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Empowering Women Guides in East Africa
Interview with Rosette Dekoolo, founder of Adventures With Locals

Meet Rosette Dekool, a passionate sustainable tourism advocate and co-founder of Adventures With Locals – a women-owned responsible tourism company in Uganda.

Rosette is a chapter leader of Travel Massive Uganda. She’s also the founder of Free Walking Tours Kampala (www.freewalkingtourskampala.com). Rosette is a passionate advocate of responsible tourism & authentic travel experiences, a storyteller with deep-rooted commitment to local communities.

🏆 Adventure With Locals, founded by Rosette Dekool and Hannah Bamwerinde, received a Special Recognition by the Jury at the Social Entrepreneurship in Tourism Competition 2020.

What is Adventures With Locals about?

Adventures With Locals (www.adventureswithlocals.com) is a women-owned responsible tourism company that aims to empower women & local communities with a team of storytellers & passionate local female guides that create & promote local authentic travel experiences for a social impact.

Me and my co-founder Hannah Bamwerinde are now based in Uganda but we have plans to connect travelers with local guides to over 100 locations across East Africa.

How are you involved with responsible tourism in Africa?

We contribute to responsible tourism in Africa by providing local authentic travel experiences for the tourist and also bringing substantial benefits to the local communities and visitors.

We are concerned about conserving the environment and benefiting vulnerable communities. That’s why 20% of our safari profits are dedicated to these communities. Our sustainable outreach projects include hand washing stations in schools, clean safe drinking-water filters, and tree planting.

What are some examples of your local-led tours. Entanda cultural experience. Offers authentic visitor experiences in a non-staged environment. Activities include excellent traditional music, traditional talks, games, hunting, African garden tours, barkcloth making, medicine, food preparation & so much more.

Rwenzori Coffee village experience. During this 30-minutes to 1-hour tour, guests are taken through the process of planting, harvesting, roasting and grinding coffee to make a cup of naturally flavored coffee.

Nsenyi Cultural Center. It is an exhibition of unity between a unique culture with modernization, helping to preserve the rich culture and way of life amidst the changing society.

Tinka’s Homestead and traditional meals. The family members will take you around the community as well as link you to the guide that will lead you through the Magombe sanctuary that holds up to 8 primate species, over 200 bird species & other mammals and plants life.

The Batwa Trail. During this tour, the Batwa demonstrate hunting techniques; gather honey; point out medicinal plants and demonstrate how to make bamboo cups. visit the sacred Ngarama Cave, once home to the Batwa King, for a sense of the richness of this fading culture.

How has COVID-19 impacted your tour company?

As a company, we experienced a sharp drop in demand and a surge in job loss for our female guides that has put us and many other tour operators (startups) at risk. This might bring long-term changes in behaviors with people likely to become more cautious about traveling now and in the future.

However, the pandemic has given us a unique opportunity to select a new direction and move forward by adopting a more sustainable path.

What is your advice for other social entrepreneurs?

My advice to other social entrepreneurs would be:

1. Get on and do it. If you have an idea for a social enterprise, you won’t get anywhere without giving it a go.

2. Try to map out your social impact. Knowing what exactly you are trying to achieve and how are you going to achieve it. If you achieve your intended social impact, what would the world look like? Knowing this will give you a clearer strategy for your organization.

3. Work for a purpose. If you don’t care deeply about what you’re building and why you’re building it, it’s unlikely you’ll have the energy to see it through to the end. Make sure your team believes in the same vision with the same amount of passion.

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11 months ago
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