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Monday, June 1, 2009

Bunyonyi Resorts

Today was our first full day in Mbarara, and we traveled to Provia’s home of Kabale, to visit Bunonyi Resort. To see her excitement was one of the best parts of the day. She only gets a chance to go home on holidays and it was nice to have her there to be able to tell us about her home district, especially how it is different from Buganda. We woke up early to travel “two” hours, which we have now noticed that does not always mean “two” hours. The roads to get to the resort were difficult; not smooth and quit a few hills but with the best view yet. Farmland and animals made so there was always something to look at while not traveling through a town.

Bunyonyi Resort almost was a honeymoon location to where we have been so far. It had beautiful cottages and a multitude of tents that were quit secluded. The resort sits right along the lake, so all the views were beautiful. After lunch we took a nice boat ride to view the islands and stopped at one to get another look at the rolling hills. Standing on the islands made you feel quit small in comparison to what was around you. To see all the different pieces of farm land scatter along the hills was amazing. Provia explained how farm owners own only small plots in several different areas and do all the work by manual labor which makes for difficult days. This would be opposite from what we saw on our rural visit. Along the way a few of the resort managers explain their business and what they have to offer.

They were very generous, as they cooked us full traditional Ugandan meal. Except it has been our first Ugandan meal without matooke, and I can’t lie I almost wanted some.

My question for the students would be: Where should tourism in Uganda go to help them further develop?


  1. Very true. The trip to Bunyonyi Resorts was beautiful. I never expected so many hills full of lush vegetation. I feel that areas like this lake are beautiful and unique. Tourists are likely to travel here and experience the affective feelings associated with nature. I think that areas like this: unique, beautiful, lush are likely to be prime places for tourism. I think that publicity needs to be used to make people from different countries aware of the beauty found in the pearl of africa. For example, before taking this course, I was never aware that Uganda was the home of the second deepest lake in Africa, third in the world. If Uganda or the Bunyonyi Resort could get these facts out into the international community, more tourists would visit.

  2. Great post, Brooke. The question you pose is a difficult one and it is one that must balance progress and conservatism.

    The area we went to was absolutely beautiful and has the potential to be a large tourist attraction. I am sure there are many more spots like this in Uganda as well since it is "The Pearl of Africa". By opening up more tourism, the country could take in a significant amount of money, which would definately help its economy. But, is this the correct option?

    I think I am leaning towards no at the moment. In America, we make everything a tourist attraction and try to get the most money out of it as possible. But, I think what we saw here at the lake was soo precious that you would not want to completely open it up as large tourist attraction. I think that ruins some of its beauty as well.

  3. I think tourism is important for Uganda's economy, but I am worried that it could be too much too fast for a place like Mbarara. Professor Bishop and I had a good conversation about how the beauty of this place could be compromised by increased visitors.

    I think a better place for tourism to develop in the future is near the urban areas such as Kampala. While the roads in and around the city aren't great, they are at least better than rural areas, so increased traffic wouldn't have as great of an impact. Also, Kampala is hurting for some entertainment, so why not build a roller coaster through Parliament? There's enough screaming in there anyways.

  4. While it's true that increased tourism runs the risk of diminishing some of the natural beauty, I think it needs to be developed as far as and as soon as possible. The natural resources are beautiful and can continue to be beautiful, so long as progress is made in the right way. The beauty needs to be preserved, but there comes a point when an advancement in quality of life and income need to come first. The economy of Uganda is at the point where all aspects need to be taken advantage of. No, this does not mean they should proceed without caution. It does mean, however, that some risks need to be taken to benefit in the long run.

  5. Comment by James Akampumuza sent via Prof. Roots Account

    The observations posted on the subject of the trip all highlight issues of interest to sustainable development for the community as well as demonstrating evidence that serious learning is taking place. This is extremely encouraging. I hope that development practitioners, developments studies students and academics, politicians,etc have access to this blog to ponder the next moves towards solving the ever nagging question of sustainable development in Subsaharan Africa, using the case study of Uganda as reflected in these postings. Kudos to our Professors Jimmy Senteza, Tom Root and Deb Bishop for the excellent work done in helping us get to the project moving. We are missing Professor Glenn this time round. But sure he is with us in spirit.
    James Akampumuza