I might not have been to a lot of countries, but for the average Nigerian of my age, I daresay I have done well for myself and I am still pushing.
I have visited and spent a good length of time in eight African countries; seen the borders of four African countries; and the world through the stories of my friends who live in different parts of the world.
As a child, I got restless being in one place for long. It was not until I got into the university that I discovered that that was a pointer to who I was to become later – a “Traveler/Walker.”
I love nature, a bit of wildlife, hiking, mountain climbing (although I have acrophobia), cities, history, and oceans.
In the past, my friends have used varying names to describe me. Some of which include; Wakawaka, Wakajugbe, and Traveler.
Amidst all of these, I found a name that intimately relates to who I am. This name reminds me of my desire to visit 40 countries before 40 and at least one country in every continent of the world before turning 40.
The name is Toniventure.
While in the university, I belonged to one of the world’s largest youth organization. Being a part of the organization exposed me to how much young people strive to see the world and make a change while doing that.
My travel voyage started in West Africa. Being my early trips, I would not say they were my best travel experiences, but going on them taught me how to travel across borders.
West Africa has some of the strictest borders yet people get across them without hassles due to their porous nature. I actually went through Seme border on a motorbike several times without a passport or an ID card.
This makes me think ECOWAS is not a functional organization because what is experienced at the Seme border (the border between Nigeria and Benin Republic) and the Ghanaian-Togo border is totally different from what is portrayed to the world.
Anyways, my voyage from Nigeria through Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast showed me the similarities in culture, behaviours, and practices between these countries – the only difference being the borders used to divide them during the colonial era.
Traveling through the Francophone countries made me wish I had taken my French classes a bit more serious in primary and secondary school. On those occasions, even Google translator could not come to my rescue.
Of worthy note are the francophone meals. They are somewhat light and their love for fish in Ivory Coast is remarkable.
Ghana, on the other hand, always feels like home. Although they speak English, the way they pronounce their words and syllables differ from ours.
In Ghana, I found love, climbed the highest mountain in West Africa – Mount Afadjato, made real-time friends, visited the great Kwame Nkrumah’s memorial park, visited the twin waterfalls – Boti Falls, and also, the highest waterfalls in West Africa – Wli Falls (80 meters high).
I saw history, ate kenkey and banku, and partied a lot. Three times I was involved in an auto accident in Accra. I had plenty of experiences in Ghana. In my next writing, I would share in details places you can visit for tourism and fun in Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.
My second voyage was in East Africa and began from Tanzania. Things were a lot different from my touchdown at Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam. The lifestyle. Culture. Food. My God, the food is totally different. Fattening.
Before I began my voyage, I had an unpleasant experience at Kigali international airport, Rwanda simply because I had a Nigerian passport. I was not expecting it because I was not on the European shores like I was in my previous voyage.
I was made to literally bring out everything in my backpack. I was thoroughly searched in the waiting room. It was a humiliating experience, but I did not let it bother me. Nigerians may be judged by stereotypes but I will be true to myself at all times.
Tanzania was to be my new home for the next one year. I was edgy at the beginning. I fought and resisted change. I found myself complaining and comparing everything with how it was back home in Nigeria. It took me a month to adapt and since after, the experience has been worth every single bit of it.
Some quick facts about Tanzania:
- They speak Swahili as a first language. Virtually everyone you meet expects that you understand and can speak Swahili because of your skin color. This has been hard on me.
- We eat Irish potato chips every day.
- Zebra crossing marks on the roads are functional and respected.
- There are modernized pit latrines here.
- 7 in 10 women you see or meet are endowed with prominent hips and large backsides.
- They are content with life; similar to the Hausa tribe of Nigeria.
- They are patient to a fault and if you are from West Africa, it might be your first turn off but you will adapt.
- Here, drinking alcohol is a way of life. The locally brewed vodka called Konyagi is a must try whenever you visit.
- The Christians and Muslims are united. You would barely notice that there are religious differences here.
- 50km/h is the travel speed limit on the highway and it’s observed by all drivers, making travel hours longer. All vehicles stop moving on the highways at 12 midnight and continue at 6 am. That is, the government disallows night travels.
There is a lot to write about Tanzania… I hope to write again.
In East Africa, I have also visited Great Kenya, Rwanda, which I call “the Europe of Africa”, unforgettable Uganda, and seen the borders of Burundi.
East Africa has shown me that Africa has a lot of pretty ladies. It has brought serenity to my soul. It made me worry less, reflect more, and discover more about myself.
– Anthony Olisa Jr.
About our guest writer
Toni, as he is called, is a dynamic individual who enjoys traveling and humanitarian tourism. He organizes both solo and group adventures.
He is currently an intern with a firm in East Africa and is also setting up his own startup with a focus on global adventures and branding for individuals and firms.
He is a double honours graduate with a degree in Geology and Mining Technology, as well as Civil Engineering.
He is social. Follow his adventures online –
Facebook page: Anthony Olisa Jr.
LinkedIn: Anthony Olisa Jr.
I enjoyed reading this especially as I am curious about and love Africa. I also have a dream of touring through Africa in my lifetime. At least I have begun by seeing Africa through Toni’s lens. His story goes to show that there’s a lot to love and learn about Africa and Africans.
Did you enjoy reading this? Have you visited or lived in any of these countries? What fascinating thing did you learn or can you relate to from his story or your personal experience? I would love to hear your sentiments on this.