Karuma Bridge Closure: UWA issues guidelines on driving through Murchison Park

Nwoya, (UG):- Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has announced that motorists will not be permitted to pass through Murchison Falls National Park after 7:00 pm, in a string of guidelines issued by the authority following the closure of Karuma Bridge to allow its reconstruction.

Effective today May 6th, 2024, the Uganda National Roads Authority has directed the closure of Karuma Bridge to heavy traffic, including buses, lorries, and trailers, allowing only passenger vehicles with a capacity of less than 28 people.

UNRA’s decision follows an assessment of the bridge structure, which revealed deterioration of the concrete deck on the main route connecting the south to the north, particularly on the Kampala approach lane.

In response to this closure, UNRA said heavy vehicles will need to utilize the protected area as an alternative route to the north.

Unveiling the new guidelines for motorists intending to go through the park, UWA in a press release dated May 5th, urged road users to adhere to the regulations for the protection of the wildlife therein and the environment.

“As custodians of this natural treasure, Uganda Wildlife Authority emphasizes the importance of adhering to regulations for both the safety of persons and the preservation of wildlife,” reads part of the release.

UWA categorically stated that well as the park operates from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, motorists are required to plan their journeys accordingly.

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“No exceptions will be made regarding park opening and closing hours,” UWA stated, further adding that motorists opting to use this route, apart from those prohibited from using Karuma Bridge as per UNRA’s directive, will be required to pay an entrance fee.

“Additionally, a speed limit of 40 Km/hr must be observed within the park, with immediate fines or penalties for non-compliance.”

Littering within the park is strictly prohibited, according to UWA statement, with penalties imposed on operators failing to prevent littering by passengers. Motorists are advised not to make unnecessary stops within the park to ensure the safety of wildlife and visitors, except for emergencies.

Furthermore, UWA advised drivers to remain within designated driving areas, except for authorized tourist vehicles.

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“Please note that all vehicles, except authorized tourist vehicles, are not allowed to deviate from the designated Kichumbanyobo -Tangi road. Any unauthorized diversions will be considered entry without a valid permit and will be penalized accordingly.”

“Additional guidelines include refraining from hooting and feeding animals within the park premises, both of which are strictly prohibited to maintain the park’s natural environment and wildlife safety.”

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