Ways of Impacting Lives – Adding Meaning to your Safari in Uganda – Rwanda
A Safari with Meaning – Impacting the Lives of Africans in the Heart of Africa
Impacting Lives – Adding Meaning to your Safari in Uganda – Rwanda – A Safari in Africa is more than Wildlife, Primates and Stunning Scenery it is about impacting lives, creating new friendships with people of other cultures and traditions, all a part of adding meaning to your Safari, this is especially true about Family Safaris with children.
Impacting Lives – Adding Meaning to your Safari in Uganda – Rwanda. From the moment that you land to the time that you leave your presence here as a visitor to Uganda or Rwanda is affecting African lives and African families. You may not realize it, but tourism, visitors to Uganda and Rwanda contribute thousands of dollars to the economy, impacting and changing the lives of ordinary Africans.
On your arrival you are greeted by African staff, your luggage is unloaded by Africans, the Immigration and Customs officials, the driver guide awaiting you outside of the terminal all have jobs because of people such as yourself visiting Uganda and Rwanda.
The Hotel where you spend your first night and its employees, from wait staff to the reception – from cook to the one who carries the luggage to your room would have no work without you visiting Uganda or Rwanda. Tourism is one of the best income sources for Uganda or Rwanda but beyond dollars, beyond Euros, beyond numbers, it is the lives of ordinary Ugandans that are somehow touched by you visiting their country. A fact that eludes most visitors.
Does tourism really change African lives? The answer is a resounding yes – first there is voluntourism – or volunteerism and most visitors to Uganda fall into that category where they come to Africa and are involved in a project from medical care to building a house for an orphanage and many other things in between.
Such projects definitely impact Ugandan communities – schools, hospitals, villages, slums, and one could go on and on – Voluntourism changes lives – thousands come each year to Uganda or Rwanda directly impacting African Lives.
Visitors to Uganda contribute to the economy every time they stay in a hotel, lodge, tented camp – each time they eat in a restaurant – each time they leave a tip in a country that has mostly a non-tipping culture – it may not seem a lot – but a dollar or two in Ugandan shillings or Rwandan Francs makes a difference in the life of an African.
Most Visitors who go on a safari tour do not realize that their presence – their visit to its Wildlife Parks – their purchases of crafts such as carvings, baskets, batiks, paintings, musical instruments contribute to the well being of another African family.
Cultural Visits to villages, the purchase of locally made arts and crafts once again impact the life of a Ugandan family, so take it easy bargaining down to a low price, but see it as an investment in the person that you are dealing – an investment that empowers.
When it comes to those visitors to Uganda who go on safari may not realize it but the entrance fees into parks, the gorilla permits, the chimpanzee permits, the volcano climbing, the golden money tracking, and all the other activities within the parks have an effect on the communities that surround the various parks.
The Park Authorities in Uganda and Rwanda distribute a portion of annual park entrance fees to those communities and the money has been used to build classrooms for school, toilets, health centers, housing for teachers, irrigation projects, community centers, road construction and improvements, tree planting, trenches to prevent wildlife from encroaching villages, goat rearing projects and more.
This has made lives easier for communities surrounding the parks – one of the best things that more mothers have delivered their children in medical centers erected due to the revenue sharing by the government.
Many of the lodges that you may stay in while in various parks, hire local residents, as cooks, as wait staff, receptionist, cleaners, and even local entertainers for the guests at various lodges – take the porters who may carry your things as you go gorilla tracking – they make more in a year than the average civil servant will earn, the Rangers who take you on birding walks or game drives – are able to pay for school fees for their children, build a home, and more. Tourism empowers many people living in the communities neighboring the national parks through the sale of crafts, cultural performances and increased employment opportunities with tour companies, lodges and even becoming a ranger in Uganda or Rwanda.
Pack to make a difference – you can even pack some things such as books, deflated (soccer) footballs, some small dolls, crayons, coloring books and make a difference in the life of a child along your safari (journey).
Your visit to Africa makes a difference – inadvertently your presence your money spent makes you a change agent –someone who impacts the lives of others and your visit will impact many a life – most of all your own and the lives of your family on a Safari with Children.
Ways to create a Safari with meaning in Uganda
- Purchase some of the great local art and souvenirs – in this way you are assisting Ugandans to provide for their families. There are many talented artists in Uganda producing beautiful items that can grace your home and at the same time benefit a family in Uganda. There are tribal textile items in villages such as Boomu where they weave beautiful bedspreads and other items, creative baskets such as the ones found in the village of Ruboni in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, Carvings of all kinds found in many place, jewelry, paintings, beautiful batiks, musical instruments including drums of various sizes, the list is endless – find out how the item was made and who made it and your purchases will touch someone’s life in a most meaningful manner.
- Raise some funds that you can give to an orphanage, needy family, or a village project in Uganda. This can be done by having an African Movie night prior to your departure – there are some lovely films found – from documentaries to classic movies such as “Gorillas in the Mist.” Talk about your upcoming trip and how you would like to impact an orphanage, school or community in Uganda. Have a garage sale and sell items raising funds to touch Ugandan lives.
- Pack some books, especially children’s books. Uganda for the most part is a non-reading culture. You will find DVD rental shops everywhere, but not many bookstores – people might have one book in their home such as the Bible or the Koran but little else. Children grow up without the gift of imagination being released, no books to dream about for a better future and a better tomorrow.
- Purchase some Soccer Balls, they are usually deflated, light in weight and can easily packed into a suitcase. You will find children here using plastic bottles instead of a soccer ball and your gift will touch a child in a most meaningful way.
- There are many meaningful ways that you can impact the local community and enrich them and allow you to take part in the process of instilling hope where there is none.
Always move from the Spirit of Compassion and never out of Pity – Pity is demeaning and leaves guilt behind with those who receive.
Impacting Lives – Adding Meaning to your Safari in Uganda – Rwanda – If you have a question – please contact us.