Wild Dog Adventure Riding

General => Africa Info & other International Travels => Topic started by: tomrinbellingham on February 13, 2011, 04:23:25 am

Title: Stupid Questions...
Post by: tomrinbellingham on February 13, 2011, 04:23:25 am
 :-[ I've been afraid to ask up to now because I didn't want to have anyone of you die laughing at the stupid questions only an American could ask. BUT, I don't want to die just because I was too afraid to ask. So, you're on your own:

1. Will I get eaten by a lion  (or snake, or alegator, or ....) while I'm camping? Should people like me carry an AK-47 for protection from the wild things -- or the Janjaweed or ...? Can people like me even buy a gun in SA and carry it up to the top of Africa? What are prudent precautions in these regards - animals and humans that might want me or my stuff?

2. Will I get eaten by a mosquito  because I don't have some specail mosquito net inside my tent? What precautions should I take about malaria on this trip north through SA, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Syria ... on to Germany?

3. Do the stores in SA carry Duct Tape? (I'm sure I can't live without it!)

4. Will I be able to buy automatic transmission fluid in cities along the route to the top?  (It's what I use for my automatic chain oiler.)

OK, that's all the dumb questions I can bring myself to ask for the moment.
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: GlenInk on February 13, 2011, 04:32:31 am
1. not likely if you are careful, a gun will make life difficult . . .

2. Yes Mozzies are a pain, malaria pills and mozzie repelent . . .

3. yes  :thumleft:

4. yes  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: tomrinbellingham on February 13, 2011, 05:42:57 am
What is involved in being careful? Staying awake all night? Sleeping in a tree? Keeping the motor running for a fast get away? Staying only in well guarded campgrounds?

And, what happens along the back road when my path and a pack of lions, hyenas, wolves, bears, alligators.... cross paths? Does every body run away - or just me?

1. not likely if you are careful, a gun will make life difficult . . .

2. Yes Mozzies are a pain, malaria pills and mozzie repellent . . .

3. yes  :thumleft:

4. yes  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: GlenInk on February 13, 2011, 06:11:11 am
What is involved in being careful? Staying awake all night? Sleeping in a tree? Keeping the motor running for a fast get away? Staying only in well guarded campgrounds?

And, what happens along the back road when my path and a pack of lions, hyenas, wolves, bears, alligators.... cross paths? Does every body run away - or just me?

1. not likely if you are careful, a gun will make life difficult . . .

2. Yes Mozzies are a pain, malaria pills and mozzie repellent . . .

3. yes  :thumleft:

4. yes  :thumleft:

I think the best would be for you to post your route here and then we can tell you where to watch out for what and how . . .


Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Big J on February 13, 2011, 06:47:54 am
Just ask a local to join up with you. This way you will soon understand the area. Most wild animals are confined in fenced farms down here. Animals are great to come across. (You would be very lucky to see a leopard, even though they are still around). It's the humans we shy away from.. ;D
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Watty on February 13, 2011, 06:53:25 am
You need not worry about alligators, wolves and bears - they are not found in Africa!
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Crispie on February 13, 2011, 07:05:18 am
I agree with GlenInk it's best to post yout planned route first! :peepwall:
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Makhulu on February 13, 2011, 07:13:03 am
:-[ I've been afraid to ask up to now because I didn't want to have anyone of you die laughing at the stupid questions only an American could ask. BUT, I don't want to die just because I was too afraid to ask. So, you're on your own:

1. Will I get eaten by a lion  (or snake, or alegator, or ....) while I'm camping? Should people like me carry an AK-47 for protection from the wild things -- or the Janjaweed or ...? Can people like me even buy a gun in SA and carry it up to the top of Africa? What are prudent precautions in these regards - animals and humans that might want me or my stuff?

2. Will I get eaten by a mosquito  because I don't have some specail mosquito net inside my tent? What precautions should I take about malaria on this trip north through SA, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Syria ... on to Germany?

3. Do the stores in SA carry Duct Tape? (I'm sure I can't live without it!)

4. Will I be able to buy automatic transmission fluid in cities along the route to the top?  (It's what I use for my automatic chain oiler.)

OK, that's all the dumb questions I can bring myself to ask for the moment.

How do you deal with wild animals in your own country? Exactly the same rules apply here.

1. No. Be sensible like you would normally do for bears and alligators.
2. Like everyone said, use malaria prophylactics.
3. Yes. Since it is 3rd world countries they will surely have.
4. Yes.
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: GlenInk on February 13, 2011, 07:19:49 am
Crocodiles, they not everywhere, but where you not sure, ask before you swim.

Just ask a local to join up with you. This way you will soon understand the area. Most wild animals are confined in fenced farms down here. Animals are great to come across. (You would be very lucky to see a leopard, even though they are still around). It's the humans we shy away from.. ;D


+100


Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: GlenInk on February 13, 2011, 07:27:41 am
Look at what these guys are doing  :deal:

http://pikipiki.co.za/
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Pote on February 13, 2011, 08:06:49 am
I have never heard of a biker that was eaten or attacked by a lion in South Africa, most people from UK / USA have a very vague perception about how we live here in South Africa, “we don’t have any wild animals walking around in our neighborhoods” the only places where you will find dangerous animals will be in a zoo, those private 4 / 5 Star game lodges or our national game parks, which in does not allow motorbikes to travel in these parks.

For your mosquito question, see the picture for the risk areas

Duct tape will be available at about every hardware store, +/- for $7 a roll.

“Will I be able to buy automatic transmission fluid in cities along the route to the top?” Yes you will, most supermarkets even stock these at the D.I.Y sections and some of the bigger “gas” station also sells them.
Title: Re: Stupid Questions -not so much about South Africa; more about all the rest.
Post by: tomrinbellingham on February 13, 2011, 08:16:03 am
Route? Starting in Johannesburg, around through Swaziland and Lesotho to Port Elizabeth and on to Cape Town then, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Syria ... on to Germany.

Besides a list of countries, we don't have a defined route. We want to see animals, renowned sites (Vitoria Falls, Serengeti, Ancient Ruins, cities not so much, Kilimanjaro, etc. But, we don't know what all until we are faced with a fork in the road that will take us to see this or that as long as we are gradually heading north. We don't know if it will take us 4 months or 8 months to get up and out of Africa.

We want to "stop and smell the roses" more than we did on our recent trip from Alaska to Ushuaia in the Americas -- we went too fast. It was a fun ride, but we missed a lot of things we should have enjoyed along the way. This time, I hope we get more of the history, culture, and spectacular of the places we ride through.

I don't think it is yet true that the animals are (even mostly) behind wire fences. It will be very disappointing if that is true of Africa. We aren't going to see the cities - except for a couple. We do want to see the Cape of Good Hope and the Pyramids -- well, we want to take our pictures with those things in the background anyway. But mostly we want to see rural Africa. And we don't want to get eaten in the process. Are lions as rare in the rural parts of these countries as GrizzlyBears are in the lower 48 states of the USA?

Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Pistonpete on February 13, 2011, 08:23:21 am
:-[ I've been afraid to ask up to now because I didn't want to have anyone of you die laughing at the stupid questions only an American could ask. BUT, I don't want to die just because I was too afraid to ask. So, you're on your own:

1. Will I get eaten by a lion  (or snake, or alegator, or ....) while I'm camping? Should people like me carry an AK-47 for protection from the wild things -- or the Janjaweed or ...? Can people like me even buy a gun in SA and carry it up to the top of Africa? What are prudent precautions in these regards - animals and humans that might want me or my stuff?

2. Will I get eaten by a mosquito  because I don't have some specail mosquito net inside my tent? What precautions should I take about malaria on this trip north through SA, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Syria ... on to Germany?

3. Do the stores in SA carry Duct Tape? (I'm sure I can't live without it!)

4. Will I be able to buy automatic transmission fluid in cities along the route to the top?  (It's what I use for my automatic chain oiler.)

OK, that's all the dumb questions I can bring myself to ask for the moment.
1. You would will not be killed by a Lion but if you are you going to be famous! The first overlander motorcyclist  num num! And no...we don't all run around with AK47's like on the news....that's reserved for criminals, dictators and those about to remove the president...
2. Yes you will in all likelyhood be bitten. Take appropriate anti-malerial drugs.
3. I personally have not seen genuine Duct Tape for years but similar stuff is available..
4. Any oil will do if you cannot get auto tranny iol?

Let us know how the planning goes  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Eendstop on February 13, 2011, 10:25:20 am
What no-one so far told you, criminals are far more abundant and dangerous than all the wild animals put together.  >:(
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: DirtRebell on February 13, 2011, 10:33:23 am
Just avoid Joburg cbd and you'll be fine ;D
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Wild Hearted Son on February 13, 2011, 10:43:43 am
+1  for all above

do yourself a favour & read some of the ride reports on the site, they'll give you a lot of background info
Some off the top of my head that may be useful is Mzee's recent Kampala Odyssey, anything by PopifunPants  & anything by MetalJockey....
Title: Re: Stupid Questions -not so much about South Africa; more about all the rest.
Post by: Makhulu on February 13, 2011, 12:01:45 pm
Are lions as rare in the rural parts of these countries as GrizzlyBears are in the lower 48 states of the USA?

Unfortunately yes. Not just lions but all the other game too. Africa has a big problem with poaching, therefore most animals will only be found in protective areas.

I would be more worried about humans.
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: tomrinbellingham on February 13, 2011, 04:28:39 pm
Thank you all for the response to these stupid questions. :hello2: I have read Mzee's ride report. I'll be riding the same bike he did when I leave Jo'Burg. I bought it from him a while back and he's been keeping it for me. ;)

I am worrying myself too about criminals and other nasty humans, not just lions and such. There are some of those also in South America that were of concern on that ride, most notably the FARC in Colombia. Fortunately, we were not kidnapped or worse on that trip; partly because we were cautious, partly because we were lucky. Although we did ride right thru FARC territory in Colombia, the government was at the time very effectively protecting the roads from attacks -- an aside: Colombia is a beautiful place with the most hospitable people and mountain roads obviously designed by a motorcyclist! Don't miss it on your world tour.

Back to Africa: There seems to be (from the news) some kind of collusion between the government and the Janjaweed and they all carry AK 47s. When we approach the Darfur region or get close to Somalia or in between north and south Sudan or too near the Congo, do we need to worry much about bad people with guns? If we ride only in daylight and stop for the night only in populated areas, is that enough caution to get us through unmolested?

I will look for other ride reports on the matter of bad guys along the route.

What about petty criminals - or desperately poor folks - who don't want to harm us, but do want to steal things of value? Cash, GPS, Camera, motorcycle,??? Do we need to put some kind of lock (cables, disk, ...) on the bikes when we stop for the night or to eat or shop (walk away from the bikes) in the smaller towns and villages?

What kinds of precautions do you take on such trips when you don't know the neighborhoods and don't have any sense of the cultures or extent of poverty in the area where you find yourselves?
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Pistonpete on February 13, 2011, 04:34:09 pm
Nothing we can say will validate your security. Be aware & man up is all. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Carnivore on February 13, 2011, 07:19:32 pm
Hi Again Tom,

Africa.. or SOUTH Africa... what's the difference?
Most of us on this forum are not Africa travellers. South Africa is a very different kettle of fish to the rest of the continent. Most Merrycans equate South Africa to Africa... as though it is one big place of sameness. They could not be further from the truth. My time in the USA (Miami, New York and Denver) confirms this mindset without exception. EVERYone I met had not a clue about my country, as differentiated from the rest of the Continent.

Search the link http://ronnieborr.com/blog/ (http://ronnieborr.com/blog/)..
 go to the earlier parts of Ronnie's Africa section of his world ride. You will start to get the idea. Also look at Worldrider.com - Allan Karl is your countryman and his Africa experience will be of interest.

Animals in Africa...
Wild animals are dangerous. The Big Five are not cuddly kittens! If you see them up close, you are in a game-viewing vehicle, or you are in a seriously stupid situation. Would you go riding a bike in Yellowstone National? Would you not end up being cougar meat?

The romantic concept of idyllic sunsets over the plains of Serengeti is indeed achievable. But you will pay dollars, and you will be part of a Safari group. Lush green expanses of Africa teeming with Zebra and Wildebeest.. yes, and hidden the lushness, crouching, poised, is Leo, his six wives (this is Africa after all) and 13 little cubs are waiting back home for dinner. So, if a wildebeest is on the menu, perhaps Tom could be a Hors d'œuvre .. he is certainly more tender and not as fast to chase..
On your travels, it is entirely likely that you could encounter elephant on the main road in Botswana (and a zillion donkeys..) and a buffalo might be lurking in the dark between your bungalow or tent and the ablution facility in a park in Kenya. These are reported happenings by the people who experienced them, not their surviving family...

A British lady was almost mauled by a cheetah who made the 6 feet jump onto the back of a pickup truck where the tourists were foolishly standing... in a game park. What were they thinking? Come to Africa to see the wild animals... wild animals.. not tame ones. Take precautions.. common sense precautions. This is not the SPCA and they are not cute puppies playfully nibbling your fingers, begging for a home.

Only big game hunters with suitable weapons can head out into the African bush to see the animals, in an unprotected manner. For the rest, the DIY animal seer must do it with brain in gear.

People
Africa is a continent of mostly friendly people, who are mostly extremely poor. Once again, read the accounts of the travellers who have done the trip. The southERN African states are for the most part a traveller's paradise, with the biggest danger being fleeced by border officials north of SA. Search the forum with words "border" and "bribes" etc... you should find some references to informative trips.

Around Ethipia, Somalia... yes, there are accounts of bandits and rebels. There are also accounts of convoys and police.. read the first hand accounts from the storytellers to get the truth.

Here is another link to ADVrider.com - this lady's trip to SA makes my eyes water - I am so happy to read of her joy at travelling to South Africa and Namibia. But you will also read how she mistakenly thinks that this is the Dakar Rally terrain that she has seen on TV, and she cannot believe that she is actually riding in the tire tracks of her heroes... NOT!! She is, sadly quite a few thousand miles too far south!!
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15157654#post15157654 (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15157654#post15157654) - obviously, go to the beginning of her story. (You will also at some stage read a comment by someone else to the effect of "..had no idea is was that civilised!" That really made me laugh. Sheesh!! does he think we walk around in loin cloths?


From TV series like CSI and Law Enforcement... I would say that Las Vegas and Miami and New York are too dangerous to live in... and that would obviously be an incorrect assumption. But every time I see a jogger in Central Park on TV, I know he is gonna die.

The crap you have been fed by your Media will make your blood boil when you discover the truth.

We even have high speed internet  :o

No, you may not buy a gun in South Africa. You are not a resident, you could not justify the need, you could not carry it over the border, you will spend your time in some shithole cell with dubious companions when it is confiscated. :deal:

Pick up the emails again, when you are so inclined..  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: tomrinbellingham on February 13, 2011, 08:08:02 pm
Hi Carnivore,

Well, I have ridden my bike through Yellowstone National Park and even more risky was riding along the rivers in Alaska when the salmon were coming home to spawn - and the Brown Bears (Grizzlies) were lined up along the river, in the river, and coming and going across the road to get to or from the river. At one point along a terrible gravel road in Alaska a big Brown came out of the brush about 20 meters in front of me and stood up to look me over. I was heading for him at maybe 45kph and (as I had been told to do) stood up on my pegs and tried to look bigger as I slowed way down and considered trying to turn around to run away. But, I'm not a good rider, especially in such loose gravel and might lose it right in front of him! He eventually wandered on across the road and I won.... Could have turned out differently. Actually more people get killed by moose in Alaska than by bears and I also had an encounter on my bike on a gravel road in Alaska with a moose; but she didn't kill me either.

I'm not totally naive about South Africa. I do have a feeling that it is much like Canada with mostly nice people and fully civilized (can I say, NOW). It's the middle and northern parts of Africa that I worry myself about not knowing.

I find it hard to believe that most South African motorcyclists haven't ventured far north like Mzee did a couple of years ago. I only started riding when I was 62 and Africa will be my 4th continent on a moto. Of course, I'm retired and have (just) enough money to do it, but I'm sure I would have ventured off to see the other side of the mountain no matter where I lived.

I do happen to know where the Dakar Race used to be and was lucky enough to be in South America - in Chile- when it moved itself to Argentina/Chile. I think one day I will ride down from Germany (where I plan to leave this bike for a few years yet) over the Alps thru Spain and Morocco and Maritania to the city of Dakar just because. But, first I have to live thru Africa.
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: GreenMamba1974 on February 13, 2011, 08:48:14 pm
enjoy your adventure through africa!  i for one am green with envy.  i have travelled to many of the sub-saharan countries by car without encountering anything worse than border officials trying to take a chance.   don't exchange currency on the street.

you seem like a seasoned traveller so your street smarts must be pretty sharp by now, so chances are you'll be just fine.  have a great ride.  :thumleft:


Title: Re: New Stupid Questions...
Post by: tomrinbellingham on February 14, 2011, 08:39:45 am
In South America, we resolved not pay any bribes - none of us had ever been in jail and we figured we'd have a great story to tell - and we didn't pay bribes although we were stopped many times by police who wanted only a few dollars from us for speeding or passing on a curve or whatever.

We were very friendly and very good at playing stupid; we just could not understanding enough Spanish to get the point of what they wanted from us. We also had printed up fake drivers licenses and copies of our vehicle documents and passport pages -- If they wouldn't give them back without us coming across with a few bucks, we'd see them in court next Wednesday. They always gave them back - eventually - and told us to slow down and be on our way.

In Africa we can't pretend we don't understand English -- or in some places French. Although I'm American, my bike will have SA licence plate and Pats will have a Canadian plate.

What should we do when stopped for a bribe at a border or along the highways and byways? I've never been in an African jail either, but .... Or, does that sort of thing even happen anywhere in Africa?   
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Billbob on February 14, 2011, 04:11:58 pm
Other than passport, vehicle papers etc., don't forget your smile, sense of humour and patience. These will take you far :thumleft:
Title: Re: New Stupid Questions...
Post by: Archangel on February 15, 2011, 08:37:46 am
What should we do when stopped for a bribe at a border or along the highways and byways? I've never been in an African jail either, but .... Or, does that sort of thing even happen anywhere in Africa?   

This happens everywhere in Africa.

Some tips.
1. Know your road rules. (They might have some false accusations about what you can or can't do and they'll try to use that against you)

2. Know your rights. (There are no rules stating that you have to pay on the spot)

3. Be friendly but firm. (Being cocky isn't gonna help you, neither is being a pushover)

4. Never let them take any of your documentation (drivers licence, passport etc). They have the full right to ask you to show it to them, but don't give it to them. They will keep it until you've paid the amount that they've made up.

5. If you were in the wrong (driving too fast, up a one way etc) you're screwed. Pay up.
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: BlueBull2007 on February 19, 2011, 10:05:20 pm
You seem like a pretty streetwise guy to me. Africa is not very different from South America, except there are shitloads more people in Africa, and its generally a lot poorer. The driving is the same or worse and the roads are the same. I would make colour copies of your licences and laminate, as Im sure you did in South America. Seriously dont stress about the crime levels, be wide awake in the cities but otherwise you will be fine. Carrying a gun as a traveler in Africa is a no-no, it will get you into more shit than its worth in my opinion.

Wild animals are seriously not an issue, unless you start camping in the bush. I have done this many times and been fine, just make a decent fire and sleep inside a tent. Out of the towns and cities you can camp anywhere, but setup camp only just before dark to avoid locals. I typically get 100-200m off the road I am on and make sure I am hidden from the road.  Keep your boots on for a while until you have set up camp and walked around a bit to avoid being bitten by a snake. Drink bottled water or boil it.

Aviod elephant, buffalo and hippos on a bike. You will be lucky to see a lion/leopard/cheetah on your bike, they arent too keen on people at the best of times, but if you do, avoid them too unless they are more than 100m away or behind a tall fence. If you meet an elephant on the road dont stop to near to him. Give him room and dont rev your engine or piss him off, he will move on in his time. Plan your escape route.

DONT ride at night in Africa. Apart from animals, the locals arent easy to see, especially the ones driving without lights.

The mosquito/malaria issue is one to be concerned about. Even the tabbies dont work so well, they make you feel crap and if you miss taking one youre in trouble anyway. Worse, they mask the symptoms of malaria if you do get it and damage your liver & kidneys if you take them for too long. Frankly I hate them.  I worked in malarial africa for a number of years and the best thing to do is not take prophylactics and not get bitten. Wear long sleeve shirts with a collar and pants as soon as the sun goes down. Get mosquito curls to burn while you braai, and use citronella oil as a repellant. In cities and towns the risk of getting malaria is higher, so get a room with an aircon or ceiling fan on high, mossies hate aircons and fans.

If you get a headache in a malaria area or start feeling a bit weird, then you have a good chance it is malaria. Go to the nearest clinic and get a blood test for it, dont think its just a cold/flu or something. If you leave it, it will develop into full blown malaria which is not nice to have, believe me. If you are positive the local clinics will have a "cocktail" of drugs you can take over 3-4 days that will kill it off effectively. The trick is catching malaria early and treating it, then you can basically take a day off and you will feel better. If you leave it you will lose weight big time and need anything from a week to a month to recover (assuming its not the cerebral one).

I would not inquire about malaria at your local travel clinic they are in to rip you off, rather when you get to Musina in the north part of South Africa or maybe Tsumeb in Namibia, check out the local clinic/ hospital and get a couple of doses to treat malaria to take with you when you go further north, just incase they dont have.  Worst case scenario you can self-treat even without a blood test, but at least you wont run out of tablets or miss taking them or something like that, which I think is worse.

Enjoy it, and let us know how it goes.
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Heimer on February 19, 2011, 11:11:49 pm
There are plenty sites like this that give travel warnings: http://goafrica.about.com/od/healthandsafety/a/travelwarnings.htm

Use it / don't use it. I have been into Africa and only afterward seen that there are US or UK travel warnings for certain countries. And had a great time, too.

Rather worry about mosquitos, snakes an hippo's.  :peepwall:
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Bossies on February 20, 2011, 09:28:57 pm
Cecil John Rhodes had some trouble with lions but he and his fellow hunters and land grabbers put an end to that annoyance pretty swiftly :peepwall:

Africa is very full of people. By human nature people are scared of lions. People have done a fairly thorough job of removing the threat to the point where now people are more of a threat to lions. As grazing in large parts of eastern africa is poorly managed, during times of scarce grazing the cattle farmers herd their cattle into nature reserves and when the lions start eating their cattle the farmers kill the lions to the great displeasure of the Nature Conservation Authorities.

Everyone else has given very thorough and accurate responses so I wont repeat.

Enjoy your planning and have an awesome trip! And honestly don't worry. Plenty people go up or down Africa every year without incident. The only trouble my wife and I had was me having to hold the bike for her to get on and off. (She's 5'1")...and having her 250cc engine rebuilt in Cairo.

May common sense, basic intuition and a sense of humor prevail  :ricky:
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: tmotten on February 21, 2011, 07:19:13 am
Good info being shared here. I'm actually in the same boat but my trip is few years away yet. But being an avid rough camper (the more remote the better) often wandered about the large wildlife. I've camped in heaps of countries where wildlife is an issue (Australia and Caucasus where wolves are  a bit concern as they do roam streets of towns at night), but never in a place where the wildlife is as big as Southern Africa.

My interest is mostly in Namibia because it's like Australia in remoteness (I'm guessing obivously having never been there) plus wildlife and Metaljockey's RR of his trip with his Mrs and kid blew me away. Sure Australia has some of the most deadly creatures, but worst case you wake up next to them having a nap (salties excluded). Not quite the same as having some inquisitive 4 footers poking around you camp site at night. But what I'm gathering is that this is not the case at all.

Isn't it funny, I'd ask the OP the same question about bears, and we get all those questions about snakes, salties and spiders. ;)

Sorry BTW, didn't want to hyjack.
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Bossies on February 21, 2011, 10:47:27 am
Bigger risk in certain parts of Kaokoland and Damaraland in Namibia are elephants. Every so often you hear of another tourist that was thoroughly trod upon. They move up and down the river beds covering vast distances during the year.

Don't park or camp in their paths
Don't get between a mother and her calf
Don't get too close
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Minora on February 22, 2011, 12:52:04 pm
Tomrinbellingham

If you can get hold of this book, buy it. It is available from Amazon.com

"Around Africa on my Bicycle" by Riaan Manser.

The book will not help you with your planning as he did not plan anything himself but it will give you a very good idea on what to expect from the African Continent, the people, animals,dangers etc

http://www.africa365.co.za/default.asp?pageid=3052

(http://i826.photobucket.com/albums/zz184/Minora11/tb_Hjufde3.jpg)
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Groenie on February 22, 2011, 01:18:54 pm
Here you go - http://www.naboom2germany.co.za/Frontpage_Eng.htm

Just bring some common sense and come enjoy Africa.
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: immigrant on February 27, 2011, 05:56:20 pm


I'm not totally naive about South Africa. I do have a feeling that it is much like Canada with mostly nice people and fully civilized (can I say, NOW). It's the middle and northern parts of Africa that I worry myself about not knowing.


I need to correct you on one thing. South Africans are way nicer than Canadians.
Keep your nose clean and don't do anything you would not do in the USA. Do spend time to learn more about the different cultures and history of S.A. and you will have a much better experience
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Minora on February 28, 2011, 08:14:54 am


I'm not totally naive about South Africa. I do have a feeling that it is much like Canada with mostly nice people and fully civilized (can I say, NOW). It's the middle and northern parts of Africa that I worry myself about not knowing.


I need to correct you on one thing. South Africans are way nicer than Canadians.

:thumleft:

I like this comment
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Phumba on February 28, 2011, 08:32:18 pm
Ive found when it comes to lions that is not that impotant to be able to outrun them. You only have to outrun your friends. ;D
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: g1_ on March 01, 2011, 11:30:28 am
I can only speak from my experience of Southern Africa, so take it as you will.

The majority of South Africa is civilized, or at least not as media normally depicts it. That's not to say that you can't get the African experience in South Africa.

There is definitely plenty of wildlife in Southern Africa. However like previously mentioned the dangerous animals are usually confined to zoos and national parks.
Chances are that you will run across baboons, game and a few others. You may well encounter elephants, especially a little bit further north.

People can be a problem, keep you wits about you. But at the same time don't shy away from intermingling with the people. Africa is all about the people, so you must spend time intermingling.

I had an accident in Lesotho a few months back and got separated from my bike. My passport (and other paperwork) were with the bike and my I ended up with my passport getting confiscated by the police. It took me almost a week to get it back. So take precautions with paperwork.

Here's a little video from a recent trip around South Africa and Lesotho:
http://www.vimeo.com/graveltravel/trailer

[Edit]
The chirps about having guns, were just jokes.
[/Edit]
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: White Rhino on March 03, 2011, 06:18:11 am
The beauty of Africa is the thrill of real adventure. There are inherent dangers meshed in with the unknown. That's what's appealing, otherwise you may as well do Route 66.

The foregoing advice and reading others experiences will equip you with more than you need to know. The rest is ..... well who really knows.

I think that every red blooded male has the desire to do what you are going to do. Very few will ever get the opportunity. My mate has done it 6 times so far on a R100 1980 Beemer! He's also had the misfortune of seeing the inside of a few prisons for petty incidences like running over a chicken!

When you disembark the plane at OR Tambo airport in Johannesbug, you must bolt to the terminal, there are still some uncaptured animals roaming around  :biggrin:

Have a gas. Could be one of your most memorable experiences yet.
Title: Re: Stupid Questions...
Post by: Pom on March 17, 2011, 08:40:27 am
Welcome to Africa Tom, looking forward to meeting you later today :thumleft: