Provision of transport services in protected areas in Uganda: evidence from Kidepo Valley National Park
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The study was aimed at assessing transport services provisioning in protected areas with specific emphasis on Kidepo Valley National Park (KVNP). It was guided by the following specific objectives; (1) to identify the existing transport services to and within Kidepo Valley National Park; (2) to identify the problems associated to each existing transport service to and within KVNP; and, (3) to examine different ways on how to improve the transport situations to KVNP. The study employed a case study design with a sample size of 60 respondents which was purposively sampled and included 26 tourists, 9 tour guides 2 conservation managers, 12 local people and 11 tour drivers. The results revealed that travelers to KVNP were mostly attracted by wildlife, hot springs, birds, landscape and cultural tourism. The study results showed that there are different transport services used by tourists to and within KVNP. The study found that private cars were mostly used by the tourists into the park (35.3%), out of the park 32.3% and within the park 21(32.3), 3.8% of the tourists used public vehicles especially taxis and buses to move to Kidepo Valley National Park. It was found out that 19.2% used public vehicles out of the park and only a small percentage of tourists 7.6% used charter planes to enter the park. The study further revealed that private cars were mostly used in game drives, viewing hot springs, community visits. 100% of the respondents used private cars for game drives; while 30.7% use them for viewing hot springs. The study results also indicated different problems such as heavy rains and floods (88.3%) that make the roads impassable,bad road conditions both into and within the park (80%) as major problems associated with private and public cars to tourists are using the park. The study further found out that development of better infrastructure and improving the existing ones in general, improving on security and reduction on park entry fees for visitors’ cars, making transport facilities more reliable and cost effective especially charter planes are crucial in addressing transport problems faced by those who travel to KVNP.