Love On A Budget

Location Setting: West Africa; Nigeria

Short Stories With Anonymous

A salacious tale of passionate love & sexcapades, with a frugal millennial lacking a trust fund account. So naturally, i’m simply more creative.

& so the story goes; 

i had just graduated from University, ’twas a fun & innocent time. The world was my innocent oyster. I had accomplished a lot; or so I thought. Just earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.

I was on my direct path to being a millionaire, right? Wrong !

Maybe in the olden days not in this Baby Boomer’s economy. However, this isn’t a rant about the state of world global economics.

Every Nigerian with any intent of joining the workforce, has to participate in a compulsory programme called the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Nigeria is a multicultural country, with an estimation of about 250 ethnic groups. All with their unique culture & way of interaction. NYSC was an initiative created in 1973; aimed at bridging the gap between the different Nigerian ethnicities & developing Nigeria. Corp members (Nigerian graduates) are placed in states other than their state of origin to encourage intermingling between ethnicities. & learning about the culture of the location they are placed  in.

Now,

depending on your personal level of financial buoyancy –& or nepotism/cronyism– there are ways to jerk or finagle your way around the system. However, the process familiar with every Nigerian has become somewhat of a rite of passage. & you cannot run for President without an NYSC certificate, proving your service to your country.

The beginning of the programme starts with a scheduled 3 weeks “orientation” in a controlled military camp or base. It is usually the hardest part to get out of & most Nigerians would attend camp.

This is were most of the love stories & magic happens. I already had a boyfriend before I went to serve my country. Today’s story is about how I skipped camp to have some hot & ravenous sex with my –then– boyfriend.

‘Twas a hard time in the Nigerian economy -lol when has it not been though?- & there was a huge fuel scarcity. Nigeria as whole literally runs on fossil fuels, with barely any constant electricity.

Most “well-to-do” Nigerians have a generator in their backyard to combat this issue. Lack of constant electricity also kills many local business before they have the chance to truly take root, -buying diesel everyday to operate a generator may not be great for one’s bottomline.-

But yeah, basically the country was in a little bit of chaos. No fuel consequently led to an immediate spike in the prices of goods & services, creating an artificial ultra high inflation bubble…& I was broke.

Brokedt. On a budjet.

I had been placed in Calabar for my youth corps programme –i lived in Lagos– ,my boyfriend; Femi & I worked through the long distance. He was self employed for a while, so he already had a full-time job. Femi usually paid my air fares  from Calabar to see him in Lagos. I didn’t have a job, so I couldn’t afford the air fare. NYSC did pay, but it could only be considered a little stipend at best. After about 3 back & forth trips of Femi baring the financial brunt of our meetings, he became –expectedly– irritable.

You see, I was allegedly supposed to be from a well off family to his knowledge. & Femi couldn’t comprehend why I simply didn’t ask my dad for financial support. Little did he know my dad & I have always had a tumultuous relationship.

My parents were divorced & barely got along. At the time, I thought it necessary for my survival to keep a happy face of prosperity & enjoyment to the public. In Nigerian society you could be ostracized & liable for the sins of your problematic family. This creates a toxic cycle of victims barely addressing the real issues of what goes on behind closed doors or even seeking help in the first place.

Now, older & wiser, I realized it is all a facade & a game of “Keeping Up With the Jones”, most of the women in those marble houses are sad.

I didn’t think Femi would comprehend the concept of a father who seems to hate his own daughter. Nigerians are extremely family oriented, brainwashed to seldom question authority & take an ‘adult’s‘ word, as bond.  Although I trusted Femi, I wasn’t ready to be that vulnerable with him, this affair in my house was one of the biggest shames I carried around mentality. I was fine with his quick assumption of me being a spoilt rich brat, although…that hurt too.

My days in Calabar were coming to an end. It was the last week on camp, things were slowly winding down & I decided I was going to pay Femi one last visit before I travelled back home. I called his cell expressing my intentions & we almost immediately  go into a tiff over the airplane fees. In the heat of the moment, I hung up on him & he never called back.

3 days went by & still no call back from the love of my life. I then I devised the wonderful idea to just surprise him!

As I stated before; I was strapped for cash. A broke millennial, so I decided to be adventurous & creative. Taking public transportation cross country on the hunt for love & some bomb dick.

By bus, the trip from Calabar to Lagos was going to take 11 long hours. But that was nothing but a token of my love & appreciation.

I woke up early on Friday of the same week, packed my weekend to-go bag with my bus fare N6250;17.24USD; 15 EUROs, ready to surprise my prince charming. The fare was usually N4000, however due to fuel scarcity there was a sharp spike in prices.

At 6:00pm I get myself to the bus stop in Onitsha; a city located in Southern Nigeria, giddy & pent up with a plethora of emotions mostly; excitement.

This was my first real rodeo with public transportation in Nigeria. I was nervous but proud of myself for getting this far. I found myself a comfortable seat; next to the window & waited for the journey to commence.

Everything seems fine & dandy enough, I even ask myself why I had never considered this as a means of transportation. Yes, most of the connecting roads in Nigeria were dilapidated, yet the cost of this trip was making it look even more attractive as a viable option.

An hour into the bus ride I decided to give Femi a call, I did want to surprise him. However, I realized it wasn’t wise to doing some major long distance travelling without informing any of my loved ones of my whereabouts. I certainly wasn’t telling my family, so I told Femi I was on the way.

New flash! He didn’t believe me. There was no way in hell the boujee bitch he thought he knew, was inside a molue bus. He thought wrong, but I guess I could show him better than I could tell him. 6 hours into the bus ride & things had been pretty uneventful, little did I know I was in for a ride of my life.The bus randomly breaks down in Delta state in the middle of the night. S. O. S. & the freak out began.

Passengers started getting ansty, after hearing several empty promises from the bus conductor & his failing vehicle, most of them started to jump ship. Asking for their fare fees back, so as to join another bus & continue their journey to their perspective places. Multiple pleads & to no avail from the passengers after, the bus conductor gave in returning the fares to the passengers who requested them.

I wasn’t quite as bold, I was scared. Shook.

It was 1:00am in the morning!

& I had no idea where I was. I decided to do the safe thing –to some– & stay put! Commencing the journey in the morning like the bus driver promised. I call Femi to give him a heads up about my current state of affairs & ding! Ding! You guessed it ! He still didn’t believe me. It probably also didn’t help that we played a lot of pranks in our relationship.

Although at this point the doubt was getting tiresome & tedious. Especially since I wasn’t sure if my life was in danger or not.

However, I stayed put. After all, what was the alternative? Walking around in the dark? I’m also a woman, so my safety was even that much more important to me, living in a world where women are seen as an easy target.

The next day, just as the bus conductor promised the journey continued. & I arrived at my destination in Yaba, Lagos. I had called Femi in the morning telling him to be a the bus stop because this was no prank & I was exhausted. The journey that was supposed to be an estimated 11 hours took a whooping 24 hours! Almost double the duration.

Immediately I get out of the tin vehicle, I spot Femi; my tall dark bearded Yoruba adonis. & we immediately engulf each other in a passionate embrace. He was utterly gobsmacked that I had taken the bus to come see him. So was I. But I loved this man you see. Femi helped me load my bag into his car & we drive straight to his house.

You might ask me, was it worth it ?

& my answer was & always will be heck yes!

Here’s to bomb & steamy long distance make up sex. Femi paid for my flight back to Calabar & 2 weeks later he paid for me to come right back.

Guess who’s always worth it ?

Me!

 

 

 

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Eight (8) Lessons I Learnt Transiting Through an African Country – The Ivorian Edition

Lesson Numero Uno 

– Verify the length of your layover for transit flights

I got my tickets for a random trip to the USA for less than $750!

C’mon,

there was no way I was passing up that kind of deal.

(LagosAbidjan *operated by Air cote de voire* – Newark *operated by Ethiopian Air*)

I’m the girl who gets to her transit –already in the airport– and only then realizes that she has an 11 hour layover.  

So this time?

I made sure to check the length of my layovers. And they were less than 3 hours in total. I was geeked. I had definitely found good deal.

However,

in-between booking and ticketing.  

And because Nigerian banks are basically synonymous with payment challenges when banking abroad,

*insert rolling eyes emoji*

the ticket I finally got had a layover of about 23 hours in Abidjan.

Imagine my initial shock,

I was shook!

I tried everything to change my ticket to one with a better layover time. But to my chagrin; it was going to cost me an extra $250.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

There was NO way I was going to cough up money I didn’t budget for when the trip was already sporadic for my bank account.

Lesson Number 2

– Always check for the country’s specific requirements 

I got to Nigeria’s International Airport; Murtala Muhammed (MMIA) at about 3:30pm. Only to realize that I needed to present a yellow fever vaccination card.

Apparently, Cote D’voire is also considered a West African country –I really didn’t know this then– and all African countries require this evidence of vaccination

*annoyed/confused emoji*.

I had been to South Africa earlier in the year, and I had gotten a yellow fever vaccination card for the trip, I was familiar with the requirement. But unfortunately, because I didn’t know it would be necessary for this trip; I had left my card at home.

To cut a long story short.

Leave your Yellow fever vaccination card in your passport

If not,

it’s going to cost yah!

*cha-ching!!!*

Lesson Number 3

– If you’re going to a new country, make sure you; research, research & more research!!!!

I knew I needed a hotel for my overnight stay over, so I looked to the reviews on Expedia for some sort of direction.

There were some things I wasn’t willing to compromise on, like complementary airport pickup and drop off. Complimentary breakfast –“continental” hello! 

And lastly,

WiFi; this might seem odd, but you’d be surprised at the number of  budget hotels that don’t offer connectivity services as an add on.  

It was a bit tedious for me. I eventually settled for a budget friendly hotel that claimed to provide all three of my requirements.

Fake News !

The only thing I got for free was the Wi-Fi.

That barely worked.

In my room.

From of my personal experience, I’d advise you just go bougie or go home.

The amount I paid commuting to and from the airport to the hotel would have been enough for a 5 star hotel in Abidjan

I essentially didn’t save much.

So just stick to the airport, or brand named hotels. In Abidjan, those would be, the Hilton, hotel Ibis, or the other airport hotels. No point wanting to have the local experience if so much discomfort would be involved.

Lesson Number 4

– If you live in West Africa, Learn to speak French

On arriving at the airport in Abidjan, I was hit with a rude awakenening; my French was just not going to cut it.

Okay, to be fair, I wasn’t the most attentive in my secondary school French classes. Thankfully I had done some research on how to get around in Abidjan. I wanted to get my Dora on and explore a few parts of Abidjan before catching my flight later on the next day.

From my research I  knew Uber rides weren’t a thing.

Apparently, Uber has been struggling to penetrate the Francophone market in Africa for a while now.

They have their own ride sharing app,

and obviously,

it was in French.

A language I can barely comprehend.

*what a downer*

(if I had a better level of understanding French.  I’d have saved so much money).

I walked straight to the information desk asking for help with directions to my hotel.

My hotel had already called me earlier before I had arrivedto inform me that they would, in fact not be picking me up to and from the airport. So much for the paid for complementary airport pickup and drop off.

I showed someone at the help desk my hotel address and an airport taxi man was called for me.

Lesson Number 5

– When it comes to haggling prices in Africa, it’s all the same, haggle!!!

In Africa, prices are not set in stone, be like your Yoruba mum, for every price you’re given, divide it into 2, then take one half and split into 2 again, that’s your starting price. Basically, split it into 4 and start haggling from one portion or potentially get scammed.

In my prior research I had learnt that  airport taxi’s in Abidjan are expensive. Beating and haggling the price down was essential for a budjet friendly trip. One of the articles I read talked about a new bridge with a toll cost of 50/500 francs, which would have been N32.4/N324 or $0.089/$0.89.

*this little detail came in handy later*

The taxi man could only speak French so I had the lady at the help desk translate for me. I know a few French words but not enough to have a full on conversation.

He told me the hotel was a far distance from the airport, making my ride an expensive one that would cost me 20,000CFA  roughly N12,960.58 or $35.70. My quick-witted Yoruba brain immediately kicked in and I retorted with 10,000CFA  roughly N6,480 or $17.85. The Taxi driver kept stressing the distance, and he brings up an expensive toll gate he has to pass.

I had him where I wanted him!  

And I said;

 “I know that toll gate now, its 500CFA” 

At this point he knows i’m on to him.

He smiles and says 15,000CFA. 

I don’t budge.

He keeps taking it down, and I continue to stand my ground.

And then he finally agreed to 10,000CFA.

Yay!!!

I had won….

Or so I thought.

Lesson Number 6

– Observe everything! Africa is beautiful and unique!!! (Take pictures)

On the drive to the hotel, I noticed everything. There were beautiful trees lined up, like I had seen in Calabar and in Cape Town. The hustle and bustle in downtown Abidjan were very similar to the sounds you’d hear in Asaba. And the business district reminded me of inner Marina in Lagos Island. All the sights were amazing to behold the breathtakening scenery was a joy to see. 

I was so stuck in the sights that I forgot take any real pictures

*insert crying emoji*.

None would have done it justice. But I promise you,  Abidjan is a beautiful city.

Lesson Number 7

– lesson 3 again – research, SPEND MONEY ON YOUR HOTEL!!!

The Hotel was trash.

It was trash!

Not because the bed wasn’t comfortable. Or because the room wasn’t nice. It was trash because they didn’t deliver on their promises.

I just can’t.

I became friendly with a guest at the hotel, an English-speaking Sweetie.  She became my unoffical Abidjan translator and was extremely helpful when I needed to communicate with the hotel staff.

  • Another reason why the hotel was so trash – no resident staff could communicate with me or translate  They all spoke. French. 

Apparently, she met this local Ivorian man online. They fell in love, so she came to Abidjan to see him. Seeing the dynamic between them, I couldn’t help but think home girl was about to get scammed.

I did what I could.  I sha told her to be weary.

The next day, I woke up ready to explore the city. However, for some reason,  I didn’t think to get a Sim card.  I had initially planned on roaming my phone like I usually do when I leave Nigeria to travel abroad.

On stepping out, I realized I needed google translate to effectively communicate and my internet service provider wasn’t working in Abidjan.  

That really put a damper on my ability to explore.

Lesson Number 8

– Explore your new city!!!

I asked that a taxi be called to take me to the airport, and the agreed fare was

*drumroll please*

3,000CFA, but I paid 4,000CFA, that is N2,592.12 or $7.14.

(Flashback: OMG!  I was definitely tourist scammed at the airport). This fare covered exploring sites on the way to the airport and I took full advantage. 

All the Ivorians I met –save the airport driver– were all nice and helpful, and I really did enjoy the trip.

I learnt that Cote D’voire is such a beautiful country and I’d definitely be back for a longer layover *wink Wink*

Signed,

Lady Voyage

FUN FACT

Dideir Drogba’s face is plastered on almost every ad in the city.

11 East African Countries To Consider For Vacation

Africa; A Huge A** Continent.

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1.Kenya

What’s The Gist?

What clueless people think of when they think

“Africa”

;aside from thinking it’s a country that is. Considering the breathtaking scenes, exotic animals plus the ease of access it’s easy to see why Kenya seems to be at the top of every explorer’s list.

What To Do?

12 East African Countries to visit2

Safaris, safaris & more safaris! Make sure you shop around & haggle for competitive prices. There are Safaris for literally almost everything; from camel, horse riding Safaris, walking Safaris & hot air balloon safaris to even snake safaris…

ugh.

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Kenya’s  beautiful landscape enables the golf culture in the country. Multiple golf clubs in Nairobi are world renowned & guarantee to
give the ultimate golfing experience.

12 East African Countries to visit4For the culture seeking explorer, you could visit the City of Nairobi an African metropolis. Consider attending music & cultural
festivals in the city.

What’s Up For Grub?

Probably anything you can imagine.

Kenya is one of Africa’s melting pot so expect a huge array of diverse cuisine; from French cuisine to Kenyan beef jerky.

Here Are Some Things To Note

In 1963 Kenyans got their independence from the British.

They speak English…hello colonization! & Swahili too.

Jomo Kenyatta International airport is 20 minutes from the business district.

Wear what you want but keep in mind that Africans –like anyone else extra conservative could be an opinionated bunch.

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2.Madagascar

What’s The Gist?

You may have watched the DreamWorks movie named after this mesmerizing country.

& Yes, the hype is real.

Madagascar’s ecology is so diverse & unique that 90% of it’s flora is native; because of this, Madagascar is sometimes referred to as “The Eighth Continent”. But there’s much more to this beautiful cluster or islands than adorable mischievous lemurs.

What To Do?

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Do visit the Parc National de I’Isalo;

3it’s Madagascar’s largest National park & go on the Canyon de Singes hike.

You might bump into some ring tailed fuzzy friends.

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Do visit the Avenue of the Baobabs with century old baobab tree lined on each side of the dirt road.

If you’re up for it, Madagascar is a great place for Tour by bike. Bike down the island taking pit stops as needed in small towns and villages to get immersed in the culture.

If all else fails take a walk of one of the Islands many ivory sand colored beaches for a view that is indescribably breathtaking.

What’s Up For Grub?

Word on the street is the market place has some exotic street food for the low!

However meals less than a $1 can be found throughout the islands.

We hear the rice cakes are worth everybody’s while.

Here Are Some Things To Note

Kenya Airways or Ethiopian Airlines have the best deals with lower fares & the best connections.

Malagasy people speak Malagasy& French.

However, you will find those pesky English speakers throughout the Island.

Drink the tap water at your own risk..

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3. Tanzania

What’s The Gist?

Tanzania could be known to many to as home to the famous Maasai however this quiet country off the indian ocean coastline is definitely a unique tourist location in it’s own right. Tanzania has something for everyone from Africa’s highest mountain to the world’s second deepest lake. Adventure and fun-seekers beware!

“Maasai: are an ethnic group specific to northern Tanzania & Southern Kenya. Known for their beautiful traditions & intricate attires.”

What To Do?

One of the worlds’s largest faunal reserve The Selous Game Reserve is located in the south of Tanzania.

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Experience the chance to see big predator cats like hyenas, cheetahs &
leopards in their habitat. If you’re up for a thrilling & exciting work out; do go hiking on Africa’s highest peak, Mount 7Kilimanjaro.

Scuba dive along the coastline in Zanzibar & go on a local spice tour. Tanzanians are crazy about their coffee; go on a coffee tour on the plantations to see how the beans are grown & roasted.

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What’s Up For Grub?

There are quiet a number of vegetarian options in Tanzanian cuisine, cow huggers you win this time !

Here Are Some Things To Note

Tanzanians speak Swahili & English.

The World’s highest Rhino population is located in Tanzania.

Nigerian or East African?

Then you’re in luck cause it’s grounds for a visa free entry.

Tanzanians are usually extra chill. Being one of the least judgy African countries, so wear whatever you like.

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4. Malawi

The first color Malawi brings to mind is green. So much greenery covers the country with dramatic river valleys, highlands, beaches mountains & forests. The sweetest cherry on top? Malawians are considered one of the most friendly group of people in Africa.

Try not to freak out.

They really are that friendly.

What’s The Gist?

It’s a country where the locals actually embrace tourist.

But it gets better.

Do visit Malawi’s major national park Liwonde National park to catch a sighting of ] hippopotamuses & crocodiles carrying on about their daily activities while minding their business in their natural habitat.
Do take a hike to Lake Malawi. Home to an array of diverse aquatic bird species. However, one of nature simple but delightful surprises is watching the colorful Cichlid fish swim in the water.

What To Do?

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Do scuba dive on mini islands like Chizumulu or Likoma Islands just a ways from the western shore of neighboring country Mozambique. Or visit Chintheche beach to feel fine lush ivory sand in between your toes.

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Go to the industrial capital of Nothern Malawi to get your hands on some authentic Arabia coffee & make pit stop at Nkata bay to patronize some local hardwood artisan. The artisan make immaculate hand sculpted 100% wooden artisan structures. These pieces are not only unique but could be conversational. They are also a good way to support local business while taking a a little piece of Rwanda with you at the end of your trip.

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What’s Up For Grub?

Local delicacies include Nsima –cornmeal– served with a of vegetable dish which is not uncommon for African Cuisine.

Try some Mandasi. Which described as deep fried sweet fritters –somebody say carnival food!– or some barbecued meat of fish called Kanyenya.

Here Are Some Things To Note

Public transport works extremely well in Malawi.

Malawians speak Chichewa & English.

Check for flight prices with Kenyan Airways or look one online.

Stereotypically known as The Warm Heart of Africa Malawians are the epitome of warmth & friendliness.

Don’t be weirded out they’re just nice.

Express yourself through clothing. No one cares.

Legend has it Malawi has the best mangoes.

Try some & you be the judge.

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5. Seychelles

Welcome to Seychelles;

a well kept secret.

Considered one of the earth’s most beautiful mesmerizing Islands, Seychelles is not short of ethereal. A regular morning on the beach is you witnessing thousands of turtles wash up ashore laying their eggs on the fine white glowing sand in broad daylight!

Warm climate coupled with the refreshing sea breeze makes this country of islands the perfect combination for a holiday getaway. Alleged home of the real of garden of Eden, there’s a lot to behold in this country akin to paradise.

What’s The Gist?

Rent a bike & take a trip to the motor-less city of La Digue. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Anse Lazio a tourist location on every “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches” list. If you can’t there are a plethora of beaches in Seychelles all equally as stunning. Do go scuba diving & snorkeling you might sight the black parrot bird native to Seychelles.

What To Do?

14Go to Praslin Island to visit Vallée de Mai National park the rumored original Garden Of Eden with flora & fauna so breathtakingly unique it is protected by law.

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Get spiritual or inquisitive & visit the Arulmigu Navasakti Vinayagar temple; a compelling structure to behold in the very least. Remember to take your shoes off though!

Nightlife in Seychelles is one for the books. Careful curated for tourists, the city Victoria awakens at night. Bustling with colorful lights, music & food. All the bells & whistles necessary for a memorable night out in town on the prowl.

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What’s Up For Grub?

Seychellois cuisine consists of seafood in new exciting DELICIOUS ways. Try some fresh red snapper, seasoned authentic creole cooking style. After all the population is 92% creole.

Here Are Some Things To NOTE

They speak Seychellois Creole, English & French.

There’s only one international airport & Kenya Airways flies there. Check online for comparable prices.

The nightlife is classy so put an effort into your clothing; Think heels or a dress shirt.

Be kind to the wildlife; Seychellois are nature lovers.

With 115 islands & no visa is required! The question is 

Why not now?

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6. Uganda

The land of diverse alluring landscape; from dense jungles, wetland forests to mountains, waterfalls & beaches the only thing Uganda lacks are sand dunes. And let’s be real, who travels specifically to see sand dunes?

What’s The Gist?

See some wildlife in the country’s largest national park Murchison Falls. Play a fun game of “Spot The Leopard” or go on the most sought after attraction of Uganda; a gorilla trek in Bwindi.

Do visit Jinja to explore the white Nile River. You could go white water rafting in it or zip-line in Griffin or Bujagai falls. Do visit Ssese Islands a little gem in east Africa of the coast of the indian ocean filled with ivory sun kissed beaches.

What To Do?

18Visit Kampala the country’s capital & go on a walking tour to immerse yourself in culture. You could make a trip of it and visit the Ndere a centre that showcases Ugandan culture through music and dance. Stop by at Entebbe craft to watch local artisans make their handmade wooden sculptured drums.

19Cross the famous equator line between the Northern & Southern hemisphere in Kayabwe; a town 420 kilometers from Kampala.

If you have some extra time do visit the tea plantations Uganda’s largest export. If all else fails take a walk of one of the Islands many ivory sand colored beaches for a view that is indescribably breathtaking.

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What’s Up For Grub?

Try some Matoke & chapati a type of bread found featured in lots of East African dishes.
Or some deliciously home grown readily available Chai tea.

Ugandan cuisine is also extremely vegetarian friendly.

Here Are Some Things To Note

Ugandan’s speak english.

Entebbe international is a hub aka cheaper & more frequent flights South African Airways has daily direct flights fromJohannesburg.

Public transportation is pretty descent.

Domestic flights are reliable & safe.

Wear whatever you want.

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7. Eritrea

Eritrea may not be the first country that comes to mind with the
word

“Africa!”

however the amazing scenic topographic landscapes is sure to stun even the most experienced world traveller. Mountains make this charming country a photographer’s paradise. Eritrea is a good place for photographic tourism or nature appreciators.

What’s The Gist?

If you have an appreciation for history or anthropology; then Eritrea is your destination of choice. Go crazy at noteworthy religious sites like the Tomb of Said Abu Brel Migami.

What To Do?

22Do go cycling in the capital Asmara; it’s a popular sport in Eritrea & if you book your ticket right; you could participate in their annual Asmara-Ken races.

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Visit Keren, Eritrea’s Third’s largest city. Keren is known for it’s famous diverse bright & colorful markets. Take a walk down the market streets for a nice relaxing day with unique Insta worthy locations.

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What’s Up For Grub?

Visit the culinary gem Massawa & get Yemen styled fresh fish smoked in a tandoori oven.
Try the local speciality, Injera; a spongy pancake.

Here Are Some Things To Note

Eritreans speak Tigrinya & Arabic but you find those pesky English speakers everywhere.

Yes, your western style clothing is appropriate just don’t over do it.

We wouldn’t.

Egypt Air, Fly Dubai &Turkish Airlines all flight to Eritrea.

Don’t be dramatic, it’s safe. But be careful. Don’t be too critical of the government. The secret service could be listening!

In 1935 the capital Asmara was considered one of the most modern cities in Africa & the center of Italy’s East African empire.

Go for coffee if a local invites you. Eritreans make an experience of coffee drinking with a traditional coffee ceremony performed by native Eritrean women.

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8. Rwanda

From natural ever green grasslands to gorilla tours, it’s a wonder why Rwanda isn’t on everyone “explore Africa” but one helicopter ride & a bird’s eye view of the landscape would give you an impressive hair-raising awe-inspiring reason to reconsider. It’s a good thing such rides are offered.

What’s The Gist?

Snack size but yet still intriguing, exploring this beautifully resilient country on land lives up to the positive expectations. So do explore this landlocked state on ground.26 Go biking or hike on the Congo Nile trail. It’s arguably the best backpacking route in East Africa!

Do go gorilla tracking. Mountain gorillas are an endangered species with less than 900 left in the world. Rwanda is home to over half on them located in the Virunga Mountain range.

Some of the proceeding go back into the continued conservation of Mountain gorillas. Get immersed in nature & help a good cause.

What To Do?

27Take a trip to the Kinunu Coffee washing stations to sample some authentic Rwandese coffee or visit a Tea plantation to learn about the production of one of Rwanda’s biggest export.

Do visit the capital, Kigali. Spend a day browsing Ivuka Arts Center a space purposefully curated to showcase local emerging artist & Rwandese culture. Drop by at the Caplaki Craft village for a unique beautifully beaded souvenir handmade by local craft makers.

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What’s Up For Grub?

Grab a brochette (a goat kebab). You can never go wrong with a good kebab!
If you’re lucky you could find some Nyama Choma a local delicacy. & don’t be afraid to walk into a local milk bar for some fresh refreshing organic milk !

Here Are Some Things To Note

Rwandese people are fluent in Kinyarwanda, English & French.

Tea is Rwanda’s largest export.

Rwanda has open boarders with Tanzania.

Rwandese buffets aren’t all you can eat. So simply, pile up that first plate!


Catch some good flight deals from Uganda & Brussels or check online. Don’t wear some dusty old T-shirt. The locals dress pretty sharp.

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9. Djibouti

This every sunny delightful country has a fun name that’s the butt of all jokes. Okay seriously, Djibouti is truly a sight for sore eyes. With a multitude of lakes & a bustling culinary scene. Djibouti; seems like the little country that gives on giving.

What’s The Gist?

Do catch some breathtaking views at “Honey Lake” a crater lake located at the western end of the Gulf of Tadjoua. The lake is stunning & it’s on it’s way to being a UNESCO World Heritage site. We weren’t kidding about the views! & ifyou aren’t all “laked” out from the serene sights at Honey Lake visit some of the other lakes like Lake Abbe or Assal.

What To Do?

30All of Djibouti’s lakes have equally over & beyond impressive views. Fancy a challenge or a rush of adrenaline? Snorkel with some whales at the Gulf of Tadjoua.

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Stop by at Africa’s best Tropical Aquariums in Le Marché Central. The aquauriam was specifically designed to make you feel like you’ve teleport underwater into the Red sea.

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What’s Up For Grub?

Djiboutians cook a mean oven baked fresh fish.So definitely try some Poisson Yemenite. Amen! To tasty food that’s good for you ! But who really about calories on vacation?Mokbasa is a special treat made out of raw honey & dates.

Here Are Some Things To Note

Djiboutians speak Arabic, French & English.

Be mindful & aware of where yoU take pictures; it COULD offend.

Never pay more than 2,000 Djiboutian Francs for a ride from the airport to Kempinski.


It only takes about an hour to walk the entire city of Djibouti the capital of Djibouti.

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10. Somalia

Ivory colored sand beaches, baby blue waters & sparkling coral reefs probably isn’t something you associate Somalia but a visit to Sa’ ad-Dun Island –one of the country’s National Park– would make you beg to differ. Or just visit one of the many beaches like the Lido Beach.

What’s The Gist?

34History buff or not Laas Geel is a place to experience. Visit the cave your ancestors lived in leaving behind some of the earliest untouched cave paintings discovered on the Horn Of Africa; a thrilling trip down memory lane. But the view of the Somalian landscape is enough to take the trip to Las Geel.

What To Do?

35Be inspired with a trip to the Shanghai Old City Area in Mogadishu. It’s considered a tourist attraction. The poetically beautiful city’s delightful unique intricate architectural structures is heavily wrapped in Chinese design influence.

Stuck in time, the city is also a remainder of the years of Italian colonization.

Go the Hargeisa; a hassle free market with vendors interacting with each other while selling things from homemade perfume, clothes to impeccable street food & sipping tea. If you’ve had a long day of exploring, take a trip to Hargeisa War Memorial to learn some Somalian history about some brave Somalis people.

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What’s Up For Grub?

We hear Somalis whip up some mean Camel meat & it’s worth risking it all.

Dalxiss restaurant is also a tourist hotspot in a nice relaxing tranquil garden setting.

Here Are Some Things To Note

They speak Somali & Arabic.

It’s as safe any country you’ve been too but don’t be a DODO.

The most reliable way into Somalia is throughAfrican Express.

It’s a conservative country so please be respectful.

Don’t take random pictures of people & don’t wander past Mogadishu.

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11. Comores

What’s The Gist?

Well, the Comoros Islands are a group of three major islands that form an Archipelago. These volcanic islands are also romantically called the Perfumed Island but not without reason. You can see & smell the exotic bountiful flora of this mesmerizing country throughout the islands.

“Archipelago: a cluster or collections of Islands”

What To Do?

38History nuts go crazy.

Historical towns with narrow streets established as far back as 12th century still exist. They serene, imperfectly  encased in time with all the original architecture. An architect could only dream!

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Visit Moroni, old Arab town. It was developed in the 14th century, know historically as an old African-Arabic trade town. Or hike to steal a glance at beautiful &  the beautiful waterfalls like the Dziankoudre.

If all else fails go to one of the many beaches for a classic & breathtaking view. After all, there are three islands.

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What’s Up For Grub?

The Comoros Island was colonized by
the French so

ding!

Ding!

Ding!

Authentic French Cuisine!

This could be found around the Islands.

The Comoros Islands obviously has coasts so the locals could do amazing things with seafood. It’s a seafood lovers paradise.

Here Are Some Things To Note

The Comoros  is one of least populous countries in the world with less than a million people.

The Comoros Islands were colonized by the French & got their independence in 1975.
They speak Comorian, Arabic &…You guessed it !
…French.

We Hear Connecting flights from Paris are super cheap cause half of the working class are French expatriates. Not going to France?

No problem. Flights from Kenya Airways fly directly from Nairobi thrice a week.

Quick

book a deal!

It’s a conservative country so long sleeves & no knees please. This isn’t enforced by law but don’t be an uncultured swine.