van has been driving for many years (he’s offered professional driving services for the past 19 years, which included driving missionaries to the Congo). However, his business had always depended on word-of-mouth recommendations from those who used his services.
This was how he was introduced to Joan from British Columbia, Canada. She was so impressed by his manner, attention to detail when completing documentation to cross the border from Rwanda to Uganda, and the pleasure he gave others by going above and beyond all expectations, no matter what he did, Joan stayed in touch with him after her return to Canada. She posted information about Ivan on Tripadvisor, because she felt any travelers going to Uganda would have the most wonderful experience of their lives under the care of this man, if she could only get his name out there.
After finding Ivan’s information on Tripadvisor, a woman by the name of Chantal contacted Joan to ask about Ivan, and this is how a second Canadian from Saskatchewan, Canada, came into the picture. Joan and Chantal have now developed a friendship as a result of their conversations and subsequent emails back and forth. Chantal was looking for a reliable driver to take small groups of tourists to visit Uganda and Tanzania, so that others could also discover and experience the beauty and wildlife of these two wonderful countries. After speaking with Joan, Chantal knew she had to have Ivan as her driver for all trips. These two women believed so much in Ivan’s abilities, they both helped him to start his own company, and he is now a registered tour operator. This was perfect timing, as the presidential address on COVID-19 held in June 2021 stated that all domestic and international tourists will be required to adhere to the following guidelines:
All tourist vehicles must be licensed by the Ministry of Works and Transport and attached to tourism companies registered and licensed by the Uganda Tourism Board.
All tourists are encouraged to carry their detailed travel itineraries especially for inter-district routes.
Tourists are encouraged to carry proof of payment for accommodation and tourist activity fees such as for national park entrance fees and permits where applicable.
COVID-19 SOPS must be adhered to in tourist vehicles with attention to social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitizing (from https:/utb.go.ug/press-releases/statement-tourist-vehicles-amid-covid-19-pandemic).
Tours can only be conducted through registered tour operators, and this will result in offering visitors a safe travel experience while also avoiding putting the health of the Ugandan population and the country’s wild animals at risk, as binding hygiene protocols have been issued for the entire tourism sector.
Wildlife Spotter Tours and Travel Limited is a registered company with Uganda Tourism Board