FILE - Ugandan riot police patrol on the streets of the Kamwokya neighborhood.
FILE - Ugandan riot police patrol on the streets of the Kamwokya neighborhood.

VOA's Halima Athumani in Kampala contributed to this report.

Uganda security teams have rescued an American woman and her driver who had been kidnapped by gunmen in a national park.

The two "are in good health'' and "in the safe hands'' of security officials, police said in a Twitter update.

Four unidentified gunmen kidnapped Kimberly Sue Endicott, 56, and her driver, Jean-Paul Mirenge, near a wilderness camp inside Queen Elizabeth National Park Tuesday evening. An elderly couple who were robbed but not taken alerted a park official to the abduction.

The abduction happened in the Ishasha section of the park, which sits near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Police spokesperson Polly Namaye said the kidnappers, using the victim's phone, demanded $500,000.

A general view shows habitations near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in Uganda, on May 24, 2014, one of the most densely populated rural area in the world.
Ugandan Forces Search for Abducted US Tourist and Driver
Ugandan security forces are searching for an American tourist, her driver and the four gunmen who abducted them inside a national park on Tuesday. The gunmen have demanded half a million dollars to release the captives.Ugandan police say a group of three tourists and their Ugandan driver were out in Queen Elizabeth National Park at about 2:00 p.m. Tuesday when the unidentified men held them up at gunpoint.  They say the gunmen kidnapped an American, identified as 35-year-old Kimberly Sue Endecott, and…

It was unclear Sunday if the ransom had been paid for Endicott, who is from Costa Mesa, California, where she has a small skin-care shop.

Uganda earns about $1.3 billion per year from tourism.

Bashir Hangi, the spokesperson for the Uganda Wildlife Authority, acknowledged the kidnapping could hurt the tourism industry but said tourists need to be cautious when traveling in national parks.

"Maybe we need to appreciate the fact that these people did not have a ranger guide, the time they went for a game drive," he said. "And why do we have guns in the park? It's to protect our visitors, not only against wildlife but also against such illegal armed entrants in the parks."

Meanwhile, in an advisory, the U.S. embassy in Kampala has asked Americans to exercise caution when traveling in Queen Elizabeth National Park due to ongoing security activity.