Category: Africa

Senegal is cut in two by The Gambia. This results from the colonial folly that granted the British control of the Gambia river for 200 miles (320 km) inland and ten miles (16 km) on both sides of the river. The area south of The Gambia is called Casamance and is considering itself as distinct from the rest of Senegal. People living there belong to another ethnic group and are mostly Christian contrary to the Muslim majority in the rest of the country. The existence of The Gambia also hindered exchange between the two parts of the country. […]

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The Gambia is the smallest country within mainland Africa and shaped as only a colonial administrator can dream up a country. It stretches 200 miles (320 km) inland along the Gambia river and 10 miles (16 km) north and south from the river. Towards the coast it is a bit wider with straight borders, drawn up on a map and not shaped by events on the ground. It was a British (and before that Portuguese) “possession” darting into the French Senegal. […]

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I enter Senegal by boat, crossing the river of the same name from Mauritania. Rosso is a provincial town and as I see no ATM, I change a note of 20€ to have some cash. A minivan drives down the road slowly and someone shouts Saint-Louis. They stop for me. I have seen this in many parts of the world where transport operates on the we-leave-when-full-maxim. They prowl the streets to fill up the car and as this saves me the walk to the bus station I hop on. It should have made me suspicious […]

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You don’t have to feel bad if you have never heard about this country. Actually, even right on the ground, the Western Sahara is hard to find. I know it is there, but I honestly see no trace.
Western Sahara is one of the most sparsely populated territories on earth. It mainly consists of desert flatlands. Along the bus ride from Laâyoune to Dakhla I remember hardly any settlement of size. It is a barren landscape, […]

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I consider my visit to Morocco as a passing-through. Better to spend more time in the harder to reach countries that will come later on my journey. I can always come back easily to Morocco. But if I am passing through, I try to do it in style. Travelled in a direct route from my point of entry, Tangier, it will be more than 1,300 kilometres before I leave Morocco and enter the Western Sahara. Counting in the Western Sahara, as that disputed territory is under Moroccan control, it will be 2,240 kilometres. Makes sense to break the journey a few times. […]

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In 2011, there was no question that I would go on my first visit to the African continent. Not because I already knew all the other continents, I didn’t, but because I wanted to explore Africa most of all. I had a very enjoyable three-and-a-half months getting from Cape Town to the island of Zanzibar. Africa was wonderful. The landscapes were fantastic, the people friendly, I fell deeply in love with Africa’s wildlife and travelling was easy enough. Communication in the (bar Mozambique) English-speaking countries was a breeze. After leaving beautiful and interesting South Africa behind […]

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I had left Wadi Halfa in Sudan early in the morning. My hope was to reach Abu Simbel in early afternoon and to be able to visit this famous temple on the way to Aswan. I had tried to get on the first bus. My hopes were soon dashed as all the five buses left at the same time with mine actually being the latest. We arrived at the Sudanese-Egyptian border and it was still closed. It took three-and-a-half totally ineffective hours to leave Sudan. […]

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The border post is in a small village. The main road is not even tarred, little traffic passes over this border. Ethiopia and Sudan are culturally distinct and there seems to be little interest in the “other”. To my surprise, I am not crossing this border alone. A Japanese guy was on the bus to the border and at the border we meet an Italian who is overlanding with his motorbike. It might surprise you but crossing Sudan is the easiest option of going north-south in Africa. […]

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The famous churches of Lalibela are waiting. To get there from Djibouti most people would have chosen the following approach: Taking a day-long bus from Djibouti Ville to Dire Dawa, another day-long bus to Addis Ababa and another day-long bus from Addis to Lalibela. I chose another option, why not try to get there on the most direct route? Small roads with rare or none public transport promise an eventful journey and will still be faster. […]

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I am a victim of my own faulty planning. Originally, I wanted to head north in Kenya to get to Ethiopia overland through the beautiful region around lake Turkana. I had not properly informed myself about Ethiopian visa rules and while it is very easy to get a visa on arrival when flying into Ethiopia, it is impossible to get one at the border and near impossible to get a visa for Ethiopia in any other African country. I tried in Nairobi but failed. […]

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In 2011, after finishing university, I went to Africa for the first time in my life. I planned big, trying to do the classic Cape Town to Cairo route. Four months was not enough to do this in any style. I covered South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana (briefly), Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. From Zanzibar, I had to fly home. I organized the pictures not by country but around topics. Enjoy! […]

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