There is no more dangerous animal in the bush than man

The lion is less deadly than a man in the bush, according to local wisdom in Uganda.

The lion is less deadly than a man in the bush, according to local wisdom in Uganda.

In 1997, I took a trip in upcountry Uganda to a bush administrative village called Moroto. This is the heartland of the Karamajong people, who are cattle herders and who fought a violent war against the Ugandan government during the brutal reign of Idi Amin Data. It was a wildly beautiful place. I only spent two days there.

I got to know some respected village community leaders. I will never forget the words one shared with me, describing the dangers of traveling in bush Africa. I had nearly been attacked by a local bandit in what I thought was a peaceful area. My hosts were deathly afraid I was going to be killed or robbed by the AK-47 wielding man, dressed in simple local clothing similar to the Masai. After that incident, my host told me, “There is no animal more dangerous in the bush than man. He is far more clever than a lion, and often smarter than you.”

I have never forgotten that advice, and I always mind my wits, whereever I find myself.

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