This year the theme of We Are Africa (one of Africa’s largest tourism trade shows) is ‘Not One Story’. This years’ aim is to replace stories told about Africa, with stories told by Africa – made in Africa. The Uganda Safari Company is a proud Founding Tribe Member of We Are Africa and with much excitement we look forward to this years’ event, which will take place in May. Together with all other We Are Africa tribe members, we are trying to challenge outdated, negative and monotone perceptions of the continent through travel. We decided to let one of our interns tell her story about the myth of ‘Unsafe Africa’.
The Myth: Africa is unsafe
Most people conjure up two main scenarios in mind when thinking about Africa. The first is filled with fascinating landscapes varying from majestic mountains to long, stretched, dry savannahs, great mammals & primates, and culturally authentic tribes. The second is one of poverty, disease, corruption and crime. Although both scenarios have substance and truth, they vary greatly in the amount of relevance to the tourism sector.
With regards to safety in Uganda, yes, there are certain areas that one should avoid; but aren’t most countries culpable of this? The US, The UK, Japan: they all have areas, particularly in main towns, which are less than desirable. And yes, there are chance-takers and bribe-mongers aplenty. The tourism industry of Uganda is not closing its eyes and pretending these issues do not exist, but is rather addressing the problems head-on… there is a specially-tasked Tourism Police Force, the industry is highly supportive of local communities and small business initiatives, and they join forces with NGO’s that are trying to create sustainable growth and development.
When it comes to the landscapes, the mammals, the primates and the authenticity… the reality of the beauty far surpasses any pre-invoked ideas. The variety and freedom of the animal kingdom in Uganda is almost unimaginable: The many gorilla families and chimpanzees of the South-West. The incredible wetlands surrounding the river Nile which host a vast array of endemic bird species. Mount Elgon, in the East, which has the largest volcanic base in the world. And the North, where one finds authentic savannahs teeming with African Elephant, the Rothschild Giraffe, leopards and tree-climbing lions…
How we are trying to tell our story: by focusing on the latter magnificence, and physically showing our guests how safe, serene and stable Uganda is when they are in our well-trained, knowledgeable and capable hands, experiencing our piece of Africa, the one place on earth where nature is as it’s meant to be: wild & free