I first drove in Africa in early 1994 . The place, Harare, Zimbabwe, the purpose, to team as an overland crew driving a 16 ton Mercedes truck, leading commercial tours in East & Southern Africa.
Twenty years later I have decided to hit the African road again. The place, Jinja, Uganda, the purpose, to tour Uganda and raise money and awareness for Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF), but this time instead of a 16 ton Mercedes truck, I will be driving my 1970 Beetle called Percy.
WHO ARE UCF?
Uganda Conservation Foundation was founded in January 2001. UCF was set up to help previously war-stricken, heavily poached, high biodiversity regions in Uganda and Central Africa. Over the past 40 years, severe poaching across Uganda had killed all the rhino and most of the once famed herds of elephants that gave the country the reputation of having the most mega-herbivores per km² in Africa.
UCF evolved from a research project called Elephants, Crops and People undertaken by Michael Keigwin in the 1990s in which he witnessed at first hand the daily battle for survival of people and wildlife alike. This led to the birth of the Uganda Conservation Foundation, UK Charity No: 1087295, its sister non- profit making company in Uganda and conservation relationships in the USA.
In the decade since
then, UCF has earned a reputation for being a proactive organisation who strive
to make every penny, dime or shilling count and, in 2009, 90% of their funding
was turned directly into conservation in action.
|Elephant Trench Queen Elizabeth NP|
Working with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), UCF seeks to sensitise communities and demonstrate through practical projects how financial benefits can be gained from conservation.
For those who have never driven a classic car, one of the most enjoyable things is that they put a smile on people's faces literally every day, no matter where they are. And in Uganda the smiles are huge and the beetles are few.
WHERE IS PERCY GOING?
To places in Uganda where people and wildlife strive to live harmoniously alongside of each other, highlighting the efforts of not only UCF but also other worthwhile conservation organizations within Uganda such as:
- Uganda Wildlife Authority
- Ngamba Island / CSWCT
- Uganda Wildlife Education Centre
- Gorilla Organization
- Jane Goodall Institute
- Rhino Fund Uganda
- Mihingo Conservation & Community Development Foundation
The journey around Uganda will be documented daily with photos and short articles for a period of approximately three weeks.
Highlights of the tour of Uganda include:
- Lake Mburo NP
- Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP
- Queen Elizabeth NP
- Chimp Tracking in Kibale NP
- Semiliki WR
- Murchison Falls NP
- Jinja, Source of Nile
WHAT IS THE APPROXIMATE AMOUNT OF MILES THAT PERCY MIGHT TRAVEL?
Based on the route, if Percy gets to all these places then it will be approximately 1,500 miles (2,000 km), but remember some of these destinations are considered 4x4 highly recommended.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Like Percy, follow Percy, share Percy with your friends, but most importantly sponsor Percy. 100% of all donations will go directly to Uganda Conservation Foundation.