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airplanetire
Topic Author
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 11:59 pm

Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 2:52 am

My mom, brother and I have gotten to travel a good bit to Europe together, but are considering in the next 18 months to two years to possibly go to Africa. I have researched quite extensively South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania, but what are other good travel destinations for a first-time trip to Sub-Saharan Africa? For us, an ideal destination would be one that is one of the safer countries in that region, offers a range of attractions (i.e. not only game reserves, but instead maybe a good place to see local culture and see wildlife), can be seen on one tour or a combination of a few smaller tours, and is not ridiculously expensive. We don't mind tropical weather, delays, or schedule changes. Getting there is not a problem. I realize that a country might not fit all of the characteristics we want, but the closest thing would be nice. Thank you so much for your help!

-Airplanetire
 
prosa
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Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2001 3:24 am

RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 11:31 am

I've heard that Mali is trying to attract more foreign tourists. Its infrastructure is still not very well developed, but the country has some interesting sights, a tradition of hospitality toward travelers, and is a stable democracy.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
iakobos
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RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:37 pm

Come on Prosa...if you want to venture out of Bamako, do it only with a big group and a very well known organiser, alternatively with at least 3 well armed bodyguards, otherwise stay home. Stable democracy, here we go again...though it is far from being the worse place. Infrastructure still not very well developped, till you see the runway at the "international" airport you will start to understand. By the way, there are Libyan soldiers permanently stationed, including at the airport. Your source is not reliable.

Since democracy is not a prophylactic against thieves, kidnappers and other human parasites, few countries whatever the political regime fall into the "safe, interesting and not too expensive" category.

From personal experience, I would rate: Sénégal (except the Casamance region in the South) but there is very little game, Cameroon, Gabon, Kenya (but conditional), the N of Tanzania, Swaziland, Zambia, Namibia, the S and SW of South Africa.
Kenya (Nairobi, Mombasa, Zanzibar, game) and N Tanzania (Ruwenzori) have many things to offer and tour operators are generally good and well organized.






 
prosa
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RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:41 pm

Come on Prosa...if you want to venture out of Bamako, do it only with a big group and a very well known organiser, alternatively with at least 3 well armed bodyguards, otherwise stay home. Stable democracy, here we go again...though it is far from being the worse place. Infrastructure still not very well developped, till you see the runway at the "international" airport you will start to understand. By the way, there are Libyan soldiers permanently stationed, including at the airport. Your source is not reliable.

My source is the New York Times, which had a piece on Mali tourism a couple of months ago. While the Times is sometimes biased, it certainly should qualify as a reliable source.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
iakobos
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RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:00 pm

Ah, if it is the NYT....
Still what I said is valid, I swear because I was there (more than once).

Truth is, there are a lot of very interesting things to see in Mali, really.
The government controls the main cities and of course is keen in protecting the tourist areas and subsequent business.
If it simply for organized tours, fine. If it is for "free tourism" or extended stay, it is not safe.
 
airplanetire
Topic Author
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RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:07 pm

Thanks for your responses! Anything we would do would either be one organized tour or several smaller ones put together to make a trip, so it would not be independent travel since it would be a totally new place that is less hospitable to independent traveling than Europe. Basically, if it is reasonably safe on a tour, then it would be fine. I would not, however, want to spend part of a vacation like my friend did in South Africa. The end of her trip was in Johannesburg, and since it was not very safe, she and her family were confined to their hotel and a shopping mall nearby. I understand that going out late at night in many African countries would not be a great idea, but I would at least like to be able to go to some parts of the capital city during the day without fearing for my life.

-Airplanetire
 
iakobos
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Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:22 pm

RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:24 pm

Tire,
After sunset, avoid to venture out of your hotel, even the porch.
At all times, you will be totally safe if you wear only a swimming suit and cheap shoes, no watch no wallet.

Study the possibilities in Kenya-Tanzania (Arusha), it is well worth it.
 
andz
Posts: 7770
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 7:49 pm

RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Sun Aug 15, 2004 2:25 pm

I get so pissed off when I read about people visiting here and feeling that they have to be confined to their hotels. In most cases the hotel staff are covering their asses giving such advice, a better idea would be to avoid the cities (like in a lot of other countries round the world) and get out into the country and meet the real people.

I would at least like to be able to go to some parts of the capital city during the day without fearing for my life.

Johannesburg is not the capital city of South Africa, Pretoria is. Anyway if it was so unsafe here the tourists wouldn't be flocking here in record numbers, it's almost impossible to get a flight here on short notice.

Check out some of these sites if you need some ideas
http://www.tourism.co.za
http://www.southafrica.net
http://www.southafrica.com
http://www.tourism.org.za
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
airplanetire
Topic Author
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 11:59 pm

RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Mon Aug 16, 2004 2:27 am

I know that Johannesburg is not the capital city of South Africa, I'm just making a point since many other countries do not have the number of large cities that South Africa does. The only large city may be the capital, except in the cases of maybe Nigeria, Cameroon, and several others. Thanks for all the information though.

-Airplanetire
 
Imonti
Posts: 399
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 4:49 am

RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:13 am

I have walked through the centre of town and I have walked through the really wealthy areas in Johannesburg. The reasons hotels say that is because people are stupid and will wonder down a dark dingy aly and wonder why three men approached them and stole their stuff. Hey I am yet to be mugged in Johannesburg, and my friends have been mugged in London and while the buildign my place in London is in was beign renovated some one broke in and stole my stuff. I have had more stuff stolen out of South Africa than in it.

Although I wouldnt really advise certian parts of town.
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:23 am

If you're into safari... a Serengeti/Ngorogoro/Masai Mara expedition would be pretty shweet, and you only rough it to the extent that you want/pay for.



If you're into marine biology, I suggest visiting False Bay in CPT, hooking up with a Fallows expedition to go out and see the Flying Sharks:

Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:27 am

oh, and before the mods get their panties in a twist:

Photo copyright Monique Fallows, September 2000, ApexPredators.com, posted here with written consent; 8/16/04.  Insane
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
SafetyDude
Posts: 3654
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2001 10:02 am

RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:31 am

I would strongly recommend Tanzania as it is fairly easy for tourists and I think it is a bit more exciting that South Africa and does not carry around the "cliche" of visiting South Africa as one's first African country - but South Africa is still a very nice place to go. If you plan on spending a bit of time in Tanzania, consider going to Kenya and Uganda as well.

The most expensive part about Africa is getting there, and after that, things are very inexpensive.

If you want to know more, feel free to send me an e-mail or ask my AIM.

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
prosa
Posts: 5389
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2001 3:24 am

RE: Best Travel Destinations In Sub-Saharan Africa?

Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:42 am

In his recent book Dark Star Safari, travel writer Paul Theroux described his long overland trip from Cairo to Cape Town. Of all the countires he traversed, the one he found the nicest was, of all places, Sudan. Uganda and Tanzania seemed to come out okay as well.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"

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