Almost sleeping my way to Timbuktu By Sihle Khumalo
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Almost Sleeping My Way To Timbuktu By Sihle Khumalo
Travelling in West Africa by public transport, Sihle Khumalo turned a wish list into an itinerary. The plans for his trip were lean on practical detail, but grand in concept: Visit five World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO for their historical and cultural significance.
Having never set foot in Sénégal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin or Togo, Sihle planned to inform himself about Francophone Africa as he went along. Had he pondered the implications of not speaking French in a part of the world where it is the lingua franca, or what the public transport might be like there, he might have set off less bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
But Sihle is not one to be deterred by setbacks and deadends. His flexibility, irrepressible optimism and robust sense of humour, coupled with an unexpected sensitivity towards his host countries, see him reach all his goals – or almost.
Sihle Khumalo was born in rural KwaZulu Natal and grew up in Pietermaritzburg. An Alumnus of Natal Technikon and Wits Business school, he worked in Durban and, briefly in Richards Bay before joining Anglo American’s Exploration Division.