The Africa You Don’t See In The Media

August 2, 2016

the africa the media refuses to show you

Africa The Motherland

Africa and its culture is incredibly interesting because it is so diverse. A lot of our culture centers around family and tradition.

Each and every African country is a mix of tribes each with their own unique language and traditions. Africa is the second  largest continent and the second most-populous continent which includes 54 individual countries, with South Sudan as the continent’s newest country.

When Africa is featured in the news, the coverage usually focuses on only the negative.

We have all seen the pictures of poverty, the starving children, the run down houses and streets, the illnesses, the fighting.

Never are we shown the beautiful beaches, wealth, landscapes, traditional wear, churches, mosques, waterfalls, national parks……the list goes on and on!

Furthermore, some people have the bad habit of referring to Africa as one big country! *Grrrrr*

Usually, this is what you are shown – Most often not even huts as nice as this:

What you won’t see are homes like these:


Arts & Crafts

Africa Arts And Crafts


Africa has a wide selection of arts and crafts, commonly in the form of  woodcarvings, brass, jewelry and leather.


Traditional Clothing

Africa Traditional Clothing


There are regional, cultural and ethnic distinctions in the various traditional wear which helps express the tribe’s identity. The traditional dress always has it’s own name, and it’s colours are usually bright.

In West Africa, the caftan or boubou has also been widely adopted.

The Boubou can be worn both as formal or informal attire.


Africa shrimp rice


Africans love meat, chicken and spicy food. You can be sure that the dishes you eat are enriched with a base of tomatoes, onions and hot peppers.

A lot of the food also contains starch. I love RICE! Rice with Chicken! Jollof rice is the best thing in the world.

Starchy plants are plentiful and easy to grow, which makes them inexpensive. There is a wide choice of tropical fruit available such as avocado, mango, melons, coconuts, citrus, grapes and pineapple.

Don’t confuse plantains with bananas. Plantains are larger, have a thicker peel and are much less sweet than bananas.


Africa Drums and Music


African music is very captivating, with the drum at its’ center. Drums are played by hand in a loud manner, allowing it to be heard clearly as a solo instrument over a large percussion ensemble.

The roles of music and dance are tightly woven together.

Traditional music is used to help mark the important moments in life such as births, deaths, weddings, and other celebrations.

Many cultures use song and dance to ward off evil spirits, or even pay respects to good spirits, the dead, and ancestors.


Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe


There is so much to see, enjoy, and learn from Africa. Don’t rely on everything you see in the media or read on Google.

There are many people out there who can share their experiences with you (like me)!

give you advice and tips of what to expect, depending on what country in Africa you are travelling to.

Countries In Africa I Have Lived In Or Visited

  • Nigeria
  • Ghana
  • Ivory Coast
  • Senegal
  • Gambia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Tanzania
  • Egypt
  • Libyav
  • Togo
  • Burkina Faso
  • Ethiopia
  • Guinea
  • Morocco

ONLY 14 OUT OF 54! LOL – I wonder if I will ever get to visit all of them.


The Cap – Franshoeck – South Africa


Suspension Bridge - South Africa
Suspension Bridge – South Africa


Africa Zanzibar Tanzania
Africa Zanzibar Tanzania


Africa Sossuvlei
Sossuvlei, Namibia


In Africa you can enjoy modern development, African culture, and outdoor attractions.

Wildlife that you will find nowhere else in the world. Home to the River Nile, the longest river in Africa second longest in the world.


Africa The Motherland

Africa is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.

The second largest continent in the world, Africa accounts for about 14.2 percent of the world’s human population and makes up about 22 per cent of the world’s total land area.

Have you had misconceptions about Africa? Were you able to learn a little about this great continent from this post?

If you want to read this later, Pin this post.

Share your travel experiences, and thoughts about Africa with me in the comments section below.


Africa's development has been hidden for so long! Want to see how beautiful this continent is?  Read more about the amazing continent Africa and all it has to offer.


  1. Reply

    The Truth About Being In An Interracial Relationship

    […] In Africa for example, it is seen as inappropriate to live with a partner before marriage. Parents prefer their children (especially daughters) to live at home even at the age of thirty rather than live with a boyfriend, […]

  2. Reply


    Your pictures are absolutely stunning. Africa has always been somewhere that I REALLY want to explore as, like you said, we don’t get shown much of it. Good luck on your mission to visit all 54 countries

  3. Reply


    I have never been to Africa but you are so right. We often only see the negative things about Africa and the poverty and although I haven’t been there yet, I am 100% sure this is not reality. Shame we look at the continent with these eyes. I would love to go to Africa one day, not sure yet with what country to start with!

  4. Reply

    Swati & Sam (The Tales of a Traveler)

    Africa is definitely a diverse continent.. From wildlife, beaches, nature, culture, art and food. So much to see, explore and savor. Glad to stumble upon ur blog post and know more about the place.

    I always wanted to visit Kenya, Namibia and South Africa.

  5. Reply


    I had the fortune of actually *traveling Africa* – or at least half of the countries, when I encircled the continent from Morocco to South Africa and back to Egypt. The thing that struck me most was the wealth of permanent culture in the shape of great civilizations – from the Akan to the Zimbabweans to the Suaheli to the Ethiopians. That’s a part of Africa I wish more people knew about.

    Happy continued travels!

  6. Reply


    I’m glad I came upon this article. You’re right, selective perception about Africa is very common. Thanks to travel blogs, one can have a more balanced view of world destinations. Looking forward to the colorful houses and the cuisine.

  7. Reply


    Wow! It is a long time since I read such an interesting article. I am from Cameroon and It is sad that main stream medie always portray mostly negative aspects of Africa. Thank you for bringing this out.

  8. Reply

    Kimberly C.

    Thank you for this. All too often we see the not so pretty side of Africa. Just like other countries it has its beauty that we should not overlook. Beautiful.

  9. Reply

    Corinne & Kirsty (@corinnekirsty)

    All the pictures are amazing! I would love to travel to a lot of countries on the east coast. Also, I totally get what you mean. I wrote my master’s dissertation on African Fashion and how its perception is changing in the West along with the perception of Africa and yeah, it stroke me how western media keep quiet so many things. Your fashion is amazing, each country has its own fashion, fashion industry and is a vibrant creative hub! xx Corinne

  10. Reply

    Kennedy Lazar

    These photos are so beautiful! I love that you’re shedding light on Africa and the beautiful aspects of the continent! I had no idea, this was a great post, thanks for sharing!

  11. Reply

    Cee Me Be

    Your photos are beautiful. We love to travel but we have yet to make it to Africa. Thank you for sharing some of the best parts of your trip and a peek into the cultural there!

  12. Reply


    It’s really sad and annoying that the majority of what we hear about Africa from the media are the negatives. I’m Nigerian and I am so proud of it. Our culture is next to none (my opinion). Great post!!

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Hahahahaha! I am right on that with you Esther. I love Nigerian culture, the banter, the food – oh how I miss Jollof rice, dodo, pounded yam,. gosh the list goes on and on for me. The media will always try to downplay the beauty and culture of African countries, but I am glad some people refuse to be deferred by the negativity.

  13. Reply


    That is true… the media Africa is always shown in a bad light. Thanks to travel bloggers everyone gets to see the best part of the place.

  14. Reply


    Thats a great post! I never have been to Africa and I realized while reading that I am having much the cliche version of Africa in my mind; thanks for correcting this a lttle 🙂

  15. Reply


    I left my heart in Africa! I traveled to Senegal, Tanzania, Kenia, Morocco, Tunis, Kenia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South-Africa. I am so happy I can go back to South-Africa next Sunday. It’s one of those places ou can visiit over and over again.

  16. Reply


    Love this post! I’ve also visited around 10 countries in Africa and now I’m back here to visit more. My goal is to visit all of them! It’s funny how all of my friends think that Africa is just a big dangerous, poor, disease infected country when there are so many different countries with lots of things to see.

  17. Reply


    Love this post! Thanks for educating everyone that there’s definitely more to Africa than what the media portray it to be. I love African beats and arts, in particular! I haven’t been there but I’ve been wanting to go! Especially now that I know more people living there! Which is your fave african country? 🙂

  18. Reply

    Ticking the Bucketlist

    Africa has so much to offer…beaches, wildlife, mountains …and most of all warm and welcoming people. I spent some time talking to the Masais in Kenya and it was such an awesome experience. He told us about his family, that he has two wives and both are best friends 🙂 …its a tradition to have at least two wives in their tribe. There is so much to see in the continent …I have been to only 4 countries…so much still left!

  19. Reply

    Soraya @ Hello Raya

    Africa looks incredibly beautiful!! Your list of all the places you’ve visited in Africa is huge and it still only covers a quarter. Incredible how big this country are. You have showcased Africa so beautifully – I love the colourful buildings…and the beautiful arts & crafts…and of course the amazing people. Thank you so much for sharing!

  20. Reply


    From a food stand point, I find lots of similarities between Indian food and African food. There are a lot of use of onions, tomatoes and hot spices. No wonder, the dishes taste heavenly. As for the dance and music go, its extremely lively. Great post.

  21. Reply


    So. This is a standard thing to say. But nevertheless – South Africa, Botswana and Namibia especially are high on my list 🙂 It’s something so different from what I have seen of the world so far. And you just added a bunch of gorgeous pictures to it, path set… and I definitely got a thing for plantains. YUM!

  22. Reply

    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

    Africa is such a beautiful country, so vibrant and full of culture. My husbands family is from Ghana and I would love to visit one day.

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Hi Jemma, yes I could tell by your last name that Ghana was in your family somewhere. I have lived in Accra and it is a great place, I hope you get to visit soon.

  23. Reply

    Punita Malhotra

    Finally…a post that talks of other facets of Africa besides wildlife and Cape Town. Now i have a reason to research further,

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Glad you enjoyed the post Punita, I hope you get to visit soon.

  24. Reply


    Thanks for sharing this one. You are so right in saying this Africa we never see in the media. And I am wondering why? So far, I never planned a trip to Africa thinking there’s nothing there except tension, sorrow and wildlife. But definitely you made me think the other way round. I am going to move these places up my list

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Hi Neha, I am glad you are able to read more about the Africa the media won’t show you. There are so many negative misconceptions about Africa out there that I wanted to share a little light on the Africa unseen so that people can realise what a wonderful continent Africa is.

  25. Reply

    The Full-Time Tourist

    There’s definitely so much more to Africa than what the media covers. It’s important to understand that the media focuses on the negative, the shocking and the disturbing because it’s out of the ordinary- it’s “new” (hence why we call it the news). We definitely cannot disarm those harmful stereotypes without showing that each country in Africa has its own unique culture, celebrations and beauty. It also drives me crazy when people consider Africa to be one country, as opposed to a continent. Great post! (Also 14 countries is pretty impressive! Are you doing individual posts on each?)

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Hi – I will eventually do a post on each but it will take a long time to get through all of the pictures, choosing which ones to use on the blog. Most of the countries I visited and lived in “pre-blog” LOL, but I definitely do want to cover each of the countries and give each one exposure in a positive light.

  26. Reply

    CreativeTravelGuide (@CTGTravelGuide)

    First of all, you have hit the nail on the head! It really bugs me when people refer to Africa as one big country! The media always tells us about the poverty and disease but there are so many beautiful places to visit, explore and admire. Thank you for sharing this blog – It has made me want to visit now!!

  27. Reply

    Sydney Fashion Hunter

    Impressive that you have been to 14 coubtries! I have yet to make it to Africa but when (not if!) I do I will make sure I squeeze in as many as I can. It’s generally seen as an expensive option for Aussies to get to but it looks like it is soooo worth it. Victoria Falls would be high up in my list!

  28. Reply

    Tara L

    I would love to go to Africa I love seeing Elephants/baby ones too. I think they are such beautiful creatures.

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Hi Tara, I really hope you do get to go one day! There is so much to see and do.

    2. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      I think you would enjoy your time there Tara, no matter where in Africa you go. I love Elephants too! They are such magnificent creatures.

  29. Reply

    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    These pictures are stunning, and they really do show a part of Africa that most people don’t see.

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Unfortunately Dannii, the media does a great job at showing only the negative side. I will do my best to try to show more if the beauty of Africa through my blog.

  30. Reply

    Soraya @ Hello Raya

    This is a lovely post and you are totally right. So much in the media posts quite negatively about Africa and it is so sad, because Africa is such a beautiful country. The photos you have posted makes Africa look so colourful and beautiful. You have portrayed it very well and hope it will inspire more people to travel there.

  31. Reply

    Tryphena Wade

    You’re so right. Generally, Africa is not portrayed in a positive light. Many times all we see is poverty, hunger, and disease. And I know many travelers who refuse to travel to the continent because they believe the media hype. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m heading to South Africa later this year for the first time. I’m so excited!!

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      I am glad I was able to show the Africa the media won’t show you through this post, as they choose to only show the negatives, keeping tourists away from seeing this amazing continent. How long will you be in South Africa for? I hope you have a wonderful time.

  32. Reply

    Alex Cote

    Thank you so much for bringing light to this! Honestly, fueled by the media, my perception was always that Africa is unsafe. One of my best friends just got back from South Africa and traveled around. This really changed my perception for me. I hope to visit and gain my own perspective. 🙂

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Hi Alex – I am so glad you are able to see a different side of Africa and hear from a trusted source what a great place it is.

  33. Reply


    Thank you for showing the good side of Africa. It’s so refreshing. I live in South Africa and I agree, Africa is a very beautiful continent.

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Thank you for your feedback Sara. I hope to do more of this in the future. Shed light of the Africa unseen.

  34. Reply


    oh this is far beyond what media depicts africa. I love your pictures so colorful and not the way they (media) portray it. The food looks delicious and they have lovely places to visit

  35. Reply


    Very thorough summary of a massive continent. We have not yet had the pleasure of visiting a country in Africa. It has a lot to offer and we can’t wait until our kids our old enough to properly enjoy a safari. Of course, as you mention there is a lot more to see in the different countries than just safaris so we may be visiting sooner rather later.

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      I think you would love it there no matter where you go. The time you have to spend there will help determine what country you choose. For example, Gambia is so small you can see the whole country in 48 hours or less, so no point in booking a two week holiday. But if you are going to Tanzania, or Kenya, South Africa, then it would make sense for two week trip.

  36. Reply


    Hopefully you will get to visit all 54 countries! 11 is nothing to laugh at though, that’s quite a triumph! Thank you for sharing such an insightful post into the love, culture and art of such a beautiful continent.

  37. Reply

    Ami Bhat

    I agree that the pictures shown on general media are not so rosy. Thanks for sharing your amazing continent with me. Definitely more endearing.

  38. Reply

    Stella the Travelerette

    I think you’ve been to a lot of African countries! I’ve only been to South Africa but I’m going to Morocco in December. I really want to go to every African country some day! I know what you mean about annoying stereotypes about Africa. It bothered me when people asked me if I was worried about Ebola when I was going to Cape Town! Ebola was nowhere near there!

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      You will love Morocco Stella. I certainly did. SO much to do and see. The thing is, I only started blogging over 6 months ago, so I never really captured great pictures on my other trips. Just simple pictures taken with a normal camera or phone as I never had the intention of starting a lifestyle/travel blog. I wish I had kept better pictures, but now I definitely will be. Have you already come to Vienna?
      I remember you were heading this way soon. xoxox S.

  39. Reply


    Agree media portrays negative picture which is very sad. For us Africa has always been a dream to explore wildlife and experience Safari. But after reading through your post we surely wouldnot want to miss to learn more on their traditions, cultures, crafts and ofcourse food 🙂

  40. Reply

    Subhadrika Sen

    This is the wild, beautiful and untouched side of Africa that I always wanted to see. with Africa its always either Egypt and the pyramids or the Southern tips of South Africa. But these places are beautiful and need to explored just as much.

  41. Reply


    I never saw such pictures of Africa nor thought about that. Even though I always wanted to visit someday. I have a friend who went often there, as her best friend was living in Africa. She used to do loads of safaris and from what she was telling us I really wanted to visit. Now that I’m able to do so, which countries you’d recommend to visit in the first place for someone who never stepped once in Africa ?

  42. Reply

    Louisa Mercado (@2livelovelaugh5)

    I’ve always thought of Africa being a beautiful place but the unseen sights you’ve listed here makes it even more beautiful and appealing. There’s so much to the country aside from the safaris. I love how the homes and food are bright and colorful.

  43. Reply

    Sona Sethi

    I always had this stereotype about Africa and thought South Africa is the only safe, secure and hygienic place to visit. Didn’t know about all these beautiful places. Thank you for opening my eyes to it.

  44. Reply


    To be honest, when I think of places I want to travel to, the only country in Africa I have thought about is South Africa. But after reading this you really made me think about it. You are totally right and I should know better, Africa is not just what the media portrays. I really hope I can get to visit lot’s of countries in Africa one day.

  45. Reply


    Wow! What amazing photos you have! I was actually thinking what me and my husband should try next – Arica or South America. He really wants SA, but I am not sure I can agree with him 🙂 I will definitely show him your post!

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Hi Andra, I know a lot of people want to visit SA. I am not sure what your expectations are, but would like to suggest you also consider some other great options such as Namibia, Tanzania, Egypt or Morocco. Lots to see and do in those places too. If you are wanting to do a safari, consider Kenya as an option too. 🙂

  46. Reply


    Many friends of mine visited Africa and everybody came home with wonderful memories and amazing stories to tell!

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      That is great Polly, I am happy to hear your feedback.

  47. Reply


    This is such a beautiful place, you change my perspective about the country, I love their craft and the scenery that you showed are super beautiful and interesting, you’ve got 14, but I have zero, it’s a great blessing already to have traveled on this beautiful place

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      LOL Cykaniki – Africa is a continent and not a country 🙂 Have a lovely weekend.

  48. Reply


    You are so right with your article. Somehow, all I ever see are the negative like poverty. It’s great that you had taken the time to show us a different side of Africa. I love the photos very much and it goes on to show that Africa is not only about desert and heat but about a diverse culture as well.

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Hi Mark and Kate! Thank you so much for the feedback! This is exactly the message I was trying to get across to my readers. Africa has so much to offer, so much land and beauty and we should celebrate that, rather than focusing on the negatives. Every continent has countries where things are not always wonderful and beautiful. I am happy I can project Africa in a more positive light. Wishing you both a great weekend!

  49. Reply

    Komang Ayu

    African musical instruments look simple. I want to hear the music of traditional Africa. may sound very beautiful.
    apart from that I also wanted to see the sights there. From your pictures look beautiful scenery. I like your pictures.

  50. Reply

    Thank you so much for this amazing information about the “unknown” in Africa. I have never been to Africa myself, but I would love to go to South Africa and Morocco.

  51. Reply


    This is such a great overview of Africa. I’ve never been but I’ve always been curious. Your pictures are absolutely amazing.

  52. Reply

    Blair Villanueva

    you are right about negative publicity that these (oligarch) media showing us… maybe because they know how rich Africa is and they just want it to keep beautiful information just for them.. for their own personal sake. I love those colors! So unique 😀

  53. Reply

    Alina Popescu

    Oh, wow, all these photos look absolutely amazing! I’ve always been fascinated with how colorful Africa can be, from the landscape to the arts and the clothing. I want to visit as much of it as I can in the future, but sadly it’s not yet one of the continents I’ve set foot on.

  54. Reply


    Me too… I haven’t been there to this great continent yet. I guess all tropical countries have spicy food, helps tackle the hot weather.
    I love those colorful kaftans, costumes. Great pics.

  55. Reply

    Anamika Ojha

    I have never been to continent Africa but would love to visit South Africa, Morocco and Egypt some day in my life. Thanks for showing the different side of Africa to the world which is so colorful and rich in its tradition and culture! By the way, your pictures are breathtaking!

  56. Reply


    This is just so wonderful Sheri. Well, I have never known Africa to be a small place of any sort. The most interesting things for me, about them are their music and food 🙂
    But from your post, i did learn about their woodcarvings, brass and leather accessories… they look as splendid as their traditional clothing!

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      I am so happy that you were able to learn more about this great continent through my post Sriparna. I appreciate your feedback. 🙂

  57. Reply


    Sheri, you know Africa is still a closed continent for me. I really really want to explore it, but for some reason not daring to go yet.
    We were thinking of spending last winter in Kenya, but I thought that it might not be very safe. Visiting for 2 weeks is ok, of course. But if we were to go there for 3 months, I’d need to be driving alone, walking and shopping alone, and this is where I didn’t feel like I would be safe.

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Thank you for sharing this with me Veronica. I would like to know what makes you feel like you will not be safe in Kenya? Or in another country? Is it things you have hear din the media, or experiences from people who you know that have been there?

      Also, do you feel that way about countries in Africa only, or other countries on other continents? I am curious to hear your thoughts on this.

  58. Reply


    I’ve only briefly been to Morocco, but would love to explore more countries in Africa. It’s always good to get a better perspective for regions we don’t know much about – especially since Africa is so huge and diverse! I hope I get to visit someday!

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      I really hope you get to go to another country in Africa Evanne! I think you would love it. I had a great time in Morocco and in other parts of Africa.

  59. Reply


    Africa is a very interesting place. So far I have visited 8 countries in total. This continent never seized to amaze me. Their art, food and Unesco heritage sites as well as its history are interesting. I’m going back next week. Will be doing Rwanda & Uganda and I’m very excited.

    1. Reply

      Sheri @ A Busy Bees Life

      Oh that is so lovely to hear. I am happy you have enjoyed your trips through Africa. Looking forward to hearing about Rwanda and Uganda! Thanks for sharing this with me Lance!

  60. Reply

    Jen Morrow

    Very insightful for arts, food, and culture of Africa. It is absurd that the news and people refer to Africa in such general terms, things that would never be generalized for South America or Europe. I honestly think most people have no idea that Africa is a continent and not ONE country. Good explanation.

Your Thoughts Are Welcome ~ Join The Conversation!

%d bloggers like this: