Uganda must harness potential of birding, tourism stakeholders say 

Birding has the potential to earn Uganda some decent foreign exchange. Photo / File  

What you need to know:

  • Uganda has a target of at-least 100,000 birders by 2030, which could earn the country up to $700m (about Shs2 trillion) per annum 

Birding has the potential to contribute to Uganda’s tourism development if it is well harnessed, according to different stakeholders.

Speaking ahead of the three-day International Conference for Women Birders due in Kampala from Wednesday to Friday Mr Herbert Byaruhanga , the Bird Uganda Safaris team leader, said the bird watching product is one of the fasting growing outdoor activities globally, noting that Uganda was well placed to become a top earner from bird watching. 

“Africa has over 50 percent of the world’s birds’ species. Uganda is currently well positioned among the top 10 birding destinations globally.  In Africa we are among the top five,” he said, highlighting that the increasing number of women in tourism, presents an opportunity to transform societies. 

Uganda has a target of at-least 100,000 birders by 2030, which could earn the country up to $700m (about Shs2 trillion) per annum. 

Birding involves watching different bird species in their natural environment, conducting research on them and studying their behaviour.

The activity has become a global agenda with more than 80 million enthusiasts traveling to different parts. 

The International Conference for Women Birders, which is organised by the Uganda Women Birders, Uganda Safari Guides Association, Bird Uganda Safaris, and other stakeholders with support from Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), seeks to enhance tourism in different aspects. 

Uganda currently has at-least 1,100 bird species, which is about 11 percent of the world’s total population and more than 50 percent of the African total population. 

However, the country is yet to make good use of the above numbers.

Stakeholders in the tourism sector view the International Conference for Women Birders as a catapult that will shine a light on the country’s potential to birders on the international scene.  

In a recent interview, Mr Stephen Asiimwe, the PSFU chief executive officer, said Uganda had now matured as an international birding destination mainly because of conservation efforts. 

This, he said, although not yet sufficient, can be leveraged to increase the number of visitors coming into the county with the purpose of birding, noting that more efforts from government and the private sector were needed to market the product.