By 1st July 2020, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park will move to occupy a new Visitor Information Office in Kisoro town. The park has received five room building housed on nearly an acre of land donated to Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) by Kisoro District Local Government (KDLG) The information office will now shift to this newly acquired space on Kabale – Bunagana road opposite the Kisoro Central Police station.
In preparation for the new facilities, minor renovations are already being undertaken. “For a start, two rooms which are ready for use will be occupied with the remaining three to be fully utilised in due course. The information centre will have a front-line desk with a fully equipped booking system and information materials of all the tourist attractions in the region,” reveals Moses Turinawe, Warden Tourism, Mgahinga. Kisoro is a tourism town that borders Rwanda and in close proximity to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and the Southern Sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is therefore a central town for any tourist intending to visit any place in the region.
UWA’s Spokesperson Bashir Hangi described the gesture by the district as a sign of the good relationship between Kisoro District Local Government and UWA. He expresses optimism that the acquisition of office space will ensure that visitors get as much information as possible. “The gesture of the district to give us office space is a demonstration of our good relationship with our stakeholders and appreciation of tourism by the district leadership. A lot of useful information for the visitors will be channelled through the office enhancing their knowledge of the region”. It is hoped that these offices will give a better impression to the visitors and greatly help UWA off set the rent currently paid at the old premises.
Other infrastructural developments Mgahinga is undertaking in preparation for tourists post COVID- 19 pandemic include repair of attendant facilities along the hiking zones for the mountainous experience. Already repaired are 387 meters of ladders on Mt. Sabinyo with additional 54 meters constructed along Muhavura hiking trail to improve mountaineering experience.
To maintain the integrity of the park and protect wildlife from community settlements, 53 meters of stone wall broken during buffalo incursions in both Gisozi and Rukongi parishes have been repaired. A total of 6 kilometres of fire line were opened in areas around Muntebe and Bisasa for management of wild fires during the dry season. Additionally, two acres of exotics including black wattle, eucalyptus and pine trees have been cleared in Rongi and Mutwaranko.