Australia and New Zealand Government Advisories are simply wrong – out of touch with the reality in Uganda
Australia and Uganda – in their travel recommendations to and in Uganda are out of touch with what has gone on inside of Uganda – Oddly – the governments who are giving the wrong advice do not have an embassy inside of Uganda.
New Zealand “There is extreme risk to your security in the south-western border area shared with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (including the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park), due to banditry and cross-border attacks by rebel groups and we advise against all travel to this area.”
Australia: “We strongly advise you not to travel to Uganda’s far south-west borders with the DRC, including the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Mgahinga Gorilla Park.”
Reality: There have been no incidents with tourists in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla Park – the last incident occurred in 1999 – since that time the Ugandan Army, Police, Park Rangers and now Tourist Police have done everything possible to protect tourists. I have never never had a client tell us that they did not feel safe. Fortunately – countless of Australians and New Zealanders have and are ignoring the recommendations of two ill-informed countries without any consulate or embassy presence in Uganda. Uganda allows 80 tourists a day to track gorillas – – none of those tourists have been hurt in the past – in fact the US Government (USAID) provided a lot of money for a lodge just near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. What do the Americans know that New Zealand and Australia do not? For one thing – they have an embassy here in Uganda.
New Zealand and Australia do not recommend visiting Murchison Falls Park
New Zealand: There is extreme risk to your security in north-western Uganda (Nebbi, Arua, Yumbe, Moyo, Adjumani, Gulu, Apac, Lira, Kitgum and Pader districts) and areas bordering Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including Lake Albert and Murchison Falls National Park, and we advise against all travel to these areas. Banditry and attacks and abductions by rebel groups, including the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), pose a significant risk to your safety in these areas.
Australia: We strongly advise you not to travel to northern Uganda (particularly the Nebbi, Arua, Moyo, Yumbe, Adjumani, Apac, Gulu, Kitgum, Lira and Pader districts) and areas bordering Sudan and the DRC (including Lake Albert and Murchison Falls National Park) because of the serious risk of attacks and abductions by rebel groups and the risk of banditry in these areas.
The Ugandan Government periodically closes tourist areas considered to be at risk of rebel activity. You should seek local advice about the current situation prior to travel.
Reality: Murchison Falls is a safe travel area – weekly we take clients, including large groups to Murchison Falls – in recent a 5 star resort – Chobe Safari Lodge spent millions of dollars in building one of the finest safari lodges in Uganda. Logic – would an investor spend millions in a high risk area – if it could hurt their investment?
There have been no incidents within Murchison Falls National Park – since June 2006 – the LRA has not operated inside of Uganda – no Ugandans have been abducted since that time, there have been no security problems in Murchison Falls Park since that time. New Zealand and Australia – once again are wrong and out of touch.
Do not take my word – read local news accounts about incidents that tourists encountered in Uganda – the government of Uganda has not closed any tourism areas due to rebel activities-there have been no rebel activities in Uganda.
Should there by any problems – we will publish them here…from Kampala…jon
“If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.” John Hemingway, African Journeys