By Josephine Birungi
KAMPALA. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has warned the public against some fraudsters who are collect money from tourists meant for gorilla tracking.
“It has come to our notice that some unscrupulous people have been telling clients especially those interested in gorilla tracking to pay using western union money transfer. We wish to inform the general public that UWA does not operate through any agent, all payments especially for gorilla tracking which require advance booking are made through bank,” said Mr Simplicous Gessa, the media manager, UWA.
In a press statement issued Tuesday July 7, 2018, he further explained, “Our head office in Kamwoya, Kamapala also receives cash payments so do park entry gates. We wish to warn the public against these fraudsters. For more information contact the authority during working hours.”
Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the backbone of Uganda’s tourism industry are critically endangered, with a total of only 720 individuals remaining in the world. They live in the Virunga ranges shared by Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The number of gorilla-tracking tourists has been increasing annually, save for 1999 when it dropped from 2,437 in 1998 to 2,111 the killing of eight foreign tourists by the interahamwe rebels from the DRC. Since then, the government has tightened security around the park, which is key for tourism growth.