Mehdi Belhadj, a young Tunisian architect, decided in 2018 that his life was too full of socialites and that he would rather travel than endure the routine of a prosaic daily life. He sold what little possessions he owned, and he left for a tour of Africa.
Touring a continent with a backpack and some cash isn't easy, but Mehdi has been doing it for over two years now. He can be found on the latest news in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We must not kid ourselves, it was not without difficulties. As the adventurer explains, he encountered a lot of obstacles.
On his YouTube channel, his Facebook pages and Instagram, Mehdi recounted his journey in great detail, with honesty and documenting the good and the bad in equal measure. Well, whenever he had access to the Internet.
Three months after his departure, crossing the Senegalese-Gambian border, Mehdi and temporary traveling companions were arrested by a military patrol. After hours of negotiations, careful searching of their affairs and detailed questions, he managed to obtain a visa for The Gambia… 48 hours! Another quarter has passed, we find Mehdi, following a lightning passage through Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal towards Timbuktu. Regardless of the danger of civil war and after the police twice got him off the bus and sent him back to Bamako, he contacted one of his friends who worked for the United Nations, who offered him the passage on their plane to "the city of 333 saints".
On New Year's Day in the rearview mirror, we find the young man crossing the rainforest in the northwest of Côte d'Ivoire, he meets tribal leaders and attends religious rites, he falls asleep under stars and is invited to lunch by villagers. Finally, everything that is most usual in the life of an adventurer.
Six months later, Mehdi calls on those who follow his adventure closely to send him an official invitation to Nigeria so that he can go there from Burkina Faso where he had spent long months finding odd jobs in order to provide for his needs and continue his adventure.
From summer 2019 to date, Mehdi has traveled the Sahel and lived many magical experiences. He was received by a Ghanaian Togbe for Ewe religious festivals as a guest of honor. He crossed the desert in the company of the Malian Tuaregs. He climbed the mountains of Agadez in Niger and stayed in Timia. He celebrated Mawlid (the birth of the Prophet of Islam) with the Hausa people of Nigeria. Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon, the Republic of Congo… Lots of episodes, each one more astonishing than the next. One common denominator, Africa conceals a lot of beauty and generosity as our dear traveler says.