Eight years ago, circling the magnificent Lake Victoria, waiting to land, Charlotte Beauvoisin loved what she saw, but did not expect what happened next! As the aircraft cabin door opened, and she stepped onto the tarmac at Entebbe Airport for the first time, she felt at home.
Today, many know this Brit as the ‘Muzungu’ from the popular blog, ‘Diary of a muzungu’, which recently bagged ‘Best Tourism Digital Media’ at the Uganda Tourism Excellence Awards 2017, for the second consecutive year. Like many expats, she first came to Uganda as a volunteer, with the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and was with the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF), a British charity, for nearly three years.
“I wanted to live in Africa as a teenager, and finally I was here, using my marketing skills to promote conservation,” she says. Describing her experience with UCF as fascinating, she elucidates, “Work trips were safaris in Queen Elizabeth, hearing the rangers’ first-hand stories about dramatic encounters with lone buffalo. We interviewed farmers to understand the hardships of living with elephants that trample and ate their crops. One dark night, we drove back to our camp with the lion researchers. We came across a group of lions busy feasting on a kill, lit up by the headlights of our vehicle”.
Explaining the inception of her popular blog, she says, “As I went through the VSO recruitment process, I’d kept a diary of the emotional and physical journey: giving up everything familiar for who knows what? This is Diary of a Muzungu, a blog that I launched in London while I was packing up my old life. My blogging hobby became my passion and along the way I found that I was, in the words of one tourism expert “promoting Uganda in a way that no-one else is.” Those words inspired me to dedicate even more time to the blog. I also write for a number of other publications across the region.”
A Chartered Institute of Marketing Manager, Charlotte loves the fact that Uganda has given her the chance to combine her passion and skills. Ardent followers of her blog are often fed with funny incidents that she encounters in Uganda, but it is her love for this country that keeps her rooted. She even has a Ugandan name!