Danay is the kind of person who can wake up and go for any adventure as long as she is travelling. I’ve met her throught instagram ! She got an amazing blog www.itravelanddance.com where she share her travel journey. She almost visited more than 30 countries in Africa, so guess what? I need to get all her good tips, please follow us (-;
1- What do you love the most about traveling?
There is a long list of things that makes me love traveling so much but let’s try to say it in a few words: While traveling I feel alive. I love the adventures that traveling leads me into. I love experiencing new cultures and meeting new people. This sometimes create lifelong friendships. And I love eating different foods in different places.
Traveling makes me discover who I really am. It educates me and challenges me at the same time. It opens my eyes to new things. It causes me to develop new skills and it teaches me how to react the best when confronted with unexpected circumstances. It simply makes me happy.
2- How many countries did you visit in Africa?
I have visited 34 countries in Africa so far. I am hoping to visit the rest of the continent too.
3- Which one is the best memories and why?
There are memories that time will never erase. What I like about photography is that all my pictures capture a moment that’s gone forever and is impossible to reproduce, but also that moment is impossible to forget. Every single picture I have taken tells a long story.
I can’t tell my “best” memory because it’s difficult for me to choose the best out of more than 15.000 great moments/pictures. But I can tell you why.
I think my best memories are related to great friends sharing these moments with me. No matter if I was traveling alone or accompanied, in Africa I have found that you are never alone, there is always a family awaiting you. Africa is not a continent. Africa is home even if you were not born there.
But I´ll share 2 special moments with you here: The moment I reached the summit of the Mount Kilimanjaro at 5.895 meters without any real hiking preparation and the moment I danced at the Calabar Carnival, the biggest street festival in Nigeria. I was selected one day to dance as an Efik queen and another day in a Brasilian team and I was also one of the choreographers.
At the summit of the Kilimanjaro at 5.895 meters
My hair style as an Efik queen at the Calabar Carnival in Nigeria
Dancing as an Efik queen at the Calabar Carnival in Nigeria
4- Which country or city for the best food?
It depends on what kind of food you like. If you like fish and sea food I think the West African countries are the best for it. I don’t like oysters so much but I had a very fresh and good one in a hidden place in Guinea Bissau for example and great fish in The Gambia and Senegal.
I also enjoyed eating fish in Côte D’Ivoire because they serve the grilled fish mostly with Attieke, which is a very tasty meal made of cassava. I like this combination and when I was there I ordered it many times and I mixed it with Alokos (fried bananas), which I also love. It reminds me of my Cuban roots.
Africans in general love eating meat and everywhere they eat it either with rice, vegetable stew, yam or fufu (also called nsima and ugali). But this is not my favorite.
What I personally like eating the most is injera, the Ethiopian, Somalian and Eritrean traditional dish. I tried it in Ethiopia, specially the injera biyeynot, which is like a vegetarian version that they serve only on Wednesdays and Saturdays if I remember correctly. I’m not a vegetarian but I love this one. That’s one of the many reasons why I have to visit Somalia and Eritrea too
Eating Injera biyeynot in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
Senegalese food at my friend´s place. I ate so much that I couldn´t move after. I fell asleep at the couch and my friends posted a picture of me sleeping, haha.
In Bakau, The Gambia. My first Maffe (called Domoda in Mandinka language). The peanut sauce is sooo good
Great food at Bafa resort in Banana island, Sierra Leone
5- The best place you spent your night in Africa?
I have spent many nice nights in Africa but the best ones are always the ones that I spent at local houses in some villages in the middle of nowhere. For example, when I went to Koussou to visit the village of the Somba tribe in North Benin, West Africa. I spent the night in their traditional houses called Tata Somba, where I slept on the roof. As soon as I saw the stairs and the moon I started dreaming. I don’t know if my eyes were still open or I was already sleeping, but I loved it.
Or when I travelled through the Dogon Valley in Mali and I spent the night at the Begnimatu village with an amazing rock scenery all around. I slept again at the rooftop with a wonderful view of the sky. Such a beautiful place surrounded by beautiful people.
Also there were some nights spent at a few National Parks like in Namibia and Botswana, where my friends and I were driving a 4×4 and doing our own game drive. Amazing Safari experience plus the bonus of falling asleep listening to the noise of some wild animals around us.
I spent this night in Koussou at the village of the Somba tribe in North Benin
I spent this night at the Begnimatu village in the Dogon Valley in Mali
I spent a night at the Begnimatu village in the Dogon Valley in Mali and this ist he view I got in the morning
We spent the night at the Waterberd Plateau Park in Namibia. This is us having breakfast in the morning
Next episode here