Many times, I will speak to people and they cannot believe not only that I have traveled to Uganda alone but that I also run a photography tour and teach photography to local girls, through my business Triple F Photo Tours.
Uganda, otherwise known as the Pearl of Africa is in East Africa and shares borders with Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Unfortunately, many people, having never traveled to Africa before have a very negative impression, mostly fed by news reports of disease, poverty, crime, corruption, and war BUT there is so much more to Africa and Uganda, so I am here to dispel those myths.
This is a long blog post, so I have split it into two parts. Look for part 2 next week.
#Reasons for popularity of Uganda
Myth #1 – Disease is rampant in Uganda as it is in all of Africa
The truth is that disease exists everywhere, even in first world countries and as long as you take precautions you should not get sick. When I travel, I make sure to get all my vaccines updated, and thankfully as long as you get Yellow Fever once, which is a live vaccine, you are protected for life.
Furthermore, Ebola, which is a reality and a problem in East Africa, is also not easily caught if you take proper precautions, such as not drinking tap water, not eating uncooked street food, wearing mosquito repellant 24-7 and having common sense are pretty tried and true methods of avoiding common diseases.
I won’t lie – there are malaria-ridden mosquitos in Uganda and they are rampant in the wet season but using a mosquito net at night when you sleep (thankfully these are everywhere we go in Uganda) and mosquito repellant will protect you. It is actually quite rare to contract Malaria unless you are not taking proper precautions.
Myth #2 – You can’t travel to Africa alone or as a woman – it’s too dangerous!
I have been to Uganda now 4 times and every time I traveled alone. Again, my friends call me crazy, but I prefer solo travel when it comes to traveling.
I would not go everywhere in Africa alone but have never had an issue in Uganda. Uganda, in my opinion, is one of the safest and friendliest countries to visit in Uganda. With 54 distinct tribes and 54 distinct languages, you are sure to find your fit with the people somewhere in the midst. I LOVE the Ugandan people – to me they are the warmest people you will meet everywhere and while the Ugandan men will ask you for your hand in marriage numerous times a day, it’s all in good fun as they just want you to feel welcome. If it came down to it they would be there to protect you in a heartbeat as has been my experience.
Again, Africa can be portrayed negatively in the mainstream culture or in the media so don’t let that affect your decision to travel – you will come home with a changed view of the world I promise.
Myth #3 – Poverty is the highest in Africa
Poverty exists everywhere – just look outside your front door. Homelessness is also poverty. Poverty exists everywhere and yes it exists in Africa and Uganda too, but you have to remember that what we see at poverty is just acceptance of how life is in Africa.
We complain about what we don’t have every day, but they are grateful for WHAT THEY DO HAVE – which to me is what the practice of gratitude is all about and I think we can learn a thing or two from people living in Africa.
Uganda has poverty but it also has a middle-high income class now and no other African country can rival its travel and tourism industry. This is where Uganda shines, even against Tanzania and Kenya, which both have less of national parks and safaris combined than Uganda does.
Myth #4 – Africa is just one big place to visit
Africa is a continent, not a country! Just like North America or Asia. Africa has 54 countries and Uganda just happens to be one of those 54 countries located in the East part of the continent.
Each country is the east, west, south, and north also are divergent in landscapes, culture, language, and traditions. There is something quite different to see in each country and it’s a shame that all get grouped into just the continent rather than what makes them unique.
For instance, Uganda has 10 national parks and safari’s and also has the only walkable safari parks in Africa. Lake Mburo is one of the safari parks we will see, where you can walk amongst the Grevy Zebra, the Rothschild Giraffe, and other land animals.
Other than what was already mentioned, Uganda specifically has the following things that make it ideal to visit and take in its natural beauty
· It lies astride the equator – we visit the Equator and depending on the time of year, you can do the “water experiment” where the currents intersect each other from the north equator and the south equator;
· It is known as the Pearl of Africa because of its bountiful nature and biodiversity;
· It has the highest mountain range of the Mountains of the Moon in the Rwenzori region and also is the
start of the White Nile River, which flows north towards Egypt; we visit the Nile River on our photo-tour to Uganda on our stop in beautiful Jinga, just outside of the capital Kampala;
· It has beautiful weather year-round and is landlocked so there is no risk of ocean-related natural disasters, that other African countries typically suffer from;
· There is something to see and experience for all types of travelers from the more relaxed to the more adventurous.
Ready to book your spot on our photography-tour. We are currently planning for August, however, if that gets pushed off due to COVID, we will be opening up the tour for September or October 2020. Get on our wait-list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are just some of the wonderful scenes you will see on our tour.