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African Travel???

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East African Travel???

1. Posted by mattieb (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

Hi all:) well just a quick couple of questions, Im planning a 4-5month trip around afirca, I have a friend who did a 3month TOUR around afirca, has told me that it will be really difficult to do this independantly, next to no public transport. safety??, and overall cost you more!!! I still have a hard time accepting this, Surely a tour counldnt cost less??? i find half the fun when arriving to a new place is trying to find your way to your hostel and find your way around!!And would hate having everything planned!!, i ve done quite alot of backpacking alone, south and central america, south east asia, india, most of europe and austrialia, Never had any bad things happen and aways meet fellow travellers along the way.
Does anyone have any tips about buses, saftey, not getting ripped off, travelling alone?
Plus would it be a good idea to hire a car ALONE or take buses?
Thanks all :)

Post 2 was removed by a moderator
3. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

It really depends on where in Africa you are going? North, East West South?

Keep in mind Languages if you are taking public transport, and bargaining. This is where these two skills come into play versus the tour. The tour is pre arranged and all you need to do is bargain for souvenirs. Otherwise its you versus everyone from the ticket man, to the bush taxi to the local water seller all speaking a different dialect that you may not understand.

I know french people you have traveled west Africa and had problems understanding pigion French that is spoken there.

Having said that you will see a different side to Africa that the tour people will not ever see. You will be miserable at times, frustrated to hell, but then have fantastic memories and stories to tell.

It really depends on the type of travel you want to do and why!

Good luck in the choice

4. Posted by gashead17 (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

well i dont know if this will help or not !!

but here goes :D i lived in africa for 7 years when i moved over and recently went back and i did have to do travelling n my own.

if you are visiting south africa there are are coaches where you can book your tickets , they are very safe so dont worry .
i left from jo'burg to kommartiport which is a 7 hour journey on coach and it cost about 400 rand which is near enough 25 GBP ...this was also return ! but in most places south africa you can get coach pretoria, cape town ect and its ery safe and cheap D:

5. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 8y

You surely need a lot of patience in africa. It also depends where. Because there is a difference between countries like Marocco, Egypt, South-Africa and for example Senegal. Aren't you interested in driving there and sell your car? You can drive all the way to western africa without much trouble. I did it and i would really recommend it. An old peugeot or mercedes you can sell with profit.

6. Posted by SwissGilly (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

Hi, good to read all the comments that have been posted about Africa travel, I am really excited but also really nervous!
I am hoping to travel from Paris to Senegal, then do Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Cabo verde.... How safe is that? I will be travelling on my own (girl), is that just plain stupid?? - I can speak french perfectly and have been to Africa before... but still do not know West Africa at all.
Any comments or advice could help, I am planning 3 months, one month of which i will be working in ecovillages in Senegal. Travel will be done locally, train and bus, from November to January 09.

From there I am hoping to fly to New Dehli, but am pretty certain I will have to fly back up to Paris then via, Doha or somewhere to get there (yey for the carbon footprint!).

Thanks again,
so happy to find a community of travellers like me:)
take care

7. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

I lived in west africa for ove two years if that's any help to you.

Without knowing what type of travel you are into it's a little hard to advise. But being a french speaker will help you a lot. Just be prepared for a pigeon (broken) french. Being a single solo female should be no problem if you yourself aere ok with travelling alone. The usual advice applies about being careful where you go etc.

Borders will be a hastle, having your visa's in advance would be a help. If not you might have to hand over some extra cash and or stad your ground if you if you know the immigration laws well enough.

Generally speaking though, West African's like to smile and laugh a lot, so keeping a good sense of humor even in the darkest of times will help you get through everything.

If you want any specific advice about Nigeria Ghana Benin Togo Cameroon just send me a message


8. Posted by SwissGilly (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

thanks for the info :) I am prepared for some sort of hassle it was defiantely more the political sitations that worreid me.. but now i know to keep a smile :)!

I've been looking up itineraries and saw that I can fly from Lagos to New Dehli... doesn that sound right? i'm pretty impressed, and that fits exactly in what i'd like to do. But so i would have to travel a little further in Africa then i had planned. How long would you reckon i need to comfortably see Mali down to Lagos. Overland travel and adventurous stuff is fine with me I am no luxury chick :)
Ideally I would like to stay in an ecovillage some where. live and learn from the people, contribute to the construction and running of the village etc. But i prefer looking around at the neighbouring countries as well while i'm at it. Afrci is really only going to be a short part of my trip, but i don't want it to be in any way less exciting and rich.

It's the begining of a huge adventure for me, and its possibly the part that "worries" me the most...I've always been such a fan of Africa so i've got such high expectations..

aie aie!
thanks again

9. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

Time wise form Mali to Lagos. Well it depends on the route you take.

Mali, Burkina Faso/Niger Nigeria would be a desert dry kinda trip. Fantastic landscapes in Mali and Niger and relatively easy visas. Nigeria is a pain for visas and best got at home if at all possible

Mali, Burkina Faso Ghana, benin, togo can be a mix of desert to coming into thick jungle areas. This trip probably offers more variety in terms of landscapes and people. And you are sure to find eco villages in Ghana and or Benin/Togo. Also its only a short bus ride into Nigeria from the border, so you might be able to get a transit visa with more ease than tourist for Nigeria.

Just a point on Nigeria as that's where I was based. It's not a tourist country. And it's a tad on the expensive side, in some cases. And unfortunately not all that much to see in terms of big wow factors. The other countries mentioned here definitely have a lot geared toward tourists.

One more Nigerian point. Lagos. It's more intense than Mumbai, Peshawar or any other super crowed city. It is a very unique place. To quote a movie "A hive of scum and villainy". It's a place not to be taken lightly on any account. It can be and is a seriously dangerous place. Having said that, I really had a blast there. But it's not for the faint at heart or innocent. There's also not so much to see there. Be prepared for the place if you do fly from there. You could always get a flight from Ghana, Benin, Togo into Lagos International and fly to Delhi from there.

I don't know your style of traveling or experience so I hope the above makes sense without being offensive in anyway.


10. Posted by SwissGilly (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

no its really really helpful! I prefer you to be totally honest then to try and sugar coat it all!
I know that Lagos is tricky, and am happy to hear you confirm it. will look into it more. thanks you so so much<ยจ
gotta go my boss has arrived :)