GWR: Nigerian traveller to tour 54 African countries by road, sea
A Nigerian travel enthusiast, Ileri Babalobi, is set to visit all 54 African countries via road and sea travel in an attempt to becoming the first African to complete such a feat, and setting two Guinness world records in the process.
The 31-year-old has visited all the 36 states of Nigeria, all the 16 regions of Ghana, as well as over a dozen African countries.
According to the travel itinerary, he will visit 48 African countries on the road by public transport and 6 island countries by sea. The attempt, which is titled “Naija to the World,” is aimed at showcasing the resilience that Nigerians are made of and also use the trip to galvanise support for the Nigerian Red Cross. At the borders of each country, he will take a picture with the Nigerian flag.
“The Nigerian Red Cross does so much good work for Nigeria. I’ll be raising awareness for funds for the Nigerian Red Cross at every step of the trip. I fell in love with this country when I visited all 36 states, and I consider myself a patriot. I’ve always wanted to do something Gratis for Nigeria, and I found an opportunity by combining multiple passions. The Red Cross also has a track record of effective charity” Babalobi said, giving an insight into the travel expedition tagged, “Naija to the World. “
Ileri Babablobi who started travelling shortly after appearing on the Game show ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ and winning a million naira, said he chose to spend his resources on travelling because he wanted to explore other people’s cultures and to satisfy his curiosity about Africa and Africans.
“I am a travel enthusiast because I love seeing new cultures and how people live. Even before this attempt, I have been to all the 36 states of Nigeria, and when I lived in Ghana, all the 16 regions of Ghana as well. Additionally, I’ve been to over a dozen African countries, and my last road trip stretched for three months – July to October 2023, where I visited 10 African countries”, he said.
Ileri would also be promoting the Borderless Africa campaign by the NGO , Africans Rising.
Under the ideals of the borderless Africa campaign, he believes there should be a deeper brotherhood among Africans, and Africans should be able to easily travel from one Africa country to another.
“It’s a pity that Africans have to pay expensive visa fees to visit most other African countries. I look forward to a future where most of the barriers to migration for Africans within Africa are removed.”
While calling for private and public organisations as well as the government to support his expendition, he noted that the voyage will take about 9 months, spending 3 or 4 days on average in each country and visiting the tourist sites and interacting with the culture of each country. He added that the adventures of each day would be posted on YouTube. The “Naija to the World” expedition is scheduled to start in March 2024.
Ileri Chukwuemeka Babalobi, an indigene of Osun State, holds a degree in psychology from the University of Ibadan. He was born in Enugu and grew up in Northern Nigeria before moving to Ibadan as a child.