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Ugandas tourism | Tourist zones | Equator Line project | Facilities/Infrastructure | Tourist characteristics | Map

Tourist characteristics


A survey carried out for formulating the Uganda's Tourism Master Plan established that the following were the most important sources of visitors to Uganda.

Country % Comments
Kenya 16 Uganda’s neighbour, provides the bulk of imports and the commercial route to the sea to landlocked Uganda.
UK 15 Separated from continental Europe because of historical links with Uganda.
North America 12 Two countries, USA and Canada.
Other Africa 24 Mainly Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC.
Other Europe 22 Countries include Germany, Scandinavia, Italy, Benelux, France.
Other countries 11 Countries include India, Japan, and other Far East.
Total 100  

Individual countries' statistics show that Kenya is the leading source of tourists to Uganda (not necessarily Kenyan Nationals), followed closely by United Kingdom and North America. The prime productive source for this project in terms of its aspirations are the Scandinavians and Continental Europeans.

Purpose of Visit

The visitors to Uganda come for three major reasons:

Visiting friends or relatives
Holiday adventure


The table below gives the statistical distribution of reasons why visitors come to Uganda.

Purpose of visiting Uganda % of tourists interviewed stating this purpose
Business 39
Visiting friends or relatives 30
Holiday 15
Other (include religious purposes and sports) 16
Total 100

Business is the number one reason why foreigners visit Uganda, closely followed by those who come to visit friends or relatives. Both these groups however, are of limited value to the Equator City. The Business Group would most probably stay in Kampala rather than away from the capital. Visiting friends or relatives tend not to stay in hotels but mostly in private accommodation. However, they usually eat out a lot and go-out on weekends.

Chief among the "visiting friends or relatives" are the nostalgic British who, because of their historic ties with Uganda, have many friends and or relatives in the country and in neighbouring Kenya. Next are guests from countries of origins of the expatriates working or resident in Uganda and currently USA has the highest number of expatriates.

A special category of "Visiting friends or Relatives" are the neighbours. In particular the Kenyans, Rwandese and Tanzanians, but more importantly the expatriates, who work with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), who come for long weekend stays.

The fourth biggest group is those classified as others. These come for religious and sports events. The conference visitors who also fall in this category are not mentioned. This category is of special interest to the developers of Equator City. Religious visitors and the sports groups are not immediately relevant since they will stay in Kampala or in well populated commercial centres.

The smallest group of visitors come to Uganda for holiday adventure. The typical visitors come from:

Continental Europe, 53%
(Germany, Scandinavia, Italy, Benelux and France)
North America, 22%
(USA and Canada)
UK, 15%

This group (Others), though small, is important to the growth of tourism in Uganda and to the Equator Line Centre Ltd's project.

Length of Stay

On average, visitors spend two weeks in Uganda, although the single largest group spends just a week or less. The popular visits are between 10 days to two weeks, and between two to four weeks. There are a significant number of tourists who spend over a period of four weeks. Most whites stay about the same period (about 18 nights) and this period rhymes with the duration of the tourist circuits operated now and those recommended for the future in the Tourism Master Plan.

The single most important expenditure item (which takes over half the money) is for accommodation and meals/bar. There is also substantial expenditure on restaurants outside the hotel. Others include obligatory airport tax, donations, and transport. Surprisingly expenditure on sightseeing/organised tours and purchase of handicrafts are negligible.

Destinations and Composition of Travel Arrangements

People who visit Uganda:

Visit Uganda alone (58%)
Combine their visit with another country (27%)
Combine their visit with two other countries on top of Uganda (11%)

Pure holiday makers usually come to see two countries; Uganda and another.

The majority of the visitors (79%) come with companions. Those accompanied come with non-family friends and in groups, the most popular being of four persons followed by a second group of two persons. 21% come alone

Groups of three are the third. Where family groups come, the most common are a couple plus children, or just other family members (not children). The third and fourth family groups are coming as a couple or one parent and children. Lastly, those coming in family group are mainly from UK, USA, Canada, and Continental Europe.

All the visitors do not use packaged tours but make their own travel arrangements individually or through an intermediary. Only a very small fraction of the holiday makers use the packaged tour arrangement.