BTOR in Benin was a beautiful, edifying and intimate experience shared with amazing women of colour. I will not thank Wilizé enough for her love, care, patience, resilience and for allowing us to live such a peaceful, pleasurable and memorable week. She is an inspiration and a blessing to our community! Wilizé has carefully curated a unique experience that celebrated the ancestral wisdom of Africa, the history and cultures of Benin, West African culinary heritage and most importantly sisterhood. Throughout our stay, we had a fabulous and gifted cook, Josette, who took care of our palate. She made us delicious and nutritious West African meals suggested by Wilizé. The different locations we stayed at either in the centre of Cotonou or in the coastal town of Ouidah were breathtaking and filled with a grounding energy. We really had the opportunity to realigned with our inner self. Our visits to sacred places were enlightening, eye opening and gave us a wealth of valuable and empowering information. Our time spent in Ouidah during the Vodun festival was fascinating, festive and full of joy! We even got the chance to be part of the Vodun priest’s procession at the start of the festival. […]
As a young Ivorian woman who grew up in the diaspora, I vowed to take an afrocentric approach to anything I decide to undertake. Navigating the sphere of holistic wellness (which is highly glamourised, consumerism-led and white-washed), I often felt frustrated by the dominance of Eastern spirituality. Even though most spiritual traditions are based on universal principles, I wanted to have a deeper understanding of the wisdom, knowledge and spiritual practices developed by my ancestors to be in alignment with themselves and the Universe. BACK TO OUR ROOT healing retreat in Benin, created by Wilizé Maléombho felt like a breath of fresh air. It was what I needed, a holistic approach to life from an African perspective. I firmly believe that unlearning is a form of learning. Shattering preconceived ideas on aspects of African cultures is like healing from generational traumas, they are tasks we should all contribute to no matter the cost.They set us free including the generations to come. Yet, spiritual freedom is the most difficult to achieve especially for those of us raised in predominantly Judeo-Christian families. A mere interest in African Spirituality, Vodun, Animism or ‘traditional’ medicine is an act of rebellion and raise alarming […]
Ghana has always been the golden child when it comes to touring western Africa. Its inviting beaches, rich culture, vibrant city life and Jollof (a matter of national pride), It is no surprise Ghana was voted one of the world’s most favourite destinations. The weather is inviting all year, and there are many locations around Ghana, such as waterfalls, game parks and the coast. Ghana is a one-stop destination for any kind of holiday. However, in the month of Black History, a trip to Ghana’s coastal forts is a must. A strong reminder of the slave trade and the world’s history, Ghana is an essential destination on anyone’s bucket list. There are about 30 sites to visit along Ghana’s coastline which mark the slave trade era. A few have been turned into museums and historical sites, one the most visited is Cape Coast Castle. Cape Coast Castle: Previously one of the world’s most important holding sites for the trans-Atlantic slave trade. When it was first constructed by the Swedes it was used as a holding and trading site for gold (Ghana as the Gold Coast) and timber. Over the years, as colonial powers fought to control Ghana, command […]
I’m going to come clean and admit that I had never thought of travelling to Burkina Faso before. Other than general knowledge about the West African country, I had no information about the attractions around Burkina Faso. Just like I was convinced that Burkina Faso should be on my travel wishlist, hopefully, this will convince you too. Let’s start at the obvious place, the history. Burkina Faso was previously colonized by the French and was previously known as Upper Volta. After independence, it became Burkina Faso (The land of honourable people), and Burkinabes embody this title with pride as they are known to be the most honest people in Africa. Ouagadougou is the capital city, the name translates to “you are welcome here at home with us” in Moore, one of the 60 dialects of Burkina. Burkina is known for its craft market, the largest in Africa, and its exports gold and cotton. As welcoming as Burkinabes are, it takes substantial effort to find out about tourist attractions. Most of the publicity comes from first-hand accounts of travels to various parts of Burkina Faso. The most popular destination being Banfora city in Comoe Province. Banfora is the hub […]
Yoyo Tinz is set to host their first festival in Accra, Ghana on the 19th to the 25th of November. The name “Yoyo” evolved from Ghanian slang for “hip-hop”, which is what Yoyo Tinz is all about. Developed around a love for hip-hop, Yoyo Tinz aims to document and promote the African hip-hop scene. Their mission is to show the importance and influence of hip-hop culture in education and the social sphere. Yoyo Tinz has been in operation for the last five years; and what better way to celebrate their 5th anniversary than to host a great family friendly festival! They are no strangers to the festival scene, making appearances at Paris Hip-Hop Festival and Chale Wote, where their stand “Yoyo Tinz Shrine” was a showstopper. Just like the previous appearances, the festival is definitely going to be worthwhile. The theme for this year is GOAT, which could be interpreted in a variety of ways. Firstly, is in reference to the famous acronym, Greatest Of All Time, which most rappers debate about. Secondly, it is to pay homage to the characteristics of a goat, specifically “determination, stubbornness and vitality”, qualities which Yoyo Tinz identifies with. Lastly, it is a play on words, […]
It has been six months now that I returned to my home country and to my usual life, and yet, I haven’t recovered from my post-travel trauma. My phone, desktop and laptop home screens show beautiful views from Cidade Velha. My ringtone is “Nha Manera” by Boy Ge Mendes, recommended by the talented Hilario Silva. I still got Cabo Verde bad, bad, under my skin. After taking you on a tour of Santiago Island today we’re off to Maio Island, the land of empty wild beaches and deafening calmness. Maio Island (pronounced as /mayo/ – you’re welcome) is the nearest island to Santiago, less than an hour by plane and about two hours by ferry. A little confession – visiting this island was never in my plans as I couldn’t find any useful or interesting information on the net about the island, what to expect, where to stay and what to do once there. My actual destination after Santiago was Sao Filipe (Fogo). I booked a return ticket to Maio Island for about €100. For my accommodation, I found many available options on online booking platforms. I stayed in Kaza Tropikal and AH Maio in Vila do Maio (Porto Inglês), which I […]
My idea was genius! No Brilliant! I had finally found the answer that would unite all people of the diaspora together. The idea came through my head like water. To create a retreat titled “Back To Our Roots” that would re-unite the people of the diaspora back to the land. “The cure for the pain is in the pain” This is one of my favorite quotes by the suffix poet Rumi, because in this quote resides our truth. The question we must answer as people of color is: What is at the core of our pain? What was really taken away from us? We are struggling to get back what we lost, but in order to understand the root of our pain we must fully understand what is it that we lost. I look at my brothers and sisters in the Americas, bodies laying on cold concrete, turned into dust by police officers. What is it that we lost, during that crucial time, when our land and our people were violated? I turn my head to my brothers and sisters in Africa, shaming their land, trying so hard to imitate the very people who inflicted them with pain, […]
Choosing Cabo Verde as my first destination abroad was not at random. Back in the days, I met three Cabo Verdeans during their stay in Morocco. Honestly, it was the first time I heard about it and curiosity just got hold of me so I decided to embark on a solo trip to Cabo Verde. It is an archipelago situated in the Atlantic Ocean, miles away from Senegal, made of 10 islands in total: Satiago, Fogo, Brava, Maio, Boa Vista, Sal, São Nicolau, São Vicente, Santo Antaó and Santa Luzia. I landed very late in the night in Praia, Santiago. I had to wait for the customs to get a visa on arrival. The officer started speaking in Portuguese to me, I handed him my passport and told him I don’t speak Portuguese. He and his coworkers were really surprised. He then asked me how come I was Moroccan but I looked like a native Cabo Verdean. That encounter set the mood for the whole trip! I choose a hostel located in Achada de Santo Antonio, about 10 minutes from Nelson Mandela Airport and in the middle of popular streets so I could learn more about the local […]
Meet Temi, founder of Ayiba Magazine and Girls Trip tours ! Follow her on her journey as she travels Africa with a purpose. So tell us a bit about yourself and Ayiba Magazine. I’m Nigerian, but I grew up in New York City and now live in Toronto, Canada. I manage Ayiba Magazine and curate travel experiences to Africa via Girls Trip Tours for the high achieving women who inspire my lifestyle magazine. Ayiba Magazine is an award-winning online and print publication that has been chronicling the African Renaissance since 2012. What inspired you to start Girls Trip Tours? Was it a natural evolution from your magazine? After five years of building my online magazine, I wanted to figure out what was next and how I could bring more value to the brand and its readership. The mission of Ayiba is to connect Africans in the Diaspora with the continent. I had done this through creative content, but felt the next evolution was to do this in real life. Where once you could read about Lagos nightlife, Nairobi’s startup ecosystem, or Rwandese artisans in the pages of Ayiba, now, we can arrange for you to experience it first-hand […]
Meet Sierra, visual artist and seasoned traveler. Check her work at www.sierranallo.com and find out how she’s enjoying her current new home! So tell us a bit about yourself. I am a photographer from Sierra Leone and England who is currently living in Ghana. Growing up, I lived between Canada and parts of West Africa; Travel has always been embedded in my being. My photography is my method of capturing the subjects’ essence, to ignite a feeling of connectivity from the viewer; to see oneself in the image. Oftentimes, our beautiful continent is misrepresented and I strive to be a part of the dialogue showcasing the authentic, beautiful, idiosyncratic and innovative African narrative. Where are you now and how long have you been there? I am in Accra, Ghana. I lived here for 4 years as a child and returned after 12 years. I can now definitely consider Ghana one of my homes. What inspired you to move to Ghana? My friend invited me for a visit which ended up extending to now living here. Ghana is a beautiful country with a rich culture. Now that I have lived here for over 5 years on and off, […]
I was walking in the streets of the OSU neighborhood when I fell in front of this beautiful yellow facade. A friend told me they have the best iced teas in town (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). I told myself that I had to test and I was not disappointed. There’s also a small menu of smoothies and meals (curry and all-day breakfast, for example), and there are DJ nights at the weekend. We thank the airline Air Côte d’Ivoire to have allowed us to make this trip. Adresse : Klannaa St, Accra, Ghana Horaires : 09 : 00 – 22:00 Téléphone : +233 20 705 3440
We are back from part1 ! I’ve learned so much about the best food, best place to have a night around Africa, but I need more, how about ? we keep going on our travel here 6- Is there any common point in all these countries? If yes which one? Yes. There are a few common points but I’ll mention here only the 2 that comes to my mind at first: The hospitality that I have experienced in many of the countries and mostly coming from people that posses actually nothing at all but they share everything with you (I got invited to weddings and other family parties, as well as I was invited many times to eat and sleep at their local humble houses). The mentality of many people (starting with children) that think that I’m lucky because I’m “white” (in Africa they call me white, haha) and that white people have a better life and are more beautiful. I have talked to many children on the streets, at the beaches or at the villages and they all said I’m more beautiful than they are because I’m white. But myself, I couldn’t stop taking pictures […]
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 […]
Abraka, is one of the 25 Urhobo kingdoms in Delta state, Nigeria. It is one of the main urhobo clans. It is mostly known as a university town and has the main campus of the Delta State University located there. It attracts numerous domestic and international tourists. Abraka beach is famous for its natural flowing spring water, and has recreational facilities for outdoor activities like canoeing, fishing, swimming, barbecue. Abraka Turf & Country Club A private country club that has been created to function at the highest levels of luxury and guest satisfaction. Located in the exotic region of Nigeria’s Delta, Abraka Turf and Country Club has taken on a leading role in the nation’s leisure and catering industry, and prides itself on its ability to deliver exquisite services. The resort includes perfect villas, chalets, and caters to high-end clientelle that includes families, vacation seekers, campers, as well as corporate groups. Abraka Turf and Country Club comes fully equipped with state of the art facilities and the outdoor activities include golf, tennis, canoeing, kayaking, polo, horseback riding, fishing and deep river diving. Credit photo : Enefa_a
Home of Famed Morna singer Cesária Évora, Cape Verde rests off the Northwest coast of Africa in the Atlantic ocean. The country is an archipelago made up of 10 volcanic islands and is one of 6 portuguese speaking countries in Africa. Nationals of any country can get a visa prior to or upon arrival although a number of countries, mostly in Africa, have visa exemptions. Like most island nations, Cape Verde is known for its beaches, good weather, excellent seafood as well as its rich musical tradition which was born out of a mix of African, Portuguese and Brazilian influences. Travellers can hop between the islands by way of ferries or small planes. Accommodation Bookings.com has a great selection of hotels, cottages and more to pick from and we’ve selected a few spots to help start your search: Kira’s Boutique Hotel Highlights: intimate setting, family run, affordable rooms from €67. Hotel Morabeza Highlights: beach front property, regular evening entertainment, athletic facilities. Hotel Riu Funana highlights: all-inclusive resort, family friendly. To check out The Pedra de Lume salt mines Float inside the salt pans of this amazing geographic formation! Inside the […]
Bogobiri is the ancient birthplace of Uthman dan Fodio where scholarly and artistic knowledge is said to have spread like wild fire through Northern Nigeria. It is also the name of a popular district in Port Harcourt where people from all over Africa converge and where the saying “there are no strangers in Bogobiri” was born. All in all the playful onomatopoeic feel of BOGOBIRI resonates greatly with the character and mood of this eclectic boutique hotel set in the heart of Lagos. Bogobiri brings home the true meaning of Afroliciousness! Bogobiri Hotel is much more than a sixteen room boutique hotel in high brow Ikoyi, Lagos.They offer friends and visitors a unique opportunity to interface with the creative soul of Africa’s most vibrant city. Our recent expansion and newly upgraded rooms are perfect for business and leisure travelers Address : No. 9, Maitama Sule Street off Awolowo Road, South-West Ikoyi, Lagos Call : +2347068176454
We love our traveling community here at Visiter l’Afrique and love introducing you all to each other even more! Meet Samson and discover his passion for innovative agriculture! So tell us a bit about yourself. I am Samson Ogbole, co-founder PS Nutraceuticals International Limited. I am a firm believer in the agricultural future of the nation as a foundation for nation building and development of character . I am into innovative thinking directed towards finding new ways to ensure agriculture is the future. Nigerians are opening up to soilless growing, getting to understand the importance of technology and automation. The company is less than 2 years with a staff of 12. Where are you now and how long have you been there? I move between Lagos and Abeokuta regularly. Can you tell us about your journey on agriculture, what do you specialize in? It started in 2013 with trying to grow yam without soil, then gradually I started trying with more crops, modifying systems to be cheaper and easier to use. With over 200 crops successfully grown, there is still much more to be done. My specialty is automation and technology in agriculture. As of today, soilless growing is taking root gradually […]
Nearly 31 years since the last celebration of the king of the Brong people, the Adaye Kessiè festival is back this year for its second edition. Organized by the luxury travel tour operator Luxe Voyage and the Brong Gyaman NGO, an advocate organization for the preservation of the Brong culture, the festival has gone back to its roots. Who are the Brong? Originally from Ghana, the Brong migrated over to North east Ivory Coast in the 15th century in search of new lands to conquer. Being a warrior tribe, their sole purpose was to extend into this part of the region. They succeeded in this mission and decided to learn the language of the Koulongo region. Some say that this was done on purpose to allow them to pass on secret messages among themselves in their native Brong tongue. They went on to name the region Zanzan and installed a new king whose kingdom extends 160 km into Ghana. He may be the only king in the world to rule over two territories. The Brong people live in the Zanzan district of the Gontougo region. The king’s residence and chieftaincy is in the village of Tabagne or Ahinifié, which means royal court. The kingdom has 4 provinces: Akidom, […]
Spread over a territory of 100 km wide and 350 km in length, these megalithic circles form a cross-border property shared by Senegal and Gambia. Four complexes comprising of 93 circles were inscribed as World Heritage sites in 2006: Sine Ngayène and Wanar in Senegal, and Kerbatch and Wassu in Gambia. These are all located in the western part of the megalithic territory, the area with the densest concentration of circles covering a total surface area of 9.85 hectares. These monuments form the superstructure of tombs that would have been used between the 3rd century BC and the 16th century AD. They are the manifestation of a tradition of funerary customs and practices that went on for over millennium and a half across an extensive geographical area, a mark of a productive and sophisticated society. The megalithic circles are the last vestiges of large necropolises, representing a true gateway to a distinct civilization that no longer exists in Senegambia. This site derives its Outstanding Universal Value from the level of craftsmanship needed to erect these megalithic circles; they are a testament to a high level of expertise. Carving these great monoliths would have required advanced technical skill and geological […]
Saint-Louis was, up until 1957, the capital city of Senegal and Mauritania. This historic city was highly influential in the fields of education, culture, crafts and services. Its distinct architecture, from the ornate balconied homes of the beautiful Signares to the rare Portuguese courtyarded homes, lends to the charm of the island. In 2000, Saint Louis became the 4th site from Senegal to make the World Heritage List. The designated property includes the entire island, as well as its banks, system of quays and the Faidherbe Bridge. It is divided into three parts: the North Quarter, the South Quarter and Place Faidherbe with the Governance Palace in the centre. The city is a unique landscape with an exceptional environment, a subtle marriage of land and water. Due to its geographical position, Saint-Louis has proved to be an essential commercial hub with its original quay system allowing for river trade. Once made of wood, these now concrete quays delineate the city’s traffic lanes. They ensure its cleanliness and protect it from flooding. The island of Saint-Louis doesn’t just hold historic and architectural value. Known as Ndar in Wolof, this living community abounds in the famous Senegalese Teranga. It has a population of almost 300,000 inhabitants who subsist on fishing, tourism and commerce. […]
We love our traveling community here at Visiter l’Afrique and love introducing you all to each other even more. Meet Amira and let her take you around Abuja! So tell us a bit about yourself. My name is Amira, and I love to eat. It’s really that simple. I also love to travel. I blog from time to time and I’m trying to change Nigeria by convincing these old men in charge that renewable energy is the way forward. Okay, it’s not so simple. Where are you now and how long have you been there? I’m in Abuja, Nigeria and I’ve been here for about 3 months now. Where can you go to in Abuja for some great buys? Hmm, depends on what you’re looking for to be honest. If you want arty stuff and nice (but a bit cliché) touristy souvenirs, there’s the Abuja arts and crafts village on Sani Abacha way. Piece of advice if you go there, haggle hard! If you’re more into fashion, 41 luxe always has some lovely things. Go to YVK Design or Pinkfleur for a modern take on beautiful, modest Nigerian fashion. And of course, you can never go wrong […]
We love our traveling community here at Visiter l’Afrique and love introducing you all to each other even more! Meet Latifah and experience the Accra she has come to know. So tell us a bit about yourself and where you’re based ? Hi, Latifah here, based in Accra. I’m a creative. Currently working on projects spanning across art, architecture, photography, graphic design and product design. I mostly draw inspiration from my environment; elements, problems, people, nature… I like to travel, explore places, especially those around me. I also like to read, watch films(I hardly get to do that now, trying to go back to it) and just burden myself with thought. Coffee is an obsession! Sometimes I bake, usually when I’m stressed. My dogs mean the world to me. I lost one of them recently, coming to terms with that. From conventional galleries to more experimental spaces, what are some of your venues to: Catch an cool exhibition ? Nubuke Foundation – East Legon, Lome Close | www.nubukefoundation.org Ano GH – 1 Lokko road | anoghana.org Gallery 1957 – Kempinski hotel Listen to live music ? Accradotalt – Jamestown | accradotaltradio.com Lokko Warehouse/ Ano (they throw […]
Located 60 km north of St. Louis, Djoudj National Park is a 16 000 ha wetland with a large lake surrounded by streams, ponds and backwaters. It is a vital sanctuary for 1.5 million birds, as well as an additional 3 million that migrate here every year from September to April to flee the European cold. After dodging snares southern Europe, where they risk hunters’ rifles, crossing the Mediterranean sea and the Sahara desert, the birds arrive at their first oasis, Djoudj National Park which counts over 400 migratory bird species. Here you’ll find pink flamingoes and great white pelicans in the thousands, other species such as purple herons, African spoonbills, great egrets and cormorants who regularly nest in this park. The park is the third largest bird sanctuary in the world and is one of few oasis in the Sahel. Inscribed as a natural site on the World Heritage List in 1981 for its biological diversity and exceptional aesthetic qualities, the park not only shelters a plethora of birds but various other animal species. Monitor lizards, pythons and crocodiles can also be found slithering in its greenery. It is also a dwelling place for mammals such as […]
The vision started in 2004 by the then Governor of Cross River State Mr. Donald Duke. Carnival Calabar also tagged “Africa’s Biggest Street Party” was created as part of the vision to make Cross River State the number one tourist destination for Nigerians and tourist all over the world. The event which begins on every 1st of December and last till the 31stDecember has boosted the cultural prose/mosaic of the Nigerian people while entertaining millions of spectators within and outside the state and boosting industry for all stakeholders. It is a plat form for brand visibility and market awareness. Recently, Cross River State has become the pride of Nigeria or Africa as far as tourism, carnival and hospitality is concerned. PROGRAMMES : the programs are drafted each year by the Carnival Commission Board of the state and each year, new activities are inculcated into the plan. In 2009, the ‘Carnival Cup’ a football competition was organized amongst the five Carnival Bands which are Seagull, Passion 4, Master Blaster, Bayside and Freedom Bands. The festivals also includes music performances from both national and international artist of which are the likes of Lucky Dube, Fat Joe, Young Jeezy, Nelly, Kirk Franklin, Two […]
Based in Accra and working internationally, Gallery 1957 is dedicated to contemporary art. With a curatorial focus on West Africa, the gallery presents a programme of exhibitions, installations and performances by the region’s most significant artists. Gallery 1957 works with artists currently bridging the gap between local and international practices, including Serge Attukwei Clottey, Jeremiah Quarshie, Yaw Owusu, Gerald Chukwuma, crazinisT artisT and Godfried Donkor. Founded by Marwan Zakhem in 2016, the gallery has evolved from over 15 years of private collecting. Named after the year Ghana gained independence, the gallery’s initial space, located within the Kempinski Hotel in Gold Coast City, opened on Independence Day 2016, with an exhibition from Serge Attukwei Clottey. In 2017 they inaugurated their second exhibition and project space in Accra’s new Galleria Mall with a solo exhibition by British-Ghanaian artist Godfried Donkor. Gallery 1957 offers both local audiences and international visitors the opportunity to discover artists, and to gain a deeper understanding of the breadth of their practice. Their work expands outside of the gallery walls through a public programme that includes talks, off-site projects, residencies, performances, commissioning new site-specific installations, and supporting cultural initiatives in Ghana and beyond. The presence of Gallery […]
We love our traveling community here at Visiter l’Afrique and love introducing you all to each other even more! Meet Francesca and discover Lomé through her eyes! So tell us a bit about yourself. Well my name is Francesca, I am 24 years old. I’m from Italy and Benin. I was born in Cotonou, Benin and brought up in Lomé, Togo where I have lived most of my life. I attended the British School of Lomé and eventually went on to carry out the rest of my education in Europe (London, Milan & Paris). I have recently moved back to Africa for work; I’m in the field of International Relations. I enjoy traveling, reading, drawing, shopping and eating of course! I love traveling and discovering new cultures, although I have lived in Africa most of my life I realised that I have not even seen one third of it yet and one of my dreams is to travel all over Africa and try and visit every single country of the continent. I’m a real Beach Bum ! I love the beach so much if you give the see, the sun and the sand I am the […]
We’re less than 2 weeks away from the seventh edition of the Chale Wote street art festival and we hope you’re all just as excited as us for it! This year’s edition promises to be just as exciting as its predecessors. Themed WATA MATA, the festival promises to bring together a wide selection of Ghana based artists as well as international ones. Expect 7 days of free events and activities with the Open Gallery kicking off on August 14th , exhibitions and installations spread across 10 different sites in the city and the ever popular LABS sessions. The festival runs august 14th through 20th. Check out the official press release on ACCRA [dot] ATL for more details and don’t forget to share your pictures with us with the #visiterlafrique hashtag on instagram!
The Niokolo Koba National Park is a prime attraction in the Fouta Djallon highlands of Guinea-Conakry. The Gambia River travels 200km across the park, its tributaries here being the Koulountou, with its vast floodplain that holds water all year round, and the Niokolo-Koba which dries up gradually in the dry season. River water is the park’s main source of life. During the rainy season, the whole park is inundated with water making it inaccessible. Initially known for its wildlife, then for its rich vegetation, Niokolo Koba was established as a game reserve which later became a forest reserve. The true birth of Niokolo Koba took place in 1954, when it officially became a national park. This recognition spurred on political action that strengthened the responsible authorities’ resolve in conserving this exceptional space. With its classification as a UNESCO World heritage site in 1981, its value became recognized at the international level. The lions here, said to be the largest in Africa, are the park’s special attraction. Niokolo Koba is characterized by its group of ecosystems typical of this region, over an area of 913 000ha. The park is 16 times larger than the city of Dakar! The main features […]
Gorée Island is a memorial site that symbolizes one of the darkest chapters in the history of African peoples: the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Commemorating over four centuries of oppression, this island was not only among the first 12 sites inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list in 1978 but also one of the first three African sites. Gorée is quite unique as it stands as a symbol for both slavery and reconciliation. It calls on humanity to adopt a spirit of mutual respect and coexistence, to work towards a lasting peace so that history does not repeat itself. It has become a sort of mecca for the entire African diaspora. The island does not only bear the mark of its brutal history. Located 3.5 km from Dakar and covering an area of 28 hectares, Gorée is also full of life and a symbol of the future. It is distinguished by its colorful architecture and is home to a population of 1200 for whom tourism and its gains are the main sources of income. Old buildings entrenched in historical significance overlook the island such as the Fort d’Estrées museum, the French colonial governor’s residence, the House of Slaves and more. However, […]
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 […]
We love our traveling community here at Visiter l’Afrique and love introducing you all to each other even more! Here with us today is Loriade, a young woman with a mission to travel to all 54 countries in Africa before she’s 54! Check out her Instagram HERE and enjoy her pit stop in Niamey, Niger! So tell us a bit about yourself. My name is Loriade, I am 24 years old and originally from Cameroon and Nigeria although I identify as a “Third Culture Kid.” Passionate about Africa, I left Washington DC for Lagos in late 2016 in search of work experience on the continent I consider my home. Where are you now? I am currently in Niamey, Niger. I am working for an NGO as a consultant. What cool things do you get up to there? While I spent most of my time at my host’s home or the office of the organization where I was working, I saw a few places in town. I notably had drinks at the bar behind the Piscine Olympique and attended a traditional Nigerien wedding with a coworker and his family in the Terminus neighbourhood. I had lunch at Amandine and La […]
Inna Modja is a musician, songwriter, and visual artist from Mali. She grew up between Accra and Bamako where she was born. After learning her craft with artists like Salif Keita, and Rail Band of Bamako, she relocated to Europe where her solo career took off. With her unique style, mixing Desert Blues and Hiphop, she’s now one of the most important Malian contemporary artists on the international scene. – BlaBla Club in Badalabougou : It’s my favourite place – BlaBla Bar in Hippodrome : to me the Best bar of the city Bada Lodge : great place to hang, on the Niger river San Toro : A place where Culture and Food meets Radio Libre : A Cultural place owned by Tiken Jah with several venues for Live Music , a restaurant and a recording studio Retrouvez Inna Modja sur Instagram afin de suivre tous ses aventures.
The ‘Giant of Africa” boast 2 UNESCO World heritage sites that are a testaments to its cultural significance to the continent. Come check them out with us! The Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove Established over 400 years ago in Osun state on the outskirts its capital Osogbo, this sacred grove is the largest to have survived the ages and the largest remaining high tropical forest in southern Nigeria. The Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove covers an area of 75 hectares and is revered as the dwelling place of Osun, the Yoruba goddess of fertility. The Osun River cuts across the forest, with shrines, sanctuaries and sculptures dotted along its course. It has five main divisions, devoted to different Yoruba deities, and nine specific worship points along the river. Long ago, it was a widespread practice amongst the Yoruba people to maintain an area of intact forest for ritual purposes close to every settlement. Their disappearance over time has made Osun-Osogbo an important reference point for Yoruba identity and the Yoruba diaspora. The historic landscape remains a place of worship and plays host to an annual festival. The Sukur Cultural Landscape Sukur is located in Madagali local government area of Adamawa state of Nigeria along […]
Lagos, Nigeria. Population – 21 Million, With a population of 21 Million, Lagos has more people than Norway, Finland, Denmark and Ireland combined and you would have to multiply the land area of Lagos by over 100 to get the land area of Norway alone. That’s how small and how big Lagos is. After Part 1, let’s go on Sunday – Yoga on the beach, Surfing, Vegan Meetup Scene 1: Yoga on The Beach Since I love catching the Sunrise I woke up early Sunday morning to catch the sunrise. It is also one of the best times to meditate, so I basked in that moment right before the crew woke up and came out for a yoga session. We had an hour long of Power Yoga on the beach. For some, it was their first ever class, for others it was different but the feel of the breeze, sand, and sound of the ocean made it all worth it. Scene 2: Surfing I have been surfing at Takwa for quite sometime and after yoga, I met up with my surfing instructor and attempted catching a wave. The waves were not particularly in […]
Lagos, Nigeria. Population – 21 Million, With a population of 21 Million, Lagos has more people than Norway, Finland, Denmark and Ireland combined and you would have to multiply the land area of Lagos by over 100 to get the land area of Norway alone. That’s how small and how big Lagos is. Living in Lagos is a daily hassle that is better imagined. Commuting can be chaotic, with hellish traffic, angry drivers, road raged drivers, impatient pedestrians and what can best be described as a contest of car honks. The city is fast-paced; it is stressful to live in, yet it is one of the most remarkable places in Africa. In and around Lagos, you would find beautiful beaches, cool hangout spots, amazing music, mind-blowing art, and jaw-dropping dishes – Yes, the food is delightful and some would even say unbeatable but in the heart of this city of ironies lies it’s most welcoming offer- a warm-hearted people. You would find Lagosians interesting. You would find them creative. You would find them hospitable. You would find them enterprising. You would find them artistic. You might even find them loud, but most of all, you would find them […]
It’s no secret that Visiter l’Afrique is a collaborative platform. Every day, travellers publish their travel logs and locals share stories of their daily lives. Some of these locals have even become our ambassadors, always quick to let us know what’s popping and take us along with them around their villages, cities and countries. It’s about time we put them in the spotlight. Our series begins with Mickaël. We can say he is a Yoga Addict. Each month he is doing a take over of Lagos. Bar, museaum, yoga, music, vegan food, ahaha yes it’s him. He enjoy every minute of his life, let’s take a bit time with Michael Ernest. Why do you decide to be an ambassador? I decided to be an ambassador because I loved how the brand emphasized on travel within Africa. It was so different from the conventional travel sites. I also loved how diverse VA is and I just wanted to be a part of that. How your friends describe you in three words? Weird, Adventurous, and strong-willed Which place did you discover and you don’t know before you’re a VA ambassador? I discovered how beautiful Namibia is. […]
• Nok Resturant By Alara Nok is the BEST restaurant in Nigeria, forget Lagos. I love the ambience and vibe. It an amazing place not only to meet friends, but also to make some new ones. My favourite dish is the ‘Hummus with Suya’. • Quilox Nightclub As a DJ, I go to many clubs, and I play everywhere. For me Quilox is a personal favourite as they have ‘Lipstick Wednesday’s’ nights for ladies! • Elegushi Beach Beyond the waves and palm trees, this must be the most magical beach in the world. Elegushi Beach is a private beach located at Lekki which from the minute one arrives, evokes a feeling I can’t describe- charm! I love going there at night especially! • The Jazz Whole Despite not being a lover of Jazz, I love this store because of the amazing collection of CD’s and books from previous generations. There’s also a café at the back; I once read a whole book in the store! • Nike Art Gallery This place for me is the home of Nigerian Arts and Culture right in the heart of Lagos. So much art from Yoruba and Bini art to textiles, metal work, sacred […]
Today with us is Samuel Sarr. He was raised in The Gambia and went to school in Togo and the U.K. He’s a social entrepreneur, Pan-Africanist, vegetarian, environmentalist, youth mentor and Executive Director of Kailend. Kailend is a dynamic and forward thinking NGO headquartered in Lomé, Togo; they work to empower low income earning women and at-risk youth through education and skills training programs and always with sustainability in mind. Though it can be hard work, their volunteers also get to enjoy all that Lomé and Togo has to offer. Here are some of their favourite spots to unwind! L’Annexe L’Annexe is a unique garden restaurant in Lomé with authentic wood fired oven pizzas and family influences in recipes and service, which gives it a personal touch. There’s also a great live band on weekends. Useful information Address: Rue de l’Ogou, behind the German Embassy – Kodjoviakopé Lomé – Togo Tel: (+228) 99 48 80 85 or (+228) 97 70 13 27 Website: www.annexe-lome.com O Lodge O Lodge is a great lakeside resort located 30 km (45 min drive) out of Lomé city centre, heading in the direction of the Togo – Benin border. The resort is right at the edge […]
Today we have Anna with us, a paris based blogger who shares her travels on her blog Globe-croqueuse. She’ll be giving us the lowdown of her last trip to Senegal. How would you describe your trip to Senegal? It was an amazing getaway! I can’t really say I saw Senegal because I only visited Dakar and its surroundings. You need more then a couple of days to absorb this city’s effervesce. The capital definitely left a mark on me, just as it did on my first trip. I’ll be sure to come back! And its people? Full of life. The Senegalese exude this amazing positive energy. Everything seems possible even with a pace of life that is less intense than in Europe. Things still get done and even if they don’t, it’s not the end of the world. This was a welcome break from the typical humdrum of daily life. The women are sublime. All Africans will tell you that Senegal has the most beautiful women on the continent. I don’t know how best to describe their effortless poise, the way they graciously carry themselves and dress majestically in all the colours of the rainbow. I’ve never had […]
Sarah Diouf is the founder of a Senegalese media company called Ifren — housing 2 publications : (1) Ghubar, a digital magazine crossing African & Arabic influences through fashion, arts & culture, and (2) NOIR, a digital + print lifestyle magazine for black women — and an affordable Ready-To-Wear brand called Tongoro. She stand for african creativity in fashion. Tell us a bit about yourself ? I was born in Paris from a half Senegalese-Congolese father and a Central African Mother, and raised in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire until I was 12 years old. Because it was what I knew best, I used to consider Cote d’Ivoire as my homeland until not so long ago when I started questioning my identity as an African. I often felt lost at times facing all the cultures running through my (Central Africa, Congo-Brazzaville, Senegal, Sierra Leone) and the challenging perception of people given my Ivorian slang mixed to my typically Senegalese name and appearance versus my then limited knowledge about Senegal. Both of my grandfathers were Senegalese, but passed away when my parents were both young, so I didn’t get the chance to know them neither properly receive this important part of my cultural […]
Nigerians say that a party is not a party without Jollof rice. It is a popular party favourite in Nigeria and most West African countries.It has a basic simple method and the ingredients are easy to find. For Nigerians, no wedding, funeral, birthday party is complete without it…and certainly not Christmas.It is almost always served with chunks of fried or grilled beef and chicken, moin-moin (bean pudding), dodo (fried plantain) and maybe coleslaw. It is a very flexible dish that you can experiment with by adding your own signature ingredients. Ingredients 3 cigar cups | 750g long grain parboiled rice Tomato Stew 500 mls Chicken (whole chicken, drumsticks or chicken breast) Pepper and salt (to taste) 2 medium onions 3 Knorr cubes 2 teaspoons thyme 2 teaspoons curry powder (Nigerian curry powder) Before you cook Jollof Rice Prepare the tomato stew. Visit the Tomato Stew page for details on how to do that. It is advisable to prepare tomato stew before hand and keep in the freezer. This is so that whenever you want to cook any jollof rice related dish, it is just a matter of adding it to your cooking. If you will use whole chicken […]
I have two exceptionally fond memories of my first time in Senegal: The first was the food, “lekk bi” and the second was the tea, “ataaya bi”. Like in many places, Senegal has three major meals: Ndekki (breakfast), Añ (lunch) and Réér (dinner). Ndekki usually consists of a hot beverage like Nescafé and a baguette with chocolate spread inside. Añ is the bigger meal of the day and is usually served after noon, between 1-3pm. People will usually snack sometime in the late afternoon/early evening, maybe eating left over lunch or something else and then have their final mea. réér after evening prays around 9pm but sometimes as late as 10pm. Recently, a friend has told me the snack that comes between añ and réér is called “Njogonal”. This can consist of anything from fruit to laax. Traditionally, everyone eats with their hands (right hand only!) from the same bowl on or near the ground. The “mother” or the person who cooked the meal or the women “in charge” has a big responsibility to make sure the bowl does spin/move (she does this by placing her pointer finger of her left hand on the bowl so it doesn’t move), […]
“Vo Vietnam” means Vietnamese martial arts. The Vo school burgeoning in Burkina Faso is called the Son Long Quyen Thuat school, literally translating into “fighting school of the dragon’s mountain”. It was founded Master Nguyen Duc Moc. Julien Drabo is a martial arts aficionado. He was named in memory of a French army lieutenant his father served under in Indochina. Master Drabo believes that it is his father’s travels that led him to develop an interest in Vietnam and particularly in Vo. One day, he read a profile on Master Moc, who lived in France at the time, in a magazine called Karate Bushido. He decided to write to him seeking tutelage in his art. The master accepted and Julian went to Paris where he underwent intensive training. On his return from Paris in 1990, he opened the first training centre on the University of Ouagadougou campus. Since then, Julien has promoted the Son Long Quyen Thuat style in Kaya, Kossimoro, Kangoussi, Orodara and a dozen other cities around the country. He teaches not only the techniques but also the ethics and values of this discipline: altruism, respect, loyalty and wisdom. The Burkina team often organizes classes, sometimes in […]
Bassam was the first capital of Côte d’Ivoire. Walking through its streets always feels like going through a time travel machine with anachronistic elements. Grand-Bassam was the first capital from 1893 to 1900 and in July 2012, it’s Quartier France neighbourhood became UNESCO world heritage. Quartier France can be found in Ancien Bassam, a little away from Nouveau Bassam which is where all the hustle and bustle of the city takes place now. Quartier France is where most of the colonial era architecture and other footprints are located. There is so much to see but here a list of a few things to do and people to meet. Centre Céramique Our adventure starts at the Centre Céramique on Rue Bouët south of the river Comoé. The building used to be the Cercle de l’Union built in 1910 and serving as a leisure centre for the local colons. There you will be able to buy beautiful artefacts made by local artisans. Classes are also available along exhibitions and workshops. Adama the cloth weaver Adama is a local weaver of Kente loin cloths. The many colours of his fabrics as well as the mastery of his craft are the reasons why […]
Senegal is also known as the land of “Teranga”, authentic hospitality, the one country that will welcome you warmly and make you feel at home. In the country you will find two essentials at every corner: the Boutiques and the Café “pousse-pousse”. The Boutique is our ShopRite, Walmart, Woolworths Food or Carrefour. It is the local market in the neighborhood open 24/7. Open from early hours and sometimes all through the night, the boutique is fully equipped and sometimes less expensive than the supermarkets. You will often have your boutiquier, owner of the boutique, who is not only friendly but will be your advisor if you are looking for a specific product. The Café “pousse-pousse” are our local Starbucks. The only difference is they walk around the neighborhood to serve you. They settled after a street marketing campaign from Nescafé Senegal promoting their coffee. While in Dakar you must try our Cafe Touba, a flavored coffee made with spices such as seeds of selim and sometimes cloves. Traditionally consumed in the holy city of Touba, it became famous in the country thanks to Islamic Mouride brotherhood, who shared the beverage during ceremonies, commemorations and during the Magal in Touba. […]
As I mentioned it earlier, my fluency in Wolof is limited BUT today I will give you basics that will help you get around Dakar easily. Wolof originated as the language of the Lebu people, an ethnic group of Senegal. It is the most spoken language in Senegal. Spoken natively by the Wolof people, who make up 40% of the population, but also by most other Senegalese people as a second language. Wolof dialects vary geographically and between rural and urban areas. For instance, Dakar – Wolof is an urban mixture of Wolof, French and Arabic. Greetings: Salaam alekum: Good Morning/Good Afternoon, Greetings in general: Nanga def: How are you? Mangi fi rekk, na nga def?: Im fine, How are you? Jamm rek, Yow nak?: I’m good and you? Ba beneen [Beu bénéen]: Goodbye Dalal ak jamm: Welcome Conversations: Noo tudd [No tudu] : What’s your name Marie la tudd [… la tudu] : My name is Marie Deg nga Wolof? : Do you speak Wolof ? Fan nga jog [Fan ngeu jogé]: Where are you from? Jerrejef [Jai-ruh-jeuf]: Thank you Transportation: Mangui dem: I’m leaving Da mey dem Mermoz. Ñaata […]
Dakar hosted its 12th edition of the Dak’Art, African contemporary art biennale. From May 3rd to June 2nd, Dakar welcomed Africa’s most creative pieces. From Morocco, Nigeria to South Africa, within a month we discovered and reconnected with the beauty of Art in Africa. The opening ceremony was held at the Hotel de Ville (or City Hall), with various art expositions and a video mapping performance by several visual artist including myself. On May 7th I took you on a tour of the exhibitions in Dakar on snapchat. For those who missed it here’s an itinerary of the exhibitions we saw and restaurant we went to for breakfast. I was with two friends Hawo, photographer and creative director of The Casual Obs and Mamy, photographer and member of DakarLives, both platforms showing Dakar’s beauty. Knowing the few stops that we would do, we first decided to have a heavy breakfast at l’Elysée. First time having breakfast there for the three of us, we were pleased by their service and the quality of the food. 1st stop : Hotel Sokhamon – Photo Exhibition by Antoine Tempé – Ville What a great place for an exhibition, you will be as curious to visit the hotel itself as to visit Antoine Tempé’s exhibition. The […]
Thomas Lhomme is a self thaught photographer and filmmaker from France and based in Monrovia since a year now. Now, he is now working as a consultant for different organisations but also as a permanent media fellow for an NGO called More Than Me. Today he tell us about Monrovia his city. How would you describe Monrovia to someone who has never been before? Monrovia is hard past history city with a huge motivation and determination from their people to let the past staying in the past. At this time (and it’s like that since several years). Locals share the city with NGOs and organisations. There is also a huge Lebanese community involved into business. Beaches are beautiful but polluted because of a lack of infrastructures such as toilets or trashes. You will have a drive a bit to find better water quality. What neighborhood do you live in? I am living in Budget Bureau, the narrowed neighborhood between down town and Sinkor. It’s a very quiet Area. My house is near of a bar witch is cool to spend time with friends but very bad for finance. What do you love most about Monrovia? I know, it […]
St Louis, or Ndar as it is known in Wolof, was founded in the 17th century as a French colonial settlement, and is one of the oldest cities created by Europeans on the west coast of Africa. Its’ incredible history as the capital of Senegal until 1957 is part of what led to its’ inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. I fell in love with this city at first sight. Saint-Louis is everything I like: it’s a vibrant, lively, colourful city. This city is like Havana, Cuba, or The French Quarter of New Orleans and maybe Ouidah in Benin. Many people will tell you Saint Louis is not clean (which is a little bit true) but I think the buildings reflect the decline of the city after the capital moved to Dakar and traders started bypassing this port in favour of the safer and deeper port of Dakar. Saint-Louis is made up of three distinct areas, with the heart of the old colonial city being on the tiny island where I spent most of my time. To the west, a narrow strip of sand known as the Langue de Barbarie runs down the coast from Mauritania, sheltering […]
Yaw P is a contemporary African artist pioneering a new waves of homegrown sounds which reflect his society. With a love for film, sculptures and sounds, he is an artist in every sense, as a result he aims to influence his surroundings and beyond. His latest single “So I dey” , which showcases a love story featuring an unconventional couple in Ghana’s media. When he is not busy roaming streets of Accra with his equally fashion daring friends, Yaw P can be found participating in assisting children from Jamestown to discover a new world, often out of their reach, as he believes His latest project The Drone Scrap Program 2054 takes a glance at the future of Ghana and the role technology and creativity will play in the country achieving transformative and sustainable development. Catch a game of football For the active ones of you, you can toss a ball around the soccer field of the Legon university campus on the weekends. Bring your A game as we Ghanaians are as passionate about our football as we are about our Jollof. Hey we even nearly won the world cup back in 2010 remember? However you can also preserve your […]
Planning a vacation as we enter these warm summer months? Look no further: Dakar has always been a top tourist destination. If you’ve pencilled in a few days/weeks for yourself here, these five dining spots are un-missable. Chez Loutcha A senegalese canteen (among other things) in the heart of Dakar! Located in the center of Senegal’s capital, Chez Loutcha is one of Dakar’s best restaurants. The lunch time rush is proof enough. Regulars (both tourists and workers) gather round to enjoy traditional Thieb. Other culinary delights include Mafé, other local dishes but also Cape Verdean specialties all served in the most laid-back atmosphere. Icing on the cake: Chez Loutcha also offers an excellent paella. 101 Rue Mousse Diop Dakar +221 33 821 03 02 Opened from 12pm to 3pm & from 7pm to 10.45pm Simone Café Need a break after exploring Sandaga market’s infinite alley-ways? Head to Simone Café. To all my pastry aficionados: THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE. Cupcakes, cookies, cakes… an assortment of delectable snack-time treats to be washed down with a cup of tea for a gourmet break you will never forget. Mermoz Villa #7603 Dakar +221 33 825 11 98 Opened […]
Dakar, being an Atlantic port on the Cape-Verde peninsula, is surrounded by water and offers beautiful locations. From the northern Yoff bay, to hotel and private beach La Voile d’Or, I’ll take you to the stunning beaches that will show the most breathtaking sights. On this sunny day, we are going to coastlines where you will enjoy swimming, a sun bath, a jogging, a fresh grilled fish and more. Yoff plage Next to the BCEAO pool center, Yoff plage is a public beach where you will enjoy your workout while watching the sunset or have a good swim with the strong waves. Virage Is THE seashore for surf lovers. You will definitely enjoy the intensity of the waves and the fresh breeze. It is also a great spot for an after-work or just to enjoy a beautiful sunset and a cool drink. Ngor Is a very nice beach invaded by boats as you can see on the picture. It is also one the places where you can go diving or just enjoy a nice boat ride. Ngor beach and Ngor Island are surrounded by great restaurants that you will discover in another article. Almadies Also […]
I loved Dakar but the traffic jams…my goodness, let’s not even talk about them. After spending 5/6 days in the Senegalese capital, I needed a little change in pace, a break from the hotel/taxi/exhibition/taxi/bottling/Exhibition/hotel routine. Before opting for a weekend in Saint-Louis, I treated myself to a relaxing afternoon. Without giving it much thought, I opted for the spa in my hotel. The space is super chic and very cozy (it is aptly named). It follows the rules outlined by traditional Tibetan medicine. I’ve actually been suffering from back pain and traditional Tibetan medicine allow the treatment to go past relaxation and get to the root of the issue. I’ll obviously need more than one session but it’s a good start. The Buddhattitude Spa has 8 treatment rooms decorated in the colors of the chakras, a mani-pedi center to cater to your hands and feet, a high-tech fitness center, 2 hydrotherapy cabins, a heated jet pool, a sauna and a steam room filled with the scent of eucalyptus. If you’re looking to extend the wellness experience, you can find the B/Attitude® product range designed to restore harmony of body and mind in stores. I also heard they offered yoga classes. […]
Bissap (aka sobolo or zobo) might be the most popular drink in Senegal. It’s the local drink of choice closely tailed by ginger juice and bouye. North of the country during Ramadan in the Fouta region, this refreshment flows from taps when it’s time to break fast. Bissap is a drink made from a variety of dried hibiscus flowers. There is really nothing more simple than making your own bissap. Everyone spices it up in their own little way (mint, pineapple juice, banana essence…). Here’s a recipe from Fouta: Wash the dried hibiscus flowers with cold water. Transfer them to a container filled with water, add some fresh mint leaves and allow the flavour to be infused (overnight or at least for several hours). If time is of the essence, prepare your bissap by putting your dried hibiscus in boiling water for about twenty minutes before letting it cool down. Strain the juice and add sugar to taste. Add a few drops of banana essence or squeezed lime for a final flourish. Some would even prefer a drop of pineapple juice. One thing is for sure: serve it FRESH! Deliciousness aside, bissap is also known for its many health […]
You know how much I like discovering Dakar, its new spots and how much I love eating. I am taking you to Simone’s Café today. If you are feeling nostalgic about Starbucks coffee or the tea rooms of London you will be happy to find this Brazilian restaurant with amazing service and a mind blowing environment. Located in Mermoz, in front of IAM business school, in a very discreet house, you will receive the warmest welcome upon arrival. As you get seated and explore the menu you will get carried away by the peaceful rhythm of bossa nova. It is a good spot to have a light lunch with a quiche and salad, or just for snack time. Let me insist by saying that the desserts at Simone café are no ordinary dessert. Every bite will carry you away. I’ve not had a proper hot chocolate in a while. You know, the kind of hot chocolate that’s so thick you’d think it’s actually Nutella? Yes, that kind. Not too strong and not too sweet, simply perfect! I must admit what really killed me softly was the chocolate and strawberry pie. THAT…just blew me away. Watch out, the […]
In the society we live in we are more preoccupied with work and hardly find time to relax and enjoy time with friends. It is good to break that habit at least once a month. Today I’m meeting my girlfriends, friends from high-school, former colleagues and big sisters. It’s Wednesday and tomorrow is a holiday, a bit early to scream TGIF but oh well, we only live once. As we love to discover new places we all agreed to meet for an after work at Marina Bay. Marina Bay is a new restaurant that opened in April in Dakar. It is located at Ngor Virage facing Casino du Cap-vert. For those who know Dakar and the neighborhood very well, Marina Bay used to be the former Sunugal Plage and let me tell you that the makeover is magnificent. It is a restaurant on a private beach with a swimming pool. You will be welcomed by a fresh breeze and beautiful sight. On daylight or at night this location is simply beautiful. It might take you away for a second. Needless to say that their service is on point and their cocktails are to die for. Although pricy, the customer service at Marina Bay is great. From the service to their attitude, […]
In the life of many women of color, finding a hairdresser comes third only to finding God and finding a husband. In other words, our relationship with a good hair magician is one of the most important relationships we will ever have. For the afro adorned, the pool of hairdressers to whom we can confide our crowns is quite narrow outside of the United States where the naturalista movement has really taken off. The pursuit of nappyness is even more complex when you travel. Whether I am on business travel or vacation, I dread spending the night moisturizing, twisting and styling my own locks. If you are like me, when you travel you de facto resign yourself to a period of laziness where you refuse to lift a finger. Even if it is in the direction of your own head. For me, a go-to hairdresser is a must-have along my major travel circuits. Shockingly, the African continent is not as welcoming as you would imagine to women with natural hair. In Abidjan, there are two yes T-W-O natural hair salons. That was until the opening of Naturellement salon de Beauté a few weeks ago. Naturellement held their […]
Carole Diop, a young architect, art enthusiast and co-founder of the magazine Afrikadaa is a notable figure Dakar’s art and culture scene. Afrikadaa itself is an interactive magazine and platform that reflects on contemporary art, design and architecture from the African continent and its diaspora. Today Carole takes us on a visit around her artsy Dakar: great destinations and agendas so take notes! How would you describe Senegal to someone going there for the first time? I would say that Senegal is a “rich” country for its history, with two cities classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites (St. Louis and Gorée), its culture, its artistic and literary heritage (Senegal was home to Leopold Sédar Senghor, Ousmane Sembène and Ousmane Sow) and the diversity of its landscapes (islands, desert, cliffs, parks, etc). How long have you lived in Dakar? I lived in Senegal until I was 18 before pursuing further studies in France. I’ve been back for 3 years. Senegal, the land of Téranga (welcome in Wolof), right? Yes, hospitality is part of the values that the Senegalese hold dear: their sense of hospitality is legendary. Sharing, conviviality and generosity are the essence of Téranga but beware, there […]
Last week, I went on a 10 day trip to Dakar for the 12th edition of the senegalese capital’s Bienniale, a major event on the continent. I took to Instagram to help me with my hotel selection. The Radisson Blu, as seen beautifully pictured notably on this account, has always been a dream destination of mine. While it might not be within everyone’s means, it’s definitely is worth the trip. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Dakar is nestled in the hills of the western cornice of Dakar, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean (see photos). This is an ideal spot as it’s quite close to the city center (6km) and Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport (13 km). But you know Dakar and its traffic jams… don’t hold your breath. In my opinion, the highlight of the hotel has to be its olympic sized infinity pool by the ocean. I have never seen such a beautiful pool. Rooms: The Radisson Blu Hotel Dakar has about 240 rooms, combining contemporary style with African sensibilities. Seen as my pockets aren’t that deep, I took a standard room with an ocean view. Those aren’t exactly easy to get as everyone is always gunning for them. […]
Abidjan is a longstanding fashion capital. The Ivorian city serves as the operational headquarters of coveted labels like Gilles Touré and Loza Maleombho. Regardless of your station in life, it is one’s life ambition to sapé or be among the best dressed. The foundation of West African fashion is undeniably the Ankara print. From mango sellers to corporate executives, everyone wears African print cloth. Twice a year, the patron saints of all things Ankara, Vlisco and its local subsidiaries Woodin and Uniwax hold a 2-week pop up event called “15 Jours de Pagnes or 15 Days of African Print”. The event takes over an iconic park in the middle of the bustling business district of Plateau and recolors it with vibrant patterns. The festival took place from April 25 through May 14 from 8am to 5pm. However, I did not catch wind of it until its final days. On the Thursday of the final week, four friends and I ventured from our offices during our lunch hour to see what was what. Having moved to Abidjan only weeks before, I convinced myself it was important that I christen my arrival with a new fabric. Although I had seen the […]
I was born in Dakar, lived here, went abroad but every time I managed to come back to the Teranga. The love I have for Dakar is surreal. As an ambassador it is only legitimate that I do my best and show you Dakar at it’s bestest. Here are 5 reasons why you will enjoy Dakar with me. Ultimate food-lover. Look at those bumpy cheeks of mine! Where do you think I got them? Yes, Eating! You see I have a deep relationship with food. From local fruits, local meals to European deserts, I will share with you the cutest cake-shop to enjoy a hot chocolate, the fanciest restaurants to enjoy a good meal, the coolest spots to enjoy our traditional burgers and the sweetest places to buy the best deserts. Extreme shopaholic Yes, I know which woman is not a shopaholic but let’s not forget how my mum blessed me with the love of fabrics. In Africa, all women are attracted to fabrics like wax, bazin, embroidered cotton and more. It is very important to know where and how to buy fabrics. I will then give you all the tips needed to buy fabrics for women and men as […]
When people go to Dakar (Senegal), Goree Islands is a MUST-GO. Everybody knows the story (or at least heard about) of its sadly famous house of slaves. Senegal did a good job renovating Goree House of Slaves and turning it to one of the most visited historic monument of West Africa. But Goree Island isn’t the only location of Slave History in West Africa. Agbodrafo, also called Porto Seguro, an old portuguese city, is one of them. You may have not heard about it. Ever. And yet, as much as Goree Island or Ouidah, Agbodrafo is a witness of this abomination called slavery. And its story is heartbreaking. When we arrived in Agbodrafo with my sister and my friends, after a 30 minutes-ride from Lomé by taxi (take one just in front of the Grand Market, 400 FCFA for one person), we didn’t search to long for the Woold Home. Once we found it, after introducing himself, our guide Gaskin told us the unkown story of this place. Built in 1835, the Woold Home belonged to a scottish slave trader John Henry Wood and was inhabited by a royal family. The chief Assiakoley had practiced slavery on Aného ribs but those were under the supervision […]
Djibril DRAME is a young Senegalese fine-art photographer who very early on, has been a fixture in major local productions. A neophyte in the world of photography in 2007, Djibril becomes the youngest photographer to contribute to Voix Vives publishing’s “Dakar Emoi”. Following close on the heels of this project, he joins the daily paper L’As where for a year, he hosts a photography column entitled “Une image vaut 1000 mots” (translation: A picture is worth 1000 words). In 2010, his art crosses borders: he represents Senegal in international contemporary art events namely the GRAFFRICA Festival in Las Palmas and the Tarifa City Festival (2011). Last March, his project entitled “L’espoir est Ivorien”(translation: Hope is Ivorian) was showcased at the Rozumy boutique and published by www.trueafrica.co. Below are some of the photographs included in this exhibition. “During my eight-day trip to the Côte d’Ivoire, the Ivorians have seduced me. My own city, Dakar, is completely different from Abidjan – in its beauty as well as in the way it runs. I love how rules are respected here. The little girls with smartly shaven-heads wearing their school uniforms; the mothers picking up their children after the school day, or those […]
It was a slow, lazy Sunday afternoon and I had been putting off going to the festival. I called up my friend, we got slightly dolled up and went to eat. As the sun was setting in Bamako, we hopped in a Cab and headed to Badalabougou where the “Palais de la Culture Amadou Hampaté Ba” is located. It wasn’t too crowded because we went on the last day of the festival (6-10 April), so we got to peruse at our leisure, there were opportunities to come back for more food, there were no queues and there was food everywhere. It was also dim so we could pig out with no judgement from other people there. The first vendor to serve us made brochette de viande (beef kebabs), fried fish, battered fried chicken and salted crepes (with minced meat); we got the brochettes and the salted crepes. We then proceeded to taste a variety of food and drinks. All in all it was a good evening, it would maybe have been better if we had come when it was more crowded because there was live music then, but it was still a worthy experience and I can’t wait for the next […]
Let me introduce Maame Adjei a multi talented producer, actor and artist. She’s best known for her role as both actor and co-producer on the hit TV show “An African City.” She’s currently producing new content that explores the beauty and dynamism of Africa, including her travel show “Girl Going Places” whose pilot season is soon to be released.” Maame was born in Ghana where she currently resides and she give us best adresses in Accra city. Could you introduce yourself to our readers? My name is Maame Adjei. I’m a producer, actor, creative artist, Ghana girl, food lover and 90’s RnB connoisseur..lol – actress, producer, artist, you are an all-rounder of visual and media. Tell us more about your job? I’m so lucky to be doing what I love. Acting was never in my creative plans but it has become a deep love and such an amazing outlet and medium for me. Producing is such a hectic and tedious job but there’s nothing that I love more than seeing a project go from an idea to reality. How can you describe Africa ? Africa is LIFE! It really is. There is no continent more diverse, more beautiful […]
The archipelago of Cape Verde is the at the most western tip of Africa, 300 miles from the shores of Senegal. The ten islands that make up Cape Verde are very varied but undoubtedly the most ‘African’ of them is Santiago, where the capital Praia is. Praians are welcoming people who are very proud of their culture. You’ll find them having a drink in town on the main street, Rua Pedonal or chilling on the beach. Take a taxi for 10 minutes and you’ll be by the local beach of Kebra Kanela: have a swim and enjoy a Strela (the local Cape Verdean beer) before the sun sets. If you make new friends you’ll be sure to bump into them again: Praia is small and you’ll be a familiar face in no time. Music is central to the Creole population. Traditional music is still popular amongst the young people, with plenty of parties playing Funaná until early in the morning. Events like Kriol Jazz Festival and Atlantic Music Expo bring a flood of international artists from other African countries to other countries bordering the Atlantic like Brazil and Haiti. The city comes alive and you’ll be able to listen […]
Barely-clad sweaty bodies smashed together, leaving not enough space to even dance. Getting stuck far away from the stage and not being able to see performers. These were just a few of my expectations of what Gidi Fest 2016 would be. What inspired this vision? I’m not quite sure, to be honest. It could have been photos of other Lagos concerts, combined with tales of the space at the New Afrika Shrine. Well it definitely wasn’t Gidi Fest. Gidi Culture Fest is a relatively new Music Festival that features artistes and DJs from across Africa, with the aim to provide youths with, “live, affordable entertainment.” The Festival first opened in 2014 and you can read more about its inception here. The most recent Festival happened on the 26th of March and took place at Eko Atlantic, Lagos. Its lineup was made up of majorly Nigerian artistes but also performers from South Africa and the UK. So attending Gidi Fest this year was a new experience for me, with my preconceived notions of what it would be like, but I was pleasantly surprised on multiple accounts. Note: Gidi Culture Fest will be called GCF from here on. First, there […]
Akwaaba (welcome) readers! This is how guests in the Twi language in Ghana are welcomed. Let’s introduce you Teddy Kwame Agyei Asabre Dumfeh, 28 years and from The Netherlands. Born in Europe, but his heritage is in Ghana. Could you introduce yourself? I must say that travelling is one of my biggest passions. I love to travel as much as I can. After my graduation in Banking/Insurances in Utrecht (The Netherlands), I had the opportunity to work at the ABN AMRO Bank for four years, where I had been an intern. When I decided to quit my job, I made a commitment to myself to at least do some travelling before getting back to the 9-5 jobs! So I booked a two-month ticket to South East Asia, where I had the opportunity to meet new people, experience new cultures, new environments and even get lost at unfamiliar places. This was my best experience ever! After my first adventurous trip, I came back home and returned to school. Currently, I am studying Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam. Even though my study consumes much of my time, I still make the necessary effort to find […]
Essilfua Bartels is the 4th child among 7. She was born in Accra, Ghana but she currently lives in Englewood, NJ (USA). She worked in global companies in Finance and Procurement for 8 years but now she runs a spice and sauce business full time in NJ. She was recently in Accra to work on creating new auxiliary products for her brand, Essiespice like Aprons and Cookware. She also travels to Ghana to meet with the suppliers who provide the the raw spices for her product line. Other times, She has traveled to other african countries for inspiration, to learn about other food cultures and how to include that in current or future product lines. What do you love most about traveling ? It’s always an adventure for me and a thrill. It’s an escape from where I am physically, emotionally and mentally. What I love most about travel is meeting people from different cultures and seeing how they live lives through their food, their music, their beliefs. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned through all your travels? We all want the same thing. Everybody in this world wants to be loved. We might speak a different language, have […]
Nana Anokyewaa, 22, is a Nursing student who resides in Ghana. We discovered her on instagram and we thought it would be super interesting to ask her to tell us a little bit about her city, Accra. In this City Guide, Nana shares her tips on everything from Accra’s best restaurants and shops and sightseeing. How would you describe Accra to a Capetonian? Accra is a small place,filled with all kinds of people from different countries and ethnicities,also the Capital of Ghana. Accra is a very busy place during weekdays especially but weekends are super fun. How do you get around the city? By Public Transport (Bus a.k.a ‘Trotro’) or Taxi and also with a private car sometimes What neighborhood do you live in? Odokor. It’s a town in Accra. Odokor is a comfortable place that has everything you need. What hotel do you recommend to friends from out of town? Crown Apartamento Hotel in OSU, a district in central of the city. And what restaurant? Buka Restaurant (They serve both local and continental dishes), located in OSU. Yes OSU is a very popular part of Accra. Pepper snails for starters, they are the best appetizers and will whet your appetite. What […]
Could you introduce yourself to our readers? I’m a documentary photographer and curator based in Lagos, Nigeria. On the side, I like creating cartoons and rant videos How your studies on Cultural Anthropology and African Studies influence your work as Photographer? Studying Cultural Anthropology and African Studies expanded my view on Africa. Yes, I grew up in Nigeria but my view on Africa was limited to just my country. It’s ironic that I had to leave my country in order to learn more about her and her neighbors. It was with my studies that I realized the importance of preserving cultures through stories. I use photographs as a form of story-telling, images that I keep in hope of retaining what we currently have and what we may lose. Photographer, cartoonist, you’re a complete artist. Tell us more about your job? Being a freelance photographer in Lagos which gives me so much freedom with travel and adventure. I get to hear incredible stories of human perseverance and I get to work with other talented creatives. My job is unpredictable. There are days where I can find myself dusty and sweaty on streets, clutching my camera while being shoved around and there are days […]
Gidi Fest 16 (Gidi Culture Festival) is coming up on March 26th! The festival will have music from Davido, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Phyno, Timaya, K.O., and Riky Rick, with opening acts Adekunle Gold and Small Doctor. Gidi Fest also features food and art from across Nigeria and beach football and volleyball headed by celebrity team captains. Ticket prices are slashed to N2,000 and are available at www.gidifest.com Just like year’s past, we’re opening Gidi Fest’s gates to all communities, providing a day where everyone can come out, enjoy great music, great food, good times and even better people. This year, with the Nigeria economy slowing some people down, people deserve a great day more than ever. Gidi Fest is creating a tradition of youth empowerment and celebrating African music, culture and people in every form. Hosts for Gidi Fest 2016 include MTV Base VJ’s, Nomuzi from South Africa and Nigeria’s very own, Ehiz, alongside City FM OAP, Sensei Uche. DJ Obi and DJ Kaywise will be on the decks with some comic relief from a couple of your favourite comedians. This year, Gidi Fest 2016 promises to be an astounding show with amazing vibes. Speaking on the event, founder […]
I went to Ghana for the first time ever exactly one year ago. I can recall the feeling of stepping out of the airplane as if it was yesterday. I miss Ghana, the heat, my family and newly made friends, the food and the positiv energy people give you. A small recap of my experience in Ghana; I’ve been curious about the castles and stories about slavery my whole life. Visiting Elmia Castle gave me a lot of answers, with a brutal confronting past. Our guide even made us stand in the dark, small and smelly cells, there where no windows. The cells and the castle have been through so much. As horrific these events have been, that took place years ago, the view is unbelievably beautiful.This trip to Cape Coast was beautiful, there is much to see when you’re on the road. Watching people selling their stuff on the side of the road, seeing the thro thro’s full of people, enjoying the sun on my face through the window and a lot more. The Makola Market is located in the centre of Accra. Makola market is reachable with the car, it has a big parking garage with multiple floors. […]
Getting out of Dakar is hard. In a city with endless distractions, when it comes to the end of the week the temptation to stay put is strong. But these days with the new autoroute à péage which cuts travel time significantly, getting out of town for the day, or even just a few hours is easily done. With two old friends in town for a visit and an afternoon to spare, it was the perfect opportunity to do just this. We went to the Espace Sobo Badè, a hotel, restaurant and arts centre in the fishing village of Toubab Dialaw, 50 kilometres from Dakar along the Petite Côte. The hotel is owned – and was designed – by a sculptor and artist from Haiti and his wife, a dancer from France. High up on a cliff overlooking the sea, the whimsical and wonderful architecture of Sobo Badè is straight out of a fairy-tale. It’s reminiscent of the works of Antoni Gaudí, especially Parc Güell in Barcelona, with an eclectic collection of colourful mosaic tiles, sculptures and seashells adorning the buildings. I highly recommend the restaurant here. Amazing seafood (be organised and call up the day before to order the Lobster – it’s worth it) but also simple and tasty […]
Today, we are heading the north of Dakar. If you want to leave the stress of Dakar, to enjoy the sight view of the ocean, breath the fresh air of the nature, there is no better place than Lac Rose, the Pink Lake of Senegal. Also called Lake Retba, it is a perfect getaway to go to with family and friends. As soon as you arrive, you will receive a warmth welcome with smiles of art crafts designers, jewelry sellers and salt sellers who will be excited to talk to you about the story of the lake and it’s village. Located 30km from Dakar, this natural oasis is placed between the Atlantic Ocean and the sand dunes. This body of water is a beautiful place to discover and to have fun at. As curious as you are, I asked the villagers how come the lake was pink. It is thanks to a combination of a micro-algae and the sun. Let’s not try to talk about microbiology and instead admire the beauty that nature has to offer. Its main activity is focused around the extraction of salt. Yes! The lake is known for its color and for its […]
Despite its small size Guinea Bissau is a place where people enjoy good food, and even better partying. Its people are super friendly and its young people incredibly entrepreneurial in the face of few jobs and pretty lackluster training opportunities. My roommate Stef and I saw these young guys manning a food truck in the main square and instantly fell in love with their energy and perseverance. The food was amazing, and although we never saw the truck again, I wish them the best of luck. The guys running the truck were super young, but friendly and helpful. Yeah, it was sparse, but delicious enough for me to wolf it down before Stef got a chance to take a pic… Joanna Busby
One of my favorite parts of life in Bissau is the taxi riding experience. First off, taxis here are mercifully cheap – almost never more than 50 cents a ride. Then, the city is so small, that it makes taking taxis seem optional, unless the noonday sun is beating down on you. You flag a cab down and tell the driver how much you’re willing to pay. If you can’t come to an agreement, you can always just walk. Generally, you’ll agree –the drivers know you can walk anywhere, so they don’t hold you hostage. To be honest, the fact I even bother to take taxis at all is a testimony to my laziness or American unwillingness to walk anywhere. Taxis in Bissau are super easy to spot. Mostly old Mercedes painted a light royal blue color, they are comfy, pretty spacious, quite clean, and plentiful. There are tons of Taxis in Bissau In fact, the only real downside is that taxis here are shared, which means, you may be riding with up to 4 people at a time. The pro-tip for surviving the shared experience, especially if you’re carrying a handbag or are in office clothes, is to ride […]
Do you know Niger? 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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