Giving Back with Chameleon Hill

Visit Mutanda Island and make a real and lasting difference in the community

Lake Mutanda is one of a dozen volcanic lakes in southwestern Uganda. Due to springs and streams in the area it is a freshwater lake, however the fish population has been overfished, climate change and pollution. In 2015, Doris Meixner, builder-owner of Chameleon Hill Lodge and the lodge staff visited the community on Mutanda Island. Based on that brief visit of a few hours it was evident that the community was living in a state of considerable poverty, isolation and deprivation.

Immediate access to acceptable education, medical facilities and communications was almost impossible from Mutanda Island. The nearest hospital is more than15 kms away, overcrowded and only accessible by boat/canoe. According to the WHO the doctor to patient ratio in Uganda is 1 for 24.725 (as of 2013); and the nurse: patient ratio is 1:11,000. By comparison, in Germany for every 1,000 of the population there are 3.8 doctors. It is estimated, in Uganda, that EVERY day 16 women die during childbirth in Uganda. Infant mortality is almost 60 per 1,000 live births.

After visiting the island, Doris and the team at Chameleon Hill Lodge set the goal to raise the literacy rate and overall health of Mutanda Island Community, as well as improve the lake's transport and agricultural systems to provide sustained economic empowerment for the community.

Since then, the team at Chameleon - alongside community leaders and local authorities - has assembled a team of dedicated personnel who work with the community to implement means to improve the quality of life on the island. The organization, headed by Doris, operates as an NGO, officially registered with the NGO board in Kampala.

Classic Africa Safaris guests can visit Mutanda Island on a locally guided tour, meet the community members, artisans, teachers and school children. Guests love the experience and are eager to contribute towards this long-term project. Ask us how your travelers can get involved.

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