West Africa

Feb 8th, 2007, 02:46 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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West Africa

Never any interest on this board about West Africa. Just the same old safe options - South Africa, Botswana - for the "adventurous" Tanzania.

And even for those old chestnuts there is the refrain "is it safe?"

You are obviously happy in your cocoon - stroking each other's egos.

Just wondering if you know there are over 50 countries in "Africa" as you call it. Would anyone care to post a list of same without going to Google?
fuzzylogic is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 07:24 AM
  #2  
 
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I think part of the reason is that for many, an African trip is literally a "once-in-a-lifetime" endeavor, and as much as it may displease you, Africa's calling card, at least to many overseas visitors, is its unique and abundant wildlife.

I have traveled widely in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Benin and Togo, and I really enjoyed that trip, but I don't have the same desire to return as I do to Botswana, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia or South Africa, where I have been on safari.

I have also traveled to Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, as well as Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland, and am planning a visit to Eritrea/Djibouti/Ethiopia in 2008, but for many, Africa = safari, and I'm not sure why you find that so unpleasant.

Michael
thit_cho is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 08:31 AM
  #3  
 
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I've done two trips to West Africa..Togo/Benin and Mali. And yes, I can probably name most the countries in Africa without help. What does that prove?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 08:42 AM
  #4  
 
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fuzzylogic: Why don't you add something instead of coming on and insulting people who spend many hours sharing experiences and helping people plan their trips, there is nothing wrong with that. It sounds like you have the 'ego', clearly a more daring person in your own mind.

As Michael points out wildlife is a big draw for Africa, especially for people who will only be able to visit once or twice. There is terrific wildife in lots of countries that do not get much mention but typically there is not tourism infrastructure for quality wildlife viewing and most of the species that people consider must see for an Africa visit are not present or not likely to be seen.

Gabon is a new destination that is pioneering a different region for safari experience and it has been discussed here a few times. There is interest from many to try it out vs. the known safari countries as it is an area with access to 'sexy' megafauna and with a couple of good reports I'm sure that will become a new destination which may also lend itself to combining with cultural travel and more interest in other developing ecotour areas of Western Africa once people are already in the region.

In the meantime it would be useful if you would post some of the highlights from regions that you think are being ignored. If just a couple of people are passionate about sharing info for certain areas others become interested. Use your knowledge to contribute and help other traveler's discover some new countries.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 09:36 AM
  #5  
 
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A lot of us out here in Fodorworld probably could list most of the nations on the continent without the aid of Google. Some of us might overlook Rio Muni or Lesotho, but that would not be serious.

West Africa indeed has some very nice places to visit---or, in many cases, HAD. I think of the Congo (Kinshasha). One of the finest areas I've ever visited was the national park out near Goma and Virunga, where the gorillas are. Now, civil war has made travel there impossible, not to mention its damage to the habitat. Other countries of West Africa (which I won't mention for fear of getting into an argument with deniers) have become so deteriorated and difficult for travelers that it is not feasible to go there. They are hell-holes. Some countries don't encourage tourism. At least in the past, Gabon apparently did not. I remember inquiring of a travel agency about a prospective visit and was asked, "Why do you want to go there? It is mostly forest." Mali has Timbuktu and other tourist sites, but, I understand that visitors are almost threatened by young thugs wanting "tips." (I have not been to Mali.) Senegal does have the Casamance region (south of Gambia) that is known for holidaying.

I agree with you that I would like to see more geographical areas mentioned in the inquiries, but I can understand why there is the focus on East and Southern Africa. ZZ
Zambezi is offline  

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