Bad Roads Worry Kisoro Tourism Operators

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Tourism operators at Mgahinga National Park Gorilla National Park are worried that the deteriorating state of the roads in Kisoro district will reduce the number of visitors to the park.
Edison Ndayambagye, the Director of Mgahinga Community Development Organization, says tourists to the organization's two campsites are unhappy with the state of the roads. The organization operates Magyambere Wacu Community Mgahinga Camp and Lake Mutanda Community Camp.
Ndayambagye says that although the camps have had full bookings for the past two months, the state of the roads to and from the national park may discourage visitors if nothing is done to repair them soon. He says the bad road is also eating into profits.
Ndayambagye complains that the road from Kidandari to the national park gate is in such a poor state that tour operators have to frequently take their cars for repair in order to keep them roadworthy.
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Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda's smallest national park. It is located in Kisoro district, covering the northern slopes of the three northernmost Virunga Volcanoes: Mount Muhavura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabinyo. It is one of only two locations in Uganda in which mountain gorillas can be found.
Sandra Gray, a conservationist from the United Kingdom who is working with the Mgahinga Community Development Organization, says most of the tourist camps in the area are affected by the bad roads to the park. She explains that the camps are considerable distances from Kisoro town and need good roads to regularly take food, medicine and other supplies to tourists.
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Despite the state of the roads, the attraction of the gorillas in the national park continues to grow.
Herbert Mugisha, the front desk manager of Golden Monkey Hotel, says the hotel continues to register large numbers of guests despite the global economic downturn. He says that last week the hotel was overbooked and had to refer guests to other establishments in Kisoro.
Gorilla tracking is Uganda's major tourist attraction.