On a recent trip to Uganda, I took my DJI Phantom 2 Vision drone (equipped with a video camera) with me. I wanted to demonstrate possible applications of the aerial technology to developing country problems and needs. Possible of uses of a drone in Africa include: habitat studies (deforestation, desertification, wildlife surveys, etc.), refugee camp dynamics, crop investigations, aerial footage for videos and other presentations, etc. One interesting side effect was the tremendous interest it generated in the local residents. The children were particularly fascinated with the flying camera.
The first places we flew the drone were in rural areas around the city of Masaka, located 120 kilometers southwest of Kampala. At a small community south of city, we demonstrated how the quadcopter could be used in forestation/deforestation studies. The drone was flown by my son-in-law Bryan Berrett; I’m not a very good pilot.
As we got ready to launch, a crowd (largely children) surrounded the quadcopter. As the drone took off, the crowd scattered. But they soon reassembled around Bryan. The kids were able to watch the video footage in real-time on a smart phone attached to the drone’s controller. Bryan gave several of the children a chance to maneuver the quadcopter.
We were able to get good footage of not only the compound which served as our launching pad, but also of the surrounding forested terrain and of a nearby water-well drilling operation.
A day later we flew the drone over an orphanage school located north of Masaka. Unfortunately school was out, but the flight still caused quite a bit of interest.
A few days later, we flew the drone in Murcheson Falls National Park (wild game reserve). We were able to get video footage of the waterfall, park habitat, and animals.