Any advice please!!!!!!


Mar 27th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Any advice please!!!!!!

Me and a friend are going to south africa in October 2004 to spend a few weeks with family and then we were going to travel up through mostly eastern africa. We are both concerned about safety (both females) and I wanted to know if anyone had advice on what the best way would be for us to experience africa...overland tour etc.
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Mar 27th, 2004, 03:06 PM
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I can only comment based on a male friend of mine who did this. From JNB up thru SA, thru Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi onto Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania). Taking a few day here to fly over to Mafia Island for diving and then did the return drive.

This was done over a period of 6-weeks stoping a few days in Harare and Lusaka to visit with friends. Leaving SA, he had to take his own petrol as availabiity was limited in Zimbabwe. In Harare he stocked up on food, as he did in the Lusaka area, and again in Dar.

It's pretty rough, and he found fairly decent lodgings, amazingly often with air conditioning, pools and plenty of gin & tonic for about $10/nt.

Even with maps, it was a challenge as many roads didn't exist. Asking for directions (yes, some men actually do ask!) wasn't much better, for even if someone acknowledged a road existed, they often didn't. Most people along the way never drove a car, so they really had no idea, let alone the condition of such roads. And he did mention that there were many security stops/checks along the way.

All he could say after the trip was that it was great, an experience, great diving at Mafia but he had no plans to do a trip like that again.

Where do you plan to travel - how far? How long do you have?

As a man, he had no problems, but there were occasions when he did ask himself why he was doing it - maybe to challenge himself? He said that the issues had more to do with the conditions of roads, amount of time, having to find lodging before sunset. One of the scariest yet rather funny experience was when he stopped on the side of road for a nature call, and as he was about to take care of business, looked down and noticed three male lions - he slowly backed up to the car, got in and off he want hoping to find a safer place elsewhere. Generally, it was a "hard" trip, and commented "hey, all I can say is that I sure wasn't driving thru Provence (France)."

And though I've been on some heavy-duty road trips, I don't know whether I would do a trip, as above, without a guy!

Maybe some of our Fodors friends from Southern Africa will have better information re current conditions all-around.

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Mar 28th, 2004, 04:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 669
hello ct - you don't say if you plan to hire a car or use public transport. All I can say is that I have travelled from NBI to Cape Town 3 times - twice southbound and once northbound. Alone - I am female. And I had the most amazing time. But you need to be able to 'busk it' and take what's available, and just shrug it off if it's not!
Times change. I guess there are more rather than fewer buses; more rather than less tourists. Zimbabwe (much loved) may be the exception as obviously the political situation there is now very volatile.

East/SE Africa is very easy to travel around independently, but there are lots of companies offering overland trips. I have travelled with these in West Africa, or other parts of the world - and can recommend: Guerba (top of the range); Exodus; Phoenix Expeditions.
Happy trails.
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