KAMPALA – A team of fourteen Israeli nationals who concluded a weeklong excursion of Uganda have told PML Daily that the country’s natural resources including Flora and Fauna aren’t anywhere in the world.
The team that comprises of three celebrity families and a professional award-winning photographer arrived in the country on April 21, 2019 and visited several tourist attractions including the Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kazinga Channel, Bwindi impenetrable First where they tracked the mountain gorillas and finalized their trip with a visit to old Entebbe airport where their country’s commandos staged daring rescue back in 1976 against Idi Amin.
The three are influential personalities and celebrities in Israeli entertainment and media circles.
According to Ronnit Hershkovitz, the team leader and Managing Director of Safari Company in Israel, the trip to Uganda is one of the best things they had ever experienced and vowed that they would return for a longer expedition.
She said: “From this trip, we wanted to show how important it is for families to experience nature together and appreciate the values of our life that we sometimes take for granted because of modernity. ”
She added that the way to attract any tourist is by telling the story of the place, the people nature and wildlife.
“I think you just have to find for us a new place here in Uganda that will now be the new Israel. We have had the most memorable times in this country and I want to assure you that Uganda now has 14 ambassadors in Israel.”
The group’s visit comes on the heels of a landmark event in February 2019 when a direct flight of over 230 Israel tourists landed in the country for a three-day excursion.
Its also culmination of a visit by Prof Ephraim Kamuntu the minister of tourism, wildlife and antiquities and UTB represented by Marketing Manager Claire Mugabi to Israel in February where an agreement to market Uganda to Israel was reached with leading Israel tour operations.
While meeting the group in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kanungu district, Mr. Kamuntu explained that the underlying aim of the visit to Israel at the time was to make Uganda known in the Israel source market.
There was every justification for this, he stated adding that every year, because of faith, many Ugandans travel to visit Jesus’ birthplace and another religious site.
“There was, however, hardly anyone from Israel coming to Uganda, and so, we had to go to Israel to interest you to visit us. I’m happy that your visit here is part of the fruits of the occasion.”
Ms. Lilly Ajarova, the UTB CEO told journalists that for Israel source market, the target will be limit generation travellers, families, honeymoon, and couples celebrating special events in unforgettable ways of adventure travel.
She said the board has been designing the perfect product for the Israel tourists and ‘I’m glad to report that the rest a break through.”
“Early this year we had over 230 tourists here, and now you a team of very very influential personalities, and were expecting a team of others very soon, she said adding that such visits will strengthen travel ties between both countries and increase tourist arrivals to Uganda.
One of the tourists, Mr. Guy Pines, the host and the producer of Good Evening with Guy Pines, a leading entertainment news show in Israel told PML Daily that Uganda’s treasure lies in her people.
The people here are very welcoming, its very interesting. You can’t find it anywhere in the world,” he noted.
He said they had found a place so far away from home.
Other members included Ruti Ridner, a leader in the media and creative industry, Motty Reif one of the leading fashion producers, lifestyle and television shows and Simor Louzon, a young fashion leader who is part of the international diesel, an Italian clothing company among others.
Uganda and Israel share a history of cemented events including the much remembered ‘Raid on Entebbe’ an Israel hostage rescue mission that took place in July 1976.
The two nations have since buried the rivalry with Israel helping Uganda on many things including education and military aid.