Countless times, Africa has been spoken for by many people. Some (or quite frankly, many) who aren’t from Africa or Africans so I thought I should have my own say of what Africa is to me. Because we all know Africa isn’t just one thing, or one tribe, or one country, or language, or Aid, or Aids. I think you get it. So what is Africa to me? I will show you through the Africa I have experienced for myself.
So, let’s get into it.
Africa is the people. Different tribes. Different textures. Different colors. Some live in their tribes. Some live in the cities. Some wear traditional dresses. Some are rich, some are poor.
Coat hawker in Nairobi, Kenya.
Matatu driver Nairobi, Kenya.
Samburu, Kenya. On the banks of River Ewaso Nyiro.
The streets of Kampala, Uganda.
Streets of Nairobi, Kenya.
Africa is the cities. Some are large, some are small. Some are dirty, some, clean. Some have really tall buildings while some look like dusty back-route towns. Every city I have visited seems similar but they have their own unique characteristics. The people too. In Nairobi every one seems to be in a hurry while not seeming to go anywhere in particular. I found Kampala to be a fast paced city too, in terms of how people move through it. While at the same time its characteristic topography makes it very interesting from a city planning and architectural point of view. Anyway, to move on.
Africa is the dust and dry caked river beds. Better come ready. Africa is the deserts.
Situation after a couple dusty kilometers in Shompole, Kenya.
River Ewaso Nyiro banks, Samburu, Kenya.
Chalbi deseert, Kenya.
Africa is the untamed winding rivers, the river deltas. Sometimes we share these with wildlife and cattle.
Lake Natron delta, Tanzania. River Ewaso Ngiro flows into it.
River Ewaso Nyiro, Samburu, Kenya. Seen from the air.
Africa is the traffic. The beautiful moments in traffic and the annoying ones too. Africa is the people working hard to beat traffic. Africa is the bodaboda, cars and planes.
What’s up with the bowl aka helmet? Yikes. Kampala, Uganda.
Flying over Central Kenya.
Patiently waiting to cross the tracks in Kampala, Uganda. I can’t remember what the driver (are they called drivers?) was trying to tell us.
Africa is the lakes. You can swim in some and it’s amazing. Please don’t swim in lakes with hippos or crocs or flamingo, the rest you can swim in. Don’t say I sent you.
Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda. You have to swim in this lake when you can. Clean, cool water. More than 25 islands in this lake. You can camp here for about $10.
Lake Tanganyika in Bujumbura, Burundi. Definitely swim in this one. It’s so clear. So calm in the morning. My best lake swim so far.
Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya. It has crocs but some parts of the lake are ok to swim. Pro tip ; If the locals aren’t swimming in it, don’t. I got a 5 minute dip and it was so worth it.
This campsite on Lake Turkana even has its showers right next to the lake. Open at the top so you can continue with those stories while getting clean.
Lake Magadi. Definitely don’t swim here. You may die. Seriously.
Africa is a billion star hotel. Aim to spend as many nights as possible under her skies. Get out of the cities and enjoy the stars.
Hells Gate, Kenya.
Camping in Shompole, Kenya.
Hells Gate, Kenya.
Breakfast in the wild.
Africa is the largest chapatis. And roadside feasts at all times of the day depending on where you are. I eat a lot of street food and i’d recommend the same but please carry antacid if your stomach lining is weaker than most.
Seriously, look!! Jinja, Kampala.
Kampala, Uganda. This was at 2am in the morning on a regular weekday.
Mukeke fish in Borabora beach, Burundi.
Strong coffee at sunset in Old Town, Mombasa, Kenya.
Africa is the Beach!! Need I say more?
Africa is the golden glow of the sunrise and the sunset. I’m sure most of y’all already knew this, though.
In Africa, we walk with the wild animals. True story. Ok, though we walk from afar, and never with the Lions.
Hells gate is the park that we have where you can hike or take a bike ride among the wild animals. Beware though, you need to be at your campsite before dark for that’s when the hyenas come out to play. And hunt.
Africa is music. Africa is dance.
Blinky Bill of Just A Band.
Just A Band & Bodhi Satva.
So there’s a very long post about my Africa. I haven’t even started to scratch the surface on this. And this is just my take. So many of us have stories to share and I implore you to keep telling Africa’s stories, for Africans first. We need African stories told by Africans to be the default. Let’s tell real stories, fictional stories. Let’s imagine our world together. Let’s keep sharing.
What is your Africa to you?