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RWENZURURU KING VISITS QUEEN ELIZABETH NP

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On January 01, 2015, His Royal Majesty Wesley Mumbere Iremangoma, the Omusinga Bwa Rwenzuru celebrated the first day of the New Year 2015 in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

He entered the park at about 11:30 h via the Queen's Pavillion, a site visited by a monarch Queen Elizabeth II sixty years ago. This site is significant because of the royal visit to the then Omukama of Tooro. At this site there are two prominent monuments, a round hut/shelter commonly known as a Banda which stands at the spot where the Queen addressed the subjects of the Omukama of Tooro. The second monument is a plaque that shows the route of Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to the park in 1954.

The King, the Queen and the family and part of his cabinet headed by the Right Honorable Prime Minister that accompanied him, were oriented to the royal visit 60 years ago using the plaque The king's visit provided a perfect opportunity to retrace the footsteps of a fellow royal. The King was briefed about the plans to develop a northern gate way to the Mweya Peninsular via this royal site.

The opportunities to provide services especially quick foods and coffee, internet services, sale of crafts made by local communities and cultural performances to entertain visitors. UWA has partnered with Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) to provide services and link us to communities to participate in economic activities especially in tourism The King did a sight seeing drive along the crater track. Since he is the second royal to officially use this track, in the recent memory, we have proposed it to be renamed the royal track.

We noted a good browse for the giraffes. The graceful animals existed in this place place till 1940s before they were wiped out by rinderpest. Their reintroduction will add value to the scenic drive experience. The drive was rewarding. The King watched the forested crater, grassland crater and Lake Kitagata crater among the 72 craters in the park. All these features were fascinating. The track was motorable and dusty due to the onset of dry season The King had royal lunch specially arranged in the conference room in Mweya Safari Lodge.

The conference room was the ideal choice because of the set up of the royal lunch and cultural norms entailed The King was oriented at the VIC to the park physiography, biodiversity, visitor facilities and visitor activities. The King thereafter inspected the self catering units, the non - self contained rooms of lower camp and the self contained mid stream accommodation facilities yet to be commissioned.

The King also visited Tembo restaurant. The inspection was geared to providing information about the low budget and medium stream accommodation facilities and restaurant services tailored to suit the domestic market The King could not leave the park without taking a memorable launch ride on the Kazinga channel which is a highlight of the visit of every visitor to the park. It was a rewarding experience. The King made a rare sighting of a leopard camouflaged on the bank of Kazinga channel during the journey one marathon ride due to time constraints The visit of the king was crowned by a free interaction with tourists who had just also returned from a similar cruise The Right Honourable Prime Minister assured park management and the tourists of the commitment of the kingdom to educate the subjects of the King on values of conservation and promote domestic tourism It was an Honour and a great pleasure to host the Royal Majesty and his family and his Cabinet. The King promised to visit the park regularly.

  Nelson Guma, the Conservation Area Manager, conveyed the gratitude of the ED for the royal visit to the park, UWA's commitment to work with the kingdom to sensitize communities on conservation, protect the environment and promote culture as an innovate approach to protect biodiversity and wished the King, his family, cabinet and the subjects a prosperous New Year. The King and Entourage left the park at 7 pm.

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