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ZAMBIA

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I headed off to Livingstone, Zambia, after spending my afternoon exploring the mighty Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side.

Experiencing Zimbabwe and Zambia on Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary was special.

Edem AdzahoZAMBIA
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Zimbabwe

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I had a funny feeling that leaving Botswana to Zimbabwe will be dramatic and it surely didn’t disappoint. We had to change buses 3 times before we got to Zimbabwe.

Edem AdzahoZimbabwe
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BOTSWANA PART 2

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You can read part one of this trip here.  So, after waiting for an hour, people started leaving the bus to hitchhike.

I felt terrible; one of the worse feelings ever. I was disrupting other people’s plans.

Edem AdzahoBOTSWANA PART 2
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BOTSWANA – PART 1

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My friends will read this, so I need to make this clear to them; they were wonderful hosts. I felt at home in Botswana.

Comfortable in Botswana

Edem AdzahoBOTSWANA – PART 1
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NAMIBIA

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I was at Johannesburg airport, about to head to Namibia and I got into panic mode, yet daydreaming about climbing sand dunes in Namibia.

Finally climbing Dune 7 in Namibia

Edem AdzahoNAMIBIA
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Zanzibar

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Like Timbuktu, I have lost count of the number of times I have called out Zanzibar. But calling it wasn’t enough, I had to see it, feel it and experience it.

And so I took a ferry to the island of Zanzibar for a day’s trip from Dar es Salam. It’s cost me $35 each way as a foreigner. See, why Africa is not a country? I am an African foreigner in Tanzania and I don’t speak Swahili beyond Mambo, Jambo and Asante sana.

The ferry’s upper deck was mainly for foreigners, it took me a while to figure that out. I guess locals are used to the view and non-locals like me are desperate to take it all in.


The journey to Zanzibar from Dar took an hour using the Kilimanjaro branded ferries.
It was drizzling a bit on the way, but it was full blown heavy rains in Zanzibar. This stopped quickly though.
I met my contact Kassim, a former national footballer, turned seaman. He is a cousin to my brother’s friend in China. I had a very rich conversation with Kassim about life and travel and you can imagine he has been to quite a lot of countries as a seaman, Ah, don’t you just love networking?
I so wanted to see the turquoise-like Indian ocean show off. And it didn’t disappoint.

Kassim was really kind and drove me to Mangapwani beach. Apart from 4 other kids who were fishing in the ocean and getting on with their life,

I had the beach pretty much to myself.

I was able to shoot 3 videos at the beach for my channel, including an interview with Kassim about his unusual career switch. I tried bungo juice, a special juice in Zanzibar whose fruit is unique to the island.

I later visited Stone Town. It was lovely to see the old architecture and traces of the Arab influence.

There is more to Zanzibar that I share on this blog or that I experienced on a day trip. It is a truly beautiful place. It makes me appreciate the beauty and diversity of my continent a lot more.

 

Put Zanzibar on your list, go and see it, feel it and experience it for yourself.

Africa truly is beautiful. Zanzibar is stunning. I can help you save money and find a reliable local guide to show all the hidden spots. Send me an email at edem@vamejo.com and let’s get you to experience the amazing Zanzibar.

Oh! If you ever plan to go to Zanzibar, please take your yellow fever vaccination card with you. Don’t assume you already showed it when you entered Tanzania.  And, no, I didn’t need a visa as a Ghanaian to visit Tanzania.
Ready to plan a trip to Zanzibar? I am just an email away- edem@vamejo.com
 

Edem AdzahoZanzibar
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UGANDA

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Although this post is about Uganda, please, let me take you back a bit to a related incident.

Tired and sleep deprived, I was excited to be in Uganda at 3am.

Edem AdzahoUGANDA
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Rwanda

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Many brows were raised when I mentioned I was going to Rwanda. I heard questions like; are you not scared? Is the war not going on still? Is it not dangerous to travel there alone? My answer is a big fat juicy NO to all those questions.  This is the Rwanda I saw.  Most of the photos are my raw non-filtered photos from my phone. Have a look and be the judge.

Clean and safe streets

Beautiful views of Kigali from the Genocide Memorial grounds

Modern and no plastic bags!

Ignorance is no bliss. Then again, most of the things we read about African countries are negative, perpetuating a stereotype that is far from the truth. I searched for images of Rwanda and it didn’t remotely show 1% of what I saw and experienced. I have a responsibility as an African to be objective and focus on the positive as there a few positive voices. Yes, Rwanda made me cry about the past, smiled in the present and felt inspired and excited about the future.

I got to Kigali at 2am, but the next day, I left my hotel to a hostel so I could2 amnnect with other travellers. As I checked into my dorm room, I met a lovely Japanese lady, Masayo, who has been travelling solo for 5 months and still had a number of countries to explore. We bonded quickly and shared tips and routes.  I look forward to reconnecting with her in Japan and hopefully being life long friends.

with the lovely Masayo from Japan

We ended up exploring Kigali together. I became the “best African” she met on the trip. She had already been to about 6 other African countries at this point. I was grinning from ear to ear and happy to be carrying the Ghanaian and “African flag”. Do you want proof?

 

Now, what is not to like about Kigali, Rwanda? Nothing! I repeat nothing! Things work in Rwanda and Kigali is super clean.  It really is Africa’s cleanest country.

I thought Singapore was clean until I got to Rwanda. We need more countries like Rwanda. A strong leadership and a mindset shift can make a huge difference. Just have a look!  Plastic bags are banned by the way!

Genocide Memorial grounds

Rwanda gives me hope as an African. This place tells me, Africa, as a continent can do it and is doing it. And we should pay attention, watch and listen to them because they have rebuilt against all odds after a very dark past.

Masayo and I ended up going to the  Kigali Genocide Memorial, we spent some time at the memorial to learn and reflect, had lunch, tasted great Rwandan coffee

Great Rwandan coffee

 

and talked to the friendly staff at the memorial’s café. It was a delight to watch people take so much pride in their work.

Great guys, awesome service

I was blown away by how quickly the centre emailed me my written message for survivors of genocide or my impression of the centre; within 24 hours, it was right in my inbox and the chance to tweet it. Which I did by the way. You should definitely visit and make a donation. It is free for you and me to go and experience the amazing work they have done and continue to do. Let’s support them because they are doing incredible work educating the world.

Masayo and I then went to the local craft market, where you have to let your negotiation skills come through. The sellers didn’t hassle you like they do in some cities.

I surprised myself in Kigali. For a start, I do have a love-hate relationship with motorbikes, but it was all love in Rwanda. Masayo and I did a motorbike tour of the land of a thousand hills.

Views from my motorbike ride on a land of a thousand hills.

It is the best way to see Kigali and get around.  We loved it! It was super affordable too.

We saw many landmarks including the famous hotel in the film “Hotel Rwanda”

I heard you get Wifi as soon as you get into most taxis. I am yet to experience that

In the evening, Masayo and I went to another craft market close to our hostel to find a particular souvenir and ended up being caught in the rain. The sellers ceased the opportunity to sing and dance, as it was close of day for them. I danced in the rain with locals at the craft market to a song, which was a hit in Kenya at the time. No one knew the lyrics, but we all loved the melody and excitedly sang to the chorus.

The people of Kigali were very friendly, kind and efficient. On my way to the airport, I saw the very impressive Kigali Convention Centre. You can watch that building for days and not get bored.

Kigali Convention Centre.

Kigali is super safe too. Talking about security, expect sniffer dogs and a solider/military police to supervise the search before you get to the airport departure lounges. This is pretty intense. So please don’t get any funny ideas. Just so you know, it is zero tolerance to corruption in Rwanda.

By the way, my visa to Rwanda was $30. I got a visa on arrival at the airport and you will be delighted to know Kigali had the best free Wi-Fi connection at the airport and is unlimited! I know this because; there was a moment on my travels where I spent 13hours there. Yep!

I  have written about my experience in Rwanda in my column with the Business & Financial Times Newspaper,

but I clearly can’t wait to go back to Kigali; it easily became one of my favourite cities not only on the continent but also in the world. Rwanda made me cry, learn, dance and gave me hope and faith.

I want to go back and explore the coffee fields. I bought loads of coffee and gave them as gifts to my friends in Europe.

I look forward to seeing the beautiful nature and gorillas in their natural habitat.

So pack and go! Don’t believe what someone who hasn’t seen it tell you it’s not safe to go.

Africa is beautiful, Rwanda is beautiful and inspiring. Vamejo! Come let’s go, it’s that simple.

Rwanda has so much to offer. Get in touch with me and let me help you plan and experience all aspects of the amazing experiences Rwanda and Kigali have to offer. It will be an experience you will treasure forever. Get in touch: edem@vamejo.com

 

Edem AdzahoRwanda
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