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Nervous about travel in Africa? Here’s why you shouldn’t be

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Thanks to “gilesmeetsworld” for sharing…

When most people think about travel, Africa doesn’t usually come up as an option, and admittedly originally it wasn’t top of my list either… I think this is because not only are people unaware of all you can experience there, but sometimes the continent can seem an intimidating place to travel. I recently wrote a guest post on WanderingOutsideTheBox (linked here), about why Africa should be your next travel destination, and it made me realise that I should be writing more on my experiences in Africa so that I can show others how incredible it is to travel there.

I want to convey what the reality of travel in Africa is like, and try and go through common fears or things that might put people off. So in this post I’ll be doing exactly that, I’ll be listing common fears about travel in Africa, and then explaining based on my experience what the reality actually is.

A little side note here, I realise throughout this post I use the term ‘Africa’ a lot, which is of course a massive generalisation of a huge and diverse continent with over 50 countries, but when I use it I’m referring to sub-Saharan Africa.

Mosquitoes and Malaria

This is probably what most people worry about. Yes there is malaria and it’s a massive problem. However as a western person with a western immune system who will (and definitely should) likely have anti-malarial medication, the chances of you catching it are very minimal. When I travelled through different countries in sub-Saharan Africa, mosquitoes were actually not as bad a problem as I thought they would be. When you’re staying in a tent that you can seal off completely from anything outside, it means you can be pretty effective in keeping them out.

I was expecting the biggest and baddest mosquitoes I had ever seen, but they never showed up. Just use some mosquito spray (of which you’ll be able to get great brands out in Africa that are much cheaper), take your anti-malarial meds and you should be absolutely fine. My best advice when it comes to travelling anywhere where there might be diseases etc you could catch, is speak to your doctor, get your jabs, and make sure you have health insurance.

Safety

Often people will be worried about visiting Africa because of political troubles in some nations or safety, and if you don’t know what you’re doing or the areas you’re going, then I would strongly advise travelling there first with a guide or in a group. However when you do go with experienced guides who are constantly on the ball with where you’re going and know exactly the areas you’re travelling through, you don’t feel unsafe or in danger at all.

In fact it’s like most places in the world, in that it’s a tiny population of people who are giving places a bad reputation. Most locals were so friendly and passionate about their country and wildlife, and it was an absolute pleasure getting to meet so many great and inspiring local people. Not to mention it’s often in the places where tourism isn’t massive yet, that tourists are treated extremely well because of the financial benefits they bring to the country.

Bathroom & Campsite facilities

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I was expecting a camping trip in Africa to have non-existent bathroom facilities, and yes sometimes we were in national parks so it was just a hole in the ground. But this was extremely rare, and completely a choice by us to want to experience camping in the wild. I actually experienced much worse bathrooms travelling through SE Asia than in Africa. Most of the time we had very decent showers and toilets at our campsites that were perfectly adequate.

Admittedly when you’re doing a lot of travel through remote areas, there aren’t going to be toilets everywhere, so we did stop by the road a fair few times for toilet stops behind some sort of vegetation, but just bring a toilet roll (that you throw in a bin you take with you) and hand sanitizer and it’s completely fine. A little bottle of anti-bac hand sanitiser is generally just a great thing to carry with you travelling anywhere. Not to mention if you’re travelling in Africa and not camping, it’s just like anywhere else with excellent quality accommodation and hotels, if that’s what you prefer.

Western food

If you’re worried about being able to find those delicious snacks when you travel, don’t. We stopped many times at many places and there are usually supermarkets or shops selling the standards snacks crisps chocolate nuts etc etc. We had to stop to get water often so to enough supermarkets to know, it’s not just local stalls selling local foods, there are plenty of western foods too. Also camping, we made all of our own food anyway, and this was often very similar to what you’d eat back home if not with a bit more meat cooked on the brai (South-African bbq) than normal. It’s really not the case at all that you won’t be able to find western food.

Shops

So this sounds like a strange one, but I learnt the hard way… When I was in New Zealand just before I flew to Cape Town, I stocked up on loads of meds and various things for my Africa trip as I was determined not to get ill, and my thoughts were going to be that I was travelling in remote and less developed areas so wouldn’t be able to pick the things up I needed. I get to South Africa and on the first day we stop in a massive shopping centre just outside of Cape Town which sells all the exact same stuff for a quarter of the price… You will stop in places where you can get clothes, food, meds etc, so don’t be like me, wait until you get there to get the basics. We even had a couple of people in our group who didn’t bring sleeping bags and they managed to find them very easily.

Wifi

Don’t panic folks, there will be internet. Admittedly depending on where you are it may be limited, but you’ll be very surprised how frequent and in how many campsites there will be wifi and internet connections. It’s sometimes nice to have a break from the internet for a while, but if you’re concerned you’ll be weeks without being able to contact home etc, there’s no need. The internet often will be limited or not that strong, but it’s even the case that some companies who run these overland group tours have wifi on the buses themselves!

I’m going to get eaten by a lion!

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Ok, so obviously this sub heading is an exaggeration, but you see my point. Camping in national parks with no fences between you and lions… are you serious?! Yes, I am actually. So firstly and most importantly, the wildlife in Africa is to be taken seriously. You’ll need to watch out for scorpions and snakes etc in the desert, and also bigger game and wildlife camping in national parks. However, if you’re sensible and listen to advice (of which there will be plenty), you will be fine. Wildlife often won’t want to have anything to do with people and will keep away from them. So as long as you are sensible and listen to advice, you will be absolutely fine.

I’ve even camped where elephants and hippos stroll next to people’s tents, but they view them as obstacles rather than anything of interest. People will be there to make sure you are camping in a safe environment, and will be on hand for emergencies, so you shouldn’t let any of these fears put you off.

So I hope I’ve gone through a few concerns people have about travelling in Africa and explained why they shouldn’t put you off. Like anywhere, as long as you’re sensible and listen to locals advice you’ll be completely fine. Anything I’ve forgotten to mention or any fears that are putting you off travel in Africa, pop them in the comments below.

When most people think about travel, Africa doesn’t usually come up as an option, and admittedly originally it wasn’t top of my list either… I think this is because not only are people unaware of all you can experience there, but sometimes the continent can seem an intimidating place to travel. I recently wrote a […]

via Nervous about travel in Africa? Here’s why you shouldn’t be… — gilesmeetsworld

Chasing Sunsets

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Sit back and enjoy a few sunsets from around the world 🙂 Hope everyone is having a great week!

Thanks to “traveldlife” for sharing

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21 Interesting Snake Facts That Will Amaze You

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21 Interesting Snake Facts That Will Amaze You — UnprecedentedNow

Source: Fact-Retriever

Snakes. The first thing that comes to mind when we hear this word is that snakes bite and some of them are poisonous as well. But there are so much more to know about these snakes. So here are 21 Interest Snake Facts that will amaze you:

1. Some snakes such as The Hognose, Grass snake and the Spitting Cobra fake death when they feel threatened.  They simply flip into their backs, open their mouths, and flop out their tongues. And then they will let out some smelly stuff from their anal gland. Nobody would want to eat that snake as it becomes extremely dirty and smelly.

2. Snakes that are poisonous have pupils that are shaped like a diamond while snakes that are not poisonous have round pupils.

3. When someone is bit by boomslang snake, what happens next is a bit scary. The venom of the snake destroys the red blood cells of the victim, thus causing to bleed from all the holes of the body such as gums and nose.

4.Ophiophobia or Herpetophobia, the fear of snakes is the second most common phobia in the world. People suffering from this phobia get creeped out by even python-skinned bags.

5. The completely separated head of a dead snake can bite even hours after its death. Since it is dead, it cannot regulate how much venom it is injecting, it can often inject large amounts of venom and thus can be fatal.

6. Some snakes have two heads. The two heads fight for food if while being fed, their vision of each other is not blocked. This is an interesting snake fact.interesting_snake_two_heads

7. Snakes are worshipped in many countries such as Africa, India, Cambodia etc.

8. Each year about 50000 people die from snake bites, but in Australia, which is home to some of the most deadliest snakes, only 5 people die from snake bites in a year.

9. A new and mysterious disease known as ‘mad snake disease’ causes boas and pythons to tie themselves up in knots and maybe it is caused by a rodent virus.

10. When it feels threatened, the Sonoran Coral Snake farts instead of hissing or rattling. This is a really interesting snake fact.

11. Snakes have been known to explode after eating. A 13-foot python exploded after it tried to feast on a 6-foot alligator. The python was found with the alligator’s tail protruding from its midsection. Its head was nowhere to be found.interesting_snake_facts2_poisonous

12. Titanoboa is an extinct species of snake which lived about 60 million years ago is the largest, heaviest as well as longest snake ever discovered.

13. In quite a few Asian countries, it is believed that drinking the blood of snakes, particularly the cobra, increases sexual virility. The blood of snake is drained from a live snake and then it is mixed with liquor. This is a shocking as well as interesting snake fact.

14. Some of the deadliest snakes and highly venomous snakes are : The Big Four (Indian Cobra, Common Krait, Rusell’s Viper, Saw-Scaled Viper), Terciopelo, King Cobra, Many-branded Krait, Malayan krait, Inland Taipan, Eastern Brown Snake, Common Death Adder, Tiger Snake, Green Mambas and True Cobras.

15. The death adder snake has the fastest strike among snakes in the world. It can attack, inject venom, and go back to its striking position within 0.15 seconds.

16. Antartica is the only continent that is devoid of snakes.interesting_snake_facts2_eyes

17. Evey year, bees kill more people than snakes. Now that’s a shocking stat. This is another shocking as well as interesting snake fact.

18. The hedgehog (Erinaceidae), the mongoose (Herpestidae), the honey badger (Mellivora capensis), the secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius), and some other birds are known to be immune to snake venom and thus can that feed on snakes.

19. A 30-year old Indian woman from Orissa, who claimed that she had fallen in love with a snake married the snake in 2006.

20. Snakes never stop growing, though it’s growth rate reduces as it’s age increases.

21. There have been cases of death of poisonous snakes after they bit themselves by mistake. This is a really weird fact about snakes.

I hope you guys enjoyed the list and make sure you follow us if you haven’t done that already and share it with your friends or people to share the knowledge.

Do you know of any such interesting snake fact? If it’s a Yes, don’t forget to mention the fact below. We would love to know more facts.

Cheers till our next post! Have a great time guys! 🙂

Do check our other posts: 8 Awesome YouTube Channels That You need to check out! and 15 Incredible Facts about Northeast India

Picture Credits:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com,Pinterest and Factslides

Source: Fact-Retriever

via 21 Interesting Snake Facts That Will Amaze You — UnprecedentedNow

 

Story Behind the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ Fight

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It was advertised as “The Rumble in the Jungle.” The 25-year old powerhouse vs. the aging 32-year old. The late Muhammed Ali and George Foreman were preparing to duke it out on the ring in Kinshasa, Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo to an audience of 60,000 on October 30, 1974 for the heavyweight championship title.

President Mobutu Sese Seko, who wanted Zaire to be in the spotlight, had secured a $10 million purse to host the event and split the cash evenly amongst the two. Everything was at stake for these egos. It was Ali’s chance to show the world his fighting spirit never wavered and Foreman’s chance to further cement his invincibility and remain undefeated by taking down the greatest. To celebrate Norman Mailer’s birthday today, we look back at the legendary matchup through his 1975 book The Fight, which features images by Sports Illustrated’s Neil Leifer and Ali’s official photographer Howard Bingham…

The Fight book cover, George-Foreman-Muhammad Ali

It was advertised as “The Rumble in the Jungle.” The 25-year old powerhouse vs. the aging 32-year old. The late Muhammed Ali and George Foreman were preparing to duke it out on the ring in Kinshasa, Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo to an audience of 60,000 on October 30, 1974 for…

via The Story Behind the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ Fight — TIME

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