Kampala promoting untapped potential of cultural tourism

Monday February 05 2024

A Karamoja dance in the Pian Upe reserve in Uganda. PHOTO | MORGAN MBABAZI | NMG


Dressed in colourful traditional attire, a group of dancers in Nakapiripirit District move in sync with the traditional drumming, creating a lively performance. Their movements are swift and kind of acrobatic, reflecting the agility and athleticism for which the Karimojong are known.

The’ performances often tell stories of their community's history and daily life and are accompanied by rhythmic chanting and singing.
The dances are also a form of cultural expression and are often performed at community celebrations and traditional ceremonies.
These dances bring a sense of pride and unity to their community.

This is the experience I had during my recent tour of Karamoja, touring Pian Upe, Lokichar and Moroto Reserves – some of the least-visited nature reserves in Uganda.

Read: Uganda celebrates promoters of cultural heritage

The trip involved more than 60 local travellers and was the first deliberate initiative by Uganda’s Ministry of Tourism to promote Karamoja as a tourist destination that can compete with the more popular attractions in western Uganda.

As a culturally diverse country, industry players think that Uganda would benefit a lot from cultural tourism if the country invested in the promotion of the product as much as gorilla tourism and wildlife safaris.


Promoting cultural tourism is the approach France has taken, which has made it the most popular destination in the world. Each year, millions of tourists flock to the country to experience its rich history, stunning architecture, and unique, world-class cuisine.

Before the Covid pandemic disrupted travel, France received 89.4 million international tourists.

making it the most-visited country in the world that year.