Exploited And Potential Tourist Attraction In Soroti District

Location : Soroti District is located in Eastern Uganda bordering the Districts
of Katakwi to the North, Kaberamaido to the West, Kamuli to the
South and Kumi to the East.

Population : The District has a population of about 372,000 people.

Main Town : Soroti is the main town of the District and has a population of about
42,000 people.

Area : 10016.3 Square Kilometres

Land and vegetation : 8.7 percent of the District area is open water, 8.4 percent
is wetland and 13638 hectares is forest.

The key tourist attractions of the district are given below.

1. Lake Kyoga
A significant part of Lake Kyoga lies in the Soroti district. The lake has potential for water sports such as angling, canoeing, and boat cruises. The lake’s sandy landing sites provide opportunities for the development of tourism establishments. For instance, it is possible to develop resort/picnic campsites and other hotel establishments in the shore areas. Other attractions at the lake include fishing villages, bird watching, boat racing, and sunset viewing.

2. Bugondo and Ogera Hills
The hills are located about 42 km from Soroti town. The hills offer opportunities for hiking, tented camps, and primate viewing.

3. Anamulemuka Island
The Island is found in Lake Kyoga. It is sparsely populated and synonymous with undomesticated goats and cows. The wildlife at the Island includes various bird species and Hippopotamus.

The Island is best accessed via a landing site located about 71km from Soroti town.

4. Lakes Opeta and Bisina
Lakes Opeta and Bisina are found east of Soroti town.
In particular, Lake Opeta is locally known for its large number s of unique butterflies. It also has potential for bird watching of the Goliath heron, African Kingfisher, and African Jacana. Some wildlife particularly the Sitatunga, are common around the lake.

Lake Bisina is most renowned for mud-fishing activities. Both lakes have the potential for sport fishing and boat racing.

5. Olianai Swamp
The swamp is found in Soroti County, 10 kilometers along Lira road, and crosses over to
Amuria County.

The area has potential for eco/community tourism activities. If developed, the activities would include walks through the mud fishing communities and bird watching, especially of the Shoebill stork, and Butterfly viewing.

6. Cultural/Historical Attractions
Traditional dances are the most important cultural activity in Soroti. These include the
Akembe and Ajosi dances, both of which are unique in style and attire on head and arms.

Prior to government privatization and restructuring policies, there were plans to establish a regional Museum at Soroti.

7. Soroti, Moru Apeso rock,
Both rocks are found close to Soroti town. The rocks give a scenic panoramic view of Soroti town and some neighboring districts. A number of visitors to the district reportedly find time to climb the rocks.

8. Landing Sites
A number of landing sites of tourism value exist on the lakes in the Soroti district. These include Kagwara in Kadungulu Sub-County, Mugarama and Mulondo sites in Pingire Sub-County, and Bugondo site in Bugondo Sub-County. The landing sites are particularly important fishing of Tilapia and Nile Perch. Tourism activities for development at these sites may include boat rides, bird watching, and the establishment of resorts.

9. Community Activities
There are two important community activities in the district, namely; demonstration farming at Serere Animal and Agricultural Institute (SAARI) and Arapai Agricultural College. Besides demonstration, the farms are also conducted agricultural research. These areas are important agro-tourism Centers of national significance.

Other Community activities with potential for tourism exploitation include Ostrich farming, 4 kilometers from Soroti town; and Plantation Forests in Kateta and Pingire Sub-Counties, 36 and 48 kilometers from Soroti town, respectively. In addition, there are plans to rehabilitate the Odina Citrus Scheme.

10. Other Attractions and Prime Recreational Areas
Other attractions include Soroti Airport and Soroti Flying School.
The prime recreational areas include the Soroti Golf course.

11. Crafts and Souvenirs Industry
The main handicraft items from Soroti comprise unique musical instruments and pottery.
There were no specialized handcraft shops in Soroti or elsewhere in the district. However, sensitization and training of communities on sustainable use of the abundant papyrus and other swamp vegetation are necessary to diversify their income sources.

12. Hotel and Catering Industry
The district had 26 accommodation business establishments with a capacity of 426 beds, at the time of the survey. The industry employed 209 people. Soroti Hotel was found to be the most outstanding accommodation establishment, catering for budget and upper-class visitors to the region.