Finally, the first stone was laid on the long planned gorilla festival in Uganda. Mountain gorillas are the iconic tourism products of Uganda attracting the biggest number of tourists yet they have not been celebrated in any away. An act that could even further grab the attention of more travelers.
Earlier this year, the state minister of Tourism; Minister Godfrey Kiwanda unsealed the gorilla festival idea and scheduled to 6th to 8th of October this year at the base of the Virunga mountain ranges in Kisoro district.
Festivals being ultimate holidays furnishing lifetime experiences wrapped into a few days, with activities that open people’s minds through music, art, poetry and several performances, are a chief marketing tool in tourism creating awareness to both the locals and international travelers.
The Uganda gorilla festival is projected to be one of the best ways to tell the world that the country has the biggest number of gorillas in the world making it the prime destination for gorilla trekking safaris in Africa at the lowest possible rates.
On the report from Minister Kiwanda, the gorilla festival is to furnish great opportunities for all Ugandans especially the ones staying in the areas close to the gorilla homes to understand and appreciate the worth of conserving these critically endangered forest giants.
The festival is a three day full package of a series of different events and gorilla naming is one of them. This event is aimed at hyping the baby gorilla naming practice so as to increase the visibility of gorilla tours in Uganda across the world.
According to the Executive Director of the Uganda Tourism Board, an obliged body for marketing destination Uganda, Mr. Asimwe Stephen, “ The festival is not just about gorillas. It’s about the Batwa experience in Bwindi, the climbing lions, Mgahinga and Bwindi national parks, Mount Muhabura and Lake Bunyonyi.”
Another major activity to be done during the festival is cycling spear headed by Ultimate Cycling Uganda and Uganda Cycling Federation, to recognize it as the most environmental friendly means of transport as conserving the natural environment is the main goal for the whole nation to ensure sustainability of gorillas and other wildlife in Uganda.
Since the festival is to also include the locals in the tourism value chain, there is no better way to bring both the tourists and locals together other than cycling.
The festival will involve bamboo tree planting by every rider and well-wishers. The bamboo trees will benefit both the gorillas for feeding and the community for craft making, firewood, house construction and many others.
It is anticipated to gather together a big number of tour operators, both local and international, different dignitaries, and tourism organizations as well as the local people. Participants will be required to pay an admission fee of about 55 USD catering for transport from Kampala, activities and meals. For accommodation, attendees are to pay an extra fee.
Remember the Uganda gorilla festival is more of a bench mark from Rwanda’s annual gorilla naming ceremony dubbed Kwita-Izina that will be held in September this year. Kwita-Izina festival attracts more than 200000 both nationals and from across the world, almost one of the most celebrated festivals in Rwanda.
Uganda is a home to more than 450 mountain gorillas, and almost half of the world’s remaining population of these endangered apes dwell here. This presents lifetime experiences to travelers on gorilla safaris in Uganda.