We love our traveling community here at Visiter l’Afrique and love introducing you all to each other even more! Meet Sheila as she settles into Kigali! So tell us a bit about yourself. My name is Sheila Ingabire Isaro, Well I’m raised in Canada, specifically the ‘‘6’’, Toronto. But I was born in Africa. I’m fresh out of Theatre school and decided a year later to head back to my country and do some work there and also get in touch with my culture, my people, and hopefully connect with members of the art scene. So far I’ve succeeded in all, which I’m very proud of, but there’s so much room for more learning. Where are you now and how long have you been there? I’m currently living in Kigali, Rwanda. I’ve been here since the end of July 2017. Where can you go in Kigali for some great buys? I have not gone shopping in the city, but I have scene a nice little boutique that makes it’s own clothing and jewelry in the Nyarutarama neighbourhood called Haute Baso. Cool places to grab a bite? 1) There are a lot of brochettes (kebab) in […]
The 17th edition of the Great Ethiopian Run is set to take place in Addis Ababa on on Sunday 26th November 2017. With an expected 45,000 participants from all corners of the world, the race has become the biggest road race in Africa. Since its inception in 2001, it has been the vehicle of change for many charitable causes. This year’s official fundrasing campaign is Running for a Cause and the beneficiaries include Eneredada Elder People Association, Association for Women’s Sanctuary and Development (AWSAD), Oromia Region Children Care Association, and Elshadai Relief & Development Association. Included in the £50 pounds race entry fee is a pre-race pasta party at the Hilton Addis Ababa, the official race hotel. It’s a great opportunity to meet participants from all over the world, enjoy displays of Ethiopian culture and meet Haile Gebreselassie, 2 time Olympian gold medalist and the founder of this event. Registration for local and international participants is open until November 19th 2017. Check out their website HERE for more details.
The jewel in the crown of the country’s tourist attractions is Lake Malawi, “discovered” by the missionary-explorer Dr David Livingstone just over 150 years ago. Although totally landlocked, Malawi is not denied its “inland sea”. This vast body of freshwater fringed by beaches of golden sand is not only a scenic wonderland but it provides water sport opportunities for those looking for something beyond sun, sand and swimming. Its approximate dimensions are 365 miles north to south and 52 miles broad, hence the sobriquet: “the calendar lake”. The Lake, in the north, is quite extraordinarily deep: 2300 ft/700 m, plunging well below sea level. This reflects the enormity of the natural faulting of the Great Rift Valley, which is the origin of the Lake. The width of the lake’s shorelands vary from nothing to over 25 kilometres (16 miles), the edge of the Rift Valley rising steeply in places and more gently in others. Because of its rich fish harvest, the Lake plays an important part in the economy. Fishing villages are scattered along the shore and the traditional industry and practices are an attraction to visitors. Access to the Lake is possible along much of its length but it […]
Think clean, quiet, relaxed atmosphere. Think luxury, culture and warm people. Watamu presents you with a holiday destination of rest and relaxation. Not convinced yet, here’s 7 reasons that might: 1. Fantastic Swahili Architecture Because the Alhamra house has classic Arab Swahili carved doors, arched hallways and entry ways, large balconies overlooking the home. Get ready to cue the song ‘A whole new world’ by Luther Vandross in your head . Be sure to take it all in and just to be safe, mental pictures to last you a life time. Calling all architecture & interior design fanatics! 2. Private beaches The beaches are mostly private in Watamu. The menace that is “beach boys” is a foreign word and that means better security when you go into the water. The only locals visible on the beach are the ones selling their handiwork. 3. Snorkeling at the Watamu Marine Park Hop on to a speed-boat with a group of locals, get your snorkeling gear and discover the underwater life. If you’re an early bird, get up early to catch the dolphins. I appreciate the fact that our guides didn’t hurry us to finish up in an hour. So […]
If you have an African passport, you already know the hassle of applying for visas to travel almost everywhere. While dreams of a borderless Africa are still far away, some governments are already taking steps to insure smoother travels for africans to their african neighbours. Regional blocks like ECOWAS and SADC allow for relatively free moments for member nation passport holders. To make your life easier, we at Visiter l’Afrique have decided to compile a list of all the African countries with visa free entry or offer visas upon arrival. Click on the countries to find our articles about these destinations, dust off your passports and take those vacation days! Benin Visa free access: Yes – All African countries Visa on arrival: – E-visa: – Regional bloc: ECOWAS Cape Verde Visa free access: Yes – Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo Visa on arrival: Yes – All other African nations except Morocco E-visa: – Regional bloc: ECOWAS Comoros Visa free access: – Visa on arrival: Yes – All African countries E-visa: – Regional bloc: COMESA, EAC, Indian Ocean Commission Djibouti Visa free access: – Visa […]
Ethiopia government has launched an Online Entry Visa Application and Issuance (E-Visa) for citizens of 39 countries. Ethiopian Airlines said that the policy was launched by Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs. Of the total, only the citizens of the South Africa are eligible from the African continent, while Kenya and Djibouti are exempted because their citizens do not need a visa to enter Ethiopia. The majority of those eligible for the E-Visa are European countries. China, North Korea, South Korea, India, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico and the US are also on the list of eligible countries for the initial phase of the E-Visa service. The service is provided only to those seeking a tourist visa. It was not yet clear whether the E-Visa was applicable to those who use the Ethiopian Airlines only or not. The press statement from Ethiopian Airlines stated that the E-Visa would be processed and issued on a single Web page where applicants apply and pay online. The Director Main Department for Immigration and Nationality Affairs, Mr Gebreyohannes Teklu, was quoted as saying: “Now international visitors to Ethiopia, from countries provisioned for visa upon arrival, will make use of this service. Moreover, we […]
The Congo Nile Trail is a trail along Lake Kivu that extends from Rubavu, continues through Rutsiro via the Karongi, Nyamasheke districts and ends at Rusizi District. 227 km (141 miles) of beautiful landscapes, including rolling hills and clear water. The entire trek can be completed in a 10- day hike. However, the trip can be done in sections if travelers do not have the time to complete the entire trail. Trails give stunning views of the Lake Kivu coastline and offer adventurous travelers an exciting way to discover Rwanda. Biking the Congo Nile Trail can be completed in 5 days, with rich views and immersive cultural experiences along the way. This trail appeals to adventure travelers and is a great way to experience Rwanda. The trail can also be split up if visitors do not have the time to commit to the 5 day journey. However, it is an experience worth selling to those who crave an off the beaten path adventure. It may seem at first like there are a lot of options when it comes to exploring the trail, but there’s no wrong way to do it. With 227km of magnificent forests, plantations, villages, and vistas over […]
The forests that swathe Ethiopia’s western highlands are the original home of coffee, which still grows profusely in the understory along with a wealth of other wildlife and sustainable forest products. The 7,600km2 Kafa Biosphere Reserve is the largest and most accessible of three such UNESCO-recognised reserves that protect Ethiopia’s western highlands. It is also an important repository of coffee genetic diversity, since many different varieties of bean still grow wild in the region. The coffee-yielding montane rainforests of western Ethiopia also harbour numerous other sustainable forest products, including forest cardamom, forest pepper and honey. The new Bonga International Coffee Museum is currently under construction in Bonga, a pleasant forest-fringed town set in the heart of the Kafa Biosphere Reserve. The tourist office in Bonga now offers guided day and overnight walks to several sites associated with the biosphere reserve. These include a stunning natural rock formation known as God’s Bridge, and the so-called Mother Coffee Tree, which is the world’s oldest living plant of its type. Wildlife likely to be seen in the coffee forests of the west includes the black-and-white colobus monkey, along with a wonderful diversity of highland forest and grassland birds including 11 species endemic to […]
The rhythm of drums pulses over the street. Colorful umbrellas carried by priests pass slowly my way. The main square of Gondar is vivid and filled up by thousands of people. And I find myself in the middle of this huge procession, with my suitcase in the hand. I just arrived at Gondar and it is the 20th of January. This is not a day like any other. Today Timkat is taking place: the most impressive and holiest festival of Ethiopia. And there is nearly no better place to celebrate it then in the town of Gondar. Located up in the mountains, it is home to an antic palace. And it is the capital of this region. The festival Timkat stands for the reenactment of baptism. For this cause the holy Tabot plates (replica of the ark) are moved out of the churches. Priests wrap them into colorful foulards. Then they carry the plates on their heads, followed by the community. The procession will take the street and meet other groups, until they unite to one immense feast. One group sings rhythmic chorus lines, clapping their hands. Another may dance and sing spiritual songs. Priests will carefully carry the Tabots […]
To kickstart this Northern Kenya series it is with the most absolute pleasure to introduce you to this little piece of heaven in Laikipia called The Sanctuary located at a private conservancy Ol Lentille. This 25000 acres of wilderness and pure serenity is so breathtakingly stunning and has within it four private villas individually designed and themed you sort of get a Lamu vibe with the architecture. Any visitor on an expedition to Northern Kenya should consider visiting the Ol Lentille Conservancy, which is home to rare species of birds among other animals. Located in Laikipia County to access the sanctuary, there is a private airstrip available only 15 minutes away and easy access from Nairobi to Nanyuki or Loisaba with numerous flight scheduled, road transfers are also available from Nanyuki or Loisaba at $400 return for the vehicle one and a half hour drive. There are four private villas the Eyrie, the Sultan’s house, the Colonel’s house and the Chief’s house all equipped with either double or twin beds, large lounge areas and panoramic views all uniquely designed and perfect for couples or groups. Ol Lentille offers exclusivity besides game watching, visitors can also explore cultural sites featuring […]
Okay so remember I just wrote a piece about Blankets & Wine therefore this is pretty much my committing festival felony by switching up and writing about Koroga Festival (low key rivalry). In case you were wondering although Blankets & Wine has been around for a while since 2008 to be exact, Koroga Festival is fairly young and the newest addition to Nairobi’s quest for live music, food, fashion, hip & hop and all sorts of cultural appropriation. In the March edition Congolese legend Koffi Olomide did the most bringing hits like “LOI” back to life… Now if you grew up in Africa in the 80’s and 90’s I am sure your parents overplayed Koffi’s hits on those weekend afternoons when you had your extended families visiting. Cameroonian legend Manu Dibango graced the stage in the May edition and it was jazzy, smooth and just pure joy to watch and listen especially when ‘Aye Africa’ came on damn! Those damn childhood memories! Koroga means to “stir” in Swahili the act of stirring while cooking that is to Koroga, and I must say I have enjoyed all the editions that I have been able to attend, the ambiance is just on […]
I have to revisit Rift Valley again…no seriously this region of Kenya just keeps surprising me. I have been traveling to the Rift at least once a year since as early as 4 years old, whether it was for a school trip, or passing through it or a holiday with my family, every year without fail I got to experience this beauty of a landscape that Kenya was lucky enough to be gifted with. Recently I came across another hidden gem that is just pure joy and breath taking…perched on a hill, on the edge of the Olive Forest where the Nakuru National Park meets the small town of Njoro is Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge. Upon the hill the views are just fantastic and lusciously green and vibrant. If you are looking for a pampered getaway then this is it. Food and accommodation are provided, the rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated with balconies overlooking the valley. Meals are served at the hotel restaurant equipped with a buffet, bar and lounge. Should you want to venture into the park, a game drive, self driven or otherwise, is richly rewarding as the park is teeming with birdlife with almost 450 […]
1st things 1st shout out to all the locals one thing that we luck in Nairobi is McDonalds but guess what we don’t need McDonald’s unhealthy, thin, God knows what’s in the beef burger. For two years running now after a successful round of Nairobi Restaurant Week and Pizza festival, Nairobi has decided it’s time for its very own burger festival…like legit gourmet, flame grilled, juicy burger fest. Now…any foodie out there will probably suggest that Nairobi is not really a foodie haven but this oh man, oh man, oh man… Nairobi burger festival is straight up fire!!! I’m talking giving Melbourne, Cape town and Philadelphia a run for their money…I don’t know why I mentioned those particular cities but for some reason I ate some pretty good burgers while visiting so… Anyway back to Nairobi Burger Fest this is a perfect excuse for a cheat meal week, with just around 80 or so restaurants participating from the 30th of May to 5th June, this event is all week long so if you are in the country there is really no excuse. For you locals it might be a solid plan with the homies, for the East African community […]
In recent years I happened to somehow…somewhere picked up a taste and appreciation for a good cup of tea like never before, black tea, white tea, green tea heck any colour of tea you name it I have either tasted it or probably about to taste it. Perhaps it was the moving away from home that triggered my tea taste buds that made me feel nostalgic about those ever full jugs of masala chai tea with Swahili donuts locally known as Maandazi or Mahamri, while living abroad I would find myself looking for the best tea merchants around hoping all fingers crossed that they had some Kenyan tea on the shelf. Kenya is well known globally for four main things, long distance runners, the Maasai, Barack Obama and TEA, it is actually world’s third-largest producer of tea which is pretty epic. Kenyan tea comprises of different varieties with different types of black tea blends being the most popular. Quick facts about Kenyan tea the assamica is the varietal used and it produces a beautiful red color in the cup as opposed to a golden colour. Tea is the #1 foreign exchange for Kenya, tea leaves have more caffeine than […]
Coming off that successful burger fest week, news around Nairobi is the next edition of Blankets and Wine, this one is going to be pretty exciting. Main headliner is British singer/songwriter Estelle Swaray popularly known as Estelle…side note I am already singing 1980, Dance B**ch and American Boy in my head Blankets and Wine is Nairobi’s “mini” music festival compared to the likes of Coachella or Made in America. It started off in 2008 as a platform for emerging musicians in Kenya to perform for the locals at a live set up, Since then the series has evolved and even picked up by other East African nations, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi starting 2016. Blankets and Wine happens quarterly and there is a sick line up of local and international acts, fashion pop ups, art, good food, bring your own booze, fun for the kids as well nothing to hectic or formal. The idea is pretty much letting your hair down for a chill weekend with friends, family, lovers, colleagues. Just this past April THE MAN himself Aloe Blacc performed at what was the 59th edition. The Estelle Show shall also feature top-end restaurants in a diverse and delectable food fair. […]
Chances are that if you are an avid or in this case occasional reader of the Economist, Forbes or Time magazines…yes that cliché, there is always some list of billionaires urging us commoners to travel as much as we can especially if you are under 30. This brings me to my next topic of travel interests, still on hashtags and movements for a while now operation #tembeaKenya and #twendeUshago have been all over the social media sphere where local tourism enthusiasts get to share their stories and adventures from trekking through the countryside to wining and dining in the big towns. Tembea means to walk in swahili, twende means going or go and ushago is what the locals call the rural countryside in Kenya. The message is pretty simple; go everywhere, see everything, meet everyone travel, travel, travel and while at it do it gracefully with enjoyment and appreciation, the point is to experience Kenya like you would if you took that dream vacation to Florence, or Lausanne or Modena or some other far away destination with some very hard name to pronounce. Yes go fishing, hill climbing, jet skiing and sky diving all locally. For every Kenyan, East African […]
Okay so remember those stunning images of Nina and Sebastian’s wedding shot in Maasai Mara by Jonas Peterson that went viral? Or when Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy? Or when Karen Blixen said she knew a song of Africa while in Africa? Well just this past Easter, the Duke of Cambridge was back in Kenya to attend a friends wedding at the same location, additionally some 64 years prior Queen Elizabeth II was at the same location with Prince Phillip when she found out she was to be queen…ok why am I telling you this…well there seems to be some type of romanticism associated with ecology and tourism. Perhaps it is the nature, the green space, the wildlife, away from the cities and bright lights, or maybe it is the dreamy place with the abundance of wow factor, Northern Kenya is a scenic piece of landscape that is sooo breathtaking it is actually one of the most ideal place for a destination wedding, honeymoon, getaway or just good old fashion adventure trip. In this series I share with you the beauty of sustainable tourism in Kenya, I start with the Laikipia Plateau in north-central […]
Less than a two hour drive from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, lies what has quickly become my favourite city in Uganda- Jinja. A true melting pot of the best of Uganda, Jinja has a little something for everyone. 1. For the adventurous ones Jinja has become known as Uganda’s adventure capital, offering heart palpitations for all, with its wide range of activities. If an adrenalin rush is what you’re looking for, in Jinja you are literally spoilt for choice from bungee jumping, white water rafting, zip lining, quad biking in the mud or kayaking the Nile. I’ll state the obvious and say that this one is not for the faint hearted- – the wait-I-changed-my-mind negotiations strictly end at before you climb up the bungee bridge. 2. For the mellow travellers The interesting thing about Jinja is that it was also named Uganda’s “sleepy city” in the 90’s because of how calm the city is in comparison to Kampala. For those looking for a more calm experience, I’d recommend taking an evening cruise to the source of the Nile or a quiet dinner by the water at Jinja’s favourite restaurant, Jinja Sailing Club. 3. A little bit of both? During my […]
Sticky, sweet, high in calories and dangerously addictive – Halwa, pronounced as Hal-u-wa, is a must-try dessert in Lamu. The sweet aromas of brown sugar, richness of ghee (clarified butter), floral notes of rose water, and perfume of cardamom permeate the air in Kenya’s coastal communities. Garnished with pistachio, almond slithers and sometimes toasted sesame seeds; the sweet and sticky jello-type dessert made of tapioca starch is the perfect accompaniment to a strong cup of spiced tea or kahawa (black coffee). Halwa’s velvety texture, as smooth as a baby’s behind, comes from the care that goes into ensuring that there are absolutely no lumps when heating the mixture. The most important thing when making Halwa is to continue stirring during the entire process. From combining the ingredients, to watching everything melt and becoming a thick translucent jello, to carefully pouring the mixture into a dish to cool – keep stirring or else your final product will have unsightly lumps. A little red food colouring is usually added to the mixture to give it a palatable look. Sometimes homecooks opt to use a few strands of Saffron instead. Halwa Around The World The dense and gelatinous Halwa is generally […]
Since I am still focusing on Northern Kenya and ecotourism it is only right to applaud the Kenyan government and the Ministry of Tourism for this past weeks action in fight against ivory trade #worthmorealive. A picture truly is worth more than a thousand words and in the words on His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, “Ivory means nothing to us unless they are on elephants”. This powerful statement clearly communicates that Kenya means business however like most things unless there is a spectacle of an event we tend to sweep issues under the rag until it is too late. Kenya like many other African countries is being robbed off its natural and wild beauty. These Savannah giants among them rhinoceros, leopard, cheetah and lions for skin, form part of the beauty of the African landscape to kill and poach these precious animals is to rob Africa and Kenya of her identity. As an outsider and as an African I urge you to make it a mission for yourself to get acquainted with the various ecotourism initiatives within this beautiful region of Kenya as well as other parts of the country, tourism is not just about the glitz and […]
Nairobi is a beautiful city and we’ve always wanted to show it in a unique way. From the skylines at sunset, constant movement of people and machinery to the breathtaking views you get while crawling above Nairobi rooftops. We are creative collective representing the next generation of emerging African Timelapse photographers, based in Nairobi-Kenya. Three years ago I came across a few time lapse videos that I found really interesting. The combination of time lapse imagery and amazing cityscapes seemed surreal. At the time I was also a bit frustrated with still pictures, as I felt they didn’t do justice to the amazing vistas and skies I could witness while on rooftops. Time lapse seemed the perfect medium. So I did some research, dived right in, and was blown away by the first results I got. I immediately loved how they revealed patterns and details that had been there the whole time.It was an exciting new outlook on daily life. After that I kept shooting and refining the process. I met Peter Irungu sometime last year. He too loved shooting timelapses. We exchanged ideas and decided to collaborate on documenting Nairobi in a way never done before. […]
I end up in Seychelles unintentionally. My initial plan is to visit Nairobi and Zanzibar from Dubai but time constraints prevent this. Not one to be deterred, I look up flights departing Dubai to the African continent and the flight to Seychelles works perfectly! Seychelles is an island nation located to the east of the African continent in the Indian ocean. It consists of over 116 islands, 46 of which are granitic and considered the the oldest and strongest granite in the world. The largest of these islands is Mahe and here is where my introduction to Seychelles begins. I choose the Bliss Boutique Hotel in Vista do Mar for their proximity to the water, the simplicity of the decor and the incorporation of local materials in the furnishing for the rooms. The views from the hotel are not bad either! You can see the island of Silhouette in the distance as well as the world famous granite boulders in the foreground. Ready to explore, I head down the road towards Beau Vallon taking in the beautiful views of the beach along the way. By the time I get to Beau Vallon I am hungry and my nose leads […]
Many different activities are available, offering you a stay rich in adventures! I’ll tell you here what to do in Zanzibar and share with you my detailed experience. Before choosing the activities, you may be assailed on the beach by the famous “beach boys”, trying to sell you the maximum possible activities. We had the chance to meet Marco Polo, his “office” is right next to the hotel. Tell him you come from me. On site, go in front of the grocery store and ask for him. Marco tries to bring you the best of Zanzibar experience, he is well organized and will make you stay memorable. We were 4 people and did all our activities with him: Swimming with dolphins, meeting red monkeys at Jozani Park and doing the spice tour -Visit Stone Town and Prison Island -Safari Blue –Snorkeling on the atoll of Mnemba Island -Tumbatu Island -Kendwa beach -The Rock Restaurant -Paje beach. Swimming with Dolphins The dolphins are in the south of the island, count a 1h45 drive to get there, with a departure from the hotel at 6am. Do not forget your mask and snorkel (or fins if you’re a pro and have […]
Trying to get the hang of travel writing… In between running a small side business, post grad studies, work, clubbing, socializing among other things so far, life landed me to visiterlafrique page while doing one of my numerous rounds on Instagram every other hour so here I am no clue or training in writing let alone travel writing; but regardless I am for the idea of visiterlafrique wanting to change the world’s perspective on Africa and her countries, to shine bright her light as a continent and home to one billion people plus and a force to be reckon with. After all Africa is the future right? Being Kenyan having been born and raised I understand the country and the way of living the treasures and jewels of this country that most backpacker’s do not get to explore, throughout your journey with me I am going to share with you stories and adventures about Kenya that those commercial brochures and travel guides at airport souvenir shops do not get to tell you about.Kenya is not just about the Maasai culture/people and the big five, Kenya is so much more…Kenya is magical is every definition to the word. Therefore join me […]
Kenya for commercial travelers, mixing Business and Pleasure. Chances are that if you are a global commercial employee at a multinational, international government or non government organization, global tech company that you will at some point find yourself landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport which is the main commercial airport in Nairobi. Traditionally, business trips last 3-5 days and many of these travelers are first timers, if you are lucky you can squeeze in leisure and pleasure activities while attending to business. Nairobi being the most desirable city in Kenya has a lot to offer for “in and out” business travelers. In between your conference and meetings if you are a traveler seeking an authentic out of Africa luxury experience you are lucky especially since in the last few years Nairobi has transformed itself with brand new chic urban culture. Home away from home coffee shop experience is present in Nairobi, on any given day various coffee shop houses are fully packed with tourists, expats and locals, therefore getting your cappuccino fix should not be a problem just ask your uber driver to drop you at Java house. And yes we do have uber services in Nairobi…this should not […]
Exploring local tourism. Here is a fun fact about Nairobi, you probably did not know that it is the only city in the world that is home to a fully functioning national park located approximately seven kilometers from the central business district. By now you probably took my advice while on business in Nairobi that you decided to come back with family to explore more of this beautiful city, Welcome! In my last article I wrote about how a quick 3-5 day trip to Nairobi does not have to be boring and lonely. In this article I am assuming you chose Kenya as your holiday destination which is awesome because starting off with Nairobi there is a lot to explore. Nairobi’s wild and historical side is massive and exciting listed below is some of the enjoyable major activities that you should not pass while visiting the city with family. Historical home of Karen Blixen; this museum details the history and life of the author herself something which you can enjoy with your family. The ‘Out of Africa’ author’s home is a perfect example of how the city has managed to preserve its sense of the past. Nairobi National Park; […]
Few coastal towns have tugged at my heart as much as Lamu has. It still shocks me to hear how many of my friends confess that they’ve never been to this beautiful, serene island before. But then again, neither had I until three weeks ago. I had the pleasure of traveling to Shela, Lamu Island, with three of my friends: Joy Kendi, Tatiana Karanja and Susan Wong. Surprisingly, of the four of us, only Tatiana had been to the island before. After landing at the local airport, we took a 20minute boat ride (one of the few modes of transport in Lamu) to our home of the week – Forodhani House. I thought I knew what to expect given that I’d been to other Kenyan coastal towns many times before but Lamu definitely caught me by surprise. Here are some unexpected twists that the charming island boasts: Not your average taxi rank Believe it or not, only four cars operate on the island! This means you either walk, take a boat ride or – my personal favourite – hop on a donkey. You should have heard us gasp when our guide stopped in front of a bunch of donkeys […]
One fine Tuesday afternoon, on a particularly slow day at the office, an email popped up in my inbox from one Alphée introducing herself and the work she does with Visiter L’Afrique. She explained the work they do at Visiter L’Afrique in trying to promote tourism destinations of Africa. Such a fantastic idea I thought to myself. What came as a pleasant surprise to me however, was that she was keen to send my fiancée Luca and I on a romantic trip to Zanzibar for Valentines Day weekend to explore Zanzibar through our eyes and share it with the world. As it seemed to good to be true, I forwarded the email to Luca, to see what he made of it. After a few emails ironing out details with Alphee, the fantastic weekend was upon us. Friday came, and after a few hours at the office, we were off! A 15 minute plane ride and an hour drive from Zanzibar airport, brought us to the beautiful secluded Kasha Boutique Hotel. We immediately go into explorer mode and walked around the beautiful hotel grounds before we are introduced to our home for the weekend. A beautiful room, with a […]
I’m notorious for chasing sunsets anywhere I go. I’ll most likely be the first to “oohh” and “aahh” over the vivid colours lingering over the skyline, particularly when the sun happens to be setting over the ocean. In this regard, Lamu did not disappoint. Found off the north coast of Kenya, Lamu Island is a hidden treasure yet to fully be discovered and explored by the world. And if you happen to love the charm of quaint, old towns, you’re going to fall in love with this place! Here are 5 reasons why you should make your way to Lamu as soon as possible: As one of Kenya’s oldest towns, you can rest assured that there’s an abundance of interesting cultural elements waiting to be discovered in Old Town, Lamu. Named one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, the island boasts several historical landmarks that have yet been tainted by modern day technology and infrastructures. The Swahili architecture, Lamu Fort and Lamu Museum are just a few of the aspects oozing old charm. 2. If you happen to love food, and more specifically sea food, then you’re in for the time of your life. It never ceased to amaze […]
Zanzibar… its name itself is already a trip! This fantastic and mysterious island with its beautiful beaches and roads lined with spices is a real crush. Located 40 kilometers away from the Tanzanian coast, Zanzibar is an island (specifically, an archipelago) of East Africa located in the Indian Ocean. Covering an area of 1264 km2, it is a mix of African, East, Europe and Asia. Former territory of the Sultanate of Oman and major transit of goods and trade, the Indians once occupied the island, and the Portuguese and British settled some time there. To get there, it is a journey of 16hours (at least). Operated by Emirates, we stopped in Dubai to take the Emirates lowcost airline, Flydubaï. Other companies operate like Oman Air and Qatar Airways. Once landed in Zanzibar airport, 2 documents are to be filled in order to get your visa for the stay. They will also ask you for $50 or €50 per person. You can pay by cash and also by credit card (beware of fees: I give you additional information here). Customs control registers your fingerprints, like a taste of America in front of us. On our way to Nungwi, […]
Susan is a smart young woman who live nairobian’s life to fullest. Aside from being a food & award-winning destination writer, Susan is an accomplished commercial lifestyle photographer, Editor of Capital Lifestyle Magazine, former radio presenter, magazine columnist, media personality and brand ambassador. Let’s discover her favorite places How would you describe Nairobi to someone who has never been before? Nairobi is a diverse and cosmopolitan hub. Liken to New York City of East Africa, daily life is very fast-paced. It’s a very green city despite the crazy traffic and general congestion. Streets are often lined with old trees, the Nairobi National Park and Karua Forest make it easy to be grounded in nature despite the growing concrete jungle of Kenya’s capital. What neighborhood do you live in? A suburb called Lavington Who is the Nairobian girl? Ambitious, aspirational and creative. What do you love most about Nairobi? You can feel the beat of the city. There’s always something new happening in the city. Whether it’s a new restaurant or bar, or a new product is launching in the country, or a new gallery popping-up – Nairobi is the nest of new ideas. In a way, you feel […]
Sharon is the beautiful woman behind the famous kenyan blog This Is Ess. Since starting the blog in January 2012, Sharon has landed a myriad of unique opportunities in the field of fashion and lifestyle acting as a digital and social media influencer, consultant and brand ambassador. Serving as an archive for Sharon’s outfits and lifestyle interests such as travel, food and home decor, thisisess.com has received many accolades and exciting collaborations with top international brands including Levi’s, Daniel Wellington, Vivo, Turkish Airlines, Galleria Mall, Samsung and Serena Hotels. In 2014, she was named Top Fashion/Beauty/Style blogger at the Bloggers Association of Kenya Awards and later went on to win Most Influential Instagrammer at the Social Media Awards in the same year. She has been featured in various international publications including Marie Claire, She Leads Africa, Huffington Post and Couture Africa and has graced the covers of both True Love and DRUM Magazine. Inspired by the people she meets and places she travels to, Sharon has managed to create a space online that motivates others to pursue their own dreams. She truly believes that each morning one wakes up with a blank canvas and just like an artist, one chooses to […]
Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, gets often overlooked by travellers. This has to change. Not only is Kigali one of the most beautiful cities in Africa, it is also one of the safest and cleanest capital cities in the continent. This already says a lot. In addition, Kigali is very green and its stunning hills only add to the aesthetic allure of the urban space. In the light of all these facts, it is no surprise then that Kigali is considered to be one of the most liveable cities in Africa. It is also worth noting that the implementation of urban development plans has been so impressive in recent years that it is hard to picture that there was a genocide there in 1994. Kigali has risen from the ashes in the most remarkable way to become a structured and well organised city which can welcome guests in an atmosphere of serenity and peace. Today, every morning when I wake up and have my coffee on the front porch, I get reminded of how lucky I am to live there. Indeed, nothing beats the stunning Kigali views from the top of the many breathtaking hills! So if you […]
If you spend one day in Lamu, and trust me one day is not enough, you will immediately notice the style and beauty norms that make Lamu Lamu. In Lamu, clothing/style/beauty choices and very much inspired by their traditional believes. And being a Swahili town their traditions are a beautiful blend of the Arabic culture, Bantu culture and Islamic religion. Style in Lamu Lamu, like many others of the coastline towns, is predominantly a Muslim town/island. And because of this the clothing style for the Swahili people has not changed much over the years. Traditionally the Swahili man wears a long robe with a small rounded embroidered while the traditional Swahili woman dresses in long dresses, skirts and cover their hair with a shawl or scarf. A lot of this traditional clothing is reserved for celebrations, festivals and important religious occasions. When not in their traditional clothing western styled clothing is worn but with the same religious and moral rules they would apply to their traditional/religious clothing. As a tourist, how should one dress while visiting Lamu? Lamu’s people are predominantly in the Islamic religion. So, for them modesty is key. The main rule to live by as a […]
Old Town is the oldest and the best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. Old Town, just like its people, is a beautiful blend of many cultures. Old Town is a fusion of Swahili, Arabic, Persian, Indian and European influence. As soon as you walk into the town from the dock it is obvious why it is considered a perfect example of the traditional Swahili culture. Lamu has buildings and areas that date back over 600 years and these areas are viewed as inspiration for any new buildings that come up. The most beautiful feature of Old Town has to be the “old town feel”. It is such a large part of the towns beauty that even when a building owner decides to renovate they make it a point to keep some of the Old Town aesthetic. In other words the furniture and structure might change, but the “Age” will remain. Fun fact: Due to the towns old age and structure being built years before the invention of the automobile it is almost impossible to find a road or pathway that is large enough to hold a car, making the “old town” main form of transportation donkeys. In fact cars and […]
Lake Victoria, is the largest of the Great African Lakes and the second largest freshwater lake in the world. Named after Queen Victoria, it is located on the western edge of Kenya. Dotted along the shoreline are busy towns and small Luo fishing villages. This time round I had the pleasure of not only viewing the lake from a distance, but actually boating on it. I can definitely assure you that I had the time of my life; viewing the fishermen on their boats, seeing such beautiful natural sites, watching birds fly by, looking for hippos and just having some time to take in the scenery and breathe in the beauty of this stunning lake. Lakeside Adventure tours, was the name of the boat I chose to ride in, and my guide for the day was Dalmas Otieno who made my experience on Lake Victoria all the more exhilarating. Dalmas, has been guiding and exploring the lake for over 15 years and in my opinion you would be hard pressed to find a better guide of this beautiful lake. He was also a sport, posing for pictures from time to time when I asked him, and patiently stopping the boat […]
Upon returning home from my three-week solo trip to Africa, my first sojourn to the continent, I proclaimed to my family and friends that, if I ever ran away from home, they’d likely find me in Zanzibar. There is something special there, something magical that finds a little space in your heart and fills it up like a warm cup of Zanzibari chai tea. I spent the first leg of my trip in Nairobi and Maasai Mara, Kenya, and after a week braving the chaos that is Nairobi traffic and being awestruck by the migration of the wildebeests on the Mara, I headed to Zanzibar for a long weekend. As I flew past Mount Kilimanjaro en route to Zanzibar, I marveled at how beautiful the water was off the coast of Africa: so many different shades of blue! Not one to waste any time on this adventure of a lifetime, I arranged for Abdi, a local guide, to give me a walking tour of Stone Town just a few hours after my arrival. Abdi agreed to meet me in the local town square in front of my hotel. A sprightly guy with a head of curly, wild hair, he exuded […]
Velma Rossa is a Kenyan stylist. She’s known trought her blog 2ManySiblings that she manages with her brother Papa petit. The siblings boast a deep sense of style, mixing mainstream clothing and vintage pieces. Here is the City Guide of Velma. How would you describe Nairobi A to a Lagosian? A lot more cosmopolitan…calm Just about everyone complains about the traffic in Nairobi, but is there one spot you don’t mind being stuck in traffic? Uhuru highway…lots of food vendors there for obvious reasons! How do you get around the city? I drive myself around mostly, walk on the days I’m in downtown Nairobi. What neighborhood do you live in? I stay in Karen, has a countryside vibe to it. There I see horses, maasai’s, cows and sometimes wildlife on the regular. What hotel do you recommend to friends from out of town? The giraffe manor, lovely boutique hotel…ever had giraffes breakfasting with you?thats why! And what restaurant? (…And what should they order?) Marula Mercentile! i just go there for this amazing starter dish…potatoes stacked in apple sauce x cinnamon x a sprinkle of bacon! or mama oliech’s for local cuisine! What is your favorite […]
In every African city, visiting markets is essential. This is the best way to buy some local souvenirs. In Addis Abeba in Ethiopia, the Merkato is a MUST -DO. You can not leave the Ethiopian capital without having ” chilled ” even if a few hours. From the top of its hill, the Merkato is identified as the largest open-air marketplace in Africa. That’s right. It stretches over several hundred square meters and houses more than 150 shops. Basically, there is EVERYTHING. Sumptuous fabrics, spices, food, handicrafts, recycled products, clothes… And of course, everything is negotiable. Many local products are sold there, with on top of the list, the well- known Ethiopian coffee. The Merkato is teeming with alleys and little shops where you are sure to find your happiness. For the record, the Merkato was launched during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, hence the name of Italian origin (” Merkato” meaning ” market” in Italian and “new market” in Amharic). Crédits photos : Dave Proffer, Sarah Tz, Life in Abundance, Neiljs, Alvise Forcellini
DIANA BEACH, KENYA Diani Beach is a seaside resort located 30 km south of Mombasa. This is one of the most popular beaches of Kenya known for its palm trees, its fine sand, its clear, shallow water. A heavenly setting ! Relaxation and water pleasures await you. Perk: perfect for kitesurfing enthusiasts BELLE MARE, MAURICE is the iconic beach on the east side of Mauritius, ten kilometers of white sand, shaded by casuarina trees. Shades of turquoise water will leave you in awe ! Plus side: Waterpark still located in Belle Mare offers water attractions such as slides, buoys, pools with and without waves … A good place to spend quality time. NUNGWI, ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA The Nungwi Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Zanzibar. What was once a simple fishing village has now become a popular holiday destination. It is located on the northern tip of the island, there is no coral on the beach and the shallow sea makes this place an ideal place for swimming. Perk: The sunsets are beautiful, a wonder to admire. BE READY ! TOFO (PRAIA DO TOFO), MOZAMBIQUE Tofo beach stretches over […]
Do you know Uganda? You can file your articles and share your story with the community ” Visiter l’Afrique.” Contact us and become a contributor. Like you, we love to travel, discover new places and especially to share good addresses. Feel free to share with us a photo your day, your travel stories, your tips, events, a collection of photos.
Do you know Kenya? You can file your articles and share your story with the community ” Visiter l’Afrique.” Contact us and become a contributor. Like you, we love to travel, discover new places and especially to share good addresses. Feel free to share with us a photo your day, your travel stories, your tips, events, a collection of photos.
Do you know Ethiopia? You can file your articles and share your story with the community “Visiter l’Afrique.” Contact us and become a contributor. Like you, we love to travel, discover new places and especially to share good addresses. Feel free to share with us a photo your day, your travel stories, your tips, events, a collection of photos.
Are you looking for a memorable day trip out of Kigali? A visit to the Gatagara Cooperative offers the perfect hands-on pottery experience combined with meaningful learning. Situated between Ruhango and Nyanza, Gatagara is a 90 minutes drive from Rwanda’s capital city. Once at the cooperative, you will learn all that there is to know about the art of traditional pottery making, including how and where the artisans work, and you will, if you wish to do so, try your hands at creating your own piece. When I travelled to Gatagara, I tried making a small vase, which happened to be much harder to make than I thought it would be, but also very enjoyable! When you are done working with the clay, it needs a couple of days to dry. It is then baked in the oven. Once baked, a layer of paint is added and it is baked again. Unfortunately, since it is a lengthy process, travellers who are often short on time do not get to take part to the whole process but working the clay is the most fascinating part anyway. It is interesting to note that the clay itself can take up to two years […]
What is Azizi Life? In Swahili ‘Azizi’ means good life. Azizi Life is a charity organization who’s vision is “to participate in local initiatives for the development of Rwandan communities working towards physical and spiritual wholeness for all.”They work with different women’s cooperative to help earn fair-wages by selling their crafts to help develop the different communities they live in, and provide an outlet for women to empower each other. Azizi Life Experiences In addition to coordinating the sales of the women’s crafts, they have a social enterprise program called Azizi Life experiences. This program offers people visiting Rwanda the unique opportunity to connect and gain insight into the life of Rwandans in rural villages. They offer a range of different cultural experience in the form of full day or half day activities such as: traditional cooking classes, African dance and drumming, banana juice making, organized hikes, and the opportunity spend the day in the life of an artisan. My friends and I participated in the ‘Day in the life of an Artisan Experience’ and here is a recap of our day. A Day in the Life of an Artisan with Azizi Life… We first arrived at the Azizi Life office […]
From Addis Ababa to Harrar via Dire Dawa, this serie of photographys reflects the vision of my first trip to Africa. It is hard to talk about it without falling into clichés, without talking about land of contrasts and disparities. We will see crowds of job seekers from Arat Kilo, the cobbled streets of the old city of Harrar, the Kazanchis construction sites. If we look briefly, one can see the reassuring image of a timeless Ethiopia, modeled on the continent of which it hosts its political union. If we look a little longer, we can observe a country and a city in transition, where the gilded youth is lounging in the bars of Debre Zeyit. Text and photos: Arnaud Paillard
Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, gets often overlooked by travellers. This has to change. Not only is Kigali one of the most beautiful cities in Africa, it is also one of the safest and cleanest capital cities in the continent. This already says a lot. In addition, Kigali is very green and its stunning hills only add to the aesthetic allure of the urban space. In the light of all these facts, it is no surprise then that Kigali is considered to be one of the most liveable cities in Africa. It is also worth noting that the implementation of urban development plans has been so impressive in recent years that it is hard to picture that there was a genocide there in 1994. Kigali has risen from the ashes in the most remarkable way to become a structured and well organised city which can welcome guests in an atmosphere of serenity and peace. Today, every morning when I wake up and have my coffee on the front porch, I get reminded of how lucky I am to live there. Indeed, nothing beats the stunning Kigali views from the top of the many breathtaking hills! So if you are […]
Do you know Tanzania? You can file your articles and share your story with the community ” Visiter l’Afrique.” Contact us and become a contributor. Like you, we love to travel, discover new places and especially to share good addresses. Feel free to share with us a photo your day, your travel stories, your tips, events, a collection of photos.
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Do you know Somalia? You can file your articles and share your story with the community ” Visiter l’Afrique.” Contact us and become a contributor. Like you, we love to travel, discover new places and especially to share good addresses. Feel free to share with us a photo your day, your travel stories, your tips, events, a collection of photos.
Do you know Seychelles? You can file your articles and share your story with the community ” Visiter l’Afrique.” Contact us and become a contributor. Like you, we love to travel, discover new places and especially to share good addresses. Feel free to share with us a photo your day, your travel stories, your tips, events, a collection of photos.
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Do you know Burundi? You can file your articles and share your story with the community ” Visiter l’Afrique.” Contact us and become a contributor. Like you, we love to travel, discover new places and especially to share good addresses. Feel free to share with us a photo your day, your travel stories, your tips, events, a collection of photos.
Do you know Sudan? You can file your articles and share your story with the community ” Visiter l’Afrique.” Contact us and become a contributor. Like you, we love to travel, discover new places and especially to share good addresses. Feel free to share with us a photo your day, your travel stories, your tips, events, a collection of photos.
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