Community Tourism

TOURISM BEYOND WILDLIFE… a community-based tourism experience!

Great Lakes Safaris and UCOTA have joined hands in order to promote community-based tourism and support community development, in partnership with tourists.

Where UCOTA develops the rural communities and creates projects, Great Lakes Safaris offers you the opportunity to actually visit the community of your choice and see how the project supports their way of living. Cultural tourism safaris in Uganda will not only give you an experience of a lifetime, but will make sure that the local people benefit from tourism as well!


Visitors on safaris in Uganda can help support the communities by visiting one of the projects directly, by volunteering or by making a donation. To ensure that the money is well spent, donations should be made at one of the offices.

Don’t watch the world from a distance, but get involved and experience the real Africa!

UCOTA Uganda Community Tourism Association

UCOTA exists to help local communities improve their lives through: the sale of handcrafts, the provision of accommodation, cultural performances and tour guiding . This form of community-based tourism assures that the benefits stay as much as possible in the community. The community projects operate small enterprises such as craft making, music, dance and drama. Thanks to the revenues from these activities, many important rural communities are supported. Community projects include clinics, schools, water supply and literacy programmes.

And every time you buy a UCOTA product, you help the community to help themselves.


In October 2009, Nanny, Peter, Marjan and Frits travel to Uganda for the first time. Together with Great Lakes Safaris guide Gerald, they visit the national parks to enjoy Uganda’s beautiful nature and wildlife. On their travels, they’re also introduced to the small villages and the local people who live here. On their long walks they visit schools, hospitals and women’s projects – but it’s the primary school in Kitwe that steals their heart…

Visiting from a western country, you realize that you take so much for granted (everything is so well organized ‘back home’!) At Kitwe Primary School however, the situation is different. Apart from the (paintless) premises and the (ragged) school benches, there is nothing: no electricity, no water and no kitchen in which to prepare meals for the 700 students.

After a meeting with the headmaster, a plan is created to support the children who have welcomed them so warmly with beautiful songs and dances. Everyone agrees that the lack of electricity is the most important and urgent issue and the first donation is made. The family’s guide Gerald commits himself to overseeing the project to make sure that everything goes as planned.

It takes a few weeks but then the electricity project is ready to start. In August 2010 the four Dutch visitors receive the message that the school is completely supplied with electricity – a good reason to return to Uganda and see the result!

In November 2010, Nanny, Peter, Marjan and Frits returned to combine a safari in Uganda with a visit to the school in Kitwe. The reception has been renovated and looks overwhelming. The children’s bedrooms and the headmaster’s office are lit! Now children can study in the evenings – but the visit to the school also makes it painfully clear that a lot more is needed.

After the installation of electricity, the next plan is to build a new kitchen. Approximately Euro 4,000 is needed for construction and fitting-out. Many people have already donated, sufficient to start the construction, but next we would like to improve the bedrooms; beds and bedclothes need to be bought, the library needs to be supplied with books and the buildings need to be maintained.

Would you like to help us to build this small-scale community project? Or visit the school personally and see the progress that has been made so far? Any contribution is welcome!

Please keep helping the children!

For more information please send an email to or contact Great Lakes Safaris.