Uganda Through Our Windshield -Swarms of Tse Tse Flies And Other Road Hazards

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The wonderful thing about travel is the unexpected, and one sure way to find the unexpected is to travel independently. Just recently we did a self-drive trip through the gorgeous African country of Uganda, and boy did we have a lot of surprises.

Before we went, we were told not to bring blue clothes, because the notorious tse tse fly, of sleep sickness infamy, is attracted to that color. It was hard. Try to eliminate all blue from your wardrobe, I dare you! But we did it. Nobody wants their safari in Uganda spoiled by insects. Then our first surprise, a blue rental car. I did think about it, but I figured, oh well. Let’s see what happens.

Safari in Uganda

Soon we were gawking and squeaking and having the time of our lives as we saw warthogs and zebras and antelope, oh my! When whoop, zoop, arghhhhh, I slap my thigh when I feel this gnawing sensation and look down to see the biggest, ugliest fly of my life chewing away happily on my leg.

Panic ensues. Jim is just as panicked as I am. Yes, we are afraid. There are hundreds of the mean creatures swarming the car. We certainly don’t want the tse tse flies inside! We hurriedly roll up the windows. We’re screaming at each other.

Jim has stopped the car. It is hot. The flies have gone, and now our next question is do we dare open the windows again?  Will we be attacked again? Should we risk it? Well, we did. You can’t take the best photographs through closed windows!

In fact, we were attacked by tse tse flies three more times. However, we aren’t sure, but we think we were never bit, and in the meantime we discovered one important fact. The flies, whether they were attracted by the color or the wind tunnel effect of the moving car, loved flying – in huge scary swarms – along the track with us. Then as soon as we stopped, they would leave and we could roll down the windows for more amazing safari shots. Of course, none of the aforementioned tse tse fly attacks were caught on camera. But we did get most of the charging hippo that scared us half to death (expletives deleted).

Tse tse flies were just one of the things that made our Uganda trip exciting, and driving ourselves just let us discover so much more. We’ve made a video of our trip, so please enjoy “Through Our Windshield – Safari in Uganda”.

What do you think of our driving trip to Uganda?  Would you do it?

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About the Author

Corinne Vail is a world traveler, writer, photographer, speaker, and teacher. Looking for the quirky and unusual as well as the best food around the world, she has traveled all her life. She’s lived in Turkey, England, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the Netherlands and visited over 90 countries with her family. Learn more about Corinne and Reflections Enroute on the About page.

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  1. It would be awesome to see the animals that are in your video, although I could do without the Tse Tse flies. We would love to do a safari whether it be self guided or an organized tour, but I think will will wait until our son is a little older maybe another year or 2. Uganda looks to be a beautiful country, how does it compare to the other African countries you have visited?

    1. Rob, I have to say, Uganda has climbed up my list. I love Botswana for animal drives as well. I think South Africa is a little too expensive.

  2. It’s moments like this that make for good stories later. I remember freaking out after finding a bot bot fly on my arm in Belize. They lay eggs in your skin and the babies emerge weeks later. Thankfully that didn’t happen.

  3. I’m enjoying reading (and watching!) your Uganda adventure. I’m heading there in a couple of months time and this is making me wanting to go right now. Let’s just hope I can avoid the flies!

  4. Wow, what a story! Your video is wonderful — so many different animals. Were you just driving down a regular road or were you driving within an animal preserve? What an amazing experience! I would have been totally creeped out by all the flies.

  5. The drive through the safari park looks awesome. So many animals but I think I like the zebra the best. I don’t imagine they charge like the hippos. I don’t think I’d be so keen on tse tse flies either. Insect repellent?

  6. Uganda is one of the last frontiers of undiscovered travel. The safaris look amazing. Can’t believe you had the opportunity to do it I’m jealous 😛

  7. Your video is amazing and brings back so many memories of our trip to Africa. I would have been totally freaked out by those tse tse flies and give you a lot of credit for driving and exploring on your own like that!

  8. This looks really amazing and I really admire you’re doing it self-driving. I think i would want an expert with me. But it’s good to know this is a realistic option. what an experience!

  9. Love your video! The flies sounds like a right pain but I guess it’s worth it to see everything else!

  10. Uganda looks amazing. Really great video as well! I’m always impressed with folks who manage to do good videos.

  11. Those tse tse flies would have been the death of me! Great tip on the color blue, crazy that your car was blue. I loved your video and the zebras looks so beautiful, just a favorite of mine.Looks like a great reason to get up early at sunrise.

  12. could not stop laughing when I read about the blue car, lol. so no need to eliminate blue of my wardrobe (90% of my clothes are in that color). is it an independent trip to Uganda difficult to organise? considering rwanda or uganda for my next african trip. thanks

  13. Love seeing you guys on video. Keep it up. I think my wardrobe is pretty much black, bar for denim jeans. Who would have known this about the tse tse fly. This is something I will always remember.

  14. I will be afraid too if too many flies attack us. Oh my goodness, your blog just give me a lecture. I should always bring with me something that will make those flies away. I have never been to Uganda. In other Asian countries there are too many flies too. I am glad that we did not get sick because of those flies.

  15. Hahaha, OMG I would have freaked out in your place! I had the same reaction with mosquitos when I visited an area in South America that had a dengue outbreak… Everyone made fun of me, because I was screaming every time someone in the car dared to open the windows. Great to know as well that Tse Tse Flies are attrackted to blue colours 😉

  16. Funny story but I feel your pain. Yikes. I would have been freaking out. We have annoying love bugs in Florida that follow you around like this and almost look like a black curtain in front of store doorways and such. However, they don’t bite. Or at least not that I know of.

  17. As beautiful as this place is, I would be a little wary of the tse tse flies. I suppose, you are anyway to take shots before you enter the country right? I loved the video….quite nicely captured.

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