(Xinhua) -- About 75 km north of the
Ugandan capital Kampala, tour operators and bloggers armed with
knives go on a hunt for ripe pineapples in a four-acre garden in
It is an experience that the operators
are packaging to interest tourists, especially those from Asia.
Uganda is gifted by nature with rich fauna and flora,
sprawling hills, magnificent landscapes, the world’s biggest
mountain gorilla population, national parks with wildlife gems,
some 1, 200 bird species, friendly people, beautiful weather and
Besides these attractions, tour operators believe using the
ripe, sweet pineapples as an agritourist delicacy can attract
Samuel Mugisha, the director of Bic Tours, told Xinhua in a
recent interview that when tourists come, they are interested to
visit pineapple gardens in order to partake of the experience
farmers go through in growing the sweet yellow fruit.
"We are introducing tourists to the idea of appreciating how
pineapple are farmed.
"We take them to the garden where they get to learn about the
process of planting the pineapples, how they are harvested and
get to go on a ‘hunting’ expedition before enjoying the
pineapple," Mugisha said.
When the tourists arrive, they are guided on going to the
They are given a knife or machete.
Each of the participants will go out to hunt for the biggest
and most ripe pineapple.
A garden may have up to 20,000 pineapples depending on the
When they return, the farm manager assess all pineapples
harvested and the person with the biggest or most ripe pineapple
will be rewarded with a gift of their harvest.
This part of the country grows the most number of pineapples.
From the gardens here the sweet fruit is exported to Europe
Uganda is keen on growing tourist numbers from China as a
source market for its growing sector.
The country’s tourism officials told Xinhua in a recent
interview that they must take advantage of China’s increased
interest in Africa to boost tourism arrivals from the Asian
"The Chinese have toured all the other continents in the
world and now they have special interest in Africa," said Daudi
Migereko, chairperson Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), a government
agency charged with the promotion of tourism.
"They come as tourists but also as investors.
"So we need to up our game and ensure that we market Uganda
as special country within Africa where they can come and enjoy
their holidays," said Migereko.
Migereko said the government is in the process of hiring a
public relations firm that is expected to liaise with tour
operators in China, airlines and other companies to promote
Uganda’s tourism potential.
He said already Uganda’s embassy in China and its consulate
in Guangzhou are doing some work to market the country.
UTB has also held a number of promotional initiatives,
including road shows in some of China’s major cities, such as
Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai.
Uganda also uses public relations firms to market the country
in Europe and the United States.
Mugisha said when the promotional efforts start bearing
fruit, private operators should be able to offer Chinese
tourists a variety of experiences apart from visiting national
parks and other tourist destinations.
He said farmers also benefit when tourists visit their
gardens for an experience that lets them appreciate the process
of farming the sweet fruit.
The country earns about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars annually
from tourism and expects the figure to double by 2020.
Uganda deports two foreign
nationals over subversive activities
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Ugandan security agencies have deported
two nationals, one French and the other Rwandese, for allegedly
engaging in activities that may comprise the country’s national
security, police said on Tuesday.
A police statement issued here said the two were using their
employment at one of the country’s major telecommunication
companies to achieve their ill motives.
The deportation of the two foreigners, who were using their
employment as tools to achieve their ill motives, has enabled
the country to disrupt their intended plans of compromising the
national security, the police statement said.
"We urge members of the public to remain alert and continue
helping the police and its sister security agencies by reporting
any suspicious activity," the police added.
Local media reported that the two who were working for MTN
Uganda were arrested on Monday.
The police statement did not give details on what subversive
activities the two were engaged in.
Uganda’s largest telecom
confirms arrest and deportation of employees
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
MTN Uganda, one of the largest telecommunication
companies in Uganda, on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of two of
its senior employees by security operatives.
The company in a statement said its Chief Marketing Officer
was arrested on Saturday upon arrival from a business trip
abroad while the Head of Sales and Distribution was arrested on
Monday by unidentified security personnel.
MTN said the two have been deported from Uganda to their home
countries, France and Rwanda, respectively.
"MTN Uganda, together with all its employees, remains fully
committed to operating within and respecting the laws of the
country," the company said.
The Ugandan police in a statement issued earlier on Tuesday
said the duo were deported because of engaging in activities
that threatened national security.
The police did not give details on what activities the two
were engaged in.
The police urged the public to remain alert and inform
security agencies reporting any suspicious activity.
Seven people were killed
and 10 others critically
injured in road accident in eastern Uganda
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
At least seven people were killed and 10 others
critically injured in a Saturday road accident in the eastern
Ugandan district of Soroti, a police spokesperson said.
Charles Ssebambulidde, the directorate of traffic and road
safety spokesperson, told Xinhua by telephone that the fatal
accident occurred after a truck carrying mainly cattle traders
overturned at Opuyo, about 4 kilometers to Soroti town.
The cattle traders, mainly from Mbale, Bukedea, Kumi and
Ngora towns, were travelling to the famous Otuboi cattle market
in Kaberemaido district.
"The death toll is likely to go up. There are people who are
seriously and critically injured," said Ssebambulidde.
"Our officers are at the scene to ascertain the exact cause
of the accident," he said.
The spokesperson said both the injured and deceased have been
transferred to Soroti hospital for treatment and postmortem
Uganda registers about 20,000 road accidents each year, with
some 2,000 deaths, making it one of the countries with the
highest traffic death rates, according to police statistics.