Happy New Year people! I hope you had a funfilled December, mine was as ‘detty’ as it could get. I pray 2020 will be a lit year for every one of us. Okay, so, 2019 was a good travel year for me, I visited 4 African cities for work, speaking engagement and school. I also stopped over at 2 different cities. 

Also Read: Compelling stories and my other #TechWomenAfrica Summit takeaways

Travelling within Africa can be stressful I must say but the joy of exploring the beautiful cities, culture and meeting awesome Africans on these trips make it all worth it. In this short article, I will share with you the 5 African cities I visited 2019 and why you should also consider visiting them too. 

5 African Cities - Olamide Egbayelo

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1.  LAGOS TO LOME TO CAMEROON TO CHAD IN 5 MINUTES: I mentioned earlier that travelling across Africa can be very stressful, so on my way to Chad for the 7th African School On Internet Governance,  I had to travel from through Lome and Cameroon just to get to Chad, a journey that could have been 2 hours ended up taking 10 hours or thereabout and oh! It was really stressful. The check-in process at the arrival point at the N’djemena airport in Chad was super draining. Below is a sneak-peak of how the journey went.

2. N’DJAMENA CHAD:  When I got selected for the African School on Internet Governance in August 2019 and we were informed that Chad would be our host country, I didn’t know whether to be excited or sad, but a naturally happy person, I knew I was definitely going to make the best of the situation as much as possible. I spent almost 2 weeks in Chad’s capital city, N’djamena, a very quiet and hot city. There isn’t so much to see in Chad, though, we visited the museum, went to see the trade fair happening at the former National Assembly and the Chad monument centre (video to be uploaded soon). If you ever, want to visit Chad, the food and language can be a problem, you don’t have enough variety to choose from and if you speak French, well, you won’t have a problem at all.  You can watch more of my African School On Internet Governance Videos here

3. ADIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA: I have always looked forward to visiting and spending time in Adis Ababa after stopping over on my way to Istanbul in 2013. Attending the Forum On Internet Freedom In Africa was a great opportunity to explore the beautiful city. Adis Ababa is a chilled and organized city. The people are so nice, I also observed that Ethiopia is China’s favourite African country, there were a lot of Chinese people there and it felt like they were home. I didn’t get to visit a lot of places but explored one of the malls and visited one of the local clubs in town. I didn’t particularly enjoy the food as I had to almost eat rice on a daily basis because I wasn’t a fan of the ‘taj’. I had fun dancing and interacting with Ethiopians. Please watch the video below. I visited Addis Ababa in September too and the weather was super cold too 

4. NAIROBI KENYA: Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure of meeting and be friends with East Africans, especially Kenyans, so when the opportunity to speak at the WordCamp in Nairobi and Mombasa came, I was more than excited to be a part of it. Nairobi has so many similarities to Lagos, the traffic situation, the daily hustling and bustling, the ‘turn up economy’ and a few other similarities. The city is so well organized and the residential areas are quite a distance from the business areas. If you ever think Lagos hosts the ‘littiest’ night parties or hangouts, well, you might just have to hold Nairobi’s beer. The city never sleeps and the people never get tired of turning up. Just like the weather in Addis, Nairobi was very cold, and it rained every other day. Oh! A funny fact you should know about, Kenyans don’t like rain and they run helter-skelter when it does rain (don’t tell them I told you this).  I enjoyed eating Ugali and fried fish. If you ever want to have a good time out in Nairobi, you should holla at me, so I can give you a masterclass on this. Check out the video from my Nairobi trip below, you may also want to watch the curated video of my trip from Lagos to Nairobi on Kenya Airways here. I didn’t get to visit the wildlife centres in Nairobi because I had very little time to spend there and also because of the rains 

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5. MOMBASA: I have never heard of Mombasa prior to the WordCamp Mombasa publicity. Mombasa is also a county in Kenya, but unlike Nairobi, Mombasa is very hot even though it is surrounded by the oceans. It is pretty much like an Island. From my observation, Mombasa has a very large Muslim population and a lot of ‘white Kenyans’, yes, you read it right, Kenya has quite a number of white citizens. I spent just 2 days in Mombasa and made sure I got the best out of it. Just like Nairobi, the nightlife in Mombasa is also very lit but mostly outdoor. I also took out time to visit the Nyali beach. There are quite a number of private and public beaches in Mombasa. The county also plays host to thousands of Kenyan and foreign tourists during the festive seasons. Check out the video of my time out in Mombasa below:

6. EXPLORING THE LOME AIRPORT (BONUS):  The Lome airport is very beautiful and very well maintained. Though, not as big as Lagos or Abuja airport, it plays host to thousands of travellers on a weekly basis. The airport also serves as a hub to ASKY Airlines, I guess this is why most ASKY flights stopover at Lome. I love airports and always take advantage of every opportunity I get to curate my experiences. So here is a bonus video of my time at the beautiful Lome airport.

Did you get to travel in 2019? If yes, please share your experiences in the comment section, if you are also looking forward to visiting these African cities and others in 2020, I would also very much like to hear from you in the comment box.