Lifestyle An Adventure from Uganda to The Shire

Dativah was born in Uganda. Her father was a refugee originally from Rwanda who fled to Uganda for safety where he met her mother. Dativah has 8 siblings and still to this day has a special connection with both Uganda and Rwanda of which she considers herself part of in equal proportions.

As a child, Dativah went to a Catholic Boarding school in Uganda along with her brothers and sisters, and whilst studying there and still very young, her father tragically and suddenly passed away. Her mother, now faced with financial difficulty to care for her large family, organised with the school that Dativah and her siblings would help out around the school cooking, cleaning and conducting other chores in exchange for tuition fees.

Dativah talks fondly about her primary school years – she laughs as she recalls stories of getting up too late to prepare and cook breakfast for the Nun’s – resulting in her frantically trying to get the food prepared in time. Although it was a tragic time in her life after losing her father, Dativah and her siblings made the most of their childhood and made everything they did together fun.

Many of the Nun’s in her high school were Irish, and they taught Dativah and her siblings Irish Dancing and Irish folk songs such as Molly Malone (In Dublin’s Fair City) to keep them occupied and entertained during term breaks when many of the other children were sent home. She still remembers the song lyrics to this day!

Despite what might seem a tough upbringing, Dativah believes her childhood and the Nun’s influence on her has made her resilient and structured, and is a big part of who she is today.

When she finished school, Dativah started working for the Ministry of Public Service in Uganda, and then in the Ministry of Agriculture as a Personal Assistant. She decided at this point she wanted to learn more about Rwanda and decided to move there to better connect with her roots. She got a job in a Hospital as the Secretary to the Director General.

A couple of years later, she found a role at the Bureau of Standards, and then the European Commission (EUC) where she worked for 8 years. She’d always had the urge to travel, but working at the EUC exposed her to lots of ex-pats who wanted to use every second of free time exploring and going on adventures. Dativah became friends with a travel hungry group of ex-pats, and spent her weekends camping and exploring her own country with fresh eyes. The exploring made her feel alive and soon these weekends away were what she lived for.

Part of her role at the EUC meant that she had to travel to Brussel’s for training. Not one to miss an opportunity to explore, Dativah travelled to France, Holland and Sweden while she was there.

In 2008, world youth day brought her to Australia, where she was hosted by an Irish family. Here, her knowledge of Irish music came in handy! She stayed for a month and explored as much as she could during that time, thinking she would never have the chance to come back to Australia.

In 2009 she the chance to return to Australia came about, so Dativah jumped at the opportunity. She reunited with the same Irish family she stayed with the previous year and lived with them while she found her feet, using her weekends to get out and explore. Soon after, she met her husband and even now, almost 10 years later they still spend their weekends exploring. I asked her what her favourite places to visit are, and she said she loves going to really small remote towns that have been untouched for many years. She loves meeting people and thrives on adventure.

From there, she started Daventure Tours which focuses on providing hosted tours to East Africa. She found that many people had safety concerns when visiting Africa, and she felt this was a perfect opportunity to provide a safe tour by locals who feel just as passionately as she does about their Countries.

I asked Dativah if she can put into words what it is about travel that captivates her so deeply, as her passion and stories are filled with such happiness and excitement. She said she firmly believes that travel is the best education anyone can have. The people you meet, the way they live, their social structures and the animals that thrive. These are all things that make travel so good for the soul. She feels that travel makes you appreciate what you have, and is an investment in memories, personal growth and happiness.

Dativah feels East Africa has so much to offer in terms of life-changing experiences. From the people, to the animals, to the landscape – it has everything. She conducts the tours of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and most recently Madagascar. From Cultural Tours to Safaris, to meeting Gorillas - Dativah and her team provide it all, and to top it off, all her tours are designed to be sustainable and support the communities on the ground.

If you’ve always wanted to visit Africa or want to return because you fell in love with it on a previous visit, check out Daventure Tours website by clicking here, or contact Dativah directly by emailing her at info@daventuretours.com or visiting her ShireWomen profile here.

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