Best Places for First-Time Visitor not Interested in Wildlife
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Aug 22, 2013 12:28 PM Last Post By: richardmoore22
Aug 18, 2013 9:14 AM
Best Places for First-Time Visitor not Interested in WildlifeHey, sorry for the broad question, but what are some of the best cities/countries for a first-time visitor to Africa?
I'm an experienced backpacker, so I don't need to go somewhere ultra-easy. What I'd like instead is somewhere awesome, and a bit representative of many of the African destinations (so I don't want to visit huge cultural exceptions, such as Morocco or South Africa).
I'm most interested in seeing modern life. I don't care about wildlife or historical sights.
Aug 18, 2013 12:42 PM
1"I'm most interested in seeing modern life" - that applies to every village, town, city and country on the continent.
What are your interests? budget? languages (West/Central Africa) hobbies? what experiences are you looking for?
Unfortunately, due to your broad question it is impossible to give you any pointers.
You say your an experienced traveller so perhaps a trip to West Africa would be good for you. Typically, Africa beginners would head to sub Saharan Africa.
A little bit more info and I'll happily answer your query.
Hope that helps
Aug 18, 2013 9:56 PM
2Had the same reaction as #1: I don't know what you're looking for. I started to write a response, then thought I was putting out too much effort without having any idea whether it would be useful or not.
All of Africa exists in the present moment. All is "modern life." If you can define that part more clearly, people are likely to offer ideas about where you might find it.
I'll add only that calling Morocco and South Africa "cultural exceptions" doesn't exactly clarify. I've spent time in both, and they're not "exceptions."
Hope that's helpful.
Aug 19, 2013 3:20 AM
3That is a bit vague though I know where you're coming from- there is something a little odd about going to a country and spending all your time mooning over the past and staring at animals while ignoring the excitements of real life going on around you. Just because I know East Afric the best, and it’s great, I would say there. It is not for a beginner as a solo traveller and some Swahili would be very helpful. I’d go to Lamu, Mombasa and Nakuru in Kenya- all bustling places with their own cultures, very different from each other. In Tanzania, the Usumbara mountains are beautiful and you sort out a guide when you get there for a 1-5 day walk staying in tiny villages. You are as close to real life as it gets.
I’d also recommend staying a while in a town- any town really. The trad way of doing this is volunteering somewhere- there are problems with that- most volunteer placements are of more benefit to the volunteer than the village though of course if you are paying an orphanage, for eg, to volunteer for a while the money is welcome. Africa really doesn’t need westerners to dig wells/ build houses etc for them, they do have people to do that! There are responsible and helpful ways to help out. Better placements tend to be organised by yourself, through contacts or through a really reputable organisation like VSO, long term (3-6 months, to give you a chance to settle and be of most use), and making use of specific skills you might have- teaching English, engineering, medicine, whatever.
Whatever you do, working alongside locals, learning a language, buying food from the markets and cooking it on a local stove, watching football at a ‘cinema’ in someone’s yard, you will learn far more than you ever would by passing through.
Aug 19, 2013 10:34 AM
Aug 20, 2013 12:15 PM
Aug 20, 2013 5:39 PM
6How about Lagos? No wildlife and not much history to get in the way of the present. Sprawling slums with human waste, and the occasional human body, in the lagoon. Some colonial remnants, plenty of rich/poor contrast. Power failures, massive traffic jams, water on and off. A real chunk of contemporary reality.
Aug 22, 2013 12:28 PM
7#5 - Joshhacobson
There will be many people on TT who could recommend certain places for you to visit which are off the beaten track but we need more information. I don't see why people should go to some lengths if you cannot be bothered to a) do your own research (even a little) and b) provide you with a detailed answer to your question.
I don't think I'm being particularly unreasonable.
Check out all our reviewed and recommended accommodation and book online.