In August this year, we (tour operators) were dealt with a heavy blow when it was confirmed that 8 people from one family who had earlier died of a “mysterious illness “, had died of the deadly hemorrhagic fever called Ebola.
To make matters worse, it was announced that it was in Kibaale district, a thing that brought a lot of problems internationally and threatened to finish off our tourism since many people (especially those outside Uganda) thought that it was in Kibaale National Park, a site for Chimpanzee tracking here in Uganda.
Many clients who had confirmed their bookings even went further to ask for cancellations and then a refund of their money since they deemed it unsafe to travel to Uganda.
To even complicate issues further,it is a fact that a Uganda Safari is always incomplete without a gorilla tracking activity in Bwindi and a Chimpanzee tracking experience in Kibaale National Park. so many potential clients found it unnecessary to come to Uganda, since they were sure that they were not travelling to Kibaale National Park.
However,our Uganda Wildlife Public Relations Team, The Public Relations Team at Uganda Tourism Board did much to explain to these people using different channels and we did much to help explain to our clients and we managed to hold on to the already booked Safaris but since then, we have experienced an unending low season and some companies are threatened with closure since they cant break even.
Even during the recent pilgrimage to Mecca, the Ugandan team was banned from making the Hijja by the Saudi Arabian government since Uganda was under a serious Ebola threat.
Three weeks after the country was declared Ebola free, Marburg was also reported in Kabale, 400 Kilometers from Kampala, and just 35 Kilometers from Bwindi National Park and 20 from Mgahinga National park. That prolonged the problem since it has the same symptoms like Ebola and it is also very lethal and now, Ebola has been reported in Luweero, and just a few miles from Kampala and to make matters worse, even Marburg is still at large…
Please, God, you need to intervene..The Pearl of Africa seriously needs you!!!!