Melania Trump made a radiant arrival in Ghana on Tuesday morning, beaming with delight as she stepped off her plane to begin her first major solo international trip.
The 48-year-old first lady looked stylish as ever as she landed at Kotoka International Airport in the Ghanian capital of Accra, wearing a burgundy-and-white-striped custom Celine shirt dress thought to be worth upwards of $2,000, and a pair of $625 white heels from Manolo Blahnik.
Pausing at the top of the airplane steps to wave to the waiting crowds, Melania couldn’t have looked happier as she made her way down the stairs and onto the tarmac – narrowly avoiding a wardrobe disaster along the way when her hem began blowing up in the breeze.
Welcome! Melania Trump beamed as she stepped off her plane at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, on Tuesday morning for the start of her first solo international trip
Chic: The first lady wore a custom dress by Celine, which is thought to be worth upwards of $2,000, and a pair of white Manolo Blahnik heels that retail for $625
Whoops! The 48-year-old narrowly avoided a wardrobe disaster as she stepped down from the plane, when an errant breeze almost blew up the hemline of her skirt
Greetings! Melania was met by her Ghanaian counterpart, first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo
Friendly: The two women looked to be getting on famously as they enjoyed a brief chat on the tarmac
Warm welcome: Melania kissed Rebecca on the cheek, and then placed a warm hand on her arm as they spoke, before the Ghanaian first lady introduced her to other waiting people
Melania looked as though she may have enjoyed a quick pamper session on the plane, and looked refreshed and energetic as she walked out of the aircraft, with her long brunette locks styled with a natural wave, while her makeup was left low-key, with no hint of her signature smokey eye look.
After stepping onto the tarmac, Melania was greeted warmly by Ghana’s first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo; the pair shook hands and spoke for a few minutes, with mother-of-one Melania placing a hand onto Rebecca’s arm as they enjoyed their conversation.
The US first lady was then presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers presented to her in a colorful woven basket by a young girl in traditional dress, who Melania then thanked with a warm hug, bending down to embrace the youngster with one hand, while holding the floral arrangement in the other.
After greeting several other Ghanaian officials, Melania was then led off the tarmac by Rebecca, walking past a group of smiling school children who were all waving American and Ghanaian flags.
The first ladies then watched on as a group of traditional dancers put on a dynamic performance, with Melania leaning over to Rebecca to make several remarks about the energetic show.
A gift: A young girl in traditional dress presented mother-of-one Melania with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in a colorful woven basket, with Melania bending down to accept the kind present
Smile for the cameras! Melania thanked the youngster with a warm hug
Saying hello: The first lady then met with several other Ghanaian officials
A song and dance! Several school children had turned out to welcome Melania to Ghana, waving American and Ghanaian flags as she walked past with Rebecca
Celebration! Melania and Rebecca then watched a dynamic performance by some local dancers, all under the watchful eye of a burly security detail
Happy as can be! Melania couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as she watched the energetic performance
Dynamic: The dancers were wearing traditional Ghanaian garb as they performed in front of the two first ladies
Happy: They all looked thrilled to be taking part in the ceremonial occasion
Melania is no doubt excited to be embarking on such a major trip by herself; she looked equally thrilled on Monday evening when she set off fromAndrews Air Force Base in Maryland just as the sun began to set, having waved and smiled for the photographers as she made her way onto the plane.
Clearly eager to start her trip off on the most stylish note possible, Melania was dressed to the nines in a $1,695 suede trench coat from Vince, and another pair of Manolo Blahnik heels – this time a $935 leopard-print stiletto design.
She then topped off the safari-inspired look with a pair of large sunglasses, and wore her long brunette locks down in a straight style around her shoulders.
Melania is scheduled to arrive in Accra, Ghana, on Tuesday and will continue her tour with stops in Malawi, Kenya and Egypt.
Spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said Monday the tour will be a ‘diplomatic and humanitarian visit’ focused on Melania’s #BeBest campaign for ‘children and their well-being’.
First lady Melania Trump departed for a solo tour of four African countries on Monday evening
Melania was all smiles as she set off on the week-long trip – her first major international tour without President Donald Trump by her side – even offering a rare wave to photographers
Melania is pictured boarding a military jet at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Monday
Grisham told the Daily Caller: ‘[Melania] is hoping to visit the countries to learn what their challenges are, and also see where the US is having a positive impact or results.
‘To that end, our office has been working closely with USAID [the United States Agency for International Development] and each stop will focus on one or more projects they have been working on within each country.
‘The visits will include stops having to do with education, healthcare, some conservation and tourism–and as with all that she does through her initiative Be Best, the well-being of children will be her focus.’
Experts have said over the course of the trip Melania may also find herself repairing relationships with African leaders who have been offended by her husband.
President Trump has made a number of impolite comments about the continent in the past, including having referred to some African countries as ‘s**tholes’.
He played a different tune last week when promoting Melania’s trip, telling reporters: ‘We both love Africa. Africa is so beautiful, the most beautiful part of the world, in many ways.’
In a final tweet before her departure, Melania wrote: ‘We are taking off for #Africa! So looking forward to visiting #Ghana #Malawi #Kenya & #Egypt as I take #BeBest international. #FLOTUSinAfrica2018.’