21 African countries, 21 fun facts

I have been to 21 of the 54 African countries I hope to visit before my 54th birthday.

As you probably know (if you follow me on social media or have seen my posts on your timelines) I would like to visit all African countries in my lifetime. There were 54 independent countries and island states when I made this decision in 2016 (it is still the case today :)) so I challenged myself to visit them all before my 54th birthday in 2046. Thus was born the tag #54before54 that I use to keep track of the places where I have been on social media.

Read in this post 21 fun facts about my travel and life experience in African countries.


21 African countries, 21 fun facts

I was primarily raised in Cote d’Ivoire.

My mother’s family is from Cameroon.

I visited Egypt in the 1990s.

Like Fela Kuti and Wole Soyinka (among others), I am originally from Abeokuta (the site of Olumo Rock) in Nigeria.

My last “trip” to South Africa was in 2016, when I had a layover in Johannesburg on my way from Dar es Salaam to Lagos.

I don’t remember anything about my trip to Namibia as a kid. (This more of a sad fact, I know…)

Between 2003 and 2008 I lived in Tunisia.

I went to a wedding in Benin.

I sang in a choir in Morocco (when I was in school in Tunisia).

Most of my closest/ best friends are originally from Ghana.

I traveled to and through Togo during road trips from Accra to Lagos.

I was a Global Health Fellow in Tanzania between November 2015 and February 2016.

My first ever business trip was to Nairobi in Kenya.

In Liberia I drove through the largest rubber plantation in the world – Firestone National Rubber Company.

I went zip lining in Mauritius in 2016.

I recorded radio jingle messages in Hausa and Zarma in Niger although I cannot speak those languages. (By the way Niger is one of my Top 5 Trips of 2017).

Ethiopia is on the list because changes to the Ethiopian Airlines flight schedule turned my layover in Addis Ababa into a stopover last year.

I bought some of my favorite pieces of ankara/ kitenge (“African wax print”) in Congo Brazzaville.

My dad and I stayed in the same hotel while we were in Rwanda for work at the same time last summer (and it’s probably the first time he realized that I am an actual adult now).

I had never been to Senegal until I moved here in August 2017.

I wrote the most popular (in terms of views) post on my blog in Conakry, Guinea. (Read it here).


PS: I shared details about the #54before54 goal here. You may also check my page on Instagram and/or features in Irin Journal and Visiter L’Afrique for more photos and information on my experience in Africa.


What are some fun facts about your travel and/ or life experience in Africa?

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  1. 29 January 2018 / 9:38 am

    This is absolutely amazing! I can’t wait till you visit them all. I have done lots of travelling but not Africa, but I would love to see Kenya and Uganda.

    • 29 January 2018 / 6:03 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing these encouraging words! Where have you been so far? Where would you like to go this year? I hope you’ll get a chance to visit both Uganda and Kenya at some point and wish you exciting travels until then!

  2. 27 January 2018 / 6:30 pm

    21 out of 54! What an achievement lady! To say I am envious of your vast African experiences is an understatement. I have only ever been to Ghana. I have been four times my family is from there). Would love to visit hubby’s family in Nigeria , and other countries such as Mozambique, Mauritius , Morocco and Namibia

    • 29 January 2018 / 12:56 pm

      Thanks, Madeline. Traveling (and living) in Africa is not always affordable, feasible or pleasant so I cherish positive experiences and I’m happy to share them to encourage others. It’s wonderful that your family is from Ghana – GH is one of my favorite countries! Where do you usually stay? I hope you’ll get a chance to visit the places you mentioned – especially your hubby’s (and my :)) home country! x

  3. 27 January 2018 / 11:21 am

    Wow 21 countries is a lot! So cool that you’ve got the chance to visit all of these places and had such cool experiences! I mean singing in a choir in Morocco? And zip lining in Mauritius? I’ve never been to any country in Africa before but I hope to one day!

    • 29 January 2018 / 6:05 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing these kind words! There is so much to see and do all over Africa… I hope you’ll get to visit as well and wish you exciting travels until then!

  4. 26 January 2018 / 11:27 pm

    I’ve only been to two African countries outside of Nigeria – Ghana & Benin Republic – a sad fact that I hope to change in the coming years. Living in the U.S doesn’t exactly help with that. Haha. Will definitely be referring to some of your posts for guides.

    I cried and refused to get on the walkway at Kakum National Park in Ghana when I was about 8 or 9.

    In JSS2/Year 8 my classmates and I spent a week in Cotonou as part of a school trip. I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I could have but I did enjoy learning and using French!

    • 29 January 2018 / 1:08 pm

      Thanks for being a loyal reader of the blog (<3) and sharing your experiences, Tiese. I actually LOL'ed but, tbh, I couldn't do the walkway in Lagos as an adult so I too would have cried in Kakum at 8 or 9... Would you get on the walkway today if you had a chance? And you're right - it's not easy to travel to (or in) Africa... I hope things will change as more people start showing interest in traveling on the continent...

      • 30 January 2018 / 3:47 am

        Yass! No worries love. I enjoy your space!

        LOL at myself too tbh when I think about how hard I was crying. I definitely would. I’ve been on a few walkways since then, though not ones that long. Hoping for change too and saw via the tweet you tagged me in that that’s on the horizon so… fingers crossed!

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