Security has been heightened inside Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Addressing the press on Friday, the Minister of State for Tourism Godfrey Suubi Kiwanda said that following the kidnap of an American tourist Kimberly Sue Endecott and her guide Jean Pierre Mingere, several measures have been put in place to avoid a repeat of the unfortunate incident.
On April 2, Endecott and Mingere were kidnapped by two unidentified men. They were later released after a ransom was allegedly paid.
Kiwanda revealed that joint security patrols comprising of UWA enforcement officers, tourism police and the Uganda People’s Defense Forces have been heightened within the park.
Whereas only UWA rangers are manning the entrance into the park, deep inside the National Park, there are several armed policemen and UPDF soldiers in patrol.
Kiwanda said that the kidnappers could have exploited the fact that there are eleven fishing communities within the park making it possible for criminal elements to hide within those communities.
UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha revealed that UWA has already mapped out some areas considered to be risky within National parks and will not allow any visitors to tour them without UWA guides.