It’s local talk time!


We try to get to know the country & culture by talking to the locals. We will try to share the many interesting conversations and “oneliners” with you, to give you a view through local’s eyes.

So, these might not be all facts, but subjective local views!


  • Status is extreemly important.
  • Many gold can be found off the beaten track but police road blocks prevent people from searching.
  • Extreem Islamic terrorist groups might live in the desert therefore police road blocks prevent people from going off the beaten track.
  • Men support the family and often buy houses and groceries for their parents and sisters when not married.



  • At the black market you can change twice the amount of dollars you get from the bank.
  • Dates are polenated by hand.
  • The river Nile hosts crocodiles of 5m long.
  • Most of the women have a hole under their bed to burn wood to keep them warm at night.
  • Most women are not allowed to leave the country without their husband, if the husband is away, most women stay with their families.
  • Most women have their hands painted with Henna when they get engaged. And the top of their fingers painted black when they get married.
  • One week prior to marriage most women undergo a hammam experience every day to become clean and soft for their future husbands.
  • Arranged marriage is not common is Sudan.
  • Unfortunately not many job opportunities are available in North Sudan because most the resources and agricultural land is found in South Sudan of which North Sudan got seperated 5 years ago.
  • Breakfast is served at 9.30am, lunch at 4pm and dinner at 10.30pm.



  • Every boy gets a AK47 when he turns 16, to protect the country and his village.
  • In the Omo Valley many girls do not attend school due to the father being afraid that she won’t marry and he does not get his pension.
  • The Omo Valley is known for the oldest human bones that are found there.
  • Men in the Omo Valley always walk with a stick and a little stool in their hand to sit on. Women sit on goat skin.
  • 1 cow is worth $500
  • A donkey is used for transporting goods and can carry up to 60kg.
  • Lalibela is seen as the 2nd Jerusalem.
  • You only eat and shake hands with your right hand, since the left is reserved for activities at the toilet.
  • In Ethiopia they just celebrated New Year 2009, their calendar is 8 yrs behind the western calendar.
  • The Ethiopian clock ticks with the sun, at sunrise it’s 1 o’clock and at sunset it’s 12 o’clock.
  • 75% of Ethiopian women between the age of 15 and 49, have undergone some form of genical mutilation.
  • Prostituition is openly practised in Ethiopia, who are often students who are trying to get by. In fact, almost all women in bars are prostitutes.
  • In the North, huts are built 2 stories high: people sleep on top, the animals on the ground floor. The heat of the animals keeps the people warm!
  • When people die, the body is carried through the streets covered under a white sheet and buried within the same day.
  • Tatoos on peoples faces and necks tell the difference between the tribes.



  • 50% of the population lives without electricity. We see hydro electrical dam projects, however with the huge draught they might not supply enough electricity for everyone.
  • The current president Kenyatta is trying to fight corruption however there is lack of support from the officials around him.
  • Masai used to hunt Lions and other wild animals to proof their manhood, now they are Lion Guardians and protect the people from the Lions and the Lions from the people.
  • Biggest Refugee camp in the world is Dadaab North East Kenia.
  • 90% of the fresh water in Kenia goes to the sea unused, room for improvement!



  • A farmer generally loses 30% of his crop to wild animals eating or distroying it (mainly elephants)
  • Flowers of the Papyrus plant are used as carpet inside homes.
  • The tusks of a bush elephant are facing to the outside while the tusks of a savanna elephant are facing inside.
  • Unico plant sap is used for glue and the tree as a fench for wild animals, since the only animal eating the plant is a rhino.
  • To define a friendship, the two friends break open a coffee bean, take both one side, make a cut on heart side of their chests, rub the coffee bean in their blood and exchange the beans for life long friendship.



  • The people that work in the “human factory” earn $1.8 per day.
  • Plastic bags are prohibited in Rwanda, hence Rwanda is the cleanest country in Africa.
  • Products produced in foreign countries and imported into Rwanda are allowed plastic packaging and creating huge disadvantages for local companies.
  • Government tells the farmer which crob to grow eventhough it might not be the most suitable crob for the land.
  • Healthcare and education are provided almost for free.
  • After the genocide many woman remained HIV positive due to en-mass rapes.



  • To buy a whole chicken alive it costs you $4.5.
  • A bunch of 100 bananas costs $8.2.



  • Half of the population is younger than 15.
  • To make cafeïne-free coffee, you peel the husk of the bean and let the bean soak / ferment for up to 36 hours, to remove the white layer containing the cafeïne.
  • There is only one kind of tea plant. The kind of leaves picked and method of drying determines the actual type of the tea: oolong, earl grey etc.
  • Aid is the main reason for underdevelopment in Africa.
  • The foreign charities are doing the work for the Malawians, which they are perfectly fine with.
  • Shania Twain is hot in Malawi!
  • Whichcraft forms part of the day-to-day life.
  • A farmer won’t grow a second crop, since he can’t sell it when the NGO’s hand out free food.
  • Malawi is a social dictature. You’re better of not working, because you’re family and friends demand you to share your earned money.
  • Most Malawians don’t believe malaria is caused by mosquitos. Mosquito nets handed out by NGO’s are therefore used as fishing nets.
  • Malawi used to be called Nyasaland, which means land of lakes. The name is chaned to Malawi, which means flame. Did the drought start here?

    Malawian Women 
    (figures 2010-2013)
  • 28% of all women in Malawi do not attend school, besides this 27,612 girls drop out of primary school due to marriage and 4,053 girls out of secondary school.
  • 14,051 girls drop out of school due to pregnancy and 5,597 girls out of secondary school.
  • The main issues related to drop out of young girls are child marriages, unable to pay school fees, sexual violence and a lack of sanitary facilities.
  • On average women without secondary education have 6.9 children and women with secundary education have 2.1 children.
  • Malawi is ranked 8th out of 20 countries with the highest rate of child marriage, by their 18th birthday is it estimated that 50% of the Malawian females will be married.
  • The HIV rate in Malawi as of 2013 is 10.8%. 1.1 Million people in Malawi are HIV+, 950,000 adults of which 58% is women.
  • The rate at which women die during childbirth is one of the highest in Africa; 675 out of 100,000 women die, in high-income countries this is 9 out of 100,000 women.



  • Women run the village.
  • Men can have up to 11 women, and 80 children.
  • Education is often not seen as a value-add by parents, hence many kids don’t go to school eventhough many have the opportunity to do so.
  • People are very friendly, most likely because the 80 different tribes have always lived together peacefully and the country has never seen a cival war.
  • Livinstone however said once: “Zambians are the friendliest thieves”. People don’t see it as steeling, but as borrowing or sharing.
  • Hippos kill most people in Africa. Never walk in between a hippo and the water, since it will run you over with 40km/h.
  • There is always room for negotiations. Don’t try this in Mozambique.
  • Mosi is the most used word in Zambia. We thought because of the many mosquitos, but it is actually called after the indigious name of the Victoria Falls Mosi Oa Tunya.
  • Locals make a fridge using charcoal and water.
  • Almost everyone carries an AK47 around, even “fat women in the supermarket”. “Lady! Please take your finger of the trigger!” We however miss the connection with the low crime levels.
  • It can get above 50 degrees celcius in the Lower Zambezi region



  • Has the largest population of elephants in the world.
  • Give me a “job”, means “I want to earn money”. If you offer them “work”, they won’t take it.
  • If an elephant attacks you, it will always give you a warning (a mock charge). A buffalo just attacks you.
  • If you are attacked by an elephant, just roll a motorbike tyre towards him. As if we carry this in our pocket whilst walking though the bush…
  • You can also just spray musquito spray. For the Dutchies: zal hier het gezegde “van een mug een olifant maken vandaan komen”??


South Africa

  • You’re a real South African if you know the difference between “just now”, “now”and “now now”
  • Johannesburg has been rebuilt 6 times in about 150 years
  • The average age in Joburg is 18