Of recent, Uganda has been extremely successful in fostering domestic tourism, especially during the covid-19 period, and is now one of the leading domestic tourism markets in the East Africa. Though when it comes to the tourism sector, most tourists know Uganda for its remarkable national game parks and reserves that inhabit several wildlife species, including so many tourists’ favorites like the endangered mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and Africa ‘’Big Five’’, the country has so many to offer besides that.
We understand most local people can’t manage some safaris (like the gorilla and chimpanzee safaris) – as they’re a bit expensive since they include buying permits for trekking the aforementioned apes but there are really very many other mesmerizing attractions that locals can visit in their own country at a fair and affordable price.
There is a lot of hidden treasures in Uganda like cultural heritage that is often overlooked or ignored with its commercialized industry and so many touristy cities like Kampala and Jinja, as well as touristy islands like the Ssese islands and Buvuma Islands – where locals can go without paying a hefty of money.
Domestic tourism is a BIG business in some countries, bringing in significant revenue for the economy of the local area and nationwide. In this article, I will explain what domestic tourism is all about in Uganda and why it is important and necessary, anyway. I will also give some examples of some of the biggest domestic tourism destinations in the country, which locals can visit without spending much even.
What is domestic tourism or domestic tours?
A domestic tour or domestic tourism can be described as an act of travelling for business or leisure within one’s home country. In actual sense, a person must be away from their usual place of residence (but still in their home country) for at least one night to qualify as a domestic tourist.
Travelling a few miles away from your home, you don’t expect to be classed as a ‘tourist’ right? But in fact, you often will be classed as a tourist- a domestic tourist! Generally, domestic tourists are anyone who undertakes travel activities in their own country of residence, i.e. living in Kampala and travelling to Jinja or Kalangala (Ssese Islands) for the day (an overnight stay) or even more.
In domestic tourism, people travel outside their normal domicile to certain other areas within the country as contrasted with travelling outside the boundaries of the country as in international tourism. Hilariously, so many people live and have lived in Uganda for most of their lives, but they have even never actually visited any of the country’s remarkable attractions! You might find someone living in Jinja but he/she has never even visited the famous source of the Nile in their native city even, really shaming…!!!
Why is domestic tourism important?
Countries rely on domestic tourism as a tool to reduce poverty, improve infrastructure, generate employment, and most importantly to drive economic growth. The activities of domestic tourists create economic importance as the money spent on domestic tourism feeds back into that particular country’s economy; providing itself with a more viable and prosperous economy.
Popular and cheap destinations ideal for domestic tours:
Most people in Uganda fail to go for domestic tourism or visiting some of the country’s beautiful gems simply because they fear to spend a hefty amount of money, which many don’t have even. However, good news is that there are so many fantastic tourist destinations in the country ideal for domestic tours and at a very cheap price.
The most popular cheap travel attractions for domestic tourism in Uganda include: the source of the Nile in Jinja, Zoo (UWEC – Uganda Wildlife Education Centre) in Entebbe-Kampala, zip lining in Mabira Forest, relaxing at the paradisiacal Lake Bunyonyi, Kabaka Lake in Kampala, the paradisiacal Ssese Islands in Kalangala, Buvuma Islands, Kasubi Royal Tombs, the Uganda Martyrs Shrines in Namugongo, Uganda Museum, ssezibwa falls, Uganda National Mosque (Gaddafi Mosque), and so many others. Most of the attractions can best be explored during your Kampala City Tours.
Meanwhile, you can also take a domestic tour in the wilderness of Lake Mburo National Park, the nearest/closest national game park to the capital of the country – Kampala; you can definitely visit the Park on your Kampala city tour. The Park consists of so many wildlife species including the largest number of zebras in the country, common elands, giraffes, crocodiles, cape buffaloes, hippos, savannah elephants, and so many others.
Uganda is also home to some of the most beautiful natural and cultural heritage sites in the world, not only making it a popular destination for international tourists, but also for domestic tourists; these includes the Nyero Rock Paintings in Kumi – eastern Uganda, among others.
Uganda is such a beautiful country, with so much to offer! It has certainly been one of the favorite countries to travel. It is no surprise to see that the domestic tourism industry in Uganda is so significant, given the diversity of attractions.
Uganda is a growing destination for domestic tourism. Uganda is home to abundant wildlife and nature reserves sites that attract domestic tourism. Once in a while, why not to visit the country’s most remarkable national game parks that make it a popular tourist destination world-wide? Local citizens always have bigger discounts than the international tourists, for example; a gorilla permit for a local citizen costs Ugx 250,000 well as for international tourists it costs US$ 700 – that is approximately 2.6 Uganda Millions.
Park entrance fees for a local Ugandan (in the savannah parks) are UGX 20,000 well as for an international tourist is US$ 40, approximately UGX 150,000. Therefore as a local citizen, you should take some time, once in a while, and visit these remarkable national parks and spot some of the big game that lure a mammoth number of international tourists in the country.
It’s never expensive touring your native country, as many have it in mind (that it’s too expensive). The best national parks to visit on your domestic tour are Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo Valley, and Lake Mburo National Parks. In need of spending time with our closest relatives (mountain gorillas), then Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks are the best option. Well as, Kibale Forest National Park is indisputably the best one for chimpanzee safaris.
Domestic tours: Conclusion
It is of great importance for one to tour his/her own country as this is not only a fun-filled experience in one’s own country but also a huge economic contributor in many destinations, especially in countries like Uganda where the local people do not often have the cash to travel internationally. Uganda has so much to take pleasure in, in that you don’t need to travel to the United States or anywhere to have a lifetime delight in life.
Where to stay on your domestic tour:
The accommodation sector is central to the travel and hospitality industry, because people travelling to different areas need somewhere to stay, rest, sleep and unwind. In fact, by many definitions, a tourist is only classed as such if their stay exceeds 24 hours and they use some form of overnight accommodation. Within this subsection, there are a number of different components, ranging from the hotel industry to camping.
Accommodations usually range from budget, mid-range to luxury – it will depend on what you are capable of. Hotels and lodges are the most obvious and popular form of accommodation for tourists and the hotel industry is inextricably linked to the tourism industry. Put simply, hotels provide paid lodgings for guests. With that being said, aside from beds and other essential facilities, the services they provide can vary quite drastically.
Meanwhile, some visitors (tourists) prefer camping. Camping is the act of staying outdoors overnight, in a tent or similar type of shelter. While tourists may opt to camp in public areas, commercial camp sites are extremely popular and often more convenient. These commercial sites will typically charge for access, but will also provide additional facilities or utilities.
For any local personnel interested in travelling we are always at your disposal just send as your inquiry we are always at your disposal.