Uganda, with its abundant bird species, holds the promise of significant foreign exchange through birding, according to stakeholders. The country aims to attract at least 100,000 birders by 2030, potentially generating up to $700 million annually.
Birding, the activity of observing and studying birds in their natural habitat, is recognized as one of the fastest-growing outdoor pursuits globally. Ahead of the upcoming three-day International Conference for Women Birders in Kampala, Mr. Herbert Byaruhanga, the leader of Bird Uganda Safaris, highlighted Uganda’s potential to become a top global earner in bird watching.
“Africa boasts more than 50 percent of the world’s bird species, and Uganda currently ranks among the top 10 birding destinations globally, placing it in the top five in Africa,” Byaruhanga said. He emphasized the increasing role of women in tourism as an opportunity to bring about positive societal transformation.
The International Conference for Women Birders, organized by Uganda Women Birders, Uganda Safari Guides Association, Bird Uganda Safaris, and other stakeholders with support from the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), aims to boost various aspects of tourism.
Uganda boasts at least 1,100 bird species, constituting about 11 percent of the world’s total and over 50 percent of Africa’s total bird population. Despite these impressive numbers, the country has yet to fully capitalize on its avian diversity.
Stakeholders in the tourism sector see the upcoming conference as a catalyst to showcase Uganda’s potential to international birding enthusiasts. In a recent interview, Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, the CEO of PSFU, noted that Uganda had matured as an international birding destination due to conservation efforts. However, he emphasized the need for increased collaboration between the government and the private sector to effectively market this unique tourism product.