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This site accompanies the travel guide The Rough Guide to First-Time Africa. It's not an alternative to the book, but includes samples of the contents, a blog page and the opportunity to comment on posts and pages and put questions to the authors.
Static web pages ("The book", "The authors" etc) are tabbed up on the left beneath the photo of Lamu waterfront. Blog posts all appear on the "Home" page, at the far left, with the most recent post at the top. Each blog post is tagged with subject and/or country categories, allowing you to access the posts you're interested in using the Category dropdown menu, below.
Last 10 blog posts
- British tourist, visitor and resident deaths in Africa: 325 people in 12 months out of more than 3 million British visitors
- Surprised 2174 Brits died abroad of “unknown causes” in 2010: new figures from the FCO
- Accidents abroad: Britons killed in Africa
- Britons murdered in Africa: very few indeed
- Improved security in the Sahel: military escorts dropped in northern Niger
- Rodrigues on the radio
- KCB Safari Rally 2011 – take care on those roads!
- The Lake of Stars Festival
- Zambia travel update
- Cycling in Uganda
Archive of all blog posts
Subjects and countries
- RT @ExpertAfrica: The @FCDOtravelGovUK #traveladvice service seriously needs to take a more nuanced view of its blanket advisory against a… 1 day ago
- When is @FCDOtravelGovUK going to review its #traveladvice on every country in Africa? Communities and the wildlife… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 2 days ago
- RT @lonelyplanet: A new website is making it easier than ever to tick off your African safari bucket list 🦓🦒🦁🐆🐘 fal.cn/3ahhm 2 days ago
- This is all going well then. twitter.com/antartica81/st… 4 days ago
- RT @ExtinctionR: Boris, what was that you tweeted today about it being 'completely unacceptable to seek to limit the public's access to new… 1 week ago
- RT @MarieAnnUK: Desperate Boris Johnson - Hey Bozo why don't you tweet this? https://t.co/4vnrVKFDxi 1 week ago
- Plus one! twitter.com/philippesibell… 3 weeks ago
- Shouldn’t be shocked, but still stunned at the collapse of STA Travel. My first real job in the 1980s. Lovely compa… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 4 weeks ago
A nice piece on travel in the land-locked nation of Lesotho by the Guardian’s Africa correspondent, David Smith.
Our Lesotho page is here.
This planned freight line might prove to be quite useful, especially in the rains, when roads in northern and western Guinea can be so slow. Whether it will have any actual passenger transport is another matter.
And don’t expect it before 2014.
It sounds like it might resume in October.
This is a perennial subject. Roads in the Democratic Republic of Congo are just so unpredictable and can delay travel literally for weeks.
A compelling, brilliantly edited film shown on Al-Jazeera recently, “Hazardous trucking in DR Congo” provides a graphic account of a truck journey – 650km that should have taken a few days and turned into a one-month mud battle. If the film leaves that link I imagine you’ll find it one YouTube (Tony Comiti productions for Al Jazeera).
In contrast, Bukavu in eastern DRC has some excellent roads, at least in town, as these photos on SkyScraperCity.com show.
For some good insights into the condition of roads between Bangui and Rwanda (ie the old route across what was then Zaire), have a look at Pete Gostelow’s superb photos and descriptions of cycling (and going by river) through DRC in early 2011.
The BBC’s 2 June 2011 story about a “crash” in wildlife numbers in the Maasai Mara region has been widely picked up, in most cases without further comment.
I don’t think we should be complacent, but I’m not getting a sense of impending disaster from visits to the Mara and feedback from other travellers, conservationists and operators on the ground. It’s true the numbers went down hugely in the 1970s and early 80s, but although there are challenges all round – and the Narok council-run Maasai Mara National Reserve has lots of problems with human incursions – in some respects, the story now seems to be increasingly positive, as the private and community-run conservancies start to provide genuine, open sanctuaries for huge numbers of wildlife. A new conservancy, Naboisho, is just opening up now, as this year’s migration starts.
Anyway, I’ve had a look into the data behind the “wildlife crash” story on the Rough Guide to Kenya blog. What particularly surprises me is how patchy the numbers are. I know they’re only estimates, but how can the population of elephants be estimated at 125 one month and more than 2000 the next month? And elephants are presumably a bit easier to count than many species. Are they hiding or moving? It makes me wonder how accurate any of these aerial surveys are. I’d be interested in people’s views.
Chadian cinéastes Issa Serge Coelo (“Daresalam”) and Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, who won the Cannes 2010 Jury Prize for “A Screaming Man”, who spearheaded the project, had presidential support. You need that for this kind of thing in Chad.