What you need to know:
- With proper planning, infrastructure development, packaging of the natural and cultural diversity as well as strategic marketing and promotion, Gulu City therefore can become a tourist haven comparable to none in the region.
Gulu City is located in northern Uganda, approximately 326 km from Kampala on a fine tarmac road.
It is one of the new cities that were elevated from municipal status by the government.
Since time immemorial, tour operators have been packaging safaris in Uganda with a dream and deep desire for international tourists to visit the three major national parks of Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley National Park.
With the strategic location of Gulu City between Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley national parks, it is most logical and memorable that the safari itinerary would include a stopover in Gulu City. This would enrich the travel variety, natural and cultural beauty, relaxation and refreshment.
Gulu City in itself can be a travel destination because of its unique features that can be of intrinsic interest to the domestic and international visitors.
It is home to the Gulu University, a centre of excellence in academia and research in both science and development studies. Lacor Hospital located near the city and owned by the Catholic Church is one of the leading medical centres in Uganda for referral and expert treatment and medical care.
Fort Patiko located about 30km north of Gulu is where the colonial administrator Captain Lugard pitched camp in his efforts to subdue this part of the world on behalf of the Imperial British East African Company (IBEAC) in the early 1890s.
Guru guru Hill and Cave located about 30km west of Gulu City is the spot where anti – colonial fighters used to hide during the Lamogi rebellion. There is also the Amuru Hot Springs believed to possess natural recuperation properties. Gulu City is also a regional trade hub for goods and services destined for Southern Sudan. These are some of the city highlights that can form exciting combinations for a tourist network in the region and Uganda at large.
Gulu City also boasts of city hotels and motels, among others. These are establishments for the upper and middle level, segments. They can position themselves for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) market.
One interesting ward that can be developed to offer exclusive and serene tourism and hospitality services away from the clutter and chatter of the Central Business District is Kweyo Ward. This is located about 5 km from the city centre along the highway to Pakwach. It has a recreation centre.
With proper planning, infrastructure development, packaging of the natural and cultural diversity as well as strategic marketing and promotion, Gulu City therefore can become a tourist haven comparable to none in the region.
Isaac Hirya Mweru, Tourism and hospitality consultant