in Nyamishamba ridges adjacent to the neck of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, won themselves the tracking permits after emerging the second runners-up in a quiz administered by UWA during the third annual Buganda Tourism Expo 2011 at Lubiri palace grounds, Mengo in July this year.

Lornah Nabukwasi the best participant receives her certificate

Eighty participants drawn from Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania early this week completed an intensive three week tour guiding course aimed at enhancing their skills in conservation, wildlife identification and interpretation as well as customer care.

Forty nine of the participants who passed out on November 13, 2011 at the Makerere University Biological Field Station, Kyanyawara in Kibale National Park, Kabarole district were drawn from all the seven Conservation areas under the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

Through the “Third Country Training Program (TCTP), Malaysia is sharing their experiences on management of biodiversity and ecosystem.

The third country training program was conducted at the University of Malaysia Sabah (UMS) in the institute of Tropical Biology Conservation (ITBC) between 4th- 27th October 2011.

Representatives from 8 countries including Uganda attended the course. Other countries were Thailand, India, Brunei, Myanmar, Indonesia, Mali and Tanzania.

Uganda was represented by four officers and Justine Namara, the Senior Planning and EIA Officer, represented Uganda Wildlife Authority.

The Great Virunga Trans-boundary Core Secretariat (GVTCS) has revealed that it has set aside money to construct five more tanks neighboring sub-counties of Mgahinga to curb the water scarcity in the area. This was revealed by the Executive Secretary of GVTCS Mr. Sam Mwadha at the commissioning of four water tanks constructed in the sub- counties of Muramba and Nyarusiza in Kisoro district to reduce water scarcity in the villages adjacent to park. The tanks were launched by the Ag.Executive Director UWA Dr. Andrew Seguya on behalf of the secretariat.

In an effort to help conservationists understand population dynamics of the gorillas, assess the success of conservation programmes aimed at ensuring their survival, and ensure that they receive continued attention from the global conservation community; Uganda Wildlife Authority together with partners is carrying out a gorilla census in Bwindi National Park.

This is the fourth time the census is being carried out in Bwind which is also a UNESCO designated world heritage site. The first time the Census was carried out, in 1997, it was estimated that there were 300 individual gorillas.

The 2011 Gorilla census that began in September is expected to end by October 22nd and besides finding out the population of the endangered Mountain Gorillas, the team in charge of the census is also collecting information on the status of other wildlife like Elephants, Bush Pigs, Monkeys and Duikers, they are also taking records of evidence of illegal activities that affect the flora and fauna.

The combined team of parners and UWA staff that has been combing the thick forests and steep ridges of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park during a mountain gorilla census are expected to wind up their exercise on October 22.

Uganda Wild Authority (UWA) acting Executive Director Dr. Andrew Seguya is expected to join his colleagues from the IGCP, ITFC, CTPH and Marx Planks Institute to mark the formal end of the exercise meant to determine the current population of the gorillas in Bwindi .

Bwindi impenetrable National Park is known to have more than half of the world’s mountain gorillas. The Teams comprising of rangers and wardens from the three countries from Uganda, Rwanda and Congo have taken part in the massive exercise which comes at the heels of a similar recent one in the Greater Virunga massif.

IGCP and Marx planks have been the key sponsors of this year’s census which has spanned close to six weeks. Key amongthe activities during the census have been gorilla data collection, sample collection, GPS, and mapping among others.

Unlike the previous censuses, this particular year has been singled out as going as one of the toughest given the timing in the park. September has always been a peak rain season for Bwindi which has been very challenging for the participants having to camp in the forest.

The time for releasing and ascertaining the results from the exercise cannot be confirmed at this time.

 

Over eight separate trails specifically meant for birding in Murchison Falls National Park have been opened to promote avian tourism in Uganda’s largest conservation area.

According to Patrick Tushabe the Product Development Executive at UWA, the trails are situated on both the northern and southern banks of River Nile in the open savanna grassland and the forested area. Murchison Falls National Park boasts of hundreds of birds species including the most sought after ones like the shoe bill.

A principal Wildlife Officer from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Mr. Akankwasa Barirega who walked along some of the new trails on the Big Birding Day in late September, applauded the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) for opening up new trails to promote birding in Murchison Falls National Park and other conservation areas.

Mr. Akankwasa says this is a new innovation which government will support in developing infrastructure and diversification of products to attract more visitors and make them stay longer in the national parks.

The Conservation Area Manager, Murchison Falls Conservation Area Mr. Tom Okello says with the new trails to supplement the popular launch trips to the boat of the falls and the Victoria Nile delta during which a concentration of birds are sighted, the avian tourism will definitely generate more interest and revenue.

Tushabe says bird check lists for different national parks were being developed as well as the procurement of specialized equipment.

Besides the birding trails, an 18 km trail on the northern bank to the top of the falls has constructed with funding from Tullow Oil. The spectacular Top of the Falls which is a sight to behold has previously only been accessed by road from the southern bank. The new facility is expected to attract tourists to stay longer after the popular game drives along the northern banks of the Nile.

 

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