The 10-day cultural immersion will see travellers become immersed in women’s rights activism in Kampala, while exploring one of the most biodiverse countries in Africa
As the solo female adventure travel movement continues to gain momentum, a new women-only tour has launched in Uganda aimed at championing women’s rights and transforming the country’s gender inequality.
Created by luxury experiential travel expert Yvonne Verstandig, 10-day cultural Travel My Way Uganda will see travellers become immersed in women’s rights activism in Kampala, while uncovering Uganda’s natural beauty as the ‘Pearl of Africa’ through 4WD and trekking adventures.
Travel My Way Uganda, taking place in May 2020, will be hosted by Verstanding and childhood friend and award-winning author of Holocaust fiction, Suzy Zail, whose new novel, I am Change, inspired Verstanding to create the group tour. “My intent with this tour is to inspire other women, like I was inspired by Suzy, to make a difference,” she says.
I am Change, on shelves in August, chronicles the tragic but empowering story of a young Ugandan girl who overcomes tragedy and rebels against the confines of her domesticated, uneducated, subservient life to seek a better existence. The heroine’s story is an amalgamation of the real stories of 30 Ugandan women Zail met and interviewed in rural villages, who had been victimised and stripped of their rights at various points throughout their lives. Zail explains that in publishing I am Change, she ultimately hopes to incite a shift in action towards Ugandan policies advocating women’s education and equal rights.
“Writing a novel and creating a character whose readers would care about, would suffer alongside and triumph with, was the best way I knew to continue to make noise and inspire action; whether it be stirring my readers to speak out against sexism and gender inequality in developing countries or donating money to help keep a girl in school.”
Sharing the same goal of contributing to female empowerment, Verstandig and Zail hope Travel My Way Uganda will challenge like-minded women to explore Uganda experientially while focusing on giving back to the local community. “Yvonne cares deeply about the people and places she visits and has become as invested as I am in creating an itinerary to gain a deeper understanding of the lives of women in developing countries and engage with the communities we visit,” says Zail. “Travel, like literature, is a fantastic educator.”
In keeping with this mandate, a significant part of the Travel My Way Uganda itinerary is dedicated to gaining a deeper understanding about the lives of women in Uganda, learning about their challenges, engaging with local communities and meeting with the organisations that support and aid young women to thrive on their own terms.
Travellers will participate in round-table discussions, visit the Bwaise slums, engage with classrooms of empowerment training and connect with the aid organisations that are helping Ugandan women overcome hurdles to achieve their potential.
They will also hear first-hand from the women who informed I am Change, as well as meet with female leaders of change such as Christine Adero, a Ugandan fashion model who has excelled in feminist leadership.
Travel My Way Uganda coincides with the evolution of Verstandig’s new concept for authentic, immersive journeys with meaning. Travel My Way small group tours are defined by journeys with a story to tell, digging beneath the surface to discover life as it’s lived every day and leaving a lasting benefit on local communities.
Beyond the social consciousness of Verstandig and Zail’s tour, Travel My Way Uganda will also offer travellers adrenaline-pumping experiences as they explore one of the most biodiverse countries in all of Africa. Uganda’s natural wonders range from abundant wildlife and the longest river in the world, the Nile, with its Grade 5 whitewater rapids; to pristine national parks, luxury safari camps, quintessential African savannah and volcanic jungle mountains hiding endangered mountain gorillas.
The tour also features 4WD safaris in Kideopo Valley National Park to find wild cats and thrill-junkie trekking to glimpse the Silverback mountain gorilla in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The Travel My Way Uganda women-only, small group tour will take place in May 2020.