Africa is so amazingly diverse, if you can imagine it - we have it somewhere. (As well as a lot off stuff that people find hard to imagine!) Be it a lazy, tropical Island breakaway or a hard core, adrenaline filled adventure - I will do my best to help you get the most out of your holiday. Seeing that this blog is a brand new project - it will take a while to grow. If you have a particular destination in mind that has not been featured yet, just send me a mail and I will assist in any way possible. Postings on this blog are based on personal experience. I plan to rate places and venues visited on a 'must go' or 'avoid' basis. I will also give a Lemon Award to the very worst festering pits that I have had the misfortune of stumbling across... If you have a comment, or your own input - lets have it! Complaints and compliments received from readers will be forwarded to the relevant venue for comment and/or follow up action. Please bear in mind that opinions expressed in this blog are my personal views only and I do not presume to know everybodys tastes... Any other advice dispensed is based on personal experience, and may not be factually correct. I therefore will not be held responsible if you do something silly after reading my advice on the matter. My main purpose here is to help you to think and plan in the right directions. I trust that you will have as much fun visiting this blog as I plan to have while writing the posts.

Sunday 01 April 2007

The Basics

To start off with, I will mention a few basics that you have to give careful consideration to before coming to Africa – ask your trip advisor (or me) about these, and get as much info as possible beforehand. I will deal with each of these issues individually in later posts. For now, just a few lines.

Getting around
This is obviously not an issue if you are going on a guided safari, or package tour. If you plan to do your own thing (the best way, in my opinion), there are a few things to consider:
Public transport is not as accessible in a lot of African countries as we would like it. It will be worth your while to do a little homework regarding your options in this department.

Get the right vehicle for the job! Road conditions vary from country to country. Renting the budget 2 x 4 hatchback and going to the Mozambique coast for instance may result in an extremely eventful holiday in a very limited part of the country…
Read the getting around post for more info on this.

Weather conditions
I cannot stress the importance of this enough! We’re not talking about sunburn prevention here; suntan lotion is a must on any holiday anyway…

Get all relevant information on rain patterns and seasonal conditions before deciding on a date. Most booking sites have this advice available; otherwise you can visit the website for the country in questions’ weather service.
For example: You often see great specials advertised, only to make the painful discovery (usually after arrival) that the particular country in question receives 80% of its high rainfall during that month…
Another example: Due to the holiday season Cape Town is very popular during December, but the weather is much nicer (less wind) during February and March. (You don’t get trampled by hordes of other tourists then either!)
If you look at average temperatures and rainfall figures; fall, spring and winter are actually much more pleasant than summer in large parts of Africa. (Prices are often lower as well…)

Malaria and other interesting diseases
Normally you can get good advice from your closest tropical disease centre. It is important to keep in mind that most doctors in USA and Europe have never encountered malaria or some of the other diseases you may be exposed to during your visit, so please consult a specialist wherever possible for the right inoculations and advice. Most countries specify which inoculations are needed, and they may be required for your visa application.

Yellow Fever, Tetanus and Tuberculosis inoculations are a must in all cases.

Here is a link to the Centre for Disease Control Website.

It is of extreme importance to find out if the area you are planning to visit is a ‘malaria area.’ (Most of central Africa) Because there is no inoculation against malaria available, it is of extreme importance to ensure that you take the right precautions – the malaria parasite is most definitely not something you want to take home with you, it stays with you for years, and never really goes away… By taking a few basic precautions, the malaria risk can be avoided completely.
Look out for the post on malaria, it’s a must read!

It’s a sad fact that due to the poverty in most African countries, there is a bit more crime than you may be used to… As with any other country in the world – tourists make easy targets. The biggest threats by far are theft and fraud. It is important to bear in mind that a lot of these criminals are extremely poor and will take a chance if tempted, but will not necessarily do anything if you are alert. Don’t leave your valuables unattended, don’t leave items on the seat of the vehicle and keep the items about your person to a minimum. Most important – be aware of your surroundings and remember that you are in a different country – the same rules don’t always apply…
If you follow these few steps, you will be ok in most instances. Read the post on crime and political instability.
Contact me for elaboration on (or assistance with) any of the above.


Sorted bru, tagged by
Amfibi Shopping Search