The start of the Holiday season coincided with my return from an extraordinary journey to East Africa. Last week, my kids woke to our elves who have returned, be-masked, traveling safely and socially distancing among the poinsettias. What a time!
I am so extremely grateful that I got to travel after so long! On an incredible safari to Uganda filled with bucket-list experiences, to boot.
I was exhilarated and privileged to be among one of the first travelers to return to Africa since its re-opening, a ‘safari pioneer’. Those of you who follow me on social media may have seen my stories of plains teeming with wildlife, our very moving gorilla and chimpanzee trekking experiences, and remarkable interactions with local communities. We almost had the wilds all to ourselves and felt completely safe at all times.
I am so humbled that our visit made such an impact locally. Our group (a safe bubble of travel advisors and friends who all had negative COVID tests) caught the attention of the Ugandan nation and feedback was that were bringing hope and light at the end of the tunnel, that tourism was returning. To a place that relies so heavily on tourism income, this is immense.
Our visit, plus our very hearty shopping efforts at local markets and women’s empowerment sewing groups, meant that some families were able to see a way forward financially, for a little while longer. Our visit also bolstered wildlife conservation efforts and provided desperately needed income for local guides, trackers and porters.
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