Tourists, local and foreign have been urged to visit Uganda since the country is safe.
The call, by Uganda Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Lilly Ajarova, follows the kidnap of an American tourist and her local guide last week during a game drive along the Edward track, in the Ishasha sector Queen Elizabeth National Park last week.
Kimberly Sue Endicott and Jean Paul Mirenge were rescued this week by a joint team of security forces, and according to police spokesman Fred Enanga, eight suspects had been arrested in the area of Kanungu on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in connection with the crime.
The kidnap, Ajarova said, was an isolated case.
“The Uganda Tourism Board would like to assure visitors and the public that Queen Elizabeth National Park is open and safe for visitation and safaris continue to go on smoothly,” she told Watchdog Uganda.
Endicott was handed over to US Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Ruth Malac at the American Embassy in Kampala by Inspector General of Police, Okoth Ochola on Monday.
Early this week, President Yoweri Museveni insisted Uganda was safe for travelers and further vowed to strengthen security in national parks.
“Uganda is safe,” Museveni wrote on Twitter, adding that authorities would “deal with these isolated pockets of criminals” and “continue to improve security in our parks”.
“Come and enjoy the Pearl of Africa,” he said.
Now Ajarova, whose Board’s mandate is to promote and popularise Uganda as a viable holiday destination both locally and internationally added that through the Uganda Wildlife Authority and security agencies, new measures as well as strict guidelines to avoid similar incidents have been put in place.
”Security has been tightened in all national parks for tourists’ safety. Tourists are encouraged to continue visiting the parks and to enjoy Uganda’s wildlife abundance,” she said.