While I may run a tourism business, that does not mean that I do not enjoy playing the part of the tourist as well. I very much believe that to provide a quality experience to my customers, the best way for me to do that is by periodically putting myself in their shoes. I personally got bitten by the travel bug long ago and so, like many of my clients, am constantly looking for the next expedition. Unfortunately for Ugandans, visas for countries on other continents can often be expensive and hard to obtain. Given that fact, and also the added expense of traveling further afield, I resolved to see, at the very least, one new African country every year.

The hike was worth it.

African penguins

Drakensberg amphitheater is regarded as one of the most impressive cliff faces on earth.

Africa is the world’s second largest continent by both land and population and has no shortage of places to see and experience. There are a lot of different things to do when you arrive on the continent like gorilla trekking, mountain climbing, safaris, white water rafting, desert safaris, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and whale sharks, scuba diving, and sky diving. Just like any traveler, I want to experience the diversity of adventures which are available, and take it from an African that not all African countries are the same. Every nation you visit displays its own unique cultures, languages, and ways of life. In my most recent trips, I traveled through East and southern Africa, to the Seychelles, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Ethiopia and South Africa and felt just as much a foreigner (and just as much excitement) as someone from Europe or the US.. 

Dalol lake in Ethiopia
Salt Flats in Ethiopia.

The volcano is an amazing site.
Despite having given hundreds of tours and interacted with thousands of people from all over the world, I still find it interesting to hear the responses of clients when questioned about their conceptions prior to arriving. I continually hear comments such as “I thought it was like a desert”, “I didn’t know my iPhone would work here”, “People are dressed more modern than I expected”, “It feels safe here and people seem friendly”…etc. It is actually rare to encounter someone who is NOT surprised at what they find upon finally touching down. 
Colonial streets on Mozambique island

Floating on the Indian ocean- Paradise!

Empty quiet beach in Mozambique
  With all of that said, and while I may be somewhat biased, it is not an exaggeration to say that within Africa, Uganda continues to be one of the favorite destinations of travelers from around the globe. The people here are very friendly, and its capital Kampala ranks among the most inexpensive cities in the world. Additionally, our temperature remains relatively the same year-round, providing travel opportunities in all months. The vegetation is always lush and green, and there are always things to do.
Wild life in Tanzania.

Beautiful Usamabara mountains in Tanzania.

Kampala Walking Tours has the privilege to guide you on our customized journeys replete with knowledge and history. We offer a wide variety of activities to suit your interests with some of our offerings including: walking and cycling tours focused on the city, food, and entertainment, respectively; day treks to the equator, rhino sanctuary and the source of the Nile River; safaris in the wild; gorilla and chimpanzee spotting; white water rafting; and hiking trips. While my business is constantly evolving, our passion remains constant – to give you the most unforgettable experience in East Africa.
The mighty Gorilla- Photo by – Nils.

Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda- Photo by- Nils.

Fresh fruit and Vegetables on the continent.

This is not to downplay the challenges involved. Like any trip, before travelling, you should do your research for each country. For example, it is easier to move around Uganda because English is the official language and almost everyone speaks it. In Mozambique, on the other hand, you would do well to learn some basic phrases in Portuguese with the same going for Swahili in Tanzania, and Amharic in Ethiopia. While Africa in general is relatively cheap, good research will still save you money as we have tourist traps just like anywhere. For backpackers, there are myriad low-cost options with hostels and tent sites scattered throughout the continent. If you’re a hard-core adventurer, you can even rent or buy a motorbike and ride from South Africa to Kenya, as several of my clients have done. And of course, there are the more well-known group safaris which can be booked as a good way to share costs. Public transport is available in most countries, and you can always find cheap food in every place you go. 

A few things to remember when moving around Africa:

  • In most African countries, people don’t wear clothing that exposes the body, especially the legs, so it is usually more appropriate for men to wear long pants and women to wear something that falls below the knees 
  • Travelers should avoid carrying large amounts of cash, and try to make use of Visa cards as much as possible, as these are accepted in many towns and cities.
  • When taking photos of people, always ask their permission first. 
  • Make an effort to learn some basic local phrases as it shows respect and has the added benefit of helping you get better prices. 

Of course, as with many experiences, there is only so much you can learn from reading. At a certain point, you just have to take the plunge. So if you want to know what this wonderful continent is all about, turn off the TV, book your ticket, and come experience it for yourself. I look forward to seeing you!