BY DAVID MAFABI
Uganda’s Kidepo Valley National Park has been nominated under the category of Africa’s Leading National Park 2022, in the World Travel Awards set for October 15.
The voting, which was done through the World Travel Awards website, closed last month, and found out that it has been a top tourist destination for years now because of its stunning scenery and wildlife.
The event will take place at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya on 15 October.
Other parks nominated for the same award include Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana, Etosha National Park in Namibia, Kruger National Park in South Africa, Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
This is the third time Kidepo National Park is being recognised as the best destination for tourists in less than a decade having been recognised as the best destination as in 2013, Kidepo National Park was listed Africa’s third in importance by CNN Travel, a US publication of Cable News Network and later in 2015, out of 138 parks in the major safari countries included in the study; parks known for classic wildlife viewing safaris, Kidepo valley national park was ranked 14th best national park in Africa by the Netherlands based SafariBooking.com, an online market place for African safaris that attracted over 3,000 reviews from safari adventurists and industry experts.
And off the beaten track, Kidepo National Park is nestled among the rugged hills and valleys of northern Uganda. It’s a place so hidden away its beauty has mostly gone unnoticed — until now.
Mr Simplicious Gessa, the senior public relations officer of the Uganda Tourism Board, said the news is exciting since the tourism industry is just coming out of the Covid-19 slump.
“It stamps our country as a signature destination due to its unique culture and natural attraction to safaris. Little wonder, we are called the pearl of Africa,” Mr Gessa said in an interview with this Online platform.
He urged Ugandans to visit the various national parks in the country and support the tourism industry for the good of our nation.
“Some of our local people want to travel to Dubai, Kenya, among other tourism destinations, instead of starting with touring our country,” Mr Gesa said.
In the same awards, Uganda is nominated in the category “Africa’s Leading Destination” alongside Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania.
The World Travel Awards serve to acknowledge, reward, and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.
Uganda is a multicultural country in East Africa whose diverse landscape spans from the beautiful snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains to the vast Lake Victoria, and the Source of the River Nile.
The former Chief Warden [Now RDT] Mr Johnson Masereka says: “Kidepo Valley National Park has uniqueness; you may find all the species you are looking for as a tourist in only this park in a single journey. This to me is the best of Uganda.”
About Kidepo Valley National Park
Gazetted in 1962, Kidepo is the third largest national park in the country located at the tip where Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan borders meet in Kaabong District.
The Park occupies about 1,442 square kilometers in the Karamoja Sub-region in northeast Uganda and is home to more than 77 species of mammals and more than 475 species of birds.
The heart of Kidepo Valley National Park, Narus is a permanent wetland and has a troubled past having been a tribal war ground in the 1980s and 90’s that drove away wildlife populations, but the area is now bouncing back as animals begin to thrive once again.
The 540-square-mile park contains diverse landscapes, from lush mountain ranges to vast plains, and is home to almost 500 bird species and 77 different mammals.
Roam this savannah, and you will also see an impressive collection of fauna including ostriches, hartebeest, and giraffes. Ends