18 October 2017

Uganda: Britain Lifts Travel Restrictions On Uganda

British citizens are now free to travel without any restriction to any part of Uganda according to a latest travel advisory by their government.

The clearance is contained in a foreign travel advisory by the UK government which is contained in a statement on the government's Foreign and Commonwealth office website.

"The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) no longer advises against all but essential travel to the Karamoja region of north-eastern Uganda," the statement reads in part.

"If you are travelling in this part of Uganda, you should be aware that inter-communal violence and occasional attacks on security forces do happen; foreigners are not usually the target of violence but you should remain vigilant and exercise caution."

Karamoja is home to Kidepo Valley National park which has been rated by CNN among other intentional organisations as one of the most visited parks in 2017.

The advisory further says ,although there have been a number of incidents of violent clashes in western Uganda in recent years, including the Kasese clashes in November last year, in which over 100 people were killed, "there has been no suggestion that tourists or foreign nationals have specifically been targeted in these incidents."

"But if you plan to visit these areas, which are close to popular tourist destinations including Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Kibale National Parks, you should remain vigilant, exercise caution, avoid crowds and follow local media for updates on the current situation."

For their own security and road safety, the UK citizens are advised to "avoid travel by road outside major towns at night, except between Kampala and the airport at Entebbe."

The advisory also notes that demonstrations and rallies have been taking place in various locations in Uganda including Kampala since 21 September 2017, in connection with the parliamentary debate on constitutional amendments with further demonstrations and rallies possible.

The advisory, however, calls for vigilance and the need to avoid crowds and public demonstrations.

"If you find yourself caught up in a political demonstration, remain calm and try to move away from the area by the safest possible route," the advisory says.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Tourism, Ms Doreen Katusiime described the news as a positive development which will see numbers of tourists from UK increase Uganda's rising visibility.

"Now we can expect the people coming in from the UK coming freely without any hindrance. As you know, we already raised our visibility in the UK through PR and Market destination representatives but we think that this is a very good development for us as a tourism sector," Ms Katusiime said.

Around 15,000 British nationals visit Uganda every year.

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