The official Destination Uganda Guide for 2011-2012 was published this week in partnership with the Uganda Tourism Board and Solimar International through USAID-STAR project. This is the first promotional collateral of its kind for Uganda and the 10,000 copies printed will be strategically distributed to targeted travel agents and media at upcoming trade events and sales outreach activities. The high quality color guide is a stunning representation of Uganda and its sure to attract new visitation to the country.

View the online version of the guide here: Destination Uganda  2011-2012

Pearls of Uganda launched in March with partner Uganda Community Tourism Association (UCOTA) amidst plenty of fanfare and support from the tourism industry as well as the media. The concept involves partnering cultural tourism packages offered by communities in Uganda, with leading local tour operators and lodges in order to showcase these amazing experiences which have to date been overlooked becuase of their remote locations and difficulty in finding a system sutiable for marketing and reservations. Experiences range from African Craft Workshops to hiking The Batwa Trail with decendents of the oldest indigenous peoples of Africa. Why the name Pearls of Uganda? When Winston Chirchill traveled to this lush destination teeming with wildlife and natural attractions he named Uganda the "Pearl of Africa'. And as the community tourism experiences are also gems, the name "Pearls of Uganda' seemed most suitable.

San Miguel del Bala, indigenous community-owned ecolodge offering a wide variety of ecotourism packages near Rurrenabaque within Madidi National Park launches new website: www.sanmigueldelbala.com

The Frugal Traveler: How to go birding without going broke By MYSCHA THERIAULT; McClatchy-Tribune News Service was published by over a dozen print and online newspapers this week and seems to be be going viral. Read the article.

An excerpt: "Uganda is home to half the bird species in Africa, according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Numerous national parks offer spotting opportunities there, including the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Murchison Falls."ccording to Amos Wekesas, owner of Great Lakes Safaris, the entire nation is fair game. Says Wekesas, "In Uganda, birding starts at the airport and continues throughout the country."

Stay tuned for Uganda's new national birding web portal coming in May/June 2011: www.birding-uganda.com

Jascivan Carvalho is one of South America’s leading community tourism entrepreneurs & tour operators. His travel company, Tropic Journeys in Nature, operates sustainably in secluded natural settings that adventurous travelers have come to enjoy.

Among Jascivan’s many success stories is the Huaorani Lodge based in the headways of the Amazon within the Yasuní Bioshphere Reserve—one of the most biodiverse places on earth. Jascivan helped to develop this lodge which was honored as a finalist at the 2010 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards in the "Best Accommodation for Local Communities" category.

Dominica Named one of 10 Stunning Eco Destinations by Huffington Post.Dominica is home to Undiscovered Lodges: Exotica and Jungle Bay Resort & Spa

Read the article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/01/10-ecotourism-destination_n_843310.html

The word “Amistad” means “friendship” in Spanish. La Amistad International Peace Park is the name of the park spanning the border between Costa Rica and Panama, and it contains the largest expanse of undisturbed cloud forest in Central America. Visit the destination with the innovative La Ruta Amistad Green Passport. Download it here.

The Batwa people are among the oldest known indigenous communities in Uganda. The creation of the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in southern Uganda displaced many Batwa from their traditional way of life, but through the creation of The Batwa Trail, the local community has regained access to the park in a way that celebrates both their culture and biodiversity conservation. The Batwa Trail launches May 2011.

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