American tourist and Ugandan guide kidnapped by gunmen at popular safari park


Originally published at:


Well that settles it, no Uganda for me.


you’re going and you’re going to like it, damn you.


I move that we change this to:

“you’re going, and Uganda like it, damn you.”


Maybe she didn’t realize she had signed up for the Uganda Adventure Tourism Package?

All kidding aside, sucks for her, but really, why exactly is visiting semi-failed and even failed states a thing? I’ve never been attracted to visiting a place, as a tourist no less, that isn’t essentially safe to visit. I don’t think I likely would have put Uganda on my safe list…


Odd that the driver was also kidnapped, but no ransom demand. Am I too cynical?
ETA: I read another version of this story that implied the ransom was for the tourist’s return. No mention of ransom for the driver.

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Welp! There goes “popular”.


No! U gan da mean it!


Middle East - not safe. Central America - not safe. South America - not safe. North America - not safe. Africa - not safe. Eastern Europe - not safe. Safety is important, but tourists are a target everywhere for obvious reasons. That usually doesn’t include kidnapping for ransome, but there’s a calculation to be made every time you step out of your door.

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LOL I live in Baltimore, where people have been stabbed and shot to death within a couple blocks of my crib, trust me I know. Which is why I try to travel to places that are more-or-less MORE safe than literally stepping out my door. :wink:

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I live in Macau, where even the police would have a hard time pinpointing a dangerous area. I also spent ten years in China, which is also unbelievably safe. Asia seems to be the last bastion of safety. I have no interest in visiting the USA, just for that reason.


Queen Elizabeth National Park is was Uganda’s most popular tourist destination…

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I’m not sure it’s fair to describe Uganda as semi- or wholly failed. God knows Museveni has been in power for more years than you can shake a stick at but I suggest that probably goes the other way in terms of state power. Travel advice for Uganda for the country, from the FCO at least, is fairly benign.
The problem here is that Uganda borders the DRC, which may more accurately fall into a failed state definition. While I have no idea about this particular case the reference to the borders being closed makes me think that it may be a case of likely Congolese hostagetakers who have taken this poor tourist and driver.
Borders are tricky to police everywhere, just look at poor Mr Trump and his dream of a wall-fence, but particularly in the middle of Africa.


This is the future we can all look forward to. The more dire and desperate the situation becomes across the world, the more likely the less privileged will prey upon the more privileged. The end game is the wealthy holed up in gilded cages of their own making, protecting their hoarded wealth, and being suspicious of everyone they hire as security guards.

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This has been going on for decades in other countries, though. I’ve read about employers taking out policies on their executives before sending them to work in places where kidnapping is common. The beneficiary in those policies is the company, not the employee’s family.

In the '90s, my roommate from Colombia told me they didn’t just kidnap people. They would steal property for ransom, too. Her parents once paid to get her Walkman back when it was stolen. Her family and peers lived in the gilded cages you described, and security guards weren’t enough to keep one of her friends in private elementary school from being taken right in front of the class and their teacher.

Even this might not hold true anymore:

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They only wanted to ask him da way.


Uganda is not a “failed state” or an unsafe place to visit. It’s an extremely popular safari region for people from all over the world who travel and stay in Queen Elizabeth National Park. There are parts of Africa with travel advisories but Uganda is not one of them.


Interestingly, on the Canadian travel advisory site, visitors to Uganda are told to exercise the same degree of caution as they would in the UK, China, or Nicaragua among others. To be fair, it takes a lot to reach the next level of risk based on their criteria, but still.

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