Andrea Dijkstra (1981 / Amsterdam)

Andrea Dijkstra (1981 / Amsterdam)

After I finished Cultural Anthropology in 2005, I was sure about one thing: I wanted to write articles that would reach a lot of people - and not only professional colleagues. So I decided to become a journalist.

I learned the basics of journalism while working as a news editor at press office Novum Nieuws in Amsterdam for two years and at NCRV Radio 1 in Hilversum where I worked as an editor for three years. In the meantime I took courses like Visual Writing, Radio Reporting, English Writing and French Speaking and started to work as a freelance foreign journalist in 2008, doing numerous reports for Dutch magazines together with freelance photographer and my partner Jeroen van Loon in countries like Afghanistan, Bolivia, Brazil, Indonesia, Kashmir, Kenya, Morocco, Peru, Tanzania and Sri Lanka.

But because of the expensive airline tickets and other travel costs it was difficult for us to continue financing our journalistic work abroad, as most media don’t (totally) cover these costs anymore. Besides, we wanted to specialise us in a certain region. That gave us the idea to start traveling by Land Rover Defender with rooftop tent and stove through Africa to lower our travel costs and to be more flexible and independent in how long we stay in one place. And that’s what we’ve been doing since June 2011!

By exploring this rising continent by car, we get to know so many different African countries and people, we slowly unravel this puzzling part of the world and in the meantime we cover interesting stories for Dutch media like Vrij Nederland, One World Magazine, Wordt Vervolgd, Radio 1 and international media like Knack, MO Magazine and numerous 4x4 magazines. I also work as an Africa-correspondent for the Dutch national newspaper Algemeen Dagblad and for the online TPO Magazine. Furthermore we are asked to create video documentaries for organizations like AMREF Flying Doctors and ONEforONE.

We’ve covered topics already in Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South-Sudan, Rwanda and Eastern-Congo. The plan is to travel all the way to the south via Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Botswana to South Africa and travel back north by the at least as intriguing Western Africa, to finally settle in Africa as a well informed correspondent connected to many different people all of over the continent. Click here to see our route up till now.