, ROME, Italy Nov 25 – Pope Francis departed Rome Wednesday to begin his Africa tour, starting with Kenya where he is expected at 5 pm.
Our Editorial Director Michael Mumo who is among the four Kenyan journalists accompanying the Pope on his entire Africa tour said they departed Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport at 9.45am Kenya time.
The Pope does not give interviews when he is departing on a journey like this one to Africa on the Papal Flight, but he does grant them on the return journey to Rome, or make detailed remarks on the outcome of his visits.
He does however, greet individual Vatican Accredited Media Personnel (VAMP) on the Papal Flight.
On his trip to Africa, Pope Francis is accompanied by over 70 VAMP journalists, including 4 from Kenya.
The visit by Pope Francis is his 11th overseas since taking office in 2013.
While in Africa he will deliver 19 speeches focusing on peace, the environment and social justice.
Even though there have been security concerns, the 78-year-old Pontiff is still expected to visit CAR and there has been no indication from the Vatican in shelving the trip amid security concerns.
While in Nairobi, the Pope will visit the United Nations headquarters where he will address issues of climate change in remarks seen as significant ahead of key climate talks in Paris.