The Greek adventurer Panos Karakitsos hopes to put the beauty of Uganda on the map with his new travel agency Adroa Travels.
Originally from the Greek city of Ioannina, Karakitsos moved to Uganda five years ago after falling in love with the country while doing an internship for his degree in International Tourism Management.
His experience as an intrepid traveler in search of the beautiful and less trodden trails, as well as his background in tourism, inspired Karakitsos to fulfill his “big dream” by starting his adventure and safari company Adroa Travels.
Speak with Greek reporter, Karakitsos expresses his goals for founding the travel company in Uganda:
“The purpose of Adroa is to experience with all your senses. Far away from mainstream safaris and expected images of the “beautiful” side of Africa, we have created unique routes that reflect authenticity, sustainability, cultural exchange and a thirst for adventure. “
Uganda is home to breathtaking natural beauty and a rich culture
In addition to showcasing Uganda’s breathtaking landscapes, dubbed the “Pearl of Africa” for their natural beauty, Karakitsos also hopes to introduce travelers to a culture that may be completely different from their own, but is actually much “closer” than you think like.”
These ideas of Ugandan culture stem from distorted perceptions of everyday life in Africa that have little relevance to reality, argues the Greek adventurer.
When you hear the word Africa, which describes an entire continent, you immediately think of “terrorism, crime and poverty,” he says.
“Those words have been used for many decades and now the image of a beautiful continent and an amazing country like Uganda has been tainted. Yes, there are some problems, but not the extreme ones that the news bombarded us with, ”he says.
In reality, Uganda is full of unparalleled biodiversity and a lively welcoming culture, he says.
Uganda offers incredible geographic diversity, including grassy savannahs, rainforests and even mountains with snow-capped peaks like Mount Rwenzori, the third highest peak in Africa. Uganda is also full of water – it has 165 lakes, most of them in all of Africa.
From its stunning Lake Victoria, known in Luganda as Nalubale, one of the country’s major languages, the Nile begins its long, winding path through North Africa to the Mediterranean Sea.
Animals like giraffes, lions, zebras, rhinos, elephants, buffalo and leopards are all native to the country, which is also home to more than half of the surviving mountain gorillas that are critically endangered.
Nature lovers can explore the 10 national parks, 12 nature reserves, and 13 nature reserves in Uganda, which offer views of natural landscapes not found anywhere else in the world.
Aside from the country’s countless natural wonders, Uganda is also home to wonderful people, as Karakitsos notes.
“Uganda is mainly home to Ugandans, a beautiful nation who, despite the pain that older generations felt from colonialism and the notorious dictators, loves to dance, laugh and cherish the day as it was given to them … With 56 tribes living in Uganda. “You can imagine that art and culture are a big part of people’s lifestyle and they are ready to share their magic with you.”
Greeks and Ugandans have a lot in common
When asked if there were any similarities between Uganda and Greece, the young adventurer said that while Greeks use the derogatory expression “We have become like Uganda” when they are frustrated with an aspect of their homeland that they consider to be the third world hold two people have a lot in common.
“We both share the essence of Philoxenia. Be friends with a stranger. To open up your home and feed a traveler, ”says Karakitsos.
He says that the people of Uganda also share the love for art and culture that is widespread among the Greeks. Ugandans, like Greeks, particularly like to dance:
“From weddings to traditional ceremonies to clubs and bars – Ugandans and Greeks love good music and dance,” he says, but admits that “they can beat us Greeks in movements.”
One aspect of life in Uganda that Karakitsos found difficult to get used to was the food, as he loves Greek cuisine. Although Ugandans cook more easily than Greeks, they have some of the best fruits and vegetables in the world, “because Uganda is on the equator and the tropical climate creates the best conditions for agriculture,” he explains.
In the end, Karakitsos insists that we are all human beings with the aim of “connecting and interacting with one another in order to develop and reach our highest potential and broaden our horizons. This cannot happen if we decide to stay in our homes and watch this development from a distance. “
Karakitsos welcomes you to follow his adventure in Uganda through the Adroa Travels website, his own Instagram (@Panos_photography) and the Adroa Travels Instagram.