FORT PORTAL – Over the weekend, American Hollywood film actor Terrence Howard and his wife Miranda Pak tracked chimpanzees at Kibale National Park.
Accompanied by Minister for Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) Frank Tumwebaze, Uganda Tourism Board CEO Lilly Ajarova, and other delegates, the couple were amazed by Uganda’s cultural diversity and the chimp tracking experience in Kibale National Park. The excursion came shortly after the commemoration of World Chimpanzee Day on 14th July 2022.
Following the experience at the UWA Offices in Kibale National Park, Mr Howard remarked “I was amazed by the interaction of the primates and its closeness to human behaviour. I implore people from all over the world, especially African Americans to come to Uganda and dive into the amazing touristic adventure for better understanding and knowledge of our footprints and deeper roots. People need to make their way to Uganda as it’s beautiful and worth visiting”.
He added, ‘’the experience I had was more like those songs that one would hear on Christmas that welcome you home. The nature walks through the park was covered by sweet sound of the birds and the creatures. And the movement of the chimps; felt like something I had deep within my DNA’’.
Tumwebaze lauded Terrence Howard and his team for making time to visit destination Uganda and appreciated the Uganda Tourism Board for diligently marketing the country. He urged all Ugandans to collaboratively explore and market Uganda as their preferred tourist destination in their networks.
In her remarks, Ajarova said, ‘’We are optimistic about increasing international tourist numbers this year given the current surge of visitors here in Kibale National Park. The tourism industry is confident that the visitor numbers will increase back to pre-pandemic levels. Strategic interventions have been laid out to increase the tourism industry’s contribution to Uganda’s social-economic development. In 2021, Uganda received 7,386 tourists from the North America, approximately 1.44% of the total tourism arrivals. 512, 945 visitor arrivals were recorded during the period.
About Kibale National Park
The park, popularly known as the ‘’Primate Capital of The World” is located south of Fort Portal district, Tourism City in the South Western Tourism Development Area.
It covers an area of 795 square meters and is rich with a diverse ecosystem that harbors 13 primate species, over 375 bird species and 70 mammal species.
The park is a home to over 1,450 habituated chimpanzees and is accessible for both chimp tracking and habituation experiences by tourists.