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Winnie Rioba is a Kenyan travel blogger who’s been exploring Africa since 2016. She has been organising  “All Ladies” themed trips in an effort to bring together women that love traveling but are afraid of taking up solo travel independently. Follow Winnie’s blog: www.justrioba.com

What’s on your 2020 travel bucket list?

I’m planning to go on a couple of solo trips while networking with travellers. The intention is to focus on underrated destinations in Northern Africa and Eastern Europe.  However, a large percentage of my time will be dedicated to hosting  girls’ trips to different parts of the African continent. From hiking mountains in Central Africa, hiking  dunes in Southern Africa to catching a break by the beach. I have tonnes of exciting experiences lined up for 2020.

What travel lessons did you take out in 2019 and what do you hope to start doing/ do differently this year?

2019 taught me a lot about sustainability and responsible tourism. I now avoid plastic straws like a plague and I  recently purchased a reusable water bottle. Moreover, I have incorporated some habits into my life that reduce my carbon footprint.

My passion for animal welfare has sprouted up . For the longest time, I was not aware of the cruelty animals are subjected to when pleasing tourists. Going forward I will be avoiding activities such as swimming with dolphins that are not in their natural habitat. Other examples of animal abuse include: riding elephants, walking with lions and selfies with tigers. Before taking that photo with an animal for the gram,  I always ask myself if I am doing it at the expense of this animal.

 

What’s your advice on achieving Work and Travel balance?

If you have the typical 8 am to 5 pm job, book your leave days around public holidays such as Easter Weekend, Madaraka Day or  Mashujaa Day. I recently published a thread on Twitter expounding on how a Kenyan can use 10 of their leave days to travel for about 21 days through-out the year.

Another tip is to travel locally one weekend in a month or bi-monthly.  We have 47 counties in the country. How many of these have you explored? Kenya is home to stunning beaches, unlimited hiking trails and diverse cultures. Be a tourist in your own country.

What do you think will be Kenya’s / Africa’s favourite travel destinations this year?

I feel like Rwanda and Ghana are going to be Africa’s top destinations in 2020. It is amazing to have “Visit Rwanda” as the official Tourism partners of the Arsenal Football Club. Aside from being declared as one of the safest and cleanest countries in Africa, every single nationality can get into Rwanda visa free or visa-on-arrival basis.

Ghana blew everyone’s mind this past December thanks to the Year of Return which saw the successful launch of  Afro Nation and Afro Chella. The theme in 2020 is titled “After the Return” and I reckon those who couldn’t make it will not want to miss out again this year. Ghana will definitely top the travel charts in 2020.

Some of the travel highlights you had from your trips in 2019?

One of my best highlights was inspiring African women to travel with me. The most memorable moment was when they bungee jumped over the Victoria Falls.

Other highlights include Paragliding in Cape Town, Attending the Chale Wote Festival in Ghana, Google translating my way through Francophone countries in West Africa (particularly loved Côte d’Ivoire)  and Road-tripping across South Africa. I explored 6 provinces in South Africa. The garden route blew my mind.

What notable travel trends should people look out for in 2020?

Sustainability travel will shoot up. We have a long way to go but I appreciate the fact that travellers are being mindful of how their travels impact the environment. Most people will opt to travel to underrated or off-the-beaten-path destinations. Over tourism is not only harmful to the environment but it also makes destinations super expensive. Travellers will be choosing less crowded but affordable destinations.

Similarly, people will prioritise  traveling to visa free destinations to avoid the hassle that comes with applying for a visa.

 

 Your parting shot:

I’ll echo what Debbie, a wise traveler once said: “Travel because Money returns but time doesn’t “

 

Winnie Rioba is a Kenyan travel blogger who’s been exploring Africa since 2016. She has been organising  “All Ladies” themed trips in an effort to bring together women that love traveling but are afraid of taking up solo travel independently. Follow Winnie’s blog: www.justrioba.com

 

Comments:

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    1 February 2020

    Very inspiring sustainable tourism for learning and scale up.

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