Exploring Niamey in Niger – An Example for African Development – (My 192nd of 196 Country Visited)

Back to French-speaking Africa this time in a west-African nation. It was the peak summer season in Niamey, known to be one of the hottest cities in the world, situated in the middle of the Sahara desert! We landed at night and as soon as the airplane doors opened, we felt a wave of dry hot air invade the interior… Just a preview to what I could expect the next few days, with a thermometer over 47 degrees during the day! In General, my expectations for Niger were totally off target from what I had heard and read through my pre-travel research. It was much better than I had imagined. And here’s why… One of the Poorest Nation in the world… Really? I was on my guard when arriving in Niger since I had read a report of the United Nations ranking Niger 189th out […]

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Exploring Bangui in Central African Republic – My 190th of 196 Country

“Welcome to the Country of Wars” was I told, by my taxi driver taking me from the International Airport to my Hotel downtown Bangui, Capital of Central African Republic. There was definitely something deep about what he said, as from my personal knowledge, this is all I knew about the country prior to coming! Probably this was a reason why I had taken so long to travel here, making it my 51st country visited in Africa, out of the 54 that make the African continent. He then gladly replied: “But finally peace is coming to us”! Among all the United Nations armoured Vehicles and soldiers I could see on the way to the hotel, this positive note was exactly what I needed to hear, as I was ready to begin exploring Bangui. At the time of writing, the government of Central African Republic had just […]

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Exploring N’Djamena in Chad – My 189th Country Visited, 50th in Africa

It was a night I will always remember… I arrived in a heavily guarded airport, where the plane was escorted to the front of the airport by military guards armed with Kalashnikovs. It was an evening of the hottest month of the year in N’Djamena, Capital of Chad, a landlocked country in the very heart of Africa. 41 degrees at nighttime, with pretty much 0% of humidity, and absolutely no breeze… I’ve travelled extensively in Africa but rarely have I been hit in the face with such heat! Simply hard to breath… But still, I was extremely excited to arrive once more in a new country on this beautiful continent that I hadn’t been before. And to make it even more special, I was celebrating my 50th country in Africa which counts a total of 54! So here I am in N’Djamena to learn more […]

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Tangier: The Moroccan Doors to Africa

Tangier used to be an important gateway to Europe (or to Africa) and seems to have caught up on its lack of interest for travelers which traditionally valued more others cities in the country such as Marrakech, Fes, Tetouan or Essaouira. This was the case when I first came to Tanger back in 2003. The city was known for high crime and was not recommended by most book guides out there, considering it a port of arrival rather than a touristic destination. That was the case for me at the time, having spent only 2 days in the cities before rushing south to more “attractive” destinations. However, this year’s visit surprised me. 15 years later, the Medina definitely has been pumped up with restorations to make it more appealing to the touristic eye. Most of the highlights will be around the Medina (historic old town) […]

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World Map of the Best Quality/Price Destinations, Through the Eyes of a Man Who Visited Them All

Using leverage for your dollar in choosing your next holiday destination is super important. People sometimes focus too much on the hype from what they heard of some places without comparing them to others. An example of this is the typical holiday in Maldives or Seychelles as a beach destination. Having visited both a few years ago, I liked the islands but it definitely isn’t’ better than Thailand or beaches around  Mexico and the Caribbean. Seems like all this publicity from Hollywood movies and advertisement in Forbes magazine worked out for them as people rank them as their “dream destination” while they can do a week to Punta Cana or the Riviera Maya for a fraction of the price. Same applies for Mountain destinations… why travel to the typical Swiss mountains or Western Canada, while you can get better quality mountains in Argentina and Chile for Cheaper and […]

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Visiting Angola – One of my Favorite Cities in Africa (my 188/196 country visited)

Angola was my last country of the 5 Portuguese colonies in Africa after Sao Tome and Principe, and I would have come much earlier if t wasn’t for the exhaustive visa procedures that are so hard that I had to wait to my 188th country to pay it a visit. Fortunately for my arrival, I had some contacts to receive me. Some Angolan friends from 5 years ago when I lived in Salvador de Bahía in Brazil. Young Angolan Capitan And what a reception! Thanks to my friend Karina (photo above) who warmly welcomed me with arms wide open, I had the opportunity to see Luanda as locals do it! With a carefully prepared plan she had prepared, Karina and I rumbled the capital from navigated to nearby islands, attending he nieces baptism as well as partying the night away in trendy Luanda Beach clubs […]

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3 Days guide to São Tome & Principe – (my Country #187/196)

Set as a paradise island off the coast of Central Africa, Sao Tome was long on my list of countries to visit ever since I spent time in Cabo Verde back in 2014. Caberverdian friends had told me they considered Sao Tome as their little sister country, and now I must admit that was particularly true. Both are African, both are islands, both are Portuguese colonies and are very reliant on Portugal, as I later noticed with the massive Portugues community on Sao Tome. Downtown São Tome “Viva Brazil” I was told a few times as thats where local saotomeans beleived I was from, guessing from the my accent in Portugues. To me, it was them that felt Brazilian to me… Not because of their accent (sounds much more like Portuguese from Portugal to my ear) but because of their nice little colonial capital. Sao […]

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Top Itinerary to Libreville, Gabon in West Africa – (Country Visited #186/196)

Arriving in Gabon didn’t feel too unfamiliar after being in Brazzaville for a while. Both nations are actually pretty similar economically, being two of the most developed central African Nation and even in Africa. Gabon has one of Africa’s highest GDP per Capita and it was felt as soon as I arrived at Libreville’s shiny airport, definitely an upgrade compared to most African Nations I’ve visited. Gabon enjoyed rapid growth after independence from France, mostly because of its rich resources such as diamonds and gold, but mostly Wood. But most of its economic boom has come from the oil boom which catapulted Libreville into a model African Economy where people from all over the world come to work for a high wage. As soon as I wandered around the city I could see this, with nice roads, clean streets and nice cars all over the […]

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How to Travel to the Republic of Congo – a Wedding in a Great African Family – My Country Visited # 185/196

Ahhh “Brazza la Verte”, as it was called traditionally by the French (literally, Brazza the Green). After Experiencing its big brother the Democratic Republic of Congo last week, I was happy to see this new country that was acclaimed by the French as hosting their most important city in Central Africa, separated only by the Congo river to Kinshasa which was held by the Belgians. From the corniche of Brazzaville, we can clearly see the buildings of Kinshasa with its 9 million inhabitants, making them the two closest capitals in the world. As much as there are similarities between the two countries like having basically the same people, it does feel quite different on the ground. View of Brazzaville from the Sky First, the Republic of Congo is quite definitely the most French-speaking nation I have encountered in sub-Saharan Africa, many people choosing to speak […]

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Travel Guide to Congo DRC (Zaire) – Climbing the World’s Most Dangerous Volcano – My Country #184/196

Not even two weeks since I climbed the world’s biggest crater, the Khartala in the Comoros Islands, it was now time to climb the world’s most dangerous volcano: The Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. My Legs had barely recovered from the pain of climbing the 2300 meters of the Khartala, that I now had to climb to another Summit, this time at about 3500 meters of altitude. But the reward for this second climb was unparalleled; a crater filled with a massive Lava Lake, one of the few visible in any volcano around the world and being the biggest lava lake in the world. View of Goma and Lake Kivu from the Top of the Nyiragongo Back in 2002, the Nyiragongo erupted and rivers of lava started flowing directly towards the city of Goma where I was staying, a 1 million inhabitant city and was […]

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