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The Africa the Media Never Shows You

If you’re on Twitter, you may have seen the trending hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou.

The campaign was started by Rachel, a 17-year-old girl from Ghana. Rachel was tired of only seeing the negative aspects of Africa portrayed in the media, she said those of “poverty, ethnic wars, and the disease”.

She also went on to say “We also want to show people that Africa isn’t only animals, jungles and safaris. We have amazing skyscrapers, hotels, shopping malls and much more.”

Following the launch of the campaign, the BBC got in touch with me to ask me my thoughts on the subject, and to say I was happy about this is an understatement. This whole blog began because I wanted to show people the Africa I know and love, so to be recognised for that and be asked to share my thoughts was probably the highlight of my blogging life so far!

To show my support for the campaign, in my own small way, I just wanted to share a few of my favourite #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou photos. Some you’ve seen before, some you haven’t, but either way, I hope you find interesting, and you never know, some may even surprise you.

Uganda

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Smile.

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Every afternoon, we joined the teenage girls in the village for a game of netball. They ran rings around us!

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Travelling light.

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The Nile.

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We made some friends during a little walk through the village.

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Africa has some of the best spots for white water rafting in the world. Not for the faint-hearted.

Kenya

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My friend George. He asked me how many wives he could have in England. I said one and asked how many wives he had. “I only have one wife. One is enough for me!” He said with a roll of his eyes and a smile.

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Crazy (unedited) skies over Mount Suswa.

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Kuzuri Beads in Nairobi, one of the many social enterprises popping up all over Africa!

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The prettiest little campsite in Nairobi!

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Jeremiah helping me to cool off whilst we were hiking Mount Suswa.

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Two Women of the Samburu tribe deep in conversation at the Umoja Women’s Village, a refuge and social enterprise in Samburu National Park.

Tanzania

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East Africa is famous for Nyama Choma (barbequed meat – often goat).

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The road from Nairobi to Arusha. Purple jackaranda trees and Maasai blankets add some colour to the otherwise neutral pallet.

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Maasai colours.

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View of Dar es Salaam from my (very lovely) hotel.

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Beautiful skies over the Ngorongoro Crater rim.

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Sailing into Dar es Salaam fish market in style.

Zanzibar

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Stone Town sunset.

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I LOVE this photo of a group of women, taken by my friend Lisa. The colours, the light, the backdrop! Beautiful!

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Dinner on The Rock.

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Crystal clear waters full of stars.

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Talent, talent everywhere.

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Zanzibar pizza, tastes better than it looks.

Malawi

Zambia #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYouHigh Tea at The Royal Livingstone Afternoon Tea ZambiaHigh Tea at The Royal Livingstone (36)High Tea at The Royal Livingstone (2)High Tea at The Royal Livingstone Afternoon Tea Zambia

My friend Godfrey “The Boy Who Flies” doing a Ted Talk in Lilongwe, Malawi.

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The older lads in school took a shine to our Book Bus volunteers who were of a similar age. Look at those poses!

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Another day, another beautiful sunset over Blantyre.

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Who needs a Playstation when you’ve got a tyre, a stick, your best bud by your side and Lake Malawi on your doorstep.

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Braiding my hair, possibly the funniest and best idea ever.

Zambia

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Happy times when the Book Bus comes to town!

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I love this photo of my friend Kelly. The kids said they didn’t think she would be able to ride a bike. She proved them wrong.

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On a tour of Livingstone with Local Cowboy Cycle Tours, a social enterprise that supports the local community. Evidently in a pair of see through leggings.

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Enjoying a spot of High Tea at The Royal Livingstone.

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Stocking up on Cadbury’s Top Deck at the local supermarket. Why don’t they sell it in England?????

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Curious kids.

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Just because people live traditionally doesn’t mean they don’t embrace modern technology.

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A kid with skill and imagination.

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The Royal Livingstone – not too shabby for my taste.

Botswana

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Everything they say about African sunsets is true.

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I tell a lie, doing this with orange peel was the funniest thing that happened in Africa.

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The untamed, ever-changing beauty of the Okavango Delta.

Namibia

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A non-guided tour through the Mondesa Township in Swakopmund, Namibia. We bought some food off these lovely ladies and drank in the local pub (shebeen). Great way to spend an afternoon.

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Learning some new moves, dancing to Herero music in said shebeen.

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I love this picture my friend Ali took of Dune 45, Sossusvlei, Namibia. Namibia is an epic destination with unique and beautiful landscapes.

South Africa

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Oh Cape Town, my Cape Town.

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Mr Pietersen and the Guys at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town.

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Hostels come with a view in South Africa.

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Wine tasting in Stellenbosch – the aftermath. The wine was good, as you can probably tell!

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Sexy Camps Bay!

Ok, I can’t resist, just this one animal pic…

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I know, I know elephants are animals, but this is NOT an everyday occurence, so I couldn’t leave this one out!

Have you been to Africa? Was it like you see on the news?

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About Author

I'm a travel blogger and tour operator with a passion for Africa travel. I love the great outdoors, going on epic trips around the world and helping others travel!

22 Comments

  • hassan
    August 4, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Memorable. You work for bbc? Your pic on bus have a soft confusing.
    I had a suggestiin for working in Africa but beacuse of my condition I couldnt accepting.

    Reply
    • Helen
      August 4, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Hassan, no they just asked me for an interview.

      Sorry, what do you mean by ‘Your pic on bus have a soft confusing.’ ?

      Shame you couldn’t work in Africa, it’s a beautiful continent, tough at times, but always amazing!

      Reply
  • Tracey
    August 4, 2015 at 8:04 am

    What beautiful memories, there really is so much more to Africa than poverty and crime. There is a spirit and vibe about Africa that few other places have, and unless you have been you will never understand.

    Tracey
    http://www.journalofacitygirl.com

    Reply
    • Helen
      August 4, 2015 at 8:59 pm

      Thank you Tracey! Yes, lots of beautiful memories here. A lifetimes worth! Thanks for taking the time to read!

      Reply
  • Arianwen
    August 4, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I have so much love for this post! I need to go back to Africa. Tanzania surprised me in so many ways.
    Arianwen recently posted…Top 5 Yorkshire WalksMy Profile

    Reply
    • Helen
      August 4, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Aw thanks Ari! You definitely do! Right up your street adventure lady! 🙂

      Reply
  • Chanel | Cultural Xplorer
    August 5, 2015 at 3:01 am

    I love your photographs and I desperately want to see more of Africa in the near future 😀
    Chanel | Cultural Xplorer recently posted…Layover Guide: 10 Hours in Manchester, EnglandMy Profile

    Reply
    • Helen
      August 5, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks so much Chanel! 🙂

      Reply
  • Esther
    August 5, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Love this post!! It’s shows the many faces of the continent. The touristy and not-so-touristy.
    I went to South Africa for the first time last years and I’ve never fell for a country as much as I did for this one. Can’t wait to go back.

    Reply
    • Helen
      August 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      Thank you Esther! I’m lucky that I have seen so many sides to Africa! I’d love to go back to South Africa too!

      Reply
  • hassan
    August 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    * Malawi.The older lads in school took … *
    It seem s your shadow on wall in first seen for me.
    You alive another possitive live in guys and its need a big prsonslity and you have it Helen.

    Reply
    • Helen
      August 5, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks Hassan!

      Reply
  • Alyssa | Adjust Your Focusâ„¢
    August 5, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    So great you were able to experience so many places in Africa! I went to South Africa in 2013 and Morocco this year. Loved both and can’t wait to return and visit more countries. Africa is truly diverse, unique and beautiful. Fully support what the campaign is about, it is very true. I have been thinking about doing a similar post like you did, I’ll have to get on that. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Helen
      August 7, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      Thanks Alyssa! I’m really lucky to have spent so much time in Africa, which has enabled me to get outside of the usual tourist spots.

      I visited Morocco for the first time this year, and South Africa back in 2009. Loved both! I’d love to go back and see more of each of them though. A few weeks wasn’t nearly enough to experience both in depth!

      I look forward to reading your post! 🙂

      Reply
  • Pauline
    August 7, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    I really really loved this post. Those photos are beautiful! They show a first-hand experience and a side of Africa that we don’t otherwise see from the media. Thank you for sharing. I have not been to Africa, but it’s on the list! Cheers!
    Pauline recently posted…Experiencing ABBA: The MuseumMy Profile

    Reply
    • Helen
      August 7, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Thanks Pauline for the lovely comment! I say this to everyone, but you need to go. It’s such a great place to travel. I think it’s becoming more popular these days!

      Let me know if you do go!!

      Reply
  • mable
    November 4, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Love, love your pictures and glad to see you had great time in Zambia! The African continent you call it, I call it home! Enjoy your travels as you explore this beautiful continent.

    Reply
    • Helen
      November 6, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Thank you Mable! It is a beautiful place with beautiful people! 🙂

      Reply
  • Agness of a TukTuk
    January 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Love these photos and bright colours! Especially Maasai.

    Reply
    • Helen
      January 9, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      Thanks Agness! Hope you and Cez are well! 🙂 x

      Reply
  • Gabriela
    February 16, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    I love your pictures! Do you mind if I steal this post idea? ? I’ve traveled in ten different countries in Africa, and I’m actually in South Africa right now, planning my next epic overland trip across the continent! I also love traveling in Africa, and it’s such a shame that so many people are scared to travel there.

    Reply
    • Helen
      February 16, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      Sure, go for it! More people travelling to Africa is good! 🙂

      Reply

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