Rwenzururu King Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere, who recently obtained amnesty, embarked on a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park on October 14, accompanied by his family, including the Rwenzururu Nyabaghole (Queen) Agnes Ithungu Asimawe. During their trip, they explored several notable tourist attractions within the park.
The royal entourage enjoyed a three-hour game ride, which allowed them to witness leopards and climbing lions in their natural habitat. They also visited the former Uganda Fish Marketing (TUFMAK) plant and the Banyampaka salt crater lake in the Kasenyi sector of the park.
Their journey included a stopover at the Katunguru fish-landing village, where local business temporarily halted as the community warmly greeted the king and queen.
King Mumbere expressed his satisfaction, stating, “We are happy to be back here, and the changes I see are very impressive.”
The family later had lunch at Mweya Safari Lodge on the Kazinga peninsula before embarking on a two-hour boat cruise. During the cruise, they had the opportunity to observe local and migratory birds, swimming hippos, bathing buffalos, elephants, and crocodiles.
The visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park was significant for King Mumbere, who had been away for nearly seven years. He aimed to assess the impact of climate change and explore the park’s natural beauty.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority extended a warm welcome to the royal family on short notice. The highlight of the visit was the close encounter with big cats, such as lions and leopards, during the game ride.
While exploring the Kazinga trail, the entourage noticed ongoing efforts to clear invasive vegetation from the park. A UWA tour guide highlighted that approximately 40% of the vegetation was invasive and affecting the park’s wildlife grazing areas. Additionally, they observed an increase in water hyacinth in parts of the Kazinga Channel.
King Mumbere’s visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park marked a meaningful journey, symbolizing his return to a more peaceful and normal life after his release from prison and the subsequent granting of amnesty.
Mumbere and around 200 of his associates were arrested in November 2016, facing charges including treason and murder. In June 2023, the Director of Public Prosecutions dropped all charges, and on September 5, 2023, King Mumbere received his amnesty certificate, officially resolving the case. However, some of his associates still face charges in the ongoing legal process.