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Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Ugandan Safari King Who Has Made Millions Introducing Tourists to The Beauty of His Country

Meet Amos Wekesa, Ugandan entrepreneur and founder of Great Lakes Safaris, one of the largest tour operators in Uganda. Wekesa has also made millions introducing his clients to the beauty of his country. "Personally I've traveled the whole world, and I think one of the things I am advantaged with is having seen my own country as a tour guide, and seen how the tourists were shocked about the beauty of this area," he says. Read his inspiring story gotten from CNN African voices below:

There was nothing swift about Wekesa's rise. After school, he worked sweeping floors, earning $10 a month."I was living, to be honest, on half a dollar a week," he recalls. His luck would eventually change when he  got a job as a tour guide. "I remember very well my first trip. We had 3 tourists and we went around for 15 days. We were doing camping, we had to put up tents, had to cook breakfast for the guys, and stir the campfire until the last person finished smoking, maybe 3 am. It was a draining job," he recalls.

When he decided to set up his own firm in 2001, he got very little support. "People would say, 'you were born in a poor family, we told you, you can't do business,'" he says. "I mean 99% of the people that surrounded me were telling me 'You can't succeed. You don't have a background of business.' But I knew in my heart that you know what, I think God has given me this opportunity and tried me out, and I'm going to make sure I succeed in this thing."

Wekesa became the first local operator to build accommodation in a national park when he was given a government concession to build a lodge in December 2006. Since then, business has continued to thrive and today, he has made millions and become one of the go-to Ugandan tour guides with a company providing 180 jobs to the local economy. "The company has grown to be one of the top  3 safari companies in the country. But I think one of things I like about this is having been the first Ugandan to build accommodation inside a national park. (It inspired) so many Ugandans to start building. Now we are seeing a lot of Ugandans saying, 'you know what 'If Amos can do it, I can do it.'"

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