A Kenyan friend recently said something that I had never really thought about. She was shocked to learn that Uganda’s main airport is not even in the city and that one has to drive for about 40km before they can reach the capital in Kampala.
The distance between Entebbe and Kampala is never really a big issue since the road is good if we can ignore the traffic snarl-ups that patronise the road most of the time. The bigger dilemma is when one is a tourist and they fly in to Entebbe with intentions to visit some of the hidden treasures the country has to offer suuch as the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which is home to the endangered mountain gorillas, or Kidepo Valley National Park in the northeastern corner of the country.
The distance from Entebbe or even Kampala to the different game parks is one many tourists often prefer to be shorter so that they are not exhausted by the time they go for the game drives.
Enter AeroLink Uganda Limited, a domestic airline offering both scheduled and chartered flights into Uganda’s national parks.
AeroLink offers daily flights to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Kihihi and Kisoro airstrips), Queen Elizabeth National Park (Kasese, Semliki and Mweya airstrips), Semliki National Park (Semiki airstrip), Murchison Falls National Park (Bugungu, Pakuba and Chobe airstrips) and Kidepo Valley National Park (Kidepo airstrip).
I have had the chance to fly with AeroLink on one of their CE208 Cessna Caravan Turboprops aircraft from Pakuba to Kidepo and later on from Kidepo to Entebbe. Flying with AeroLink is exciting and comfortable thanks to the fact that you are assured of ample legroom, amazing aerial views as you fly over Uganda and being able to freely talk to the pilots who are not hidden away in a closed cockpit.
The flights from the game parks to their base in Entebbe are approximately an hour and fifteen minutes. This has gone a long way in opening up Uganda’s tourism spots and reducing the distance one would have had to spend on the road.
According to most tourism experts, improved access to game parks is a move in the right direction as far as Uganda’s tourism sector is concerned. With better aviation, water transport and road transport options, Uganda looks set to reap more from its tourism gems.
AeroLink Uganda is affiliated to AirKenya Express in Kenya and Regional Air Services in Tanzania. The sister airlines all offer scheduled and chartered flight services to the game parks and reserves in Kenya and Tanzania. AirKenya Express also flies to the coastal towns of Lamu, Malindi, Mombasa and Diani from its Wilson Airport base in Nairobi.
You can visit www.aerolinkuganda.com for more information on AeroLink Uganda.