A number of roads leading to Bwindi and Mgahinga National parks in Rubanda and Kisoro districts were badly damaged this week by heavy rains that hit the area.
The affected roads include Muko-Rushaga road, Kisoro-Rubuguri road and the Kisoro-Mgahinga road.
According to tour operators in the region, the current state of roads is a disadvantage to the sector.
Eng. Ivan Mbabazi Batuma, the Kigezi Tourism Cluster chairperson says they are likely to lose a lot of business, with the roads in this state.
“We have for long complained about the poor state of our tourism roads but the latest development has hit us badly. It is now troublesome for guests to access the destinations because the roads are impassable,” said Batuma.
He called on authorities to intervene as soon as possible before the country registers a massive decline in tourism.
Uganda Wildlife Authority has since asked all stakeholders to divert tourists who were supposed to track gorillas from Rushaga to Ruhija and Mgahinga.
Steven Masaba, the UWA tourism director said they took the decision after realising that Rushaga is inaccessible for tourists at this time.
However, Batuma is worried that some tourists may not wish to adapt to the changes.
“Imagine people who had already booked accommodation and they were aware of the choice of gorilla families they were to visit. They may not like the new proposals and thus we risk losing a lot,” said Batuma.
While touring the region in September, the UNRA executive director, Allen Kagina said that government is looking for money to work on tourism roads in Kigezi sub region.
She said that UNRA had already done the feasibility study for the roads and was to upgrade them from marram to paved (tarmac) standard.
Allan Ssempebwa, the UNRA media relations manager revealed that their teams are on ground and the road will be worked on as soon as possible.