Uganda, Rwanda Tourism Challenges

Tourism is among sectors from which Uganda and Rwanda earn a lot of foreign exchange. Tourism involves moving with tourists from one place to another with the aim of adventuring or exploring. Uganda and Rwanda are neighbors who base on tourism as their major source of foreign exchange. However; a lot of challenges are encountered as discussed below;

Poaching of wild animals and birds has reduced their number yet are among the major interests of the tourists. Tourists prefer paying their money and see a variety of stock of wild animals. Poaching is illegal and against Uganda and Rwanda laws thus measures have been put in place to control the habit of illegal hunting of animals.

To control poaching, the governments of both countries have tried their best to sensitize the local communities around National parks about the importance of tourism in their area. In such a way, they get employed in tourism sectors such as hotels/lodges, and ex-poachers are now employed as park rangers and porters.

Pests and disease which attack and kill animals and birds also reduce the number of wild game. Wild animals are infected with diseases that also attack people and they include cold, cough, and other airborne diseases.

Natural calamities like floods, strong winds, landslides among others are not only killing wild games but also tourists themselves.

Rwanda is having few National parks compared to her neighbors; Tanzania, Kenya & Uganda. With only three National parks (Akagera National park, Volcanoes national park, and Nyungwe Forest national park), Rwanda cannot compete favorably with her neighbors.

Stiff competition among tour companies, competition among different countries with similar wild games also but the industry on pressure.

In tourism industries, there are cases of fraud among tour operators especially those based on the internet. Some tour operators designs website with the purposes of stealing money from their clients and thereafter, they delete accounts and design new ones to kill evidence and to avoid being tracked.

Incompetent tour operators: some tour operators are half-backed and cannot vivid guidance to their clients which causes misunderstanding while on the trip. It should be noted that clients save their money for some time to be able to tourist destinations of their dreams but unfortunately, some are instead disappointed.

Poor accommodation– In Uganda and Rwanda, some lodges and Hotels do not meet the standards to accommodate international visitors. Some provide poor services to clients –therefore, we are hereby encouraging our clients always to use a reputable tour company to customize their safaris to avoid regret. We tour operators who know Lodges and Hotels which provide good and bad services.

Bad roads like the road which connects Queen Elizabeth National park and Bwindi Impenetrable forest Ishasha road, the road going to Kidepo Valley National Park become impassable in the rainy season. This is a strong 4×4 car is highly recommended. Fortunately, there are many car rental companies in Uganda with strong 4×4 cars such as Land Cruiser, Nissan, Rav4, and Land Rovers.

Insecurity in some parts of Uganda and Rwanda scares. Tourists want to visit stable countries and when if they realize any insecurity, they simply cancel their trips and go to another nation.

Limited funds: The Ugandan and Rwandan governments are not fully funding their tourism sectors and yet the sectors are not yet self-reliant. The government claims that the funds to fully facilitate the sectors are not yet available and the effect limits appropriate marketing hence low output.

Hostile tribes like the Karamajongs in Uganda, the Twa in Rwanda, and so on. Such people hate foreigners and not willing to help or visit their areas. However, with the sensitization of local communities, some of them now welcome tourists in their areas.

Insufficient marketing of the tourism sector – it should be noted that marketing is very expensive because it involves going to exhibitions, internet marketing and so on.

Safari trips are expensive which limits domestic tourism. In Uganda, a gorilla permit is sold UGX 250,000 to a Ugandan and in Rwanda, it now costs US$1500 which is expensive to citizens.