Community-Based Tourism and Biodiversity Conservation in Kibale and Queen Elizabeth Conservation Areas in Uganda

  • Joseph Katswera Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kyambogo University, P.O. Box 1 Kyambogo, Kampala, Uganda
  • Norah M. Mutekanga Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kyambogo University, P.O. Box 1 Kyambogo, Kampala, Uganda
  • Charles K. Twesigye Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Kyambogo University, P.O. Box 1 Kyambogo, Kampala, Uganda
Keywords: Biodiversity Conservation, Community-Based Tourism, Local Communities, Parks


Community-based tourism promotes biodiversity protection and local community welfare. The Queen Elizabeth and Kibale Conservation Areas in Uganda were investigated. To find out more about the importance of local communities and community-based tourist groups in biodiversity conservation, as well as the issues facing community-based tourism, a household survey was conducted from January to April 2019. This study used semi-structured surveys, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and remote sensing to obtain primary data. A total of 242 people were surveyed. Data was analysed using various statistical tests, and presented results in tables and figures. Participation of communities in community-based tourism development was motivated by financial and non-financial benefits which encouraged them to participate in conserving biodiversity. They participated through collaborative resource management, and offering tourism programs, products and services to their visitors. Community-based tourism contributed to the overall biodiversity conservation, cultural heritage management, and improvement of people’s welfare. In strengthening community-based tourism, park management provided skills, benefit sharing schemes, ensure compliance of the community-based tourism facilities, and increased conservation education and awareness which further promoted conservation of biodiversity. In conclusion, community-based tourism plays a positive role in promoting wildlife and biodiversity conservation. However, it’s challenged by competition from private tour operators and privately owned hoteliers, inadequate product development and diversification, inadequate access and infrastructure, meeting customer expectations, inadequate knowledge and skills, COVID-19, and security related challenges, among others. Finally, there is need to enhance skills of local communities in community-based tourism development. To market and promote community-based tourism, private sector should strengthen “market intelligence” and also develop a destination branding and marketing strategy.


Cole, S. (2006). Cultural tourism, community participation and empowerment. In M. K. Smith & M. Robson (Eds.), Cultural tourism in a changing world: Politics participation and (re)presentation. Cleveland, UK: Channel View Publications.

Eagles, P. F. (2014). Research Priorities in Park Tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 22, 528-549.

Ferraro, P. J., & Hanauer, M. M. (2014). Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111, 4332-4337.

Gandiwa, E., Gandiwa, P. Z, Muboko, N., Libombo, E, Mashapa, C., & Gwazani, R. (2014). Local People’s Knowledge and Perceptions of Wildlife Conservation in Southeastern Zimbabwe. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5(6), 475–481.

Giampiccoli, A., & Mtapuri, O. (2015). Between theory and practice: A conceptualization of community based tourism and community participation. J. Social Sciences.

Gossling, S., Scott, D., & Hall, C. M. (2020). “Pandemics, tourism and global change: a rapid assessment of COVID-19”, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1-20, doi: 10.1080/09669582.2020.1758708.

Günlü, E., Yağcı, K., & Pırnar, I. (2009). “Preserving Cultural Heritage and Possible Impacts on Regional Development: The Case of Izmir Dokuz Eylül University,” International Journal of Emerging and Transitioning Economies 2, 213–229,

Higginbottom, K., Northrope, C., & Green, R. (2001). “Positive Effects of Wildlife Tourism on Wildlife”. Wildlife Tourism Research Report Series: No. 6. Status Assessment of Wildlife Tourism in Australia Series.

Kendra, P. (1989). Teaching and Methods of social surveys, Research and statistics. Railway crossing Sitapur Road, Luiknow.

Kothari, C. R. (2004). Research Methodology. Methods and Techniques. Second Edition. New Age International (P) Ltd. New Delhi, India.

MacKay, K. J., & Campbell, J. M. (2012). Innovative Community Tourism in Uganda. International Tourists, National Networks, and Local Livelihoods. TÉOROS, Special Issue, 59-64

Marschall, S., Graquist, S. M., & Burns, G. L. (2017). Interpretation in wildlife tourism: Assessing the effectiveness of signage on visitor behavior at a seal watching site in Iceland. Journal for Outdoor Recreation, 17, 11–19.

Miles, M. B., Huberman, A., and Saldana, J. (2014). Research Design and Management. Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Source book, (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage, 17– 54.

Mitchell, J., & Muckosy, P. (2008). A misguided quest: Community based tourism in Latin America. Retrieved February 20, 2015, from Overseas Development institute:

MTWA. (2014). Uganda Tourism Development Master Plan 2014-2024. Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA), Kampala.

Naidoo, R., Weaver, L. C., Diggle, R. W., Matongo, G., Stuart-Hill, G., & Thouless, C. (2016). Complementary benefits of tourism and hunting to communal conservancies in Namibia. Conservation Biology, 30, 628–638. doi:10.1111/cobi.12643

NEMA. (2009). Environmental Sensitivity Atlas for the Albertine Graben. National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Kampala

Neuburger, M., & Steinicke, E. (2012). Alpine Tourism in Tropical Africa and Sustainable Development? Ugandan Rwenzori and Mt. Kenya as Case Studies. Journal of Sustainability Education, 3, ISSN: 2151-7452

Nyaupane, G. P., & Poudel, S. (2011). Linkages among biodiversity, livelihood, and tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(4), 1344–1366. doi: 10.1016/j.annals.2011.03.006

Ruiz-Ballesteros, E.; & Cáceres-Feria, R. (2016). Community-building and amenity migration in community-based tourism development. An approach from southwest Spain. Tourism Management, 54, 513-523.

Singh, L. K. (2008). Ecology, Environment and Tourism. Delhi: ESHA Books.

Storey, D. (2004). A sense of place: rural development, tourism and place promotion in the Republic of Ireland. In L. Holloway & M. Kneafsey, Geographies of rural cultures and societies (pp. 197-213). Aldershot: Ashgate.

Strickland-Munro, J., & Moore, S. (2013). Indigenous involvement and benefits from tourism in protected areas: A study of Purnululu National Park and Warnum Community, Australia, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 21(1), 26-41.

Tamir, M. (2015). Challenges and opportunities of community based tourism development in awi zone: a case study in Guagusa and Banja Woredas. Ethiopia. J. Tour. Hospital. Sports, 11, 50–78.

The World Bank Group. (2018). Supporting Sustainable Livelihoods through Wildlife Tourism. Wilsted & Taylor Publishing Services. Knowledge Series | Tourism for Development. 1818 H Street NW Washington, DC 20433

Tosun, C. (2006). Expected nature of community participation in tourism development. Tour. Manag. 27, 493–504. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2004.12.004

UNWTO. (2020). International Tourist Numbers Could Fall 60-80% in 2020, UNWTO Reports, UNWTO, available at: (accessed 19 August 2020).

UNWTO. (2017). “On the International Day for Biological Diversity UNWTO Announces a Training on Tourism and Biodiversity in West and Central Africa” (press release),

UNWTO. (2015). UNWTO tourism highlights 2015 Edition.

UNWTO. (2012). Tourism and Intangible Cultural Heritage (Madrid, Spain: UNWTO, http://www.e-unwto .org/doi/book/10.18111/9789284414796.

UWA. (2012). Guidelines for Revenue Sharing between Wildlife Protected Areas and Adjacent Local Governments and Communities. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Kampala

Varsi, R. A. (2012). Imagined biodiversity through conservation-as-development, tracing more than a decade with natural co-management in Shey Phoksumdo National Park in Nepal. Master in Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, Oslo.
How to Cite
Katswera, J., Mutekanga, N., & Twesigye, C. (2022, June 28). Community-Based Tourism and Biodiversity Conservation in Kibale and Queen Elizabeth Conservation Areas in Uganda. African Journal of Education,Science and Technology, 7(1), Pg 95-105.