Can you still find Authentic Africa on Safari Today?

Posted by on August 28, 2016

Where do you find the Real –  The Authentic Africa Today?

Does Authentic Africa Still Exist? Can you still find Authentic Africa on Safari Today in Uganda – Rwanda


Can you still find Authentic Africa on Safari in Uganda or Rwanda? The quest begins with your definition of Authentic Africa – of the Real Africa.  Outside of your tented cottage, you can experience Wildlife unlike any other place in the world.  It is real and authentic Africa, though diminished by an ever-expanding population, reduction of the size of parks,  poaching which is driving some species such as Elephants and Rhinos into extinction.

To most Authentic, Real Africa means Tribes, People Groups, Villages as they have existed for 100 of years and seeing and experiencing that first-hand.  There is demand by seasoned African Travelers to experience Africa, Culturally, be with the people of Africa, of Uganda and Rwanda. That means in most cases, safaris that take you off the beaten tourist track.

Ask an African to define Authentic Africa as he or she sees it and you will get a different picture than the one you might be looking for – an Africa frozen in time.

The African will tell you about a whole other Africa that is progressing, educations widely available, modernized, taking its place in the world.  Authentic Africa – can be found, but it depends on your definition of what is Authentic – otherwise you might be disappointed.

Where do you find Authentic, Real Africa?  In Uganda we can take you to the remote Ik People villages, high in the Morungole Mountains, accessible only on foot, living for the most part as they always have.  We can also can take you to a University in Uganda and Rwanda and find Authentic Africa in the thoughts, the cultures that shaped them and influences.  Every African is related to the place, the tribe, the clan, the family where he or she came from and that is only a few hours from modern Kigali or Kampala – Authentic Africa where many are committed to keep their cultural Heritage alive.

 Can you still find Authentic Africa with its culture and traditional ways. The answer is yes, and it often is in the most unlikely places.  Most of them are off of the beaten track, and the word Authentic – the Real Africa is in the eyes of the beholder, which most often means a Tourist on Safari and their idea, and interpretation as to what “Authentic Africa. ”  The Tourist must understand a few things and the first one is that the Authentic Africa, may it be in the city, countryside, or the wilderness, and what makes Authentic Africa different from the Western World that it is a relational world, not an individualistic world.  That being taken by the original people of the forest, the Batwa Pygmies into their ancient hunting and gathering world is someone sharing with strangers, not a point and click venture, but one that needs mutual interaction for the benefit of all. Visiting the remote Ik or Karamojong Tribes in remote North Eastern Uganda is an almost sacred event.

If Authentic Africa is going to survive Tourists must respect the cultures and ways of the people that they meet.  The same slogan that is used for Responsible Tourism in the Wild can be applied to dealing with people of other cultures in Africa.

One should add, meaningful interactions, learn from those who you meet and give them a part of you in the form of your words, at times gifts, since it is traditional here that when you visit someone, you leave something behind, and that is a gift.  When you visit someone, do leave your preconceived ideas behind, even your expectations, otherwise you might be shocked seeing Karamojong Pastoralist, Nomad Warrior with a Nokia Cellphone, since might just think that they should not have one.

African Villages that you visit or stay in for a day or two, Tribes that you visit on Safari, Cultural Activities do benefit from your visit.  Those that you meet in the form of fees paid, such as the Batwa Trail in Mgahinga Gorilla Park, the monetary gifts of appreciation for a tribal dance and performance.

Cultural tourism benefits the local communities, tribes, people, families, it also presents dangers to Authentic Africa, its culture and ways. It may preserve the the shell of African Culture, but hollow out its soul, reducing everything to picture-taking moments, removing the connections to the heart of the culture remaining simply with a contrived, staged cultural performance for tips and smiles.  Leaving Authentic Africa behind for Tourism dollars, without a real connection to culture and tradition.

When most Safari Goers, write or speak about wanting to “Experience Authentic Africa” they are speaking about Traditional Africa, unchanged by the modern world.  Such an Africa does not exist in most of Africa, except if you are off the beaten tourist path, or have the discernment to see the difference.  We can take you a few miles outside of Kampala to Ssezibwa Falls where on grounds owned by the Church of Uganda, traditional rites and sacrifices are still performed. A few hours from Kampala is the Nakayima Tree where African witches are found practicing the ways of old, sacrifices are brought and payments are made for a chance of fortune, love, a child.  Authentic Africa, you have to look for it and know what you are looking for.

Reality:  If you are coming to find the Africa that Winston Churchill encountered during his 1907 African Journey, you will be disappointed, since you will not find it.  Neither will you find the Africa as described by Karen Blixen or Beryl Markham, even the Africa of Ernest Hemingway.  They are history, may evoke feelings of nostalgia that get you here, but Africa is changing daily.

Can you still find Authentic Africa?  Yes, you can.  It will be an Africa as it has evolved, with glimpses backwards as you visit a distant village, such as those of the Ik Tribe.  Even here changes have come, in 2016, the first Ik was elected to parliament, and they have the first young woman enrolled in a University in Kampala.

Our Take on Authentic Africa on Safari:

Encountering Authentic Africa on Safari is something we do, including visits to villages, village stays, fishing villages, salt producing villages where you can only get there on foot, the Ik and Karamojong People, the  Batwa people and others.

Our Tour Guides will help you to see the difference between cultural performances and authentic village life.  Introduce you to different cultures and ways in both Rwanda and Uganda and tell you the legends of old.

There is not a lot of written material about culture and traditional ways since most was passed on under the Mango Trees by Village Elders.  If you have the time you can find material on the internet about the different tribes and cultures.  We will do our best in helping you the Authentic Africa of today.


Please contact us if you want to discover Authentic Africa in Uganda or Rwanda.



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