my African journey: a year later

A year on the road has gone by: 365 days ago, at around this time (6pm CAT), I was boarding a northbound Greyhound coach that whisked me away from Cape Town as the sun was setting on Table Mountain. It was the very first step, and the hardest, of a year-long journey across Africa and inside myself.

Muizenberg, May 12, 2010: the day my journey started

After a brief stop in Jo'burg, in the night between May 13 and 14, I crossed into Zimbabwe, then Zambia, Malawi, from there into Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, back to Uganda via the DRC (unofficially), Kenya, and finally Ethiopia. I had planned to be "home" in Italy by now, in time to celebrate both this anniversary and my 30th birthday on Sunday, May 15, but fate and my willingness to listen to its tantalisingly unexpected calls have decided differently: I've received a job offer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital city, and will base myself here for the near future.

So, my trip is on hold but not over yet, and I feel one day I will carry on from where I paused it, maybe with different means of transport, possibly along a different route. Besides, we all know that it's not the destination that matters, but the journey, and right now, even without moving, I feel like I'm still travelling, still exploring, aspects of life and myself that form that greater journey of my life.

Back to earth, I want to celebrate the year that has been with a selection of images of my trip across Africa from South to North along a somewhat tortuous route: fun, pain, excitement, loneliness, new friends and new love, so many emotions that are hard to describe, and so little space to tell the story properly. More pictures soon on Flickr and, possibly, Facebook.

Postcard from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

The Cape to Cairo pub: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. 

By the pool at the Lake Kariba Inns: Siavonga, Zambia. 

Drinking the ubiquitous Coke: Siavonga, Zambia.

Chipunga coffee farm: near Mzuzu, Malawi.

On my way to the Nyika Plateau: northern Malawi.
Sunrise over the lake from Livingstonia, northern Malawi.

Fresh, hand-roasted coffee: Lukwe, near Livingstonia, northern Malawi. 

On the Tazara train to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

"Drive slowly slowly": Stone Town, Zanzibar. 

Nungwi beach, north-western Zanzibar. 

Lake Kivu: Kibuye, Rwanda. 
Genocide memorial and church: Kibuye, Rwanda.  

Blue lizard: Gisenyi, Rwanda.

No comment: the border between Rwanda and Uganda.

Artist DEStreet with young pupil: Kampala, Uganda. 

Sipi Falls, eastern Uganda. 

Crossing the Equator: Nanyuki, Kenya.

Inside a matatu: Nairobi, Kenya.

Football game: Kibera slum, Nairobi. 

Approaching Lamu by boat, Kenya.  

The road to Lake Turkana, northern Kenya. 

Early morning bunna (coffee) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Hazy cityscape: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Wooden scaffolding: Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia. 

Abba Libanos reading the bible: Lalibela, Ethiopia.

Broken-down bus and rainbow at dawn: Lalibela, Ethiopia. 

Stay Tuned, and Happy one-year-on-the-road.


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