What is it about Africa???!!!

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Mar 12th, 2006, 05:50 PM
  #1
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What is it about Africa???!!!

I always find it funny to read the trip reports. They usually include most of the following:

The roads were TERRIBLE.... so much dust... average buffets... vehicles breaking down... small rooms... or bug-infested tents... mixed up itineraries... long border crossings... freezing cold nights... or incredibly hot days... luggage getting lost... and over-priced curious.

And yet... everyone ends off with "the best trip of our lives". "I can't wait to go back". "The most fun we've had in years".

What is it about Africa that captures people like this? What is it about Africa... that despite all the problems, mix-ups, and disorganization.... makes people want to come back again and again?

I love it!


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Mar 12th, 2006, 07:10 PM
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"The roads were TERRIBLE.... so much dust... average buffets... vehicles breaking down... small rooms... or bug-infested tents... mixed up itineraries... long border crossings... freezing cold nights... or incredibly hot days... luggage getting lost... and over-priced."

Isn't that all part of the fun?

More seriously, the wildlife, the incredible scenery, the (another gross generalization) lovely, lovely people. Meeting fellow travelers, most of whom are equally enthusiastic about the good and the bad.
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Mar 12th, 2006, 07:12 PM
  #3
santharamhari
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To begin with, i dont think most of the fodorites complain to any magnitude about their trip.......they probably mention those things to faciliate better planning...........

Most really well organized safaris,are usually smooth sailing......

Yes, the experiences magical!!!
 
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Mar 13th, 2006, 04:24 AM
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I just find it interesting. When I read the threads from the Carribean... people will go write that they NEVER want to go back to the 5-star carribean resort they were staying at because the mini-bar didn't work... or their electronic key didn't work.

And yet, in Africa, people want to go back again and again.

Perhaps it's a different sort of people who travel to Africa!!
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Mar 13th, 2006, 04:49 AM
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Interesting question. To me the answer can be found in the words of the old cowboy song called "Don't Fence Me In" which was written by Cole Porter and made popular many years ago by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. It goes:

"Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,
Don't fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,
Don't fence me in.

Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please,
Don't fence me in.

Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies.
On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise.

I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can't look at hovels and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in."

Just about anywhere you go nowadays, you run into a fence sooner or later, and it's usually sooner. But not in Africa. It's wide open. It's au naturel. It's magic.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 06:31 AM
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That's East Africa. Southern Africa is much better - that stuff never happens!
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Mar 13th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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sandi
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napamatt -

Duh!
You've got to be kidding!
 
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Mar 13th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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I will raise my hand and say I am guilty of a bit of whining from my difficulties. Yet, I would go back to each place again tomorrow (perhaps except Treetops in Aberdares).

It was all worth it and that is the key. For example, my drive from Ngorongoro to the Serengeti was AWFUL, Then I got to the Serengeri and for MILES there was nothing but flat open dust. I was bummed. Out of the corner of my eye, my wife saw a lone lioness just walking along. We park the car and watched her fro 20 minutes, she walked across the road, right in front of us. In a field ont he other side was her cub. The lioness laid down and the cub nursed.

In just a few minutes I went from utter misery to complete elation! I was watching some of my video of this this weekend and I would give anything right now to be sitting in the Serengeti again.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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simbakubwa,

This very post has been made in the past and I don't think we could answer it then, either.

Once I even posted the opposite thread, along the lines of, "Who has gone to Africa and thought it was ok, but nothing special?" Couldn't get much feedback. Nobody in that camp.

Let me ask you, are you planning a trip? I noticed some of your posts asked questions about Africa. It would be great to get your post-trip reactions.

Actually I find most of the roads are not really terrible, I always love all the food, vehicle breakdowns have not been frequent but are expected, my rooms/tents have always been adequate to outstanding, the nights are cold but I bundle, the days are hot but I use #45, and I never buy curios.

But you are so right, that it continues to be everyone's trip of a lifetime. Sometimes year after year.

There is something addicting about Africa. Hope you can give it a try.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 10:21 AM
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sandi
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You may leave Africa, but Africa never leaves you!
 
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Mar 13th, 2006, 10:24 AM
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I can't say that I've experienced or complained about most of what you've listed, but I do agree that there's something about Africa that keeps me wanting to return again and again.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Sandi

Of course I was kidding. Though I would say if you read trip reports from Botswana, the realities of the logistics lead to a very different experience, because transfers are by light aircraft. Also the food and lodgings are usually of the highest standard and the game viewing is incredible, add to that the feeling of seclusion and wilderness and it takes some beating.

I edited my Lions killing a Buffalo footage this weekend - hard as it is to watch, thats why I go to Africa.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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sandi
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Matt -

Knew that!
 
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Mar 13th, 2006, 02:08 PM
  #14
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Atravelynn,

Yes, I am a teacher that has led a number of student teams over to Uganda in the past for their 4th year research theses.

I'm now thinking of taking them to Kenya as well, but am not as familiar with the Kenyan accommodations.

This site has been very helpful though!

Asante.
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Mar 13th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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Sandi

An English sense of humor in America is often (a) misunderstood (b) dangerous.
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Mar 14th, 2006, 02:19 AM
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simbakubwa:

What is it that makes people want to return despite this?

1. Peace and solitude.

2. Much easier pace of life - no
stress while on safari.

3. Makes you feel younger.

4. Going into total wilderness with
no people for hundreds of miles.

5. Gets the adrenaline rushing.

6. The unexpected surprises:
Lions coming to dining hall at
dinner time, snakes on veranda
at tea time, sitting watching
a bull elephant 15 feet from
your veranda for a long time.

7. The many marvelous and grateful
natives you meet and befriend.

9. Seeing the wildlife before it
is totally gone.

Jan
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Mar 14th, 2006, 12:21 PM
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Could it be we feel a connection to the land in Africa because that's where we all came from originally?

I'll never forget when my Mom, an upper middle-class white lady first went to Africa in 1970. In her first postcard to me she wrote: "I feel like I have come home."
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