A lot of people believe that Africans do not have an appetite or passion for travel, do not like adventure, and do not like exploring other countries—or even their own for that matter.
In Rwanda, where I’m from, this has been a generally well-accepted belief for some time.
In fact the word for tourist in Kinyarwanda, the language of Rwanda, is Abakerarugendo loosely translated to “one who walks around aimlessly, without purpose”…and in our culture that’s not a good thing!
But more and more people are branching out and while it is true that most Rwandans would rather take a weekend break by the beautiful shores of Lake Kivu in Eastern Rwanda than trek the Virunga Mountains in search of our mountain gorillas.
I’m seeing this myth of non-adventurous Rwandans (and Africans in general) being shattered all around me both from those born and raised on the continent or in the Diaspora.
I am a Rwandan, born in Uganda, raised in Kenya and Canada, lived in Johannesburg, South Africa and I’m now residing in Kigali, Rwanda. I worked on the bureaucratic end of travel and tourism for ten years and traveled a lot as a result.
I do have to admit, traveling on someone else’s money spoils you when time comes to figure out how to live your passion on a very meager budget!
So here I am, trying to do just that.
I'm off to test this myth by traveling around my continent and the world, and will hopefully get other Africans to do the same.
I have two objectives:
first is to travel to as many African countries as I can (political and financial situations pending);
second is to have my feet touch all seven continents. Here I go…