Originally posted by Essence Magazine – K. Natasha
All weekend long, we’ve dressed in African garb, Dashikis, and Ankara prints to “travel” to Wakanda after being inspired by Marvel’s blockbuster Black Panther film. Though fictional, Wakanda, the African kingdom ruled by T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) in the film, draws inspiration from other beautiful countries on Africa’s continent. It felt like us, and it inspired us more than ever to want to dig deeper into our roots, all of which are set in this beautiful continent.
Although we are unable to visit the fictional location of Wakanda (sorry guys!), Tiffanie Anderson of Away to Africa —a destination management company dedicated to providing guided, cultural travel experiences throughout select countries in Africa— recommends three amazing countries throughout Africa which inspired the clothing, jewelry, languages, and culture of the Black Panther movie, for you to visit.
South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world as it is located on the southernmost tip of Africa. From unforgettable sunrises on the ocean overlooking Table Mountain and terrains in Cape Town to the bustling city of Johannesburg to the harbor city of Durban, there’s something to please every palate in South Africa. As the home of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and the Soweto uprising, you’ll not only experience breathtaking views, delicious food, best in class wine tours but explore cultural heritage like none other in this world. To top off your “Wakanda” like journey, no trip to South Africa would not be complete without learning of the various tribes throughout South Africa including Xhosa, Sotho, Hlubi, and a trip to the Zulu nations of Shakaland where you have the opportunity to dance, dine and engage with Zulu natives.
Ghana, formerly known as the “Gold Coast,” is conveniently located on the West Coast of Africa and is home to countless breathtaking adventures including walking throughout a tropical rainforest on a tree-top canopy one hundred feet in the air and eating and dancing on the beautiful Bojo or Labadi Beach of Ghana with fellow Ghanaians. Accra is the sprawling capital of Ghana which boasts of beautiful beaches, traditional markets and monumental sites such as the Kwame Nkrumah Park Mausoleum. Traveling throughout Accra’s busy streets will provide a sense of Africa’s traditional customs as well as the vision of Ghana’s new modern generation. This balance of tradition and youth is perfect for your expedition throughout Africa’s former Gold Coast.
Ethiopia is located in the ‘Horn of Africa’ along the northeast region of the continent and contains more than 70% of Africa’s mountains. Ethiopia, also known as the Cradle of Mankind, is home to the oldest humanoid on earth, the ancient Aksumite Empire, Ark of the Covenant, and countless historical museums and churches including Debre Birhan Selassie I Church. Addis Ababa, which means ‘New Flower’, is often referred to as the ‘Political Capital of Africa’ as it is the headquarters of the African Union. The flourishing capital of Ethiopia offers a variety of authentic restaurants, theaters and the burial grounds of Emperor Selassie I. Traveling to Ethiopia serves as the gateway to all history lessons and books documenting the history of this amazing country, and you will have the front row seat, experiencing this joyous cultural ride.