Welcome to the 3rd Edition of the Annual Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards – Uganda Safari News
Uganda tourism has grown from leap to leap over the past 3 decades and as of today Uganda is internationally recognized by different tourism critics as an Africa safari destination that should never miss on your travel list would wish to make an Africa safari tour.
To make this point clearer, let make take on a statistical journey about the performance of Uganda’s tourism industry.
This sector has been one of the few business sectors in the land that has realized leap after leap in terms of growth and its no wonder that as of today its the leading forex earner for the dear motherland as it is projected to generate close to USD 2 billion by 2020. Back in 2008, Uganda could only collect 580 million USD.
In the financial year of 2010/2011 the tourism revenue earnings increased to 594m USD, 2012-13 financial year realized another leap to 805m USD, and the 2013-2014 financial year saw the country’s revenues from tourism cross the 1 million USD mark as it collected 1.003million USD form tourism.
As of 2016/2017, the number of tourists visiting Uganda had also crossed the 1 million mark with 1.4 million tourists both foreign and domestic tourists making a Uganda safari to the various Uganda wildlife safari destinations of the country.
These managed to bring a combined revenue of about 1.4 billion USD and this makes tourism the country’s biggest forex earner also directly contributing 2.9% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product and 7.3% of the country’s GDP indirectly.
This however hasn’t come easy for the tourism but rather through strategic implementations of well thought out plans that have been carefully crafted by both local and foreign tourism experts in order to see Uganda experience a meteoric rise in its tourism earnings.
However behind all these glorious numbers, we have just reviewed is the presence of numerous stakeholders in the tourism industry such as government agencies like Uganda tourism board, Uganda wildlife authority, private institutions and companies like hotels and safari lodges, tour operating companies, safari guides who have worked relentlessly hard for the past few decades with one strategic goal in mind which is to do everything they can possibly do in order to propel this industry to greater heights.
With all these numerous stakeholders playing a pivotal role in transforming the face of destination Uganda, its only right to recognize their work and also try to motivate these entities to do even do more. Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards & Exhibition were initiated in 2015 for this very purpose.
What are Ekkula PAT Awards?
According to their website (Ekkula PAT Awards), Ekkula PAT Awards and Exhibition is an annual activity that Researches, Nominates, Exhibits, Recognises and Awards those that selflessly put Uganda’s tourism to admirable heights. These will include both Ugandans and non-Ugandans.
The idea of Exhibiting, Recognising and hence Awarding those that selflessly serve for the good of this Industry was birthed from a number of reasons as stipulated below,
- Need for Motivation to key players both known and Unsung heroes like investors, tour guides, tour and travel companies, photographers among others.
- Having a sense of unity as stakeholders meet to cheer up as we celebrate the cream of the cream in the Pearl of Africa and East Africa’s Tourism industry.
- The presence of other Tourism Awards like World Tourism Awards, African Diaspora World Tourism Awards and Expo, Indaba Travel Awards of South Africa among others motivated us to come up with Ekkula PAT Awards & Exhibition, which is to happen for the 3rd time in Uganda and so believed to inspire others.
- From these reasons, adequate research has been made to conduct these Exhibitions and Awards with collaboration and guidance from the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities and its Agencies.
How are Nominations Done?
The awarding committee selects a team of experts that do carry out an online survey under the guidance of the Ministry of tourism Wildlife and Antiquities about the operations of various tourism entities and how they are reviewed by their customers.
After the survey, a report is compelled and submitted to a panel of judges who will verify the findings thereafter informing the general public about the nominated entities and individuals in various categories for online voting which is then conducted by visiting the award’s website or through the sms platforms. The online votes gathered by each nominee account for 50 % then the remaining 50% is decided by the judges
What do the judges base on while awarding?
Judges base their verdict on the following;
- If the facility/Stakeholder promotes Uganda as a top tourist destination alongside his/her/its private facility or services.
- The Stakeholder’s/Facility’s level of service to Tourists.
- How the facility/stakeholder gives back to the community.
- How the facility/stakeholder impacts the community positively.
- Does the stakeholder/facility promote domestic tourism as much as international tourism?
- Ethics and professionalism exhibited by the facility/Stakeholder.
- Feedback and reviews from visitors from notable travel websites like trip advisor among others.
What does Uganda have to offer to you?
Uganda has a thing for captivating every person that makes an Africa safari to this country given its spectacular diverse attractions that range from the beautiful landscape that includes both the great and lesser apes. Uganda is normally referred to home of the primates alongside the pearl of Africa name which many of us call it by. Uganda is home to the elusive mountain gorillas which are found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
When you make your Uganda safari to this pearl of Africa, you will come to realize that mountain gorillas are just a part of what really Uganda has to offer.
Uganda still has more attractions your will encounter in case you decide to make a Uganda wildlife tour.
After a really spectacular encounter with the gorillas, Uganda gives you an opportunity to meet another great ape species and this is the chimpanzee.
If you are a person with a big appetite for scaling mountains, Uganda offers you the best opportunity to engage in an epic hiking experience with minimal crowds.
Uganda is home to 2 towering mountains such as Rwenzori mountain in Mountain Rwenzori National Park which is the 3rd highest mountain on the African continent with an elevation of 5109m, Mountain Elgon at 4321m above sea level, 3 of the 8 Virunga ranges found in Uganda, the forever intriguing Kigezi highlands will excite you on your Uganda safari to Kabale district.
Birds, when you speak of birds in Africa, Uganda should be your first priority because a Uganda birding safari is to any of the numerous birding safari destinations in Uganda such as Semuliki National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidpeo Valley National Park and Kibale National Park is a totally unique experience that gives you an opportunity to encounter several of the 1070 bird species that call Dear Uganda home.
This makes Uganda home to over 50% of all the bird species that are found on the African continent. Wild mammals- if you are looking for wild mammals, a Uganda wildlife safari to some of Uganda wildlife safaris destinations such as Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park will give you an encounter with some of the finest African savanna mammals like you have never seen before.
Many of these destinations have 4 or 5 out of the 5 Africa big game which include African bush elephants, cape buffaloes, lions, leopards and rhinos.
On top of these expect to encounter numerous other mammals such as Roth child giraffes, burchell zebras, elands, Jackson hartebeests, topis, and a wide variety antelopes.
You really can’t visit Uganda and don’t make a detour to the Jinja for a Jinja source of the Nile tour.
Home to the source of the Nile where this longest river embarks on its 6650km or 4132km journey to the Mediterranean sea, Jinja town is one of Uganda’s biggest tourism hubs given the various attractions and activities you can engage in while on a Jinja source of the Nile tour.
For anyone interested in Uganda wildlife safaris packages we have got you covered with wide range of packages that are tailored basing on the number of days you have and the destination you would like to visit on your Uganda safari tour.
If you’ve got only a few days, then choose from our short Uganda wildlife safaris which run from 2 days to 5 days such as 2 days Uganda wildlife safari to Murchison falls or 5 days Uganda wildlife safari with chimpanzees and many more.
For those that have got more than 5 days, then I suggest pick from our compressive long Uganda wildlife safaris that run from 6 days to as many as 21 days such as
On top of an epic Uganda safari adventure to many of these savanna parks, you have an opportunity to encounter mountain gorillas.
A Uganda gorilla safari to any of these parks gives you an opportunity to meet any of the 19 gorilla families that have been habituated to give you nothing but the ultimate Uganda gorilla tours experience, you can ever think of.
If you’re interested Uganda gorilla safaris these are available in both short Uganda gorilla safari packages such as 3 days gorilla tours in Bwindi and 4 days Bwindi gorilla tour and wildlife in Lake Mburo.
There are also long Uganda gorilla tours that run from 6 days to as many as 18 days while featuring many other things along the way to the gorillas.
After a magical gorilla tour, you can always visit Lake Bunyonyi Uganda and enjoy the stunning views of this magical lake. A visit to Lake Bunyonyi gives you an opportunity to experience a boat ride on Africa’s second deepest lake.
Rwanda is also another gorilla destination you wouldn’t want to miss out on, hence if you are planning for a Rwanda gorilla safari package, check out some of our Rwanda gorilla tours packages which also come in form of short Rwanda gorilla gorilla safaris for those that have got only a few days in Rwanda but those that have got more days, then Long Rwanda gorilla trekking safari packages will do you good as they also give you a chance to visit other Rwanda safari attractions.
Congo as well is another gorilla destination and we have numerous Congo gorilla safari packages that will take you on a Congo gorilla tour adventure to either Virunga National Park for an encounter with mountain gorillas or Kahuzi Beiga National Park where you will encounter Eastern lowland gorillas.
Besides gorilla safaris and wildlife encounters in Uganda, you can still explore Uganda’s diversity using any of our wide range of day trips that visit other sites that are near the capital city Kampala or Entebbe international airport such as a Mabamba birding day trip to Mabamba island Kampala city tour day tour Jinja day tour and 1 day Ngamba island chimpanzee safari.
Here are some of the best africa safari packages
- 3 days Bwindi gorilla trekking safari
- 3 days gorilla safari to Mgahinga National Park
- 5 days Bwindi gorilla tour & Kibale trek
- 6 days Uganda gorilla & chimpanzee trek
- 7 days chimps & gorilla safari in Uganda
- 10 days Uganda gorilla tour
- 1 day Rwanda gorilla tour
- 2 days Rwanda gorilla safari adventure
- 3 days Rwanda gorilla safari to Volcanoes National Park
- 4 days Rwanda gorilla trekking tour
- 4 days Rwanda Adventure safari
- 5 days Rwanda gorilla tour
- 5 days Rwanda gorilla trekking
- 6 days Rwanda gorilla safari
- 7 days Rwanda gorilla safari
- 8 days Rwanda gorilla safari
- 9 days Rwanda gorilla safari
- 10 days Rwanda amazing gorilla safari
- 3 days Nyiragongo Mountain hiking safari in Congo
- 3 days Congo mountain gorillas
- 3 days Eastern Lowland gorilla safari packages
- 5 days gorilla safari in Congo & Nyiragongo hiking
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