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Old 06-30-2011, 05:27 AM
 
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-Will traveling to Africa appeal to everyone?
-Does it take a certain frame of mind to travel to Africa?
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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There is no place that would appeal to everyone.

It doesn't take any more of a certain frame of mind to travel there than anywhere else.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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It depends on whether you are talking about independent travel, or a package tour. If you take a package tour, you will be picked up at the airport and driven to a 5-star hotel, and transported to the touristic highlights, and the only Africans you will come into contact with are smiling servile people with their hands out for tips, and those that are hired to dance for you in traditional costumes.

If you travel as an independent traveler and expect your day to day expenses to be less than they would be in Switzerland or Japan, you will find that the vehicles break down regularly, the roads are frequently closed for months by weather (if not revolutions), the AC and elevators will go off when the city electricity is shut off for ten hours a day/night, you will not recognize or like anything you eat unless you only order from the European menu (fried meat and french fries) in stylish restaurants, and anywhere up to half the population is HIV positive, and after Aids, Diarrheal dehydration is the principal cause of death. You'll need to take malaria drugs and sleep under a net, and if you even wade in natural water, you are at measurable risk for diseases you don't even want to hear about. If those kinds of things don't require you to assume a new "frame of mind", then you'll be fine. The good news is that you will not be eaten by a wild animal of snake, and in fact, you'll be very lucky if you even see one.

I'm basing this on my own experiences traveling to almost every African country quite a long time ago, plus anything I've come across since then that would suggest the degree of change that one might expect.

Last edited by jtur88; 06-30-2011 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:53 PM
Status: "Send HIM back- to Queens!" (set 1 hour ago)
 
Location: Eureka CA
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I know some ladies in their 'sixties who just came back from safari in Tanzania and loved every moment. As the previous poster mentioned, there are a variety of experiences available. (I NEVER wanted to go to Africa until I saw the movie "The Last King of Scotland'.That film will make you want to see it.)
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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Africa is a CONTINENT, a huge varied one. In your original post, insert Africa with "Earth", which you can easily do, and imagine the difficulty one would have in answered it.

Now come back and specifically say where in Africa and what you are interested in.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Africa is a CONTINENT, a huge varied one. In your original post, insert Africa with "Earth", which you can easily do, and imagine the difficulty one would have in answered it.

Now come back and specifically say where in Africa and what you are interested in.
Exactly. Traveling to Egypt is very different than travel to Kenya which is very different to travel to South Africa.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:05 PM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Africa is a CONTINENT, a huge varied one. In your original post, insert Africa with "Earth", which you can easily do, and imagine the difficulty one would have in answered it.

Now come back and specifically say where in Africa and what you are interested in.
Best post.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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No, "Africa" is good enough, as long as it is understood to mean "Sub-Saharan Africa", which leaves out only the Arab countries of the Maghreb.

Traveling conditions are pretty uniform throughout Africa south of the Sahara, and if you have been to one country there, you will not find much that will surprise you in another country on the other side of the continent.

It is pretty reasonable to ask if those traveling conditions would be tolerable or enjoyable to a person who has also traveled to other parts of the world, without nitpicking local customs on a country-by-country basis. Health conditions, dietary offerings, transport difficulties, government regulations, currency issues, crime risk, service reliability, they all remain fairly constant throughout sub-Saharan Africa, from Mauritania to Mozambique.

The only real variation would be South Africa, which experienced a century of white home-rule, and evolved quite a bit differently.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:10 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
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For Africa, I have only traveled in Egypt, and it was 2-1/2 weeks out of a round-the-world trip that lasted a year. I found Egypt to be about the most difficult part of the journey, though greatly rewarding and yes, we traveled independently. I'm only going to dwell on the negative here, b/c most folks are aware of the positives: the great temples and history. Many people might be surprised to know that the people are very kind there and that 10% of them are Christian and that they tend to get along well with the other 90% quite well.

The negatives:

It will seem that folks want a tip for every little service, no matter how trivial, and if you are reluctant to give them a whole euro for a piece of toilet paper, they will get aggressive and pretend that they're going to attack you. One man came up to us as we were looking down into the Nile and pointed to a fish and said, "Look! Feesh!' and then held out his hand for baksheesh. Sheesh!

Another time I got chased all the way up Mt. Sinai by a persistent camel driver who wanted to sell me a ride. I was off my feed that night as I'd been sick with a stomach bug, but I didn't want that camel ride and told him so quite firmly and then more firmly and after several times of that I yelled and stomped my foot at him. Do you think that discouraged him? I should have thanked him though b/c I'm not sure I would have made it up that mountain in a mellow mood and it was worth it when I got to the top.

The guide book said that when you take a taxi ride, the best thing to do is to ask your hotel desk clerk how much would be a fair price to get from A to B, and then offer that with just a bit more before you even get in the taxi. We would do that but as soon as we got to our destination, the driver would decide to double the price. We held firm, but he would act like he was going to attack us for the money. We soon discovered that this was common but all was an act and we didn't fall for it.

Sanitation facilities? Oh my. I know this wasn't good for my kidneys, but I figured out how to control my intake of fluids so that I only had to go to the bathroom when I wanted to. I managed on a 15 hour train ride to never have to go to the bathroom. Well that one was TMI I'm sure!

If you decide to do the camel ride, and you agree on a price beforehand, double it in your mind, b/c the driver will charge you again to get off the dern thing, and it's a looong way down.

I got approached twice there, and for the first time in my life, for sex for hire. Yeah, I'm a woman and the first one was way too young--14 maybe? And I certainly wasn't looking for it. It made me feel a bit funny, like am I getting so old that now I'll have to start paying for it?
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