From humble beginnings


(Posted 23rd February 2017)

It was in 2007, ten years ago, that I first came across Paul. At the time I was President of the Uganda Tourism Association and had fought tooth and nail to get the Uganda Safari Guide Association accepted and integrated into UTA against the opposition of some short sighted members of the tour operators association who felt USAGA would only serve as a platform to unify guides and embolden their demands for better terms and conditions.
Well, that was the idea, to unify guides and promote their profession, help them train and acquire added skills because, truth told, at the time that sector of our industry was in comparison with Kenya and Tanzania lacking professionalism, was unregulated and underappreciated.
The EU funded Uganda Sustainable Tourism Development Programme, ably run by Stanley Wilson and assisted by Anne Awori, came on board and accepted the need to fund guide training and several sessions were held. Organized by Herbert Byaruhanga, then chairman of USAGA, were guides and aspirants identified and the first groups brought to UWA’s Mweya hostel and training centre, where they underwent training before passing their exams, and if I remember right, none of them failed despite stringent measures. Later on were additional courses held in Kampala.
Today, our guides in Uganda can hold their own in the region and I am proud to have been a catalyst to achieving this, giving them a platform and integrating guiding services into the Ugandan mainstream of sector associations.
Congratulations to Paul Tamwenya on his achievement. He was top of his class when undergoing training 10 years ago and today is top of his profession in Uganda, as outlined below. Congratulations to him and also to all our Ugandan guides who have worked so hard to give their professional group such high reputation and recognition.

Congratulations, Paul: Best Cultural Guide in Uganda

Posted on February 21, 2017 by Journeys International

7079-435-UGA-0609-OP-393x593.jpgJourneys International is proud to congratulate our long-time Uganda and Rwanda guide and friend Paul Tamwenya for being recognized as the best cultural guide in Uganda by the Uganda Tourism Board.

At the beginning: a broken-down car

Paul first came to our attention when he stopped to aid our broken-down vehicle during a tour in Uganda. He picked up six of our travelers in his van, and we were immediately impressed both by his courtesy and the breadth of his local knowledge.

A leader and a guide

Paul is a trained ornithologist with very impressive credentials, education, and experience. He has been formally trained in tourism guiding, bird guiding, and advanced motoring techniques. Not only is he a member of Africa Birding Club, NatureUganda, Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA), the Uganda Bird Guides Club (UBGC), the Uganda Tourist Driver Guides Club (UTDGC), and a chairman of the Uganda Cultural Guides Club (UCGC), but he also heads two sites where common birds are monitored through NatureUganda courtesy of Birdlife International.

Contagious enthusiasm

Paul is a consummate spotter, and has seen all 800-plus species of birds in Uganda. His exceptionally keen vision and years of experience are a definite asset to any wildlife safari. He is always happy to be out in the wild, and his enthusiasm for birding and all wildlife is contagious. He is happiest when travelers have "lots of smiles at the end of the day."

Birds of a Feather

As if Paul’s credentials, education, and enthusiasm weren’t enough, Paul is also a leader in his community. In 2007, he realized a growing need to support orphaned children who had lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, so he founded Birds of a Feather, a nonprofit providing educational facilities, health care, and basic welfare necessities to orphaned, abandoned, and vulnerable children in his home, the Nangaiza village. By helping children learn basic skills, he was also helping them create independent, practical and better lives for themselves. With this laser focus on one village, the impact runs deep.

Recognized by Uganda Tourism Board

Paul-UgandaGuideAward.jpgOn February 19, 2017, the government of Uganda and the Uganda Tourism Board recognized Paul’s leadership by awarding him the Best Cultural Guide award.

Upon receiving the award, he said, "It is a tremendous honor to be acknowledged by the government of Uganda, and the Uganda Tourism Board in particular. After being a founding member of the Uganda Cultural Guides Club and leading many trips, I am humbled as the award is a great honor and big inspiration. For all those who voted and vetted, I am indebted and thank you so much!"

Travel with Paul

If travel to Uganda and Rwanda is at the top of your list, we highly recommend planning your trip with Paul. He guides private & custom trips as well as two itineraries that he played a significant role in designing (but he is in high demand, so book early to be sure you can have Paul as your guide!):

Let us know if you’d like to learn more about gorilla trekking and travel to Uganda. We are standing by to answer all of your questions.


  1. Thank you Wolfgang.

    I’m sure Anne will be pleased

    Great to see your memory bank still works !

    Every good wish.


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