JOHANNESBURG — Almost as soon as Pope Francis alighted from his flight to Kenya’s capital on his first trip to Africa, he sent a powerful message of humility and equality.

The pope stunned Kenyans not only by riding in a modest Honda through Nairobi, but also by traveling with the window down, waving to onlookers.

“The Honda car that the pope is using. Even an MP of the poorest slum in Kenya would not use it,” tweeted one Kenyan, Gibson Maina.

The Africa tour sees Francis visiting Kenya and Uganda, countries that have suffered deadly attacks from Islamist extremists, as well the Central African Republic, which has been torn apart by violence between Muslims and Christians.

Francis brushed aside security fears in comments to journalists before he left Rome.

“To tell you the truth, the only thing I’m concerned about is the mosquitoes,” he said.

Millions are expected to attend Masses in Kenya and Uganda. Africa is home to more than 200 million Roman Catholics, or about 17 percent of the faith’s global population.

In a speech to Kenyans that was televised live, Francis touched on poverty, inequality, the need for a just distribution of resources, reconciliation, peace and the environment. He said poverty and inequality breed terrorism, violence and war.