Direct Regional Flights To Uganda’s National Parks To Begin

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Aerolink Uganda

Uganda is yet to see regional flights to Uganda’s national parks! Tourists will be able to fly directly into Uganda’s National Parks from within the region without necessarily needing to first clear with the immigration office at the country’s only international airport in Entebbe.

This move, if approved by the Ugandan Ministry of Internal Affairs and the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, would see tourists clearing immigration on arrival directly to the airfields in the national parks. This follows the enactment of a single-entry tourist visa for the three nations of Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, the East African Tourist Visa which costs only US$100 but grants a tourist seamless access to the 3 tourism rich countries.

But what’s the good in this?

Liberalization or loosening of any country’s airspace has its risks and the proponents of closed airspaces will quickly step forward to present a highlight of the possible risks and challenges like the foreseen potential threats of terrorism by guerillas who may fly into the country in the guise of tourists. In other parts of the world, nations have preferred closed airspaces in a bid to protect their ailing local airlines.

But this shouldn’t be the case for Uganda. The regional flights into the national parks from within the region can be regulated in a special way to confirm that they are strictly tourism flights, and I would think that these flights wouldn’t have the kind of impact that the actual (huge) passenger planes would have if they were granted direct access to the parks. In my view we are really looking at the smaller aircrafts and private jets owned by “billionaires on safari” in Africa. Uganda is actually quite late for this.

This brings a whole new feel to the African safari and possibly a sweet ride towards the desired goal of seamless travel in East Africa and marketing East Africa as a single tourist destination.

It has been operational in the East African region, but still quite limited. I think the best example is the connection between Serengeti National Park and Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport.

The ultimate convenience of flying directly from Kigali to the plains of Serengeti National Park, saving precious time and money of the previous days when tourists had to go through a number of airports to get from Rwanda to one of Africa’s largest and most visited National Parks, Serengeti.

The flight now leaves Kigali early in the morning, so tourists need not to stress about breakfast; is it not better to leave the land of  a thousand hills (Rwanda) to enjoy scrambled eggs and bacon at your lodge in the plush plains of the Serengeti. Now that level of convenience is what some tourists look for (it’s not really the cost in monetary terms)… ease on safari, it’s a holiday they are looking for at the end of the day, not driving or aeroplane time!

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