Sunday March 26 2017

Equator, the golden attraction of Uganda

State minister of Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda

State minister of Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda (Right), poses for a picture with tourists at the Equator monument during the seven-day expo dubbed Tulambule Equator at Kayabwe Town in Mpigi District recently.  

By Sadat Mbogo

The white circular concrete blocks stand at either side of the road along the Kampala-Masaka highway. Uganda Equator -reads the black signage at their top. A yellow line runs across the road, joining the two concrete circles, a representation of the imaginary line in Kalagala-Kikutuzi village near Kayabwe Town, Nkozi Sub-county in Mpigi District. The town is located 72Kms South of Kampala City.
The equator is a marvel found in only 12 countries in the world.
A seven-day expo dubbed Tulambule Equator started on March 19, to celebrate and promote this tourism site both locally and internationally.

“We want everyone on the universe to know our Equator and know that we have a ‘golden’ tourism centre in Nkozi. I encourage all our people in the country to put more innovations here, improve on the quality of crafts and put the Equator line symbol in every item made to boost our market,” said Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi, the State minister of Tourism.
Tourists both foreign and local, trickled in at the expo which was organised by the Tourism ministry in conjunction with Think Tank Target Ltd, Uganda Tourism Board, Child Africa Organisation and Uganda Wildlife Authority. The expo was under the theme; World’s best weather, we are the people to tell our story.
School-going children made the majority of the visitors to the site. There were exhibitions from tour and travel companies, herbalists, schools, hotels and cultural institutions, among others. Performances by cultural troupes made for most of the entertainment.

Pupils of Child Africa Junior School entertain

Pupils of Child Africa Junior School entertain visitors during the grand opening of Tulambule Equator Tourism Expo. Photo by Sadat Mbogo

The evenings were filled with funfair with the equator markings illuminated in green.
Maureen Terry, attendant at Child Africa Art Gallery, reveals that the equator mostly receives foreign tourists and the visits are seasonal depending on the weather and festivals. “We get many visitors in May, June, July but August, the number declines and we start afresh in late November, December and January. Since Ugandans have little regard for tourism, our incomes come down in February, March, April, September and October,” she says.
In peak visiting seasons, the Uganda Equator receives at least 350 tourists per day in comparison to zero to 10 tourists in low peak months.

Attractions at Kayabwe

•The water experiment, which shows that water swirls in opposite directs in the northern and southern hemispheres at the equator line. In the north it flows clockwise while in the south it moves anticlockwise.
•Souvenir stalls with a multitude of hand-made crafts, and art galleries run by the local people and community organisations.
•Eateries where you can enjoy Ugandan cuisine.
•Open playground area where you can picnic or play games like football, volleyball and netball, especially during early and evening hours.