An adventure between the Hausa Emirates of northern Nigeria and the eccentric courts of the Fulani theocrats, in an evocative ‘African feudalism’ almost unchanged – albeit entirely contemporary – since the Jihad of dan Fodio in the early 1800s, with the creation of the Caliphate of Sokoto.
A route that was unthinkable until a few years ago, when security was affected by the attacks of the Islamist group Boko Haram, but which has seen a marked improvement in recent times, also confirmed by the indications of the British and French chancelleries.
The journey will wind its way through the Emirate-states of Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa and Bauchi, where the reigning emirs will receive us – not without strict ceremonial protocol – amidst the characteristic royal palaces, with their complex traditional Hausa geometries. Here you will witness the sumptuous Durbar horse parades, where courtiers flaunt their turbans and big boubou, with intense colours and rich embroidery, while the horses put on their best vestments, to pay homage to rulers and guests, during Muslim celebrations or on special occasions.
Not to be missed are the shows of the Gadawan Kura acrobat-soldiers, known as ‘hyena men’, admired and feared by the local population for their magical powers, who train hyenas, pythons and baboons, staging frenzied rituals where mothers ‘feed’ their newborn babies to hyenas, to mystically protect them and make them stronger.
Characteristic events will also be a street boxing match, a traditional Hausa sport called dambe, and the Fulani sharo ceremony, a rite of passage to adulthood, in which young men must prove their virility and courage by undergoing flogging.
Finally, to crown this immersion in the most authentic and ancestral Africa, the hypnotic dances of the Bororo during the annual Gerewol festival, a veritable male beauty contest.
Single departure 2023, accompanied by Leonardo Francesco Paoluzzi.
Day 1 : Friday 06 October 2023
Outward flight/Kano (KAN)
Days 2-3 : from Saturday 07 October to Sunday 08 October 2023
The Emir’s Palace, the fortified gates and the city museums.
Day 4 : Monday 09 October 2023
The meeting with the Emir of Zaria, the glittering palace of a thousand colours and the historic mosque.
Day 5 : Tuesday 10 October 2023
The emirate of Jigawa where you can watch traditional Haousa boxing.
Day 6 : Wednesday 11 October 2023
The Durbar horse parade and the Fulani sharo ceremony.
Day 7 : Thursday 12 October 2023
The Gerewol of the Bororo nomads and the encounter with the ‘hyena-men’.
Day 8 : Friday 13 October 2023
The emirate of Bauchi with its 19th century palace.
Day 9 : Saturday 14 October 2023
The indigo and leather markets.
Day 10 : Sunday 15 October 2023
Kano (KAN)/Return flight