Getting Around Africa

  • Caleche rank, Bab Doukalla
    Caleche rank, Bab Doukalla
    by Bennytheball
  • Transportation
    by maktim
  • The rivers don't always have bridges
    The rivers don't always have bridges
    by GrumpyDiver

Most Viewed Transportation in Africa

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    ROBOTS !

    by DAO Written May 3, 2008

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    The first time it happened I was driving and my local friend Johannes was giving me directions. Suddenly I heard him say “Look out for the Robot”. I thought he was crazy. Suddenly I saw red traffic lights and had to apply the brakes quickly. We came to an almost violent stop and Johannes was looking at me like I was crazy now. Now he says “I told you to watch out for the Robot”. I am now looking around for metallic coloured mechanical man. I still don’t see one. That’s when Johannes realises and tells me that Robots in South Africa are automatic traffic lights. Mystery solved. Mr. Robot turns green and away we go.

    Related to:
    • Motorcycle
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Road Trip

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    THE TRANS-KALAHARI HIGHWAY

    by DAO Updated Apr 10, 2008

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    Need to get across southern Botswana? The Trans-Kalahari Highway is a modern paved road across the desert. You can drive across the country in the better part of a day. The speed limit is 120 kph (74.5 mph), but who cares? There are no Police out here. You do need to be careful though. ONLY drive during the day and set off at sunrise if you can. Animals live all over the road. Lots of big animals including Ostriches, Donkeys, Horses, Goats, you name it. They are invisible and deadly at night. Also take 10-20 litres of water with you and check you spare tyre before you set off. There are petrol stations, but they are very far apart. Never set off without a full tank. You get very warm and bored on the very straight road and the radio stations are non-existent. This means you need to take breaks as you drive along. Be careful!

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    Local Transport

    by MikeAtSea Written Apr 6, 2008

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    All African countries have a public transport system that is generally run privatley in form of taxis, busses and in some instances trains. However one needs to bring a large portion of time and lots of patients with if one only uses the public or local transport. At times it can be packed with a lot more passengers then the capacity allows, break downs and accidents are regular.
    Effectivley one could travel from Cape Town to Cairo by using public transport, but it will take a lot of time and nerves.

    Transport in Madagascar Local transport in Senegal
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    Kenya Airways

    by MikeAtSea Written Apr 6, 2008

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    The largest air company of East Africa is Air Kenya. Their hub being Nairobi with operation of scheduled flights to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
    Kenya Airways has recently introduced a number of flights also to West Africa and offer services all over East and Southern Africa.

    Kenya Airways Kenya Airways
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    South African Airways

    by MikeAtSea Written Apr 6, 2008

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    The largest airline on the African continent and member of the Star Alliance is South African Airways. Their hub is the city of Johannesburg and besides scheduled services between Europe, Asia, South America, North America and Australia they also offer a number of flights within Southern Africa and certain African destinations.

    Me drinking champagne on SAA
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    Monster truck driver

    by Wafro Written Mar 11, 2008

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    When you have to reach a remote destination and public transport is rare, you can always try to catch a ride with a truck. The driver expects a small contribution, agree a price before you get on is my advice

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    Dug-out canoe

    by Wafro Written Mar 11, 2008

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    An easy and relatively fast way to transport you on the water is a dugout canoe or pirogue.
    It is cheap when they don’t have an outboard motor and when you are in the rainforests of Africa you can cover large distances with a pirogue and observe the wildlife without scaring them away. But you can also find the on the shores of lakes where fishermen can bring you to your destination.

    Related to:
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    • Eco-Tourism

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    THEY DON'T SELL ROAD MAPS !

    by DAO Updated Feb 29, 2008

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    I grew up watching my family buy road maps at petrol garages (gas stations) whenever we were driving somewhere new. I learned to drive and occasionally bought a road map while I got fuel to continue my journey. You would EXPECT a place that sells fuel for cars, tyres, oil, and all that good stuff would sell you a map for the road you are now on. NO! Most petrol garages in Africa do not sell them! You have to go to a BOOKSTORE! Please remember this and prepare accordingly.

    NOT IN NAMIBIA NOT IN ZIMBABWE ��� NO FUEL EITHER ! NOT IN BOTSWANA NOT IN MOZAMBIQUE NOT IN SOUTH AFRICA
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    KEEP IT LOCKED AND DON'T DISPLAY

    by DAO Updated Feb 10, 2008

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    One of the best ways to see a lot of Africa is to drive your own vehicle. Just remember this; a good pair of sunglasses left on display may be worth more than some people earn in a week. It also says to would-be-thieves that there is more valuable stuff inside. Do not display anything anytime you are away from your vehicle – day or night. If you are camping and have equipment you cannot hide, then always leave someone with the vehicle. Also, always look for accommodation that has enclosed car parking. I have literally had children jump out of bushes and dive into my car in the middle of the desert looking for valuables.

    NO DRINKING AND DRIVING EITHER!
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    DRIVE TO SURVIVE

    by DAO Updated Mar 17, 2007

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    This is about the bad driving conditions I experienced in Southern Africa, so you will know what to look for here. Please see my other transport pages for bad drivers in other parts of the world. You will not see all of these, but be prepared and you will be safe.

    1 Driving on the left
    Stay FAR left. Drivers love to overtake at the crest of blind summits on your side of the road. Always hug the left side - except at night

    2 The white line on the left side
    Is the slow/break down lane. You aren’t supposed to drive in it and there may be a stationary vehicle there, but see item 1. You may want to use it. Just watch out at blind summits. Can’t win can you?

    3 Dusk
    Is more dangerous than at night. Animals cross the road from pasture to home

    4 Cows
    See item 3. They move slowly though. Of course remember item 1 and 2. Can destroy your car and kill you

    5 Goats
    They can be fast, erratic and go any direction including backwards. See items 1-3. Can make you have to pay the excess on your insurance

    6 Drunk Drivers
    Quite a few, but mostly at night. If you see one, stop and let them carry on. Even throw objects (cans, bottles out of the windows. Keep a safe distance from any car anyway. Just good driving even when everyone is safe and sober

    7 Driving at night
    See items 1-6 and add in the (rare wild animal and termites. The last ones are huge and become superglue on the windscreen. It is very hard to get off, worse to see through.

    8 Courtesy
    There are loads of safe friendly drivers on the roads. If you want to let someone overtake or join in front of you, flash your lights 2-3 times. They will wave or flash their lights back. You then flash once to say you are welcome. And vice versa. There are loads of slow moving vehicles. Just wave when you overtake.

    9 Always have a map.
    Many people are friendly, but many people are poor and have not travelled within their own country. They may not be able to tell you where your destination is.

    10 Be Polite
    People in Africa are the nicest in the world. Let’s keep it that way!

    Related to:
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    • Photography
    • Road Trip

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    Walking

    by Wafro Updated Jan 21, 2006

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    Walking is one of the most reliable ways of transportation on the African continent.
    When you're well trained and you trust your legs, you can cover large distances by walking.
    In some places walking is the only way to go from point A to point B.

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    Camel ride

    by Wafro Written Jan 21, 2006

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    I think many of the hotels in Egypt or North Africa have their own camel to take you out for a ride.
    When you say the camel is too big or too high, they will find you a donkey and even when these are too high for you....
    They'll find you a dog or a chicken to ride on!
    There is no business like tourist business.
    You'll pay a few E.L.(Egyptian Pounds) for a ride, but always negotiate for a reasonable price

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    Air-Madagascar international & internal flights

    by Norali Updated Nov 22, 2005

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    Air-Madagascar or Air Mad (!) is our national air company.

    INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS
    - Departures from and arrivals in Paris (CDG)
    Reunion, Mauritius, Kenya, South Africa, Comores. Schedules here:
    http://www.airmadagascar.com

    - As for prices, contact your local Air Mad rep.:
    http://www.airmadagascar.com

    INTERNAL FLIGHTS
    Though I prefer roadtrips to discover amazing landscapes (see my albums on Big South journey for instance), I give tips on internal flights as well
    - Schedules:
    http://www.airmadagascar.com

    One thing, however, it seems that while preparing your trip, it's cheaper to include internal flights in your package rather than buy them in Madagascar. Check with TOs and agencies for that.

    Related to:
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Safari

    by Rusket Updated Oct 8, 2005

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    On the big journey around the world, I wanted to visit the wife of a Tanzanian friend of mine who was studying in Stavanger. But there was no way Tanzania could be fitted into our flight schedules, the Star Alliance with whom we flew simply did not land in Tanzania at that time. But they did fly to South Africa. One of my older sons had been on a safari from Cape Town to Zanzibar with Drifters a year earlier, and recommended them to us. I took a look at their web site, and yes, they did have a tour from Johannesburg through my friend's home town Arusha to Nairobi :-)

    I am very pleased with the choice. Drifters are very professional. They have only one guide / driver / cook on their trucks, but they cooperate with local guides / tour operators along the route. This way the participants benifit from local expertise and the driver gets time to rest. Safety is priority no 1, and all our guides were experienced and knowledgable.

    Ngorongoro Tents Zimbabwe ruins Road construction, Malawi Victoria Falls
    Related to:
    • Safari
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    • National/State Park

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    Bush Taxi

    by Wafro Written Sep 4, 2005

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    Everywhere in Africa you can find Bush Taxi Stations.
    Most of the time this is the fastest way to travel, but also the most unsafe way.
    Cars are in very bad conditions, overloaded and the drivers often think they’re F1 Pilots.
    Prices are fixed, but you’ll always have to bargain for the fares of your backpack or suitcase.

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Africa Transportation

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