Idris Elba On World’s Greatest View And Underrated Beauty Of Rwanda

Idris Elba, the actor, on spending a night in Nelson Mandela’s former prison, exploring beautiful Rwanda, and the next destination on his travel bucket list.

Rwanda is such a beautiful place

I remember having this incredible steamed fish dish in Rwanda, cooked wrapped tin foil with onions and garlic, which was amazing, as was the country itself. Rwanda has amazing climate with such lovely people.

I saw England like I’d never seen it before

I flew a two-seater plane as part of an aeronautics competition, which was nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time. But it allowed me to realise just how beautifully green England is from above. It looks like a carpet of grass and greenery. It’s unbelievable.

For sheer beauty

It’s hard to top God’s Window in Blyde River Canyon, South Africa. I was filming out there and it’s just an enormous structure of natural rocks that frames the view. It’s just mind-blowing.

I spent the night in Nelson Mandela’s former prison

When I was filming Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom I wanted to understand what it was like to be confined in a jail because Nelson Mandela spent nearly 20 years in that prison on Robben Island. His actual cell is a monument but I slept in a nearby wing and my cell was tiny.

It definitely felt like there were spirits

His cell was empty but I heard clanging and groaning. I felt very panicked but somehow managed to fall asleep. I came out of there the next morning feeling very appreciative of my life and my freedom. I felt like I had a deeper understanding of what Mandela went through.

Kuala Lumpur is so cool

I love Malaysia. The people were so nice and the hospitality was so great when I visited Kuala Lumpur. I’ve never been to Malaysia before and it was incredibly beautiful, as was Thailand where I also travelled this year.

I love the cultural richness of Jamaica

I spend time there filming my directorial debut film Yardie. We shot in an area called Rose Garden, which is a big area of gangland conflict. We were very fortunate that they called a ceasefire to allow us to film there for four nights.

The two opposing ganglands apparently just said “Look, let them film”, which felt really unifying because we got to bring two warring neighbourhoods together and they loved it.

But who knows how things were after we left. I imagine business as usual, but at least for a brief moment there was unification.

I enjoy Miami for sun and silliness

People go out there to get dressed up and look a bit fancy. It’s just great for a good time with lots of good parties and plenty of food and drink options.

Akagera National Park is a classic safari enclave

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