Top hacks and tips for off-the-wall practice in Africa

Jessica Nabongo has lived everywhere, from Japan to farming Benin, charting her travels in her blog Catch Me If You Can.  Picture around Instagram/jnambowaJessica Nabongo has lived everywhere, from Japan to farming Benin, charting her travels in her blog ‘Catch Me If You Can’. — Picture around Instagram/jnambowaNEW YORK, Jul 8 — At Bloomberg Pursuits, we adore to travel. And we always wish to make certain we’re doing it right.

So we’re articulate to globe-trotters in all of a oppulance fields — food, wine, fashion, cars, genuine estate — to learn about their high-end hacks, tips, and off-the-wall experiences. These are a Distinguished Travel Hackers.

Jessica Nabongo was innate and lifted in Detroit after her relatives emigrated from Uganda. Since then, she has lived everywhere, from Japan to farming Benin, charting her travels in her blog, Catch Me If You Can.

Nabongo incited her passion into a business when she started Jet Black, a boutique transport association that focuses on enlivening tourism to via a African diaspora — Africa, Central and South America, and a Caribbean.

But she isn’t desk-bound, notwithstanding her clients’ demands; operative remotely, so distant she’s logged 75 countries and counting of a world’s 195.

Nabongo’s airline of choice? Delta. “I customarily do 120,000 [miles] (193,121km) per year, yet this year, as of final week, I’m already during 90,000, so I’m going to do closer to 250,000 [in 2017].”

1. Don’t trust a photos on a hotel’s website when we can do this instead

I use a geotag underline on Instagram — it’s my new process of checking out hotels. You find a hotel that has 4 or 5 stars, and you’re looking during a cinema on a website thinking, This is amazing. But we wish to see what [guests] are posting there.

When we was looking for hotels in Zanzibar, for instance, many of [the geotagged photos] didn’t demeanour like their cinema on their websites during all. People had geotagged them, and we could see it wasn’t a unequivocally good beach.


Home. | When visiting Kampala be certain to stop during National Theater in a city center. It’s my favorite place in East Africa for shopping. Visit my Aunt in box 14! 📷 @lafrohemien #catchmeinuganda

A post common by Jessica Nabongo 🇺🇬🇺🇸 (@jnambowa) on

May 28, 2017 during 2:48am PDT


2. You can always equivocate checking your carry-on, even on a full flight

On a new outing we trafficked between Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Djibouti, Qatar, and Bahrain with my handy-dandy Away bag. 

I adore a proceed it rolls and charges my inclination [with a built-in battery]. Depending on a segment of a universe we are in, [airlines] can be flattering despotic about a weight of your carry-on bag, mostly seeking to import it.

Generally a limit is 14 kilograms, or 30 pounds, that somehow for me is never enough. So when we proceed a opposite and they contend we have to import my carry-on, and we know it’s too heavy, we say,

“Actually, it’s camera equipment, so we can’t check it.” Airlines don’t wish guilt for electronic equipment. It works each time, even if they tell we to check it during a gate. And it is technically true, as we have a camera and a lens in there. It’s usually a whole thing isn’t camera equipment.

3. How to fit dual weeks’ value of wardrobe in a carry-on

The initial thing we do before make-up is write down a list of where I’m going, and we put in a meridian as distant out as we can tell [from continue reports]. we count adult a series of days and count out my underwear to make certain we have enough.

Then we lay out all my bottoms and my tops, afterwards use Flight 001 spacepaks for them. They are positively a best thing on a market. I’ve tested them, perplexing to container though them, and it doesn’t work.

Using them, though, we can customarily get dual weeks’ value of garments to fit in a carry-on bag. we suggest a series 2, 3, and 4 models. And we use a prolonged wallet from Flight 001’s T5 collection to keep my boarding passes and my pass together.


The quickest proceed to strech a Serengeti is by franchised moody to several tiny airstrips within a 5,695 block miles of a Serengeti National park. To strech a @fsserengeti we flew to Seronera. My @loandsons Catalina Deluxe Large was a ideal bag for this week prolonged birthday outing by Tanzania, my 72nd country. 📷 @eltonandersonjr #catchmeintanzania

A post common by Jessica Nabongo 🇺🇬🇺🇸 (@jnambowa) on

May 13, 2017 during 10:12am PDT


4. A two-point devise for scoring a best moody deals each time

Every morning we review moody deals like they’re my New York Times: we check The Flight Deal, Secret Flying, and Airfare Spot.

If there’s a place we haven’t been, we concede them to foreordain where we transport subsequent — like when we went to Bali, since we found a sheet for US$450 (RM1,934) from LA And Chase Sapphire Reserve is a best thing that’s ever happened to me; it blows a American Express Platinum label out of a H2O for anyone who calls himself a genuine traveller.

It comes with a membership for Priority Pass, that is during over 1,000 lounges around a world. Sometimes, when we fly a tiny informal airline, it’s given me entrance to lounges in places like Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. And a rewards complement is insane.

I have not paid for a craft sheet in 4 and a half months since of Chase. The annual price is US$450 per year, yet we get a US$300 transport credit each year, so if we assign a moody from New York to LA? Boom! You get a US$300 credit, so now a annual price is unequivocally usually US$150.

5. Where to emporium in Africa

I am spooky with a National Theatre in Uganda [which also facilities internal artists’ work], since your income goes so many serve with a sell rate of a Ugandan shilling to a dollar.

If you’re going to Kenya, we rarely suggest interlude in to Kampala on a proceed and going there: The craftsmanship is amazing, on all from bags to portion utensils. we adore walking around a city [in America] with one of a bags, that are unsentimental and fashionable.

6. Embrace a sleet — for a right reasons

I always suggest roving during a finish of a stormy season. I’ve finished this in East Africa, a South Pacific, and South-east Asia.

I usually Google “rainy season” and whatever nation to find out. Most recently, on that outing to Bali, we went toward a finish of a stormy season.

The camp is cheaper — I’d guess around 30 per cent cheaper, on normal — and we adore holding cinema though other people in them! we got lucky, as we spent dual and a half weeks in Bali, and it rained a day we arrived yet never again.

And we always transport with this footwear: tiny hunter immature ankle booties from J.Crew, that are easier to travel in [than knee-high Wellington boots], take adult reduction room in your case, and are unequivocally cute. And we have a span of splendid yellow rubber Chuck Taylors, that are waterproof.


Lamu island is partial of a Lamu archipelago. The island has dual categorical neighbourhoods: Shela and Lamu town, distant by pleasing a travel of 30 mins along a waterside. You can also take a H2O cab for about 5 bucks. Shela is a some-more ease purify side, where many of a hotels are. And alot of abounding foreigners buy large swahili towers here that thy reconstruct into a many beatiful pied-a-terre. Lamu city is where it goes down: a charming variety of people and donkeys racing around a tiny alleys. Spend a day in Lamu town, nap in assent in Shela #CharliesTravelsAfrica 🌴🐬🌺 • • • #afrika #africa #Lamu #kenia #kenya #tia #travel #traveling #travelmore #domore #offthebeatentrack #authentic #adventure #avontuur #storytelling #story #wander #wanderlust #travelphotography #vakantie #lustrumreis #reizen #exoticdestinations #tropical #beachlife

A post common by Charlie’s Travels (@charlies_travels_) on

Jul 8, 2017 during 1:15am PDT


7. Take that, St Barts or Ibiza. The best island you’ve never listened of? It’s in Africa

Lamu is a quaint, still island off a seashore of Kenya, that all my Kenyan friends told me about. It’s a brief moody from Malindi, where many tourists go, and like many of a East African coast, it’s mostly Muslim.

I went during Ramadan, so it was additional quiet, unequivocally ease and peaceful. We stayed during Forodhani House, that is unequivocally good for a family or a organisation of friends. But if we wish some-more of a hotel, try Majlis.

The design and enlightenment of a island is a mash-up of Swahili and Arabic influences.

Like Zanzibar, it’s a piquancy island, dating behind to a aged trade between a Arabian Peninsula and India.

So a best partial of a outing there is a food — a best samosas I’ve ever tasted, and we grew adult in a home eating a ton of Indian food, with a Ugandan mom who creates samosas. we already told her, “Mommy, you’ve got to rethink your recipe.”

8. How to clout onions though crying, wherever we are in a world

When we graduated from a London School of Economics and Political Science, we spent an extended stay in Benin, operative with a tiny Italian NGO.

We were vital about 250 kilometres from [the largest city] Cotonou, in one of a world’s lowest countries, so we can suppose what life was like.

We lived with some nuns in a convent, since there was a cavern circuitously where people came for pilgrimage.

The priory was a usually place in that area with electricity and using water, yet not prohibited water.

One time, when we was cooking my possess meal, we was struggling with chopping onions, and my eyes began to water.

One sister, from Nigeria, handed me a matchstick and told me to put it between my teeth, incendiary side out, and it would forestall my eyes from watering while slicing onions.

To this day, we always put a compare in my mouth when slicing onions, and it works like a charm. — Bloomberg

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