top of page

Cinq Mois, Cinq Pays: Finding Answers in Exploring Five African Nations in Five Months

Updated: Oct 4, 2023







#1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you get the travel bug?


Hi! My name is Mochum, a Black French woman. I was born and raised in Paris but my roots are in Cameroon. As my parents left their home country in a quest for a better future, they became my very quintessence of “travellers.”


Due to my dad’s job, we moved countries a few times. As I grew older, we started to travel abroad for holidays and this is really when I started enjoying travelling.


At 20, I pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone and travel alone. I started locally in France; then little by little, I gained enough confidence to travel to further destinations.



#2. What inspired you to pursue your career and how did you get there?


I did an internship during my studies at a bank in budget & controlling which I enjoyed a lot and so I decided to study in that field. After graduating from business school, I started my career in finance but I always knew that I was not going to do that forever.






#3. Please tell us more about your recent travel project of visiting ⅚ African countries in less than 6 months?


When the pandemic hit, I started to reflect a lot on myself, my career and my dreams. Even though I knew that I was not going to work in finance forever, I was not expecting to have such a shift in my life so early. It took a loss in my family for me to decide that I needed a break and explore more on the thoughts I had during the lock-down.


I felt that I needed to reconnect with the continent in a very slow and stress-less way so I looked at my finances and estimated that I could travel for about five months comfortably. I told myself that if I am to relocate to somewhere in Africa, then I should consider a few countries. Then I landed on: 'five months, five countries.'


I started with Senegal, then Ivory coast, Benin, Ghana and Rwanda (eventually added South Africa for my birthday). It was a life changing experience. A slow travel to explore the soft life in these countries and to answer my main and crucial question ‘Could I live and enjoy it in here?


#4. What's your secret to finding awesome black owned holiday stays for your website?


Ironically, Black-owned holiday stays are not quite the norm in the countries I have visited, which is surprising considering African countries.

Instagram is a very rich source of findings; I sometimes write directly to people to ask them for recommendations or just look at specific accounts. Finally, I ask locals when I visit for additional recommendations as well.













5.How did you plan each trip? As you have been experiencing slow travel, what have your learned, loved and disliked in each country?


I did not do too much planning as this was a really slow travel, not focused on tourism/vacation but rather on living an experience as a ‘resident’ if I can say. The only things I had to plan were: finding info about visa, booking an accommodation for the month and buying my flights tickets.


I have absolutely loved this way of travelling honestly, it allowed me to rest, to plan my day-to-day, to exercise, to explore and to meet new people, all of that, with intentions.


I have learned that its essential to take time, to slow down, to listen, to communicate, to clarify in order to appreciate things and people.


Since I was focused on capital cities (or main city) where I have spent most of the time, I’d say I have loved Dakar, Cotonou and Kigali for their architecture and their strong African identity, I have loved Abidjan and Accra for their people and food.


I was not a fan of the food in Dakar, I felt that Kigali and Cotonou were a bit small and too chilled cities and maybe I disliked seeing how Accra is being gentrified.



#6. Do you still feel excited about booking flights for yourself and taking a break from your routine?


Always! I truly love planning spontaneous (or not!) adventures.







#7. What's the one thing you wish someone had told you before embarking on your African travel epic adventure?


Probably that the idea I had of Africa was extremely cliché. That unfortunately a lot of foreigners are abusing and corrupting the governments and people. Many industries and key sectors do not even belong to the people. It was quite a big (negative) shock for me.







#8. What are your top 5 countries to visit & why? What are your favourite activities while travelling?


In Africa, I’d say the five I have visited because they were all amazing in different ways. You will learn about history, ancestral religion/cults, you will see diversity in the people and food as well as many regions to explore for getaways or leisure.


I love granting myself a nice getaway: a bit luxury, maybe a nice view or a SPA experience. I always take time to visit a museum or go to an art show.


Outside of the African continent, I have loved the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Greece and Portugal.






#9. What are you top 3 safety tips for black women solo travelers?


  • One: travel only to “Black-friendly” places

  • Second: avoid saying you’re solo travelling

  • Last: always buy a SIM card with data and share your live location to family.




#10. What are your top 3 tips to travel more in Africa in 2023?


One: If you can, travel while working (if you are a digital nomad), this will allow you to secure cheaper flight tickets/accommodations during low season.


Second: Avoid travelling solo so you can save a lot on your budget (accommodation) and travel more destinations.


Last: If you are not an experienced solo traveler, I recommend you reach out to travel planners, this will truly ensure you better rates, experiences and safety.





You can also watch the Youtube version of the interview here







Fancy help with planning your next black heritage and leisure getaway?






Tanzania, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, Zambia, Namibia, Madagascar, Kenya, South Africa, Sao Tome, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Turkey, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Congo, Nigeria, Benin. If you need help planning your next holidays whether you are a solo traveler, a duo, a group of friends or a corporate retreat. If you fancy a mixture of black heritage and leisure experiences, we got you!



To find out more, email us at: melanintravelsmagic@gmail.com


Or schedule a Zoom Discovery call to find out we could help you plan your next holidays.



WELCOME TO MELANIN
TRAVELS MAGIC!