The campaign to promote Uganda as a top destination in the world at the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 tournament has gained momentum after attracting a good number of local tourism enthusiasts who are pushing for the cause.
Spearheaded by Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the campaign aims at opening up brand Uganda to the massive sports audience in Africa and the world at large.
“Football is the world’s greatest sport and viewed by millions of fans across the world and in Uganda, the Cranes is the greatest football brand which can be used to build the country’s positive destination brand equity and values,” UTB CEO Lilly Ajarova said recently.
“We have invited dignitaries from all the AFCON 2019 participating nations to our hospitality tent in Egypt and we shall treat them to the Ugandan experience. We have also planned an open day where everyone will be invited to try out the Ugandan cuisine, learn the Ugandan culture as well as experience Ugandan hospitality.”
The latest on board is King Rukirabasaija Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV of Tooro Kingdom.
On Monday, King Oyo was among the Ugandan delegates who attended the Uganda Cranes training session at the Arab Contractors Stadium in Cairo, Egypt ahead of the Wednesday clash against Zimbabwe. The Cranes won their opening match against the Democratic Republic of Congo [2-0] last Saturday.
After the training, the King had an interaction with the players where he advised them to stay focused in order to out-compete their opponents.
“I decided to come out all the way from home to support our team because I know you can do it. As Tooro we are very proud of you but please do not underestimate your opponents. Yes respect them but do not fear them. If we win our next game we would have qualified. So we believe in you, we trust you and we shall be right behind you,” he said.
When it comes to the country’s tourism, Tooro as a kingdom cannot be sidelined due to its immense contributions to the sector.
Tooro Kingdom in western Uganda is one of the most interesting Kingdoms with some of the most breathtaking natural and cultural attractions worth exploring.
With three national parks (Kibale, Semliki and Rwenzori), as well as two games reserves (Tooro-Semliki and Katonga), there is a high concentration of Uganda’s wildlife in Tooro. Kibale is the world’s ‘primate capital’ with 13 primate species, including chimpanzees, while Semliki is the ultimate birders destination. Literally, Tooro is among the reasons why Uganda is known as the Pearl of Africa.
As a destination, Tooro has fabulous weather throughout the year, which explains why it is perennially green with a cool breeze at all times.
The kingdom offers the best views of the Rwenzori mountain range and has the region’s finest tea plantations. One of the best experiences in Tooro is watching the sun setting over the Rwenzori range as you drive through the tea plantations.
Also, it has the highest concentration of crater lakes; there is one Crater Lake for every hill, either filled with water, dry or swamped.
According to chwezitraveller.com, when it comes to culture, the kingdom is unique. For instance, it has Empaako, an endearment name used to show compassion, respect and love. There are 12 mpaakos in total, with the 13th reserved for the reigning monarch.
This is one of the reasons why its people are regarded as the humblest and friendliest worldwide.
The other thing that sets the kingdom apart is that it has the world’s youngest reigning monarch.
King Oyo ascended the throne at three years and has remained the youngest monarch for 24 years. Since he came of age, he has been at the forefront of bringing his people together, creating harmony and spearheading development in his kingdom.
The king, himself is a tourism pundit, a farmer, who always calls on the youth to focus on agriculture and take advantage of Tooro’s good weather, fertile soils and the generally conducive environment to end unemployment in his Kingdom.
On the other-hand, Kabarole Royal Palace is a very significant site to the entire Tooro Kingdom, mostly because it is where the Empango (Annual Coronation Ceremonies) are conducted and is also the residence or palace for the King. When you visit the site you will meet the caretaker who will also be the guide and he will take you around the palace while sharing the stories about the Kingship and history of the Kingdom that makes the Palace a perfect Cultural Site for tourists within and outside of Tooro Kingdom.