The African country of Uganda plans to boost tourism in national parks through improved infrastructure. Expanded bush airfields are supposed to help.
Uganda is generally regarded as a safe travel destination but remains one of the world's poorest countries. The primary source of income for Uganda's population of roughly 42 million people is agriculture, and over 80 percent of the population is engaged in this industry.
However, tourism will become increasingly central if the government has its way. One of the most important attractions in Uganda are the mountain gorillas and the national parks. In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park alone, there live 36 groups of endangered mountain gorillas. Uganda has ten national parks with the highest primate population in Africa.
About 1.5 million visitors visit the country annually, contributing 7.7 percent to the country's gross domestic product. The government has expanded four airfields in the country's most famous national parks to further boost tourism. In the future, they are supposed to accommodate more international travelers.
Specifically, the Kasese, Kidepo, Pakuba, and Kisoro runways will be asphalted. In addition, the customs and immigration infrastructure will also be created so that international tourists can enter the four airports. So far, this is only possible via the international airport in Entebbe, home of Uganda Airlines.
Tom Butiime, Uganda's Minister of Tourism, said that this move would allow tourists to fly directly to these destinations on their private jets. So far, the airfields are bush. The slopes are between 1500 and 1800 meters long and not paved.