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A City That Wakes Up At Bedtime!

Let’s talk about a city in East Africa that never sleeps, let’s talk about the lively people and the vibrant energy. Let’s talk about the Crazy Crazy daily nightlife in the city of the glorious Pearl of Africa, Kampala. One might ask themselves, how is it possible to keep the night activities alive and exciting every day of the week?

Since 77% of Uganda’s population is under the age of 25, Kampala city is predominantly inhabited and enjoyed by the younger population. Most of these decide to live in and around the city for purposes of convenience in terms of transportation, proximity to amenities and of course, being closer to exciting activities such as night-time amusement.

As earlier mentioned, the nightlife in Kampala is not tied to a specific day of the week. The Kampala nightlife thrives more towards the weekend and on Saturday especially, because people prefer to prepare for the week on Monday, Wrong!

People in Kampala can make merry every day, every night, Christmas Day, Easter, Eid or New Year’s, you can never worry that you will be out of season to take part in an activity or two!

I’ll take you on a trip of what a week of Kampala Night Life might look like. Sundays are usually times people spend with their loved ones. If it’s not a graduation party, it will be a birthday party, bridal shower, baby shower, a child’s christening celebration, or even just a get together because it had been a while.

Some people like to celebrate at family homes and can go even deep into the night, while others prefer to go to a restaurant or hotel and reserve spots to celebrate. Of course, while this happens there will be other individuals in these places having a drink and sharing a laugh.

Restaurants and hotels can even close as late as midnight on Sunday. Occasionally there are events that extend till late such as Blankets and Wine events that are starting to return since their halt due to COVID 19.

Monday nights are known for cinemas and their mega price drops. A movie with a friend or a lover might be the extra kick to get your week going or a perfect way to recover from a long day at the office on Monday. Places to eat like Meza, at Acacia Mall are known to lower their Sharwama prices on Mondays, so they are sought after till closing time at the joint.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are known to be the days where people get deals on two for a pizza. What better excuse than this to catch up with a group of friends in the evening? Some lounges and bars also offer live band sessions at these places so people show up to groove along to the serenading voices. These days you can even enjoy Karaoke in certain bars and lounges such as

Friday night is the climax of the week. The bars are in full action, the restaurants are packed to the overflow, and you might find it difficult to find a cozy corner table at the hotel you like to sit at in the week. People will go the extra mile and “dress nicely” when they get the chance to go out.

The streets in and around the city suburbs are usually packed to capacity as cars with people trying to get home from a busy day collide with those that wish to start their second part of the day with some enjoyment, paid for.

Saturday nights host the after parties and dance parties as well as food sharing sessions at wedding parties especially. People are never in a rush to get home after a wedding on Saturday in Kampala. Concerts are slowly returning as people get used to the fact that there is no more curfew as a result of the significant drop in the spread of Covid 19.

Keep your eyes and ears on the ground and on social media because there will be an occasional silent disco event at a location like the University Hostel nightclub or a lounge. (If you came towards the end of the year, you could even be lucky to enjoy a carnival event or MTN’s famous Nyege Nyege that is held in Jinja.)

There may also be pop up events such as Trekking Timmy’s “Chummy walkers” that will have you and the group walk for a cause or towards a goal like planting trees. If you are into the performing arts, a play at the Kampala National Theatre might also be something to suit your interest.

People are thrilled to be able to enjoy life out and about once again and the fun is only getting started. In Kampala today, we like to say, “Tuli Wawelu” meaning we are outside! Will you join us?

Once again, Trekking Timmy brings you another exciting chance to explore another region of Kampala city on foot!

Have you ever taken any treks with Timmy before? If you haven’t you can take a look at what the Adungu loop trek and the Colony loop trek entail.

So what is the dog loop trek anyway? For starters, this trek gets its name because the map of the route you will follow looks somewhat like a dog, sitting down! ( You can ask your tour guide to show you.)

 

The trek extends over a distance of 20 kilometres and the biggest part of the trip will have you walk about 1150masl.

That is the exciting part! It is doable, even for someone that may not be as physically fit! However, because of the distance of the trip, it would be best if you wear a comfortable pair of shoes and clothing that will not quickly make you uncomfortable. You can always set the pace at which you will walk.

Just like you did in the Colony loop and Adungu loop, you will start your trek at the UMA show grounds gate and then walk to the Kampala Jinja highway. From there you take the road and head towards Bugolobi.

As you walk you will see the Ministry of Internal Affairs. You will also walk past a cattle slaughterhouse commonly known as “the Luffula”.

You will then see the Makerere University Business School as you continue along and view at a distance the supermarket known as Capital Shoppers Nakawa.

From the New Port Bell road, you will then join Spring Road where you will see the Bugolobi Market as well as the Bugolobi flats. You will then get back onto the New Port Bell Road from which you will branch off to the Luthuli rise. Before you set foot on this road, you will see a popular hangout spot with several restaurants and a supermarket is known as Bugolobi Village Mall.

From Luthuli rise, you will trek along Luthuli Avenue. This street is quiet and calm. There are some residential houses, offices as well as cafes and small restaurants. This route will lead you all around Bugolobi, from which you will take the Mulwana road, onto the 6th street and the 7th street, leading you to a town called Namuwongo.

The Namuwongo area is a popularly busy area with a lot of activity. From Namuwongo, you will connect to Bukesa road and climb up to Muyenga.

Muyenga is popularly known as the place where the “super-rich” stay so you will have a sight to see and hear stories of where that came from. There are also several residential houses and even cafes where you can sit and relax uninterrupted. You will also be able to see the lake Victoria scenery as you move through Muyenga.

As you wind down your trip, you will loop down to Kiwafu road, then to Ggaba road, through Kabalagala, Nsambya road where you will pass by the Nsambya hospital. ( You can ask your tour guide to show you).

From there, you will walk by Mukwano road then finally back to Access Road which will land you right back onto the Jinja Kampala Highway.

Itching to walk this trek? Me too! So let’s go!

The ‘Adungu’ loop trek! Sound like the one you would try? Here are some fun facts!

The Adungu loop trek is another one of the exciting walks that Trekking Timmy gives you a chance to experience in fun-filled Kampala city!

First, the trek gets its name because the route is shaped like a local instrument called the Adungu (or Ekidongo or Ennenga) that was originally invented and most commonly used by the Alur people of North-Western Uganda. You can call it a locally improvised harp.

The Adungu

DISCLAIMER: You will not be seeing any adungus on the trip but you can see one at the Uganda Museum while you take the Colony loop. In case you are wondering what that is about, you can read it here.

This trip is advisable for you only if you are fit for a long walk. It is about 15km (approx.9.8 Miles) and can take you anywhere between 4 to 7 hours. Kindly note that if you have some extra time on your hands, you can ask your guide to take you to visit some of these sights and you go along.

You will be intrigued to hear about the history of the ancient kingdoms of the 1800s and the era of the Arab traders. Get ready to listen to stories of the colonial era and the journey to Uganda’s independence.

Keep your eyes open because there is a lot to see! There is a lot to document if you like to write! Just like the Colony loop trek, you set off from Uganda Manufacturers Association Gate.

As you walk, You will see the Kyadondo Rugby Grounds, the Lugogo shopping mall, the KCCA sports grounds as well as the Lugogo complex stadium where concerts take place, not forgetting the Centenary Park. (A Ugandans version of a park you would get to sit in and chill from back home. You can ask your tour guide to show you around.)

Along the Kampala- Jinja road highway, you will see the industrial area, the Uganda Management Institute, the Toyota Auto parts warehouse and the British-American Tobacco offices. You will also see the Internal Affairs Offices, the Electoral Commission, a couple of banks like the Bank of Africa and the National Environmental Management Association (NEMA) offices.

The Adungu Loop Trek

You will continue past Cham Towers to Absa bank bringing you to a place commonly known as “downtown Kampala. As you walk on Luwum street, you will see various shops in the different plazas like Avemar plaza and Zai plaza.

You will continue down to the Old Taxi Park, the Nakivubo Stadium and you will even see the new park at a distance. (You can ask your tour guide to show you a market called Owino, in case you have some extra time on your hands).

NOTE: The taxis in Uganda are not your regular curbs but instead take the form of minivans. ( Your guide will show you.) They are known as “special hires” because people commonly request them on special occasions and sometimes use apps like Uber.

Carrying on, you branch at Mackay road and next up, Aga Khan mosque. You will walk along Martin road all the way to Namirembe road. Here, you will see the Old Kampala Police Station and the Uganda National Mosque ( There is a minaret from which you can stand and view most of Kampala City, you’ll be delighted!).

The area from Old Kampala, Mengo and Rubaga is also known to be home to many foreigners in the country like Somali and Eritrean people.

At Namirembe hill, you will see the Namirembe Cathedral, then go down to Mengo Hospital and in the area, the Rubaga Cathedral and Hospital. The Zaake road will lead you to the Buganda Parliament and the ‘Kabaka Anjagala’ (meaning ‘the king likes me’) road, will be your way to the Buganda Palace. Wait till you hear the story behind the name of this road!

Now, what are you waiting for? Get your shoes on and let’s go trekking!

The Colony loop trek is one of the popular walk trek routes brought to you by Trekking Timmy! This ten-kilometre route captures a very lucrative tourist route and is sure to keep you entertained as you carry along on your journey.

The boundaries within which this trek lies are directly in the heart of the city centre, Kampala. You are probably wondering where the name Colony loop trek comes from and we will get to that in a little while from now.

The beginning

The walk will take you anywhere between two to five hours. And as you move, at certain points you will find hawkers selling all kinds of stuff from face masks, roasted bananas(gonja), packed snacks and all types of chewing gum that they decided to generally term as “orbit”

The name of this trek originates from the history of the colonial era in Uganda. The trip you will take was significant of the territory that was primarily British territory in the area.

The black people or Africans were primarily servants or porters that would serve the British colonial masters. As you walk the trail, the story of the colonial era will be recounted and you will get a picture of what life was like.

You will start your trip from the UMA ( Uganda Manufacturers Association) show grounds, then from there, you will proceed to the Lugogo bypass. You can take some pictures along your journey but do so at the signal of or after you have asked your tour guide.

The tour guide will also unpack the story of what was then in comparison to what is today. You will notice that because a lot of construction has taken place, some features have changed over time. You will also be told about the architectural styles, as well as the stories of the slums and markets as you go along.

You will then reach Forest Mall, Lugogo, where you can buy a refreshment or get access to a bathroom in case you need it. From here you will take a slightly longer stroll to Kira Road police, and then head to Kamwokya.

Within Kamwokya you will see a market, at some point, then you will also see another shopping mall in the distance (Acacia Mall), and a lot of other activities in the different suburbs as you continue to take your walk.

Are those feet hurting yet? Not to worry, you can take as many breaks as you need to and you can set the walking pace that you are comfortable with.

When you reach the Uganda Museum, you may take a seat or quickly rush in to capture, listen and learn more about the history of this great nation. From there you will proceed to Mulago, which also doubles as the home of the country’s national referral hospital, thereafter you will walk through another ever-busy place day or night, Wandegeya.

You can find several useful amenities in the area such as banks, pharmacies and even a market. From Wandegeya you will head onto Bombo road, then walk along Kampala road.

The area is fairly populated so you will walk and occasionally see porters carrying electrical appliances or women selling freshly cooked food and brewed tea manoeuvring speedily through the street.

As you land the plane, you will walk along Jinja road and back to Lugogo where you will end your trek! Now was that amazing or what?

A trek around Kampala, anyone?

Did you know that you could do more than just riding around in a taxi cab, taking a stroll in a tour van, or taking a daring trip on the city’s famous fast-moving motorbikes commonly referred to as “boda boda”?

Trekking Timmy introduces your mind to explore the possibility of taking a walk around and through key landmarks, sites and places from which old tales can be retold and from rich historical information can be attained. Kampala is a city that bears such places and as a matter of fact, a majority of key place names such as roads, hospitals and streets have their names as a result of the historical connection affiliated to them.

The history of these places is both cultural and colonial; that is to say, from the times before Uganda attained her Independence from the British Colonial rule, as well as cultural, concerning the practices and norms that existed among the Ugandan people before, during, or even after the colonial rule era.

We walk through these places with you as the stories are retold and this is sure to take you way back on a trip to the olden days where everything happened. As you walk, you will come across some artefacts that will serve as solid evidence to prove that the tale you are listening to is not just fiction.

You will be able to take some selfies with your friends as you move along, so carry your camera along and make sure that the phone is charged!

The fact that Kampala is a city that is full of life and activity is a reassurance that you can find something to eat, drink or take a break and freshen up if you have to! Stay on the lookout for your property as you trek the busy streets; some people on the streets are friendly but some are not!

If you care for street food, there are plenty of options to choose from ranging from groundnuts, roasted corn on the cob, as well as the all-time Ugandan delicacy, the rolex! Yes, we eat them, we do not wear them!

Trekking Timmy offers you a variety of routes to choose from for your trek, for example, the mountain trek, the colony trek, the adungu loop trek, the dog loop trek and so much more. You will have your shoes dusty by the end of the day, but we assure you that what you will get to see and experience is worth it!

Kampala before Covid-19 was a city that came to life at night! Kampala is predominantly full of predominantly younger revellers of the Ugandan population and for this reason, the city was known to get loud from the evening hours into the night, and especially on the weekends.

 

The ‘busyness’ of the city was not only limited to bars and nightclubs, but also other places like restaurants, cinema halls, shopping centres and even places of worship like churches that would have overnight prayer gatherings. Interestingly, the other “unobvious” places that would have large gatherings of people would be the small local restaurants and food stands commonly known as “bufunda.”

These places are normally found on the sides of busy streets and opted for because they sell cheap food and drinks that people still find tasty. They are also found to play the music that people like to groove to as they enjoy time with their friends.

The well-loved “chapati and egg” combo commonly known as a ‘rolex’ could be found anywhere on the streets at night in Kampala and even fast foods like chips- though in this case, served in a polythene bag- “ akavera” and not on a plate!

When this pandemic hit in March 2020, this highly coveted pass time of the population came to an end as a result of the night curfew that was implemented countrywide as one of the measures to curb the spread of the fast-spreading virus that was robbing the lives and livelihood of many.

The nightlife was now enjoyed through other ways like the weekend nighttime music shows. Television Stations for example NBS had the ‘Katch Up’ show where Anita Fabiola started as the host. The show would host musical artists and public figures that people could relate to. NTV Uganda also had a Friday Night show called “ Mix show live” where they also had a familiar style of hosting and presentation.

At a point during the lockdown, it felt like the different television channels competed to see who would attract the most viewers. Each weekend would be a battle to see who was being talked about by the public more than the other. The success of the shows would be measured by things like the hashtags on Twitter where the audience would express themselves and share what they had been enjoying the most.

Another way people enjoyed nightlife was by having parties in their compounds with their families to celebrate events together.

Now that the lockdown has finally been eased and the city is returning to some sense of normalcy, are people looking forward to the nightlife as they did before? Is curfew something people have come to appreciate as necessary or do they look forward to picking off from where they left off?

With the easy-going bunch that the Ugandan people identify as the nightlife is bound to return. Masked or unmasked, sanitiser or no sanitiser, vaccinated or not vaccinated? We will only be able to tell as time goes on.

Whether we choose to go out or stay in, our health is a number one priority and everyone has a part to play in keeping each other safe and healthy! It will help us enjoy the things that we formerly loved without compromising our health or that of our loved ones.

Trekking Timmy is back to take you on a journey to explore what Kampala nightlife will look like even after such a long time and the many changes that took place!

Whoever said jogging is better than trekking had better check out our monthly #KampalaTrek with Trekking Timmy. If you missed the Adungu-Loop Trek last Saturday, 9th June, make it a point to clear your calendar on 7th July because trust me, you don’t want to miss the next one…unless you don’t like having a good time.

It’s hard to say what the best part of the trek is. The trail itself has got some really interesting historical sites. For those interested in faith tourism, you will find the Aga Khan Mosque, Kampala Central Mosque (also known as Gadhafi Mosque), and Namirembe Cathedral on the trail: these sites have important historical and religious value to the people of Kampala.

At the Buganda Parliament in Mengo (Bulange), and the Royal Palace at Lubiri (Twekobe), one gets the opportunity to see photos and artefacts depicting Uganda’s history right from the arrival of the first Europeans to present day.

 

What You Missed At the Adungu-Loop Trek

There are no adungus on the Adungu-Loop Trek. The trail gets its name from a famous music instrument native to most cultures in Uganda because it is shaped like an adungu on the map; of the three trails we have explored since starting the #KampalaTrek, this one is arguably the most exciting.

With stops at all the tourist sites on the trail it takes about 5 to 7 hours to complete the trek. We, however, made only one stop at the Royal palace, completed the trek in just 3 hours and 25 minutes, a record for the loyal trekkers whod did the first trek in 3 hours and 50 minutes, and the second in 4 hours and 30 minutes.

As usual, we set off from Red i Lounge in Lugogo By-Pass at 11:00am., after briefing. With senior trekkers Tom and Solo at the front, the trek pick up a brisk pace from the get to go. Within just 30 minutes we had cleared the 3-4km stretch from Red i Lounge to the city centre in just 30 minutes!

As we bolted through the commercial hub known as downtown, we had to dance our way through the busy traffic; at this point the trek seemed more like street salsa than and a walking exercise.

The hilly climb to Old Kampala presented no problems at all. With the pace we had picked it was easy to clear the hill in record time as trekkers raced each other to catch up with our breezy pacesetter. Everyone was making jokes and telling stories along the way, one could hardly tell we were doing 15kms; it seemed like just 5km by the time we arrived back at Red i Lounge.

 

 

The Adungu-Loop Trek is the third instalment of #KampalaTrek, a set of monthly treks launched by Trekking Timmy in April, 2018. Besides the health benefits of walking, the treks are a fun way to meet new people, network, and explore the sites and sound of the city.

The first one – the Uganda Colony Trek – introduced the trekkers to a portion of Kampala’s history they didn’t know about (you can read the story here to learn more); the second,  dubbed the Dog-Loop Trek, went down in rain and sunshine in May (more on that trek is here); and the third, dubbed the Adungu-Loop Trek, went down last Saturday. The treks are mapped and organised by yours truly, Trekking Timmy, the chief trekker of Kampala city.

#trekwithtim #kampalatrek

The trek route to be explored in Kampala, this time round resembles a musical instrument locally known as the “Adungu/ Ekidongo/Ennenga/ arched harp”. Evident on the map, so is the experience on this trek that you will be walking with notions of style that will be reproducing rhythms for a particular dancing manner as we pave through the numbers, streets and the paved walkways thanks to the Kampala city authorities. These monthly walks we do for fun hold unfold sensual and contingent apprehension of the the various regions within Kampala.

The Adungu Loop Trek

Kampala is famously known for its history that became notable to western foreigners  in the 1880’s as the site of the shifting Kibuga (capital) of the different Bassekabaka (Kings) of the Buganda Kingdom. with the advent of colonialism, increased trade and the inevitable mingling of cultures, it emerged as the capital city of Uganda, famously proclaimed “The Pearl of Africa”. Kampala City is one of the safest and most peaceful cities in Uganda (Caution: as in any city, vigilance and common sense is the surest way to stay safe).

 

The Adungu

The Adungu Loop Trek with the head guide lasts between 4 -7 hours, where you see the colourful, vibrant, and friendly populations. Did you know the latest research shows that for every three persons you meet in Kampala, one of them speaks a different dialect? This trek gives you insights on how the natives have diversified the city’s art and architectural legacy. As one intersects through Kampala’s East to the West, and back to the East, be braced to witness the Kampala City play grounds in Lugogo, industrial area, the rich fabric of chiefly vernacular structures, often of character and individual appeal, faith houses, busy streets, taxi park, wholesale businesses, differentiating the Old and New Kampala. The walk is not only for sharing the rich city but we walk for fun and have beverages to excite our travelers.

 

This trek is a golden opportunity to see the few remaining structures of Kampala’s architectural heritage, because if prevailing developments continue, Kampala’s architectural flame is more likely to be swept away/ disappear. While many old structures are still surviving today, many buildings have notably either been put down or deteriorated to a big extent. You will explore different parts of the city’s landscape; old structures that have been demolished and replaced with “better” ones.

 

Some Tips You Need To Know

  1. The trek is good for any person above nine years. In case of any health issues please let the lead guide know.
  2. You are welcome to take pictures but be mindful of security. You are responsible for the safety of your gadgets.
  3. You can carry a litre of water, or promote the small businesses along the trek.
  4. There will be a brief at Red i Lounge at the start of the trek.

Join us as we trek and connect to new friends, but do not stalk them! In case you wish to cancel please inform us in advance as this will affect will affect our preparations.

Last weekend a group of bold trekkers joined me on a quest to conquer the 20km Dog Loop Trek, our #trekwithtim challenge for the month May. What a great, great time we had! We trekked in the rain, mingled with vendors selling crafts by the road, traded jokes with boda riders who found it funny that we were walking for fun, and best of all, finished the trek in good time.

It took took us 3 hours to complete the 14km Uganda Colony Trek last month so we assumed the 20km challenge would take us at least 4 hours. We beat that time by 15 minutes, logging back at Red i Lounge 3 hours and 45 minutes after we set off. If they ever dare to make trekking a category in the Olympics, I’m sure we’d bring home gold!

You’re probably asking yourself, ‘what’s all the fuss with trekking?’ Well, if you haven’t tried a trekking challenge before, there are some good reasons why you should. Besides being an easy way to exercise all your muscles, trekking is a fun way to spend your free time. You get to meet new people, learn about places you didn’t know, and experience new adventures each time.

We bumped into the rain early on the trek…

We had just started the first leg from Red i Lounge when the rains began. It started as light drizzles just as we were crossing through Total Gas Station (Nakawa) to get onto New Port Bell Road, but the team was determined to let nothing get in its way so we elected to press on. It was hard first. The rain just kept increasing as we blazed passed Makerere University Business School (MUBS) Main Campus, and down into the the famous Middle East valley where Bugolobi market was constructed. But then it was just getting started. A heavy torrent descended on us as we scaled  Luthuli Rise to reach the hill’s crest, but luckily the skies relented and spared our drenched walking gear.

From Luthuli Rise we went down the hill to Luthuli Avenue, crossed over Nakivubo Channel and slipped into Namuwongo through the little known Godown Rd in Industrial Area. By now we were starting to get dry but our spirits were very high. Braving the rain had left everyone feeling like a winner and the most challenging hill was behind us.

Along Bukasa Road we found spectacular views of Luzira. Few people know that you can peer directly into the prison compound there, but just round the bend we were in for a pleasant surprise. We bumped into a street vendor selling lamp-holders and drinking glasses  made out of recycled glass. There is no bound to the creativity on Kampala’s streets!

We also met a guy who makes really colorful chairs.

From here  we smoothed into Kansanga and trekked that long stretch to Nsambya via Kampala’s most famous entertainment hub – Kabalagala – where the night never really ends. As usual, the trek ended with feast. A mouth-watering platter of goat meat, beef sausages, pilau, gravy, and potatoes was waiting to congratulate us for finishing the trip. Thanks to Red i Lounge for the platter treat.

As we stuffed tasty meat down our tummies we shared travel experiences and talked about the trek. I was happy to learn that though most trekkers thought they wouldn’t make the distance, it turned out to be manageable. One of the trekkers said, “I was thinking of getting a boda boda three times all the way from Kansanga (halfway through the trek), but I saw the rest going strong and i kept to their pace till the end.”

It’s a good thing he didn’t give up. By the time we arrived at Red i Lounge we were all so fresh, our friends thought we hadn’t walked at all. “Bring on the next trek already, I can’t wait for the June challenge”, were the words from the trekking team.

#trekwithtim #kampalatrek #kampala

Last week I woke up to horrifying news. 11 lions had been killed in Queen Elizabeth National Park in a suspected poison attack. 11 lions  ̶  3 mothers and 8 cubs from 1 pride. I was terribly saddened. Lions are more than just a magnet for tourists; they play an important role in the park’s ecosystem, losing such a big number is bound to impact all animals in the park.

The grief over this loss cannot be measured. As a wildlife guide in Uganda, I have led numerous trips to Queen Elizabeth National Park because its big lion population made it attractive to my clients. Whenever I visit ‘Queen’, as we guides normally call it, I usually engage the park wardens in discussions on the condition of the animals so I know something of what it means to preserve a lion population — the long hours tracking them to monitor their health, the late-night operations patrolling for poachers, the millions of dollars invested in tracking equipment, medical supplies, experts… not to mention the tourists who visit the park mainly to see lions in their natural habitat.

We should all be concerned. Lion deaths are increasing at an alarming rate.

National Geographic’s Big Cat Initiative estimates that Africa’s lion population has declined by 90% in the last 75 years. Conservationists blame it on human development: when people in villages near the park learn that lions have eaten their livestock, they poison or shoot them. Other times, it is poachers and trophy hunters.

We should all be concerned. Lions play a vital role in regulating the population of animals in the park; they account for 85% of predation on big herbivores life buffalo, elephants, and hippos. This helps to maintain a balance in the Eco-system. There is compelling scientific evidence to support this claim: Yellowstone National Park in the US re-introduced wolves in 1995 after 69 years and soon experienced a reduction in the elk population (herbivores), tree species that had gone extinct returned, existing species doubled in number, and coyote numbers reduced, causing the populations of small foxes and other small predators to increase. One small change at the top of the food chain resulted in a greater diversity of plant, bird, and animal species.

We should all be concerned because Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most visited park. With over 95 species of wildlife, over 600 species of birds, vast species of vegetation, dazzling crater lakes, hot springs, and spectacular views of the Rwenzori ranges, ‘Queen’ boasts of the highest biodiversity in Uganda.

We should all be concerned because disruptions to its Eco-system reduces its biodiversity and this will have an impact on both national income and the livelihood of the park staff, guides, operators, and service providers who depend on tourism for income.

Whereas global climate change contributes to the pressures facing wildlife tourism in Uganda, pressure from the human population remains the biggest threat. Organizations like the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Wildlife Conservation Society (WSC), Uganda Wildlife Authority, and a number of NGOs I can’t list exhaustively, are doing a commendable job of sensitizing communities around national parks and improving animal welfare, more support is needed from the government.

There are many ways to manage human-animal conflicts in national parks. The government of Uganda can, for example, fence off conservation areas as has been done in Rwanda (Akagera Park) and South Africa (Kruger Park).

There is no shortage of ideas that the Government could implement to address the challenges human pressure poses to wildlife. I, therefore, call upon the Government of Uganda to take conservation matters more seriously and allocate more funding to wildlife protection. Uganda’s tourist industry brings in $1.4 billion annually, according to the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife & Antiquities, however, it has been allocated only $32 million in the recent budget proposal. I think we can do better.

#trekwithtim #stopthelionkilling