Siân Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons have been travelling in Africa for 30 years. They are the authors of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to the Maldives and Cape Verde.
|Around Budapest and the Danube Bend|
|Northern Great Plain|
|Southern Great Plain|
|Central and Western Tansdanubia|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
Be very careful when you first reach the continent and watch out for the local drivers. Some car drivers drive phenomenally fast, including those share-taxis that have eleven people crammed inside and screech around corners with bald tyres! Buses are not always much slower, and are equally overloaded. The African travelling public have a lot to put up with.
You need to anticipate the driver's actions; many do not do the obvious. In fact expecting the unexpected should become second nature. Some vehicles are grossly overloaded; many don't have mirrors. Even with those that do have mirrors, the drivers may take no notice. You will soon learn how Africans drive!
Remember that a lot of African roads are quiet most of the time, and therefore people will not expect vehicles to be passing continually. This means you must drive very slowly through villages and towns; children run out unexpectedly, women with heavy waterpots on their heads may not be looking out for traffic. If you should be so unfortunate as to knock someone down, it will always be your fault, whatever the circumstances. Animals are also a potential threat much of the time. Camels in particular, with their noses high in the air, seem oblivious to other road users.
Although some main roads are mostly good, there is always the possible threat at any time of large unmarked pot-holes; uncovered manholes aren’t totally unknown and surfaces can be suddenly rough. With so many different road surfaces, gravel tracks, sandy pistes and muddy holes, driving in Africa can be great fun. But don't get carried away by the thrill of the moment; Africa will punish you severely. Always drive with great caution.
Excerpted from Africa Overland, 5th: 4x4, Motorbike, Bicycle, Truck by Bob Gibbons, Sian Pritchard-Jones
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