A small group of attention seekers and sensationalists tried to dupe this correspondent last weekend into believing and reporting about an alleged shooting of tourists in Kidepo National Park. The truth of the matter, however, and swiftly established, was that two vehicles, hired by an NGO, apparently drove into a cattle raid, some 400 kilometers from Kidepo (which never was their destination by the way), and got shot at in the cross fire in the vicinity of Nakapiripirit. These were NOT tourists, and although the incident is of course highly regretted, it bordered on the highest irresponsibility by those concerned who tried to wind up their colleagues in the safari operations fraternity and hurt the business of the lodge operator in Kidepo, with whom some of the very individuals had issues before over the Clouds Safari Lodge.
Tourists, it is again reiterated, do NOT drive nor are driven to Kidepo but fly there from either Entebbe or Kajjansi, and the park itself is well secured and safe for visitors. One of the access roads through the Karamoja region is still much subject to the traditional ways of life, comprising often of cross-border cattle raids like in the old days, but with spears, bows, and arrows today substituted against AK 47s. Please see the travel advice by the Uganda Tourist Board or the Uganda Wildlife Authority via www.visituganda.com or www.ugandawildlife.org for added information on safety and park security, and please, be careful about rumors being spread by a very small section of what is generally understood to be a disgruntled minority trying to bring Uganda into disrepute.