Okongo Joshua Fredrick is a youth entrepreneur in the tourism industry in Uganda and holds a first class degree in Business Administration/ Finance. His burning desire to create an authentic and sustainable tour & travel experience lend to the birth of Shaka tours & travel. Joshua has been organizing safaris and camping for colleagues for over 6 years from the time he was in high school which gives him an upper hand in planning and executing clients’ trips as expected. Joshua is a very enthusiastic, result oriented and creative a businessman who endeavors to strike a balance between perfection and customer satisfaction. As a businessman, he has a vision of expanding his travel business into the provision of Safari Lodge accommodation and commercial Airline transportation something that will further take his brand to the international market. He believes with the right partners and honesty in all his business operations, he will be able to achieve all these goals. He incorporates in a brand new experience of what it means to travel in Uganda in a responsible manner.
How do the experiences you offer at Shaka Tours & Travel give guests a unique perspective on the history, people or culture of Uganda?
We always want our clients to feel at home and be part of the new environment they are living in. Our clients have an opportunity participate in various activities done by the communities which they have visited which gives them a chance to get first hand information when it comes to our cultures and history. We make sure on every trip, clients take part in cooking our local foods, weaving of mats, milking of cows by hand, as well as harvesting and processing of tea & coffee depending on the area of the visit. We make sure that by the time the client travels back to his/her country, they can at least say “hi” in one of the local languages. This one on one interaction of our tourists with locals gives them a depth understanding of Uganda and its people.
How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
Initially, Shaka tours & travel was only offering tours within Uganda, however with time our area of operation expanded to offering trips around East Africa, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Columbia, Germany and other countries. This has been possible through the partnerships we have established with the local travel agencies in these countries which has eased on the work required to organize trips to such destinations.
What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
Our tour guides always keep within reach of the clients so that they can always get whatever they need in seconds. Never has any of our client needed assistance and our guide is nowhere to be seen. Many of our clients tend not to notice it.
What do you wish every guest knew as they consider participating in the experiences you offer?
The work to be done to make a trip a success is quite a lot and requires focus and attention to details. Clients have different tastes & preferences and getting to meet all these desires is like a run to heaven.
What is one piece of clothing or equipment guests should have to maximize their enjoyment of the experiences you offer?
In my view, a camera with very strong pixels should be first thing on the list. There is no way someone can travel to Uganda and fail to fall in love with the landscape and people. A camera is therefore very important so as to capture all these memories and experiences.
What is one travel trend that really excites you?
The internet has introduced various trends in travel which have eased the operations in the travel industry. E-booking has further made hotel reservations very affordable and fast.
What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
Absorb into your new surrounding and become part of the society.
What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
Our customer is the boss since they are the reason we are in business. We always pay attention to the requests of the clients so as not to disappointment and frustrate their expectations. This explains why we have been able to satisfactorily meet and exceed their expectations
What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
Am very passionate about what I do which keeps me focused on achieving a particular objectives. I never rest until I have met a target. On top of that I never forget to have fun with my clients because “work without play makes Jack a dull boy” So be it dancing or singing to our local tunes, sports, etc., am always available.
Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
One of the most moving reactions was during a culture tour with a client called Romain from France. We were tasting various local cuisines and he was keenly struck by the taste of the cooked, pounded Matooke (green bananas). He confessed that he had never tasted anything as good as Matooke. To my surprise he even packed Matooke back to France so that he could introduce it into one of the cuisines prepared in the cities.
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