The New Year wouldn’t have dawned any better for the tourism fraternity in East Africa with the resolution of issuing a joint tourism visa. East African community membership states Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya have reached an agreement of issuing one tourism visa for tourist looking to do cross boarder touristic activities.
This is a remarkable development in the industry bearing in mind the unique features and activities that are exclusive to some of the member countries. Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya are part of the vastly endowed east African region with a wide variety of tourism opportunities ranging from flora, fauna, land forms, historical sites, culture and people. The region also boasts globally of certain exclusive features which is a comparative advantage over many other touristic regions around the world. Rwanda and Uganda are two of only three countries in the world where endangered mountain gorillas can be found.
Rwanda is fondly referred to as the land of a thousand hills due to its scenic mountainous and ever-green relief. It is also home for the largest volcanic Crater Lake in Africa, Lake Kivu where many touristic activities can be found. Historical sites like genocide museums and the source of the Nile are also key attractions in Rwanda. In summary, touristic activities that can be carried out in Rwanda include: gorilla trekking in Parc De Volcanoes- Virunga, golden monkey trekking, chimpanzee trekking, Nyungwe forest canopy walk, birding safaris, community visits, genocide museum visits, boat rides on Lake Kivu, visiting Dian Fossey’s grave and taking nature walks.
Kenya boasts of the most national parks and game reserves amongst the three nations. It has much more game, birds and relief diversity than the other countries. The parks offer ideal setting and viewing of animals during game drives. The most famous wild animals in Kenya are the wildebeests and the antelopes whose periodic migrations in the Masai Mara in search of fresh pastures and water have become a fascinating tourism attraction. The animals endure harsh droughts over long distances crossing fatal crocodile infested rivers and bearing the wrath of numerous prowling predators to get to their destinations. Kenya having a coastline also provides for activities at the coast of the Indian Ocean such as surfing and beaching.
Uganda is briefly described as “Africa compressed in one country” (Lonely Planet, 2013). It has the most impressive nature which includes variety of fauna and flora, landforms (crater lakes, mountains Rwenzori and Elgon, River Nile, the Great rift valley, impressive Murchison waterfalls), cultures, historical sites and people. Uganda is home for 50% of all birds in Africa and more than 15 primate species including endangered mountain gorillas and man’s closest relatives: chimpanzees. With excellent accommodation facilities in the best wilderness locations, Uganda offers a perfect holiday and touristic destination.
With the joint East African tourism visa, it is now possible to compress all the above listed activities into one awesome adventure across a region whose natural beauty is uncontested. It will now be cheaper and time saving for tourists to tour east Africa as a block. The east Africa tour permit sells for $100 and is valid for 90 days in all the three partner countries. The cost is $30 less the cumulative amount of tourism visas in individual countries.
The innovation is predicted to open up regional borders for trans-nation tourism as well as investments in the sector. The arrangement will also widen the market scope for tourism services in the region where by tour operators will now be able to develop safari itineraries stretching over the entire region. It will also directly boost other service providers such as airlines, couriers, and hospitality and entertainment partners.
Speke Uganda holidays is more than ready to tap on the vast tour opportunities opened up by this development. It is always our pride to offer quality services for we know holidays in this region etch deeper into the memories of our clients.
Welcome to the natural allure of East Africa!