You might’ve noticed that there’s a new tab on my website, called ‘Countries’! On this page, I have highlighted some of my favorite pictures taken in several countries. I’m very active on Instagram, but due to that activity, most of my pictures are buried under new content and so it can take some scrolls before you’ll see them. On the new ‘Countries’ page, you can now also see older work.
When I traveled through Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal a bit more than a year ago, Diane Audrey Ngako asked me to take over her @visiterlafrique Instagram account, which "documents rare, hidden hotspots on the continent and disrupts tourism", according to Quartz Africa. Later on, she asked me if she could feature one of the posted photos in the book she made: 'They call it Africa, we call it home'. You can see the result of our collaboration on the pictures and video above! I haven't gotten my hands on my copy yet, so I have stolen some pictures photographer Yasmine Ferdjani uploaded to her Instagram story. I took this photo on Gorée Island, near Senegal's capital Dakar. I uploaded the picture with the following caption on Instagram:
The easygoing island vibe, the friendly people spending their day outside, the crumbling down, colored colonial buildings - Île de Gorée is easily one of the prettiest places we've visited during our trip. This nice island has a gruesome history, though. Because the European colons were initially afraid of attacks and diseases on Africa's main land, they used the islands near the coasts as their bases. That's how Île de Gorée, 3 kilometers from Dakar, eventually became an important center for the slave trade. You can still visit the infamous and impressive 'Maison des Esclaves', where you can learn that also the Dutch have occupied the island, and that they're responsible for Gorée's name: they once named it after the Dutch island of Goeree, which stands for 'Goede Reede' ('Good Port').
You'll find more features, collaborations and assignments on the 'Features' page.
When Diane Audrey Ngako asked me if I'd like to temporarily 'take over' her platform's Instagram account, I didn't hesitate for a second. "To inspire you to travel around Africa", she started the @visiterlafrique account and the linked website two years ago. Eventually, she even quit her job as a Le Monde journalist to pursue her African dream - she now runs a big, and still growing platform with 'ambassadors' all over the African continent.
From last Monday until the end of today, I've posted pictures of my trip to Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal on Diane's @visiterlafrique Instagram account, you can check them out here. I'd love to hear what you think - send me a message !
We’re back from our trip to Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal! And if you haven’t already read about it on Instagram: we had three great weeks. Ivory Coast is tropical, in your face, lively and a bit crazy. I loved the 'maquis', little bars where you can drink a beer and eat some fried chicken, and the Abissa festival in Grand-Bassam was more than awesome.
Mali is a lot calmer, but there’s something simmering, right underneath the surface. It’s weird to visit a country at war, but apart from the military checkpoints in and around Bamako, day to day life goes on. It’s a country with a lot of kids - the average Malian is 16 years old - and we spotted a lot of kids. Even in the sparsely populated areas of the country we had encounters with toddlers that looked at us like they’ve never seen a white person before, which might just be the case.
Senegal is a richer country, more controlled, and we had a lot of fun in the beautiful eastern corner of the country, around Kédougou. We’ve also been to Saint-Louis and Dakar, two bigger cities that used to be very important for the French colons, and that’s still noticeable. You can see some of the pictures I took in those three countries above - I'll also be sharing my thoughts on an African HUB-account on Instagram. Follow me on IG to see which account that's going to be and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me an email!
After a cold winter trip to Iceland, after exploring the chaotic streets of India and after visiting Bulgaria for a wedding weekend, I know where the next trip will take me: West Africa! Together with Saskia, I will visit Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal - so if you read this and you know some good places to go, sleep, drink and / or eat, let us know! You can find my email address here.