Diary of a Muzungu | Uganda & East Africa travel blog follows my adventure so far
A few years ago I jacked in a good job in London, packed up my life and let a stranger move into my flat… was I mad?
Diary of a Muzungu records the highs and lows of a British woman living and working in a developing country. Culture shock, my (mis)interpretation of Ugandan culture and African society, expat life, wildlife experiences and adventures, work trips to the bush (yes I got paid to go on safari!) walking my recycled street dogs through Kampala’s slums, travel across Africa, birding, conservation, tourism and my luck (or otherwise!) finding a man – it’s all on here.
Diary of a Muzungu featured on Lonely Planet 2009 – 2012, encouraging me to develop my travel writing and daydream about writing a book. In 2013, Diary of a Muzungu was named one of Uganda’s top 10 most influential bloggers. (I guess what I’m saying is I’m not ready to come home yet Pa…)
Diary of a Muzungu has twice been voted ‘Best Tourism Digital Media’ in Uganda’s inaugural Tourism Excellence Awards and at the second Tourism Excellence Awards event in 2017!
More of an obsession than a hobby (!) Diary of a Muzungu comprises 200 African (mostly Ugandan) travel stories. “The Dairy” (stet) – as I am affectionately called by many Ugandans – is delighted to live in this beautiful and hospitable country and honoured by the praise I receive for sharing my adventures with you all (even when this praise is from random strangers in public toilets!)
Who is the Muzungu?
“Bampita Nagawa” – they call me Nagawa – and I am from the Enkima Red-tailed Monkey clan.
A Ugandan diet heavy in carbohydrates have helped me develop that most African of assets: a kabina. As if physical proof were not enough, a supermarket assistant stopped me in the aisle last week to announce loudly to the world:
“Madam, you have a BIG BUM!”
It was a compliment.
Did I choose Uganda or did Uganda choose me?
I’d wanted to live in Africa since I was a teenager – but do I know why? – and finally touched down here in Uganda in 2009.
Diary of a Muzungu started as a way of keeping in contact with my family when I came to Uganda as a volunteer. I’d always yearned to ‘do something meaningful’ and finally I’d been offered my dream job: working with local people to tackle wildlife poaching and address human wildlife conflict. (How many organisations can include elephants as their ‘key stakeholders’?)
Dream job? Well, that’s how it looked on paper 4,500 miles away! As the Diary recounts, life as an expat in Uganda has its frustrations – living with power cuts, slow internet and water shortages, Malaria, bureaucracy, surviving on a volunteer allowance, Kampala’s potholed roads, dust dust and more dust. Diary of a Muzungu quickly became the creative outlet I turned to when I found life in a developing country just a bit too challenging.
And so – in theory just for two years – my life in Africa life started as a VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) volunteer (British equivalent of Peace Corps), working as the Marketing Development Manager for the Uganda Conservation Foundation who I continue to promote through the sale of my personalised Uganda photo souvenir maps. Being a conservation volunteer was immensely rewarding: I am very proud to have played a small part in UCF’s successful conservation initiatives with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and watching UCF’s profile grow. The Muzungu’s interview with Go! Overseas tells you more about my work with UCF.
My Uganda photo maps are popular leaving presents for expats and look great in lodge receptions too. Each map is completely unique to you (and I love putting them together!) Check out the Uganda photo souvenir map Facebook page for more map ideas.
‘Doing something meaningful’ has also involved having a seriously fun time in Kampala, the party capital of East Africa, and joining the legendary Hash House Harriers, for even more legendary trips to Jinja, Lake Victoria’s Ssesse Islands, Kenya and Ethiopia.
What is the Muzungu doing now?
Diary of a Muzungu’s love for conservation issues is not limited to elephants! I support NatureUganda’s Big Birding Day and the great work of Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Trust (Ngamba Island), The Gorilla Organization Conservation Through Public Health and others. To wake up to Uganda’s birdsong every morning is a joy. I never tire of new things to write about in this beautiful country.
I work freelance to promote birding, conservation and tourism in Uganda, specialising in marketing communications and social media. Feel free to browse my portfolio of writing for other publications and my professional profile on LinkedIn
How can I help you?
Feel free to contact the Muzungu for travel tips, Safari and tour itineraries, advice on gorilla permits and expat advice on living in Kampala and Uganda. Everyone loves my personalised photo souvenir maps of Uganda, my lodge reviews and travel stories.
Whether you’re a tourist, traveler, volunteer, expat, or a Ugandan who just enjoys seeing the country through another person’s eyes, drop me an email, I’d love to hear from you.
I hope you enjoy reading Diary of a Muzungu half as much as I enjoy writing it.
The views expressed in this blog are my own, unless otherwise stated. All photos are my own, unless otherwise stated. Read the Muzungu’s full terms and conditions here.