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Common Myths About Traveling to Uganda – Part 1

Posted on 1 June 2020 | 10:33 pm by Amina Mohamed

I will often speak to people, and they cannot believe that I have travelled 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 travelled to Africa before, have a very negative impression, mostly fed by news reports of disease, poverty, crime, corruption, and war. Still, there is so much more to Africa and Uganda, so I am here to dispel those myths.

This blog is a long post, so I have split it into two parts. Look for part 2 next week.

There are numerous myths about travelling to Africa, and I am here to dispel those myths.

#Common Myths About Travelling to Uganda

Myth #1 – Disease is rampant in Uganda as it is in all of Africa

WRONG!

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, a reality and a problem in East Africa, is also easily avoided if you take proper precautions. First, don't drink the tap water; second, don't eat uncooked street food; and, third, always wear mosquito repellant.

I won't lie – there are malaria-ridden mosquitos in Uganda. 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 quite rare to contract Malaria unless you are not taking proper care.

 

Myth #2 – You can't travel to Africa alone or as a woman – it's too dangerous!

WRONG!

I have been to Uganda now four times, and every time I travelled alone. Again, my friends call me crazy, but I prefer solo travel when it comes to travelling.  

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 different 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 want you to feel welcome. If it came down to it, they would protect you in a heartbeat, as has been my experience.

Africa is often portrayed negatively in the mainstream culture and 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

WRONG!

Poverty exists everywhere – look outside your front door. Homelessness is also poverty. Poverty exists everywhere, and yes, it exists in Africa and Uganda, 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. The practise of gratitude is essential, 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. Uganda shines, even against Tanzania and Kenya, which both have less national parks and safaris combined than Uganda does.

                   

Myth #4 – Africa is just one big place to visit

WRONG!

Africa is a continent, not a country! Just like North America or Asia. Africa has 54 countries, and Uganda happens to be one of those 54 countries located in the East part of the continent. Each African country in the east, west, south, and north also are divergent in landscapes, culture, language, and traditions. There is something entirely 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 ten national parks and safaris and 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.

Uganda specifically has the following things that make it ideal for visiting and taking 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 travellers from the more relaxed to the more adventurous.

Ready to book your spot on our photography-tour? We are currently planning for June 2021. Get on our wait-list at booking@triplefphototours.ca.

Below are just some of the beautiful scenes you will see on our tour.

Lake Bunyoni, Uganda @2018 Amina Mohamed Photography

Lake Bunyoni, Uganda @2018 Amina Mohamed Photography

Black-and-white colobus monkey seen at Semiliki, Uganda @2018 Amina Mohamed Photogaphy

Black-and-white colobus monkey seen at Semiliki, Uganda @2018 Amina Mohamed Photogaphy

Grevys Zebra seen at Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda @2018 Amina Mohamed Photography

Grevys Zebra seen at Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda @2018 Amina Mohamed Photography

Grey Crested Crane in flight at Lake Mburo National Pak, Uganda @2018 Amina Mohamed Photography

Grey Crested Crane in flight at Lake Mburo National Pak, Uganda @2018 Amina Mohamed Photography

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