There have been a lot of #UgTravelMonth hashtags sweeping across various social media platforms, mesmerizing many while leaving others in wonderment about how they could also be part of it.

Well, a host of Ugandan companies in a bid to sponsor local tourism took up the initiative to bring you a month’s long exercise called the Uganda Travel Month. These include the Pearl Guide, Radio city, Total and MTN. Each contributes in its own capacity to see this campaign a success and so, The Uganda Travel Month.

The month happening this October seeks to lure Ugandans into embracing local tourism by visiting various expansive natural wonders like National Parks, their game, waterfalls, flora & fauna among others.

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MTN Uganda not only built an app for this exercise, but also built a pocket sized guide for those seeking to tour Uganda, that is — the Uganda Guide app.

While a lot of Uganda’s tourism potential goes on undocumented, this app seeks to change the status quo to become your informative companion about Uganda’s tourism, while you traverse this beautiful country. It has a lot of information regarding tourist sites, accommodation, intra-travels, nightlife, emergency correspondence contacts among others.

The app is available on Android, iOS and Windows Mobile though nothing of substantial interest changes across all these platforms.Therefore there is nothing exclusive to either platform. Here is its review

Where to get the app from?

The app weighs a paltry of 6-7 MB depending on whichever platform you choose to download it from. My Android variant from the Google Playstore is listed as a 6MB download whilst iOS compatriot from the App Store is within the 7MB  range.

Once it becomes a stable on your phone, worry not of having to load data to access it since its functionality is offline utmost.

The User Interface and Experience

Being an MTN product (the app was developed by MetropolitanRepublic Integrated Communications), it is reminiscent of the much older My MTN app borrowing a lot from it aesthetically but differences are in found in their functionality. The UI is more or less the same, but the truth stands, they both serve different purposes.

It makes sense not to alienate a company’s product portfolio and so the similarities in both the apps’ user interface, an approach I’d rather commend on MTN’s branding efforts.

The app offers tonnes of information just about when an urge/thought of traveling here commensurates with one’s curiosity, when you touch down the Ebb Airport, our international gateway. The top 10 activities not to miss out on, where to stay once you land here, sightings and activities to indulge in, our wildlife and nature, arts and culture and finally nightlife  and recreation for the dubs and the fun bit of it among others.

These are chronologically arranged into sub-menus  that you tap and a flow of information in that regard graces your smartphone screen.

The main screen is basically

  • About Uganda — It is here that you will find brief info  about our beautiful country and its rich history
  • At the Airport — This gives first time visitors a walk through  of the customs & visa info, transport to and around the capital, Kampala,forex rates & ATMS  and lastly some safety tips plus MTN info. Most of the info here rotates around the airport.
  • Top 10 things to see — The developers should have complemented the what to see part with the indulgence bit. Sincerely you just can’t come here only see water rafting, hot air balloon rides & boat cruises, bungee jumping and abseiling minus involving yourself. Included here is  seeing the Uganda Wildlife Education Center, the Source of the Nile, Gorilla tracking, the white sand beaches on Kalangala Island among others
  • Uganda Travel month —  This is an opportune time to enjoy some of the above places and activities cheaply in a months long exercise with scheduled trips to Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Murchison Falls NP, Lake Mburo NP and a grand tour of Jinja that also happens to harbor the source of the Nile. The trips will accommodate travel expenses, hospitality fees, game drives, boat cruises and a host of activities in the respective parks.  (A later update might exclude this once the month of October elapses)
  • Stay Here — This provides for and categorizes accommodation into serviced apartments, Campsites & hostels, Guest house, hotels and Safari Lodges. Further navigation gives you recommended places to stay in, their contacts and geo info in the above sub-categories plus some of their ratings.
  • See & do this — Here you will find info regarding places and their activities summarized into Sport & adventure, Wildlife & nature, Arts & culture and finally Nightlife and recreation
  • Eat here — These are recommended places where you can eat and dine in Kampala and the rest of the country.
  • Shop Here — These are also recommended places where you can do shopping from. Say if you want to buy souvenirs, you can find places here from where to buy them.
  • Getting around —  Basically this provides info on the different transport means and recommended services.
  • Useful phrases — This familiarizes one with with the commonest lingo employed by Ugandans and the different translations from English to Luganda & Swahili. All  these languages are widely spoken across Uganda.
  • Useful contacts — These should be the emergency contacts once you land here or plan to. This section also has a few contacts for the respective bureaus charged with tourism in Uganda.
  • MTN service centers — This section has info about MTN’s service centers distributed across Uganda.
  • Explore MTN — This section has MTN services well suited for a traveler with Uganda being your destination. That tariff plan, different bundles and social info is all here.

NOTE: This is the same information you will access you you tap the drop down menu found on the top right of the app’s interface.

You can download the app here