American tourist killed by wasps in Bwindi - Daily Monitor

American tourist killed by wasps in Bwindi

Friday May 25 2018

Wasps are never aggressive unless their nests

Wasps are never aggressive unless their nests are threatened 

By Robert Muhereza

A 65-year-old American tourist on Thursday died in Bwindi impenetrable National park in Rubanda District in Western Uganda after being attacked by wasps.
Elly Maate, the Kigezi regional police spokesman told this reporter that Gloria Suemiller, a resident of Oklahoma, USA was attacked at about 10:30 am on Thursday at Katonvi, Ruhija zone in Bwindi National Park where she had gone for gorilla trekking.

She was in the company of her husband, White Gary Lynn, 74, and six others with whom they had travelled from Kigali, Rwanda on Wednesday.
They had reportedly spent a night at Ruhija sector. The other tourists escaped unhurt, according to police.
Mr Maate further noted that police had launched investigations after a case was registered at Ruhija police post under reference number SD 06/24/05/2018.

Related cases
This is the third tourist to die in Uganda in the last two months.
Mukesh Shukla, 60, a British national died on April 7, 2018 as he climbed a hill in Butanda Sub County in Kabale District, also located in western Uganda.
On April 14, 2018 Tutin Jean Piere, 63, a French national collapsed and died during a gorilla trekking trip in the northern sector of Bwindi National Park in Kanungu District.
Piere, who also worked with the French Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was in the company of some friends when he died.

Why are wasps dangerous
Wasps are divided into three categories; namely parasitic wasps, solitary hunting wasps and social wasps.
They are never aggressive unless their nests are threatened. However, its sting is very painful and can be fatal since their sting produces a deadly anaphylactic reaction in some people who have allergies. The chemical reaction can be fatal if not treated immediately.

How you can avoid getting stung

Below are some tips, compiled from the internet, on how to avoid being stung;

  • Carefully dispose of all food and drinks, especially soft drink cans.
  • Never leave sugary drinks unattended. Also, always check sugary drinks for wasps before consuming.
  • Keep all areas of your property clean and tidy.
  • Check for wasp activity around home or camp.
  • Avoid strong scents and bright clothing.

What you can do if you're attacked


  • Always remain still if a wasp approaches you.
  • If you have to run away, do so in a straight line, without flailing your arms.
  • Protect your head and face, as these areas are mostly likely to be targeted by the wasps.


  • If you swat at the wasp or swing your arms, you’ll only make it more aggressive and more likely to sting you.
  • Do not try to fool wasps by “playing dead”. They will simply continue stinging you.
  • Do not seek shelter in a body of water, as the wasps will simply wait for you to re-emerge.