BUSINESS: Exploit potential of Lake Victoria for marine tourism

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“The amount of nature that is available is reducing. But the number of people looking for nature is increasing; so it is important we conserve our lakes and take advantage of them, including rivers,” tour operator and guide, Amos Wekesa, also the director of Great Lakes Safaris Limited, observes.

Three years ago, Olivier Van Pee sat his family down to tell them about the potential they could exploit in the marine industry in Uganda, on Lake Victoria – Africa’s biggest fresh water body in Africa.

His family is seasoned in the transport business under Nyanza Evergreen Waterways, running MV Vanessa and MV Nathalie active in transportation of people and cargo on Lake Victoria as well as barge/ferries operated on Lake Albert.

Wekesa’s tour company operates a 65-seater luxury MV Kazinga which plies on the Kazinga Channel that links Lake George and Lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth National Park, in western Uganda, a 32-kilometre tourism circuit rich with wildlife, namely hippos, buffaloes, elephants, bird species, fauna and flora.

At the moment, MV Kalangala offers the most affordable public transport between Entebe to Kalangala, a tourism destination popular for its 84-island archipelago in Ssese that consists of virgin and blossoming islands.

It plies the route for three hours, at Shs10,000 in the ordinary section and Shs15,000 in the VIP section. Nyanza operates MV Vanessa on the same routes, for an hour and charges Shs45,000 one way and Shs85,000 for a return journey.

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