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A Few of my Favorite Photos From West Africa

Some of these have been shared previously, some have not. A handful of them are from my first trip to West Africa in 2005, when I studied abroad in Ghana.

You might want to wear sunglasses, some of these are overexposed.

kids in akwidaa near green turtle lodge ghana

Kids in the fishing village of Akwidaa, Ghana, 2005

Burkinabe girls in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 2005

northern cote d'ivoire

Proof that I don’t only take pictures of children. Northern Cote d’Ivoire, on the road to Bamako, 2010

harmattan in northern ghana

Looking at the sun in northern Ghana during Harmattan, a hazy period from January – March during which winds from the Sahara bring sand and dust, 2005

kids in kokrobite ghana

Near Kokrobite, Ghana, 2005

siporex yopogoun abidjan cote d'ivoire

Waiting for transportation in the Siporex area of the Yopougon neighborhood, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire 2010

Faty on the beach at Lahou-Kpanda, a fishing village west of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 2010

girls in ghana

Anne-Marie and Blessing, my two favorite photo subjects in Accra, Ghana, 2010

girls in ghana

Because one photo of Anne-Marie and Blessing is not enough.

two young girls in togo near kpalime

Near Kpalimé, Togo, 2005

In between games of Ampe, northern Ghana, 2005

danse danse afrique

Bamako, Mali during Danse, Danse Afrique, 2010

niafunke grave of ali farka toure

Boubacar leading me to the grave of Ali Farka Toure. Niafunke, Mali, 2010

sunset on the niger river mali

Fishermen on the Niger River, north of Mopti, Mali, 2010

Sunset on the Niger River, northern Mali, 2010


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{ 24 comments… add one }

  • jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World May 3, 2011, 11:04 am

    Love the pics of the kids. I think your love for that part of the world really shines through these photos 🙂

    • phil May 3, 2011, 5:15 pm

      Thanks Jill!

  • Mark Wiens May 4, 2011, 12:57 am

    Wow Phil – these are incredible shots – pictures that vividly remind me of Africa really make my day! Love the shots of the people and especially those of the Niger River. The second pic of the Niger River just looks crazy, I love how you captured that rolling water!

    • phil May 4, 2011, 11:35 am

      Thanks Mark 🙂 I love your photos from Africa as well, especially those from Zanzibar!

  • Jeremy B May 4, 2011, 2:34 am

    If there was ever an award for best blogger to promote Africa, you would have to be near the top! Love these photos and your posts which focus on an area of the world that is so easily forgotten. These photos show what life and beauty really does exist there!

    • phil May 4, 2011, 11:36 am

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂 Glad to shed some light on a place that is rarely in the spotlight.

  • Jude Aniebona May 4, 2011, 7:40 am

    Very interesting pictures which portrays the level of development in West Africa and the need for the west to help them to achieve some element of development through tourism.This can be done by contributing meaningfully through the development of tourism which can help to at least provide the basic necessities of life such as food,shelter and clothing which is lacking in the area.

    • phil May 4, 2011, 11:51 am

      Thanks for your comment. West Africa is behind on development, but I think a lot of people will be surprised at how fast things are moving in the region and on the continent as a whole. Tourism can be a help of course. As far as the basic necessities, they’ve got that covered. Very few people are without food, shelter and clothing. Take care, Phil

  • Laura May 4, 2011, 3:02 pm

    I love the girls with the flip-flops and the photos of the Niger River. Gorgeous!

    • phil May 4, 2011, 6:06 pm

      Thanks Laura!

  • Roy | cruisesurfingz May 4, 2011, 7:20 pm

    These are simply beautiful pics Phil!

    • phil May 4, 2011, 10:29 pm

      Thanks Roy, glad you liked em 🙂

  • Tijmen May 6, 2011, 3:27 am

    Love the photos of the sunsets on the Niger river, they look great.

    • phil May 6, 2011, 11:37 am

      Thanks Tijmen 🙂

  • Bing May 7, 2011, 2:08 pm

    Hello! I love this blog and your photos, I have traveled to Ghana before and the photos of the children certainly bring back many fond memories! I am returning to West Africa this summer and in spite of, or perhaps because of, the recent conflicts I am determined to obtain a visa to the Ivory Coast this time. I feel like the suffering that is going on over there is not receiving enough attention and I would like to do something to help. The problem is that I do not have contacts over there right now and I want to send my application for a visa through the post office as soon as possible (i leave for Africa in about four weeks) I was wondering if you knew anyone that I could try to contact for reference. How did you obtain your visa while you were there? (If you needed one) I was thinking of just adding some hotel reservations to my visa application if I can’t find a better way. Take care! best of luck!

    • phil May 8, 2011, 10:22 am

      Hey Bing,
      Great to hear that you have been to Ghana and I’m happy to know you will be returning to the region soon. I also might be visiting cote d’ivoire on this trip (I leave this evening for Senegal). I got a visa easily from the embassy in Accra. I printed out a hotel reservation and that was enough. I don’t think you would need to have contacts, but if you need one you could email me at phil dot paoletta at gmail dot com. Where are you flying from and where are you flying to? If you are flying into ghana you could get the visa there. And I’m pretty sure that the ivorian embassy is back in business in Mali. Email me and we can talk about it further…
      B well,

  • Nicole May 9, 2011, 11:49 pm

    Really great pics! Especially love all the smiling kids!

    • phil May 15, 2011, 3:20 pm

      Thanks Nicole 🙂

  • Christy @ Technosyncratic May 11, 2011, 7:34 pm

    Great shots here, Phil! The sunset photo is super artistic, and I love the one of Faty on the beach – the colors are so vibrant!

    • phil May 15, 2011, 3:21 pm

      Thanks! The one of Faty is also one of my faves 🙂

  • Dina June 13, 2011, 11:44 am

    Great photo collection! The Niger River sunset is gorgeous. I hope your eyes are okay after staring at all of those sun 🙂

  • Tony January 2, 2013, 4:08 pm

    Am an African i live in Gambia can i show some pictures on your page how Gambia is like.

    • phil January 3, 2013, 5:59 am

      Ok, Sure Tony, sounds good.

  • Lynn Maverick Denzer January 3, 2013, 1:43 am

    I was looking for indegenous plants and animals of W Africa since I am doing some paintings of gorillas and came across your photos, Very vibrant. You can see some of my work at the above site, though my gorillas are not all there yet. L Mk D

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