Amia turned passion for travel into a career

Pamela Amia is an experienced journalist and communications professional who has worked in the media and tourism industry for many years.

She says she has always been passionate about tourism and this partly explains her choice of a career.

“In everything I do, I am so passionate about tourism, travel and conservation,” she says.

Amia describes herself not as one who fell in love with tourism but rather was born for it.

“Mostly, it started as passion. As a journalist, I found ease in reporting about the tourism, travel and conservation beat. With the expertise I got overtime, I thought I could make it a business so that’s how I got together with a few like-minded friends to see this dream come true.”

Coming together with two friends, Amia started a tourism and travel franchise they named Karibu Africa Travels.

“In here, we run a tour company, a public relations company, a travel news website and in future we plan on having a string of luxury lodges across several tourism spots in the country,” she says.

The start

With all the three colleagues being journalists, Amia says it was easier for them to start out as a travel news website four years ago.

“Largely, I would say, the first investment was the will to start. We started with literally no money apart from a few hundreds we collected to build a basic website. It made us some little money that kept us going,” Amia says of the humble beginning for Karibu Africa Travels.

She says they also started social media management for some brands that brought in proceeds for the young company.

“ So largely, I can say our initial investment were our brains, knowing what we can do and how to get paid for it. “

Having started largely as a travel news website, Amia says they have been able to spread wings into organizing group or family trips, handling public relations for certain destinations as the dream grows bigger every day.

“While we think in the near future, we could borrow just like many businesses that need growth, we have largely depended on savings and the little earnings we make, to grow the brand.”

Amia explains that their work as a travel company involves organizing group, individual, family and friend trips around the country and abroad.

“We reach out to friends and inform them of the services we offer and they in-turn travel with us or refer other people. For group trips, we push out artwork using mostly social media and people who see it reach out and join in,” she says.

Karibu Africa Travels clients range from friends, family members and any persons wishing to tour the country.

“We also largely get some random ones from social media. These are mostly young people wanting to explore the country and have fun,” she says.


Just like any other business, Amia says theirs is not immune to challenges, with high taxes, especially on startups like their hitting them hard.

“The cost of traveling around the country in Uganda is currently high, mostly as a domestic tourist and this greatly affects us. It means clients have to pay more for trips and not many are willing to dig deeper into their pockets.  Many people would rather fly out to Dubai than have a trip to Kidepo because of the expenses mostly charged by the safari lodges. But you also don’t blame them. The environment they are working in is not favourable,” she says.

Nevertheless, Amia says she is proud of the work their company is doing and the little they have so far achieved.

“I am very much proud of this work. Away from just the business side, there is the passion bit in it. I am definitely proud that I am doing business in something I am passionate about,” she says.

Amia says their company is grateful for the clientele and audience they have built over the years.


 Amia also has  some advice for fellow youths.

“Dream big and never stop trying to achieve that dream especially if it is laid out right. There will be so many challenges along the way but these should not deter you. Keep going and even during times when you fall down, stand up, dust yourself and get back on the move.”

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