Food Drink

The food in Chad is typical of the region tiny street stalls dish up cheap meals of rice, beans and soup or stew, while indoor restaurants offer omelettes, liver, salads, brochettes, fish and nachif (minced meat in sauce). To drink you have the usual range of sucreries (soft drinks), including the local Top brand, and fresh jus, fruit concoctions with more resemblance to smoothies than normal juice bear in mind they're usually made with local water and ice. Beer is the favoured poison in bars,...

Cameroon

Banki Bama

Cameroon's tourist industry is a victim of geography. It sits in a tough neighbourhood, bordered by some problematic countries. But this shouldn't put you off, as Cameroon really has just about everything a traveller could want. One of the most culturally diverse countries on the continent, its people include ancient tribal kingdoms, Muslim pastoralists and forest-dwelling pygmies. The landscape is no less dizzying in its diversity. Mt Cameroon (4095m) is the highest peak in West Africa and...

Transport In Guineabissau

Guinea-Bissau's only international airport is on the outskirts of Bissau. TAP Air Portugal and Air Luxor are the only airlines with direct flights from Europe to Bissau. Between them, Air S n gal and TACV Cabo Verde Airlines operate seven flights per week between Bissau and Dakar. To fly between Bissau and anywhere else in Africa, connect in Dakar (Senegal). The following airlines service Guinea-Bissau Air Luxor (LK 206422 www.alrluxor.com Ave 24 de Setembro) Hub Lisbon. Air S n gal...

Dahlak Islands

Some 350 islands lie off the Eritrean coast, the majority - 209 - of which make up the Dahlak Archipelago. It could be another tropical paradise on earth, but it's not. Largely arid, barren and flat, the islands are rather austere and desolate. Fresh water is very scarce, and very few of the islands are inhabited (only three within the Dahlak Archipelago). There's only one (basic) hotel on the islands. Another one was under construction when we visited. This untouched world is not within...

Sleeping

Many Luxor hotels charge 50 less in summer. For a more tranquil experience, try West Bank hotels. Nubian Oasis Hotel ( 292 9445 Sharia Mohammed Farid dm s d E 10 10 20, s d with air-con E 20 35 (g) ) Large After 3500 years King Tutankhamen has been reunited with his genitals. When an X-ray in 1968 showed his penis was missing, it was assumed it had been stolen for private collection. A CT scan, however, has recently revealed the missing member in loose sand around the Pharaoh. breakfasts, bike...

Getting There Away Air

Direct flights from Europe are possible from Paris (Air France), London (British Airways), Brussels (SN Brussels Airlines) and Lisbon (TAP), with prices starting at around US 1800 return. International flights fly into Aeroporto 4 de Fevereiro in Luanda. There are also twice weekly flights from Windhoek in Namibia into Lubango. Your best bet for a cheaper deal is with Ethiopian Airlines, which flies to Luanda from Europe via its African hub of Addis Ababa twice weekly. Deals can be scooped for...

Southern Cameroon

The area to the south of Yaound is mostly rainforest and includes Cameroon's number one beach destination, Kribi. It's also the route for overland travel to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. It's easy to see why Kribi is Cameroon's most popular beach resort. A weekend getaway for government ministers and expats alike, it can be sleepy during the week, when you'll have the palm-fringed beaches almost to yourself. Check locally before diving in though, as the oceanic waters can have strong currents...

Transport In Cameroon

Both Yaounde and Douala have international airports linking Cameroon to major cities in Africa and Europe. Cameroon Airlines is the local carrier, with flights to major cities throughout Central and West Africa. Regional flights from Douala include Lagos (Nigeria one way CFA172,000), Nairobi (Kenya one way CFA536,000) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia one way CFA537,000). A departure tax of CFA10,000 is charged for all flights leaving Cameroon. Domestic flights incur a departure tax of CFA2500....

Swahili Sultans

While the West African kings were trading their way to fame and fortune, a similar process was occurring on Africa's east coast. As early as the 7th century AD, the coastal areas of modern-day Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique were home to a chain of vibrant, well-organised city-states, whose inhabitants lived in stone houses, wore fine silks and decorated their gravestones with fine ceramics and glass. Merchants from as far afield as China and India arrived on the East African coast in their...

Transport In Burkina Faso

The country's two international airports are A roport International d'Ouagadougou and A roport International Borgo (Bobo-Dioulasso). The following airlines have offices in Ouagadougou Afriqiyah (8U 50 30 16 52 www.afriqiyah.aero) Air Alg rie (AH & 150 31 23 01 www.airalgerie.dz) Air Burkina (2J 50 30 76 76 www.air-burkina.com) Air France (AF 50 30 63 65 www.airfrance.com) Air Ivoire (VU 50 30 11 95 www.airivoire.com) Air S n gal International (V7 50 31 39 05 www...

African Music

They don't call Africa the Motherland for nothing. The continent has a musical history that stretches back further than any other, a history as Africa Hit Music TV vast and varied as its range of rhythms, melodies and overlapping sources (www.africahit.com ) and influences. Here, music - traditional and contemporary - is as vital to is the first internet TV communication and storytelling as the written word. It is the lifeblood of station playing African communities, the solace of the nomad,...

Sights Activities

The Mus e National ( g 415060 7th Blvd admission US 0.25 S 9am-5.30pm Tue-Sun) has a modest but interesting collection of masks, statues and musical instruments. Woodworkers and drum-makers work on the museum grounds while the welders at Oppo Atelier (Corniche Nord) forge funky sculptures from scrap metal. Also worth taking a look at are the two large mosaics at Gamal Abdel Nasser University (Route deDonka). The gigantic concrete Grande Mosqu e in Camayenne can accommodate 10,000 worshippers...

The Centre

At one time the capital of the rich and powerful Ashanti kingdom, today Kumasi is a bustling multiethnic metropolis. Unlike Accra, Kumasi, which spills over a series of hills, has a clearly demarcated centre, ground zero being an enormous throbbing daily market. The demographic complexity of the city may not be obvious at first glance but the city is a patchwork of ethnic neighbourhoods. Almost half the residents are Muslims and almost half speak Hausa, a language originating in Nigeria....

Guinea Bissau

Like most sub-Saharan nations, Guinea-Bissau is an arbitrary European construct, yet it possesses two qualities that make this small country stand out from its neighbours. First and foremost are the people themselves. You'll almost never hear the disingenuous 'bonjour, mon ami' that signals the beginning of an unwelcome sales pitch. If you're arriving from, say, Dakar, you'll be relieved to find helpful gestures are almost always just that - expressions of kindness rather than a means to...

Yaounde

Yaounde is unique among West African capitals for its green and hilly setting. Set at an altitude of 750m, this gives the city a slightly more pleasant air than sweaty Douala. If its rival to the west is livelier, Yaounde is better placed for travellers - anyone heading from north to south will pass through, and it's a good place to pick up onward visas, rest from the road and charge your batteries. Its hilly geography means that Yaounde's street plan has evolved without any discernible...

Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park, which encompasses 11,000 sq km, is home to Botswana's most varied wildlife. The riverfront strip along the northern tier, with its perennial water supply, supports the greatest wildlife concentrations, but when they contain water, the lovely Savuti Marshes of the Mababe Depression in western Chobe also provide prime wildlife habitat and attract myriad water birds. Rarely-visited Ngwezumba, with its pans and mopane forests, is the park's third major region, and Chobe's...

Zakouma National Park

This 305,000-hectare park, 800km southeast of N'Djam na, is a major Chadian success story. After poaching and civil war ravaged local wildlife, the Chadian government and the European Union restocked the park with an eye on the affluent European tourist market. Consequently, Zakouma is once again one of the best places in Central Africa to see large herds of elephants, as well as giraffes, wildebeests, lions and a wide variety of antelopes, primates and birdlife. The best time to come is March...

Transport In Ghana

Ghana's only international airport is Kotaka international airport in Accra. At the time of research, the national carrier Ghana International Airways only had flights into London. North American Airlines has one nonstop flight a week between New York City and Accra. Airlines servicing Ghana include the following Afriqiyah Airways (8U 252465) Flights to Europe with stopover in Tripoli, Libya office at Accra airport. Air Ivoire (VU 241461) Hub Abidjan. Office at Accra airport. Alitalia (AZ Map...

Burkina Faso Directory

Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso and, to a lesser extent, Banfora and Ouahigouya have excellent accommodation. Elsewhere, choice is extremely limited. Expect to pay US 6 to US 7.50 for a bed in a dorm, while singles doubles in a decent cheapie cost US 6 9 to US 15 18. Midrange hotels, where you'll get a private bathroom and TV, cost US 18 22 for a single double to US 60 72. In Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso you pay a taxe de s jour, also known as a taxe communale, at each place you stay, a once-off...

Burundi Directory

Burundi's long civil war appears to be coming to an end. However, it is a young peace and things could kick off again, so don't do too much exploring unless you are 101 certain things are safe. It's currently considered safe to travel by land to and from Rwanda. Travelling south along the shores of Lake Tanganyika to Tanzania may emerge as a popular way to link the mountain gorillas of Rwanda with the chimps of Gombe Stream. Kigali Rwanda and Kigoma Tanzania are probably the best places to pick...

Ghana Directory

In general, accommodation in Ghana is not especially good value it's better suited to people on an expense account. In Accra especially, rooms under US 40 are generally not well kept or maintained and bring a bit of sticker shock for those reasonably expect ing more for their money. Most rates around the country already include 15 tax 12.5 VAT and 2.5 NHIL and many midrange and top-end hotels include breakfast, though this is usually a very basic coffee, eggs and toast. Despite the heat,...

Northern Cameroon

Cameroon's northern provinces are a world apart from the lush south. Rolling grasslands give way to barren rocky outcrops of striking beauty, dotted with picturesque villages. Roads to the south are barely existent, so getting there means taking an overnight train or internal flight. Mainly Muslim, the north draws adventure travellers for the hiking and wildlife-viewing opportunities, all conveniently reached from the town of Maroua. Leafy N'Gaound r is the terminus of Cameroon's main railway...

Accra

With its back mostly turned to the Gulf of Guinea, taking little advantage of its waterfront location, Accra crawls up and over a modern landscape, gobbling up real estate and producing a chaotic low-rise skyline. Originally a scattering of villages controlled by Ga chiefs, today it's a sprawling city that extends eastwards almost 25km to the neighbouring city of Tema. Its congested and pockmarked pavements baking streets that in the midday heat can make a block feel like a kilometre shanty...

Roads Less Travelled

Flights into Senegal's Dakar p477 are cheap and its vibrant nightlife, the beautiful colonial architecture in St-Louis p484 , the wildlife-watching opportunities of Pare National du Niokolo-Koba p488 and the spectacular birdlife of the Sine-Saloum Delta p488 all make it a good place to start. Most people then head southeast to Guinea. After checking out some fine beaches, Guinea's pumping music scene and the beauty of walking in the Fouta Djalon highlands p375 , it's easy to cut up into Mali by...

Dangers Annoyances

Simmering rebel activity and unexploded mines mean that travel to far northern Chad, including the Tibesti region, is impossible, and the growing rebellion rules out most of the east. The various police forces outside the capital can be a nuisance, but requests for bribes are rare. They're just not used to seeing travellers and so are unsure how to ensure your papers are in order expect lots of questions. Even in N'Djamena electricity and running water are intermittent, and many towns are...

Information

Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program BBPP D 267876,267112 contact bioko.org Might be able to offer you some information. GETESA cnr Calle de Rey Boncoro amp CalledeMongomo Those travelling with a SIM-technology mobile phone, you can pick up a SIM card here. Ministry of Culture, Tourism amp Information Ave 3 de Agosto Doesn't have much info, but it's a mandatory stop for tourists because of the travel and photography permits US 40 that you'll need to show at the many roadblocks. Proser 093163...

Ali Sabieh

Ali Sabieh is an active yet intimate town with a distinct Somali flavour. If coming from Djibouti City, you'll find it pretty relaxing and, to a certain extent, photogenic and full of attitude. You can bunk down at the Hotel Gogareh m 825308 s with shared bathroom DFrlOOO , just off the main square. It features shoe-box-sized yet functional rooms set around a courtyard. If your purse strings are a little more relaxed, La Palmeraie d'Ali Sabieh 426198 r DFr6000 g , on the outskirts of town, has...

Post Telephone

The postal service is reliable, but can be slow outside N'Djam na. DHL and EMS rapid-par-cel services are available in major towns. Sotel, the national telecom company, has phone offices in most towns, charging US 1.65 per minute for calls to Europe and about US 0.50 for local calls. Private telephone offices, usuallyjust a guy with a mobile and a sign, are common everywhere and charge the same, though late-night rates on international calls drop. Buying a SIM card for your own mobile costs...

Obock Les Sept Frres

The last significant town before the border with Eritrea, Obock exudes a kind of 'last frontier' feel. There is nothing of tangible interest here, but it's an obvious staging post for those who want to travel to Eritrea or for those coming from Assab, in Eritrea's south. If you decide to stay, you can lay your head at the basic Campement de Ras Bir - Ougef 816034,822446 huts with full board DFr8000 , about 5km east of the centre. Location is top-notch -it's right on the beach. Accommodation is...

Tej Beats

If authentic experiences are what you're after, then there's no better place than a tej beat pronounced 'tedj bet' to down the famed golden elixir honey wine . Traditionally for men, women should keep low profiles. They lack signs, so ask locals for directions. Topia Tej Beat 10am-10pm Off Haile Ge-breselassie Rd, tucked up an alley behind the Axum Hotel, this is Addis' top tej beat and the only one to serve pure honey tej. A small flask Birr3.50 on an empty stomach had our heads spinning....

Sleeping Eating

Thebe River Camping 13 625 0314 Kasane-Kazun-gula Rd camping per person US 8 PJ H Provides a green riverside setting, along with a bar, meals and Chobe wildlife drives and cruises US 15 . Sedudu Guest House si 6251748 sedudu botsnet .bw President Ave, Kasane s d from US 38 50 PI gl This budget-orientated hotel has a variety of rooms featuring varying amenities. Liya Guest Lodge 71 -756903 liyaglo botsnet.bw 1198 TholoCres, Kasane s d from US 38 56 This warm and friendly family-run lodge is a...

Media

Although no-one doubts the potential of mass media such as newspapers, radio stations or TV to be a tool for development in Africa, the media industry on the continent is beset by many problems. Access is one, as many people still live in rural areas, with little or no infrastructure. Many corrupt governments also ruthlessly suppress all but state-controlled media. Many Africans feel that reporting on the continent by the international media paints an unfair portrait of Africa as a hopeless...

Tours

Travel restrictions for foreigners in the Nile Valley make independent travel challenging, so consider taking a tour. One highly recommended and energetic local tour operator is Montasser Mohammed 012 335 9105 montasser200 yahoo.com . He can arrange just about anything to anywhere for individual travellers.

The North

The fourth-largest city in Ghana and the major transport hub for the north, Tamale tends to be a stopover for travellers on their way to Mole National Park or overland to Burkina Faso but the presence of several good-value hotels makes it a good base to explore other spots in the area. Catholic Guesthouse D 22265 Gumbihini Rd r US 7.50 pi IJil There are no top sheets, no bath towels and no luxury, but who needs it at this price Rooms surround a leafy garden bar and lounge area. It's about 2.5km...

Parque Nacional Da Kissama Around

Kissama also spelt Qui ama , situated 70km south of Luanda, is Angola's most accessible and well-stocked wildlife park. Inaugurated as a nature reserve in 1938 and upgraded to a national park in 1957, this 990,000-hectare swathe of coastal savannah punctuated by gnarly baobab trees is home to elephants, water buffalo, indigenous palanca antelopes and a precarious population of nesting sea turtles. Despite years of poaching and neglect during the civil war, Kissama remains at the forefront of...

Transport In Burundi

Located about 12km north of the city centre, Bujumbura International Airport BJM has flights connecting Bujumbura with Kigali Rwanda , Kampala Uganda , Nairobi Kenya and Air Burundi 223460 airbdi cbinf.com Ave du Ethiopian Airlines 226820 www.flyethiopian.com Ave Victoire Kenya Airways 223542 www.kenya-airways.com Place de I'lndependance Rwandair Express 251850 www.rwandair.com Ave du Commerce The main crossing point is between Kayanza and Butare on the main road linking Bujumbura and Kigali....

The Coast

Many travellers looking for a little R amp R from Accra, only 32km away, or the rigours of travel elsewhere in the country swear by the long stretch of white sand and the laid-back backpacker Rasta vibe at Kokrobite. The renowned Academy of African Music amp Arts AAMAL offers courses from two hours to three months in traditional African music, drumming, and dance and live performances on some weekend afternoons. It's not advisable to walk on the beach with valuables at night. A home away from...

Guineabissau Directory

Accommodation in Bissau is expensive and offers poor value about US 20 for primitive doubles and US 70 for rather decrepit 'mid-range' digs . Outside the capital, the situation improves. A clean, decent room with electricity and running water might cost US 25, or US 35 with air-conditioning, while bucket water and a foam pad for two people costs US 10 to 15. Specialist hunting and fishing camps are scattered around the country, and generally cost US 50 to US 100 per person for room and full...

Snapshot

Elephant population 500,000 approx GDP US 2,092,300,800,000 Unemployment 10.5 Inflation rate 8.4 Economic growth 4.6 Internet users 32,765,700 Population over 15 years old who can't read 40 'Africa always brings something new.' Long consigned to the 'boring but important' section of newspapers and TV programmes, it seems that African issues have enjoyed something of a renaissance in the world media in recent years. Whatever you think about rock stars getting involved in world politics, there's...

Franceville

Franceville may be the third most populated centre in Gabon, but spread over rolling green hills cut with laterite roads it feels more like a lovely little town than anything else. It's well worth a few days stay, especially as the jump-ing-off point for the amazing sights around the stunning Bat k Plateau. The main drag, Carrefour Poto-Poto, named after the bustling central market, is happening, and the Cristal Motel 670488 d US 36 is a good option for sleeping, as it manages to be both right...

Western Cameroon

Hotel Beausejour Mirabel Douala Cameroun

Cameroon's lush western provinces are the most bountiful parts of the country. There's a riot of vegetation and a colourful selection of produce in the markets. Douala is the jumping-off place for Mt Cameroon and the Ring Road, as well as the lazy beaches around Limbe. Throw in several tribal kingdoms and sultanates, and it's a traveller's paradise. Yaound might be Cameroon's capital, but Douala is the economic powerhouse. With little in the way of tourist attractions, it's a swelteringly hot...

Bissau

Despite ruined monuments, cavernous potholes and regular blackouts, Bissau has its charms. The sleepy, crumbling colonial heart boasts wide, mango-shaded streets, some attractive, pastel-coloured buildings, and lively caf s where the country's elite gather day after day. Best of all, there's a distinct absence of crime or hustle. Bissau's main drag is the wide Ave Amilcar Cabral, running between the port and Pra a dos Her is Nacionais. On the northwestern edge of the town centre is the Mercado...

Orientation

Djibouti City is small enough to explore on foot. The centre comprises the European Quarter to the north and the African Quarter to the south. There are no street numbers and not all streets have names. Northwest of town, a causeway known as L'Escale leads to a small marina, which is the point of departure for trips to Tadjoura and Obock. Northeast of town is the Plateau du Serpent, where many of the foreign embassies can be found. The train station is about 1km north of the centre, while...