Transport

Chapter 6 contents
Shared taxis
Buses
Transport parks
Lorries and trucks
City transport
Light rail and rapid bus services
Hitchhiking
Trains
Classic African rail routes
Boats, barges and ferries
Flights
Car rental and driving
Choosing and running a vehicle
Motorcycles
Rules of the road
Off-road driving
Cycling
Walking and riding

Our top transport tips (gleaned from years of trial and tribulation, not to mention error):

Give yourself time Transport always takes longer than you anticipate. If you’re in a rush, you’ll miss the point of the journey, get stressed, and quite possibly lose things along the way.

Don’t believe a word of it Double-check everything you’re told. Avoid daily disappointment by always assuming you’re not going anywhere.

Make yourself at home Always be prepared for a 24-hour delay. Snacks, drinks, a good book and comforts like a pillow, toilet paper, wet wipes and hand cleaner will allow you to make your immediate circumstances at least bearable, if not necessarily comfortable.

Don’t pay bribes Patience and good humour are usually just as effective when travelling by public transport. If any bribe is paid it’s the driver or conductor who does so, not you the passenger.

Stay cool Easier said than done when the temperature is nudging 99˚F/35˚C and there’s 100 percent humidity, but whatever the situation, don’t let it get to you. Even if you think the customs official/traffic cop/visa officer/bus driver is being obstructive, a smile and a comment of understanding from you can break the logjam, will certainly improve your mood and might even make the world a tiny bit better.

This page last edited 9 June 2011 © Richard Trillo and Emma Gregg

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