Africa: Pictures in Rwanda with children without face mask by social media influencer draws tourism backlash


A social media influencer, Kinsey Wolanski who shot after she sprinted on to a football pitch during the Champions League final wearing a skimpy black swimsuit, has sparked outrage over her recent trip to East Africa.

According to, Kinsey Wolanski, a popular social media influencer with more than three million followers on Instagram alone, recently travelled to Rwanda where she mingled with locals and also took part in a “dream” gorilla hike.

While Wolanski initially received criticism for travelling internationally during a pandemic, it was a photo the social media model posted without wearing a mask that sparked the most outrage.

In the image, which she has now deleted from her social media account but continues to circulate on other platforms including Reddit, Wolanski posed alongside two local children – one who wore a mask – while she went without. Another image, which has also been removed from the Instagram feed, shows the 24-year-old giving a young boy a piggyback, again without a face covering.

But in another post during the trip in which Wolanski went on a hike to see gorillas, the influencer appears to be wearing a mask around the animals. It prompted followers to question why she opted for personal protection for certain photo opportunities and not others.

“Her being in Africa during a pandemic is irresponsible,” one person wrote on Instagram.

“She wore a mask to protect gorillas but not kids?” another questioned.

“A photo op where you can’t even be bothered to wear a mask around children being used as photo props. It’s selfish … ignorant.
“She has no reason to be there during a global pandemic. Why were you not wearing a mask with African children?” has contacted Wolanski for comment.
The backlash comes as a fellow influencer, Charly Jordan, also took a trip to Rwanda during the pandemic and received criticism for doing so.

The social media star has since apologised for travelling overseas amid the coronavirus health crisis, sharing her side of the story after an alleged false-positive testing fiasco for COVID-19.

While it is unclear if Jordan and Wolanski travelled together, Jordan insisted that she and her travel group followed all safety precautions before embarking on the two-week excursion.

“It’s more difficult to travel right now but we took all the proper precautions even if that meant getting tested a million times. I’m definitely corona-free haha,” she wrote on Instagram on September 1. “A hundred temperature checks later. Crazy where the world is right now.”

In a video posted to her Instagram Stories on Monday and shared to Twitter, the blogger said the trip was co-ordinated in partnership with a company “to help bring awareness to endangered species of mountain gorillas” – and took a turn for the worse on the third day.

“Three days into the trip I got a false positive test,” Jordan said. “I never had it, but because I got the false positive, I was locked in a little holding facility here in Kigali for the past four days where people spoke little to no English so it was very hard to get my point across that I didn’t have COVID and I already had it.”

Jordan explained in a now-deleted TikTok video that she tested negative for COVID-19 following a second test, four days later. From there, she was free to leave isolation.

Jordan said the Rwandan tourism board caught wind of her story after she spoke out on social media.

“They came to my hotel room last night and apologised for everything that was going on,” she said.

From there, the influencer apologised for travelling during the pandemic and causing a commotion, which was criticised online.
“I would like to make an apology for travelling during this time, because I know that it’s a very incorrect time to travel, and I’m completely in the wrong for doing that, and I have learned my lesson 100 per cent,” Jordan said.

“Trust me. I’ve been sitting here in this room, locked in this room for the past four days thinking about it, and I will not be travelling anymore during this time.

“I was completely in the wrong for travelling, and I will not be doing that anymore,” she said.


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