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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Old 5 May 2006
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Travelling alone in Africa

Hi all!

I have been travelling alone across Central/South America for a 1.5 years and enjoyed it a lot. Now I'm considering next to go in Africa. Can anyone who have travelled in Africa ALONE share it's experience? How did you enjoy it? Do you recommend it?

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Old 5 May 2006
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I shared quite a bit of the route with other travelers, but pretty much enjoyed traveling on my own as well. That was the west side of Africa, and I'm good enough in french for socializing and stuff. People start talking with you everywhere, so there's lot's of oportunities for contacts and stuff.

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Old 7 May 2006
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I travelled a lot in West and Central Africa on my own, both working and travelling. It can be easier to meet the locals onb your own, in isolated areas you also cause a lot less of a stir. There are enough campsites/hostels etc where you can always go to meet up with other travellers if you need company.
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Old 7 May 2006
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Hi Patrick,

I've also travelled a fair amount alone in North and West Africa - I prefer going solo. As both Robbert and Kevin, imply, it has its advantages. You're forced to make conversation and in my experience, Africans are usually very welcoming and friendly.

In winter in the NW on the main routes - the Atlantic route and Hoggar - there's usually plenty of other overlanders, in case you get lonely.

For the francophone countries I recommend learning some French before you leave and taking a phrasebook. You might also consider learning some of the local languages e.g. Arabic, Hausa, Wolof and, if you're heading down through East Africa - Swahili.
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Old 8 May 2006
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Thanks for your replies,

I like to read that africans are very welcoming and friendly cause I really enjoy meeting local people while travelling. The language will not be a problem cause I speak french,english, spanish and portugues. Sounds interessting to learn some Wolof???

Doing desert riding alone seems a bit dangerous in case of a problem? Don't you think the same?

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Old 26 May 2006
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Hi Pat, looks like I'm heading to Africa in a few weeks myself. I'll keep an eye on you through HU. Where are you now, and where are you headed? I'm in Buenos Aires and heading for Capetown in 3 or 4 weeks. Have fun and ride safe, Dave.
"And I think to myself, what a wonderful world..." L.B. Armstrong. www.davesgreatescape.net
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Old 26 May 2006
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Originally Posted by PatOnTrip
Thanks for your replies,

Sounds interessting to learn some Wolof???

Doing desert riding alone seems a bit dangerous in case of a problem? Don't you think the same?

Not all African's can speak the language of their former colonial power, so a local language like Wolof can be useful, and personally, I find it respectful if you're going to another country to at least learn the pleasantries. Also, telling a hustler to get lost in their native tongue can be very disarming to them.

That said, pretending not to speak a single word of any other language other than your own can also be useful e.g. responding to 'Cadeaux' requests with a puzzled expression.

Desert riding alone can indeed be dangerous. Travelling on some of the main pistes, you can usually, but not always, expect to see other traffic, the drivers of which will usually help you if you're in trouble. Hopefully your water supplies will last until you can get help. Hopefully if you crash and can't move someone will see you. However, none of this is guarenteed. It's a risk.

I suggest you buy a copy of Chris Scott's Sahara Overland book.
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