Last week I wrote about common myths and misperceptions about Africa, specifically in regards to traveling to Uganda. We at Triple F Photo Tours, operate photography-tours to Uganda and combine this with teaching photography to local girls in Uganda, studying to be journalists, through our not-for-profit side, Cameras For Girls.
Let me share with you a few more myth-busters when it comes to traveling to Africa with a focus on Uganda.
#POPULAR MYTHS ABOUT UGANDA
Myth #1 – Africa is a violent place
As I said before, I have traveled solo a few times and never feared for my life in Uganda. Can the same be said for all African countries? That’s like asking are all US President’s idiots?
Uganda has had its challenges as have many African countries but as long as you are mindful of your guide’s instructions, stay out of areas you should not travel alone to (same can be said for Toronto) you will be fine.
Myth #2 – Traveling to Africa is only good if you want to do safari or volunteerism
Africa and Uganda specifically has so much to offer a visitor, such as:
· Going on a photography-tour to improve your photography while on an excursion; you are guided and coached on how to come away with the best photos possible. You will come to Uganda as an amateur and be ready to embark on your photo journey (selling prints for example) by the time you get home;
· While on this photo-tour, you will also get the opportunity to join me, your guide, as we teach photography to 15 local girls studying to be journalists. We give them a camera, teach them how to use it and help them transform their lives as they seek out jobs in a very male-dominated industry;
· Trekking the mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park
· Trekking Chimps in Kibale National Park
· Visiting the Nile River and Lake Victoria Falls in Jinga
· Visiting Murchison Falls and seeing the animals from shore on the riverboat excursion
· Meeting local farmers in the Rwenzori Mountains
Yes, there are many different Safari’s to visit and lots of volunteerism opportunities. For instance, on our photography-tour to Uganda, you will not only see and experience 1 safari but you will get 2 safaris.
In Uganda, while there are 10 National Parks, there are 5 that are notable and we try to visit between 3 and 5 of them on our itinerary.
For instance, you will see gorillas in Bwindi National Park; chimps in Kibale National Park; lions, leopards, elephants, hippos, and over 300 birds in Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. My favorite though is the walkable park, known as Lake Mburo National Park.
But perhaps you are not into safari or sightseeing animals?
Well, you can do other amazing things, such as white water rafting, hiking the Rwenzori Mountains, and specifically, Margherita Peak, which is the third highest peak in all of Africa and visit the numerous waterfalls that abound in Uganda.
My favorite waterfalls are the ones at Amabere Gyanimweru. You actually walk through the forest and then come upon an open cave, which you climb down into. Once you get to the bottom and you turn around, you are gob-smacked with the awe-inspiring waterfalls.
“But I just want to relax on the beach”
Africa has beautiful white-sand beaches throughout the continent and even a landlocked country like Uganda has the Ssese Island Archipelago. This stunning beach is a part of lush islands on Lake Victoria. It has been said that the sunsets here are absolutely stunning and I have to say that African sunsets are like no other you will see.
Finally, there is also the community engagement you can do. I am a strong believer that when you visit a country, it’s important to see and experience how the locals live. I don’t mean that you should pay to visit a home but you should see how people subsist and live on a daily basis.
When we travel through Uganda, we meet local farmers who grow coffee and tea, which will give you a huge appreciation every time you drink a cup of java back home. We will also visit local artisans and see how they make the crafts they sell in the local markets. I am not a huge fan of bartering as this is how most Africans will support themselves and their families.
Myth #3 – It’s So Expensive to Travel to Africa
Just like traveling anywhere else in the world, you can decide to travel on a budget or spend to your heart’s desire as you may only have one trip to Africa.
When building our photo-tour to Uganda I wanted to offer something that would be middle of the road – no hostels but we will stay in clean, well-managed hotels, lodges, and even camps where the elephants come to visit.
I also wanted to offer as much as I could in our itinerary as I am all about helping our amateur photographers improve their photography skills, while on an excursion. With a small group of 7, as we go on safari, gorilla trek, or community tourism, I am there to help you get the photos you want to get – don’t know how to manually adjust your camera settings? YOU WILL by the time the photo-tour is over.
I also wanted to feed that itch you may have had since you were a child. Take Kim, who came with me last year – she dreamed of going to Africa since she was a child and while Uganda was not on her top list of places to visit, she now can’t wait to go back as she like many others who visit Uganda, left her heart there and adopted the country and the people she met.
So, what are you waiting for? Africa and specifically Uganda has so much to offer – the people, the culture, the amazing things to see and do and more importantly that Uganda will be your myth-buster place to be
Let’s book your spot on this incredible tour today at firstname.lastname@example.org