The metropolitan city of Kampala, recently named Safest City in the World by Lonely Planet Magazine, has aspirations to become a tourism hub.
The Ugandan capital gets more than two million visitors a year and can emulate Nairobi, Cape Town, or Cairo as a place for tourists, says Ambrose Atwooko, deputy Director Education at the Kampala Capital City Authority.
Kampala is safe, has a clean image and a low cost of living, Atwooko said in a report in All Africa.
But there’s a few things Uganda must do before Kampala can boost tourism, says Herbert Byaruhanga, the President of the Uganda Tourism Association.
Kampala must improve city sanitation and drainage, go green, reduce potholes, improve attitudes of Kampala residents towards tourists and develop policies to embrace tourism, he said.
Tourist advisories, trained guides and drivers, road signs, cleanliness, awareness and an aquarium would be help make Kampala competitive, Byaruhanga said in the report.
The city should encourage pedestrians and bus transportation to mitigate negative impacts of boda bodas (motorcycle taxis) and overcrowding, said Andrew Sseguya, executive director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
“If Kampala is to be turned into a tourism city, there should be order. There is no reason why boda bodas should still be in the city; they should be thrown out to embrace a better transport system,” Sseguya said.
Kampala counts among its tourist attractions Uganda Museum, National Theatre, the burnt Kasubi Tombs, Lubiri Kings Palace and Lake, Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Independence Monument, Forest Park, Batwa Cultural Heritage, Discreet Art gallery, Gadaffi National Mosque and Namirembe and Rubaga Cathedrals.
Kampala’s nightlife, entertainment, music and performances could attract commuters from neighboring Rwanda and Kenya with the right marketing, said Cuthbert Baguma, executive director of the Uganda Tourism.
He also believes the martyr’s trail at Namugongo in Kira Municipality could be further promoted for religious and faith-based tourism.
“There are also strong birding opportunities for keen birders within our city,” he said in the All Africa report.