Pope Francis has set off on his three-country tour of Africa, with his flight to Kenya leaving Rome this morning.
The Pope and his entourage boarded the Alitalia plane at about 8am local time (7am GMT) at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport airport.
Francis is scheduled to arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi at 5pm local time (2pm GMT), where there will be a ceremony to welcome him. The Pontiff will then meet President Uhuru Kenyatta at the State House.
During the papal visit, Pope Francis is also scheduled to visit Uganda and Central African Republic before he returns to Rome on November 30.
Francis has described himself as a messenger of peace to a continent scarred by conflicts and extremist attacks, including against a growing Christian flock there.
On Monday evening Pope Francis visited the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to pray for the success of his trip to Africa.
According to a statement released by the Vatican’s press office, the Pope prayed before the ancient image of Mary for Our Lady’s protection on his travels and for the protection of the people he will visit in Africa.
For a full schedule of the Pope’s visit to Africa, go here.