There are two main types of toilet in Africa: the Western style, with a toilet bowl and seat; and the African style, which is a squat toilet with a hole in the floor.

  • Standards of both types of toilet vary tremendously from pristine to nauseating.
  • In most tourist hotels, except perhaps those basic places that receive a predominantly African clientele, Western-style toilets are the norm.
  • In rural areas and campsites, long-drop squat toilets are built over a deep hole in the ground, where waste matter decomposes naturally as long as people avoid depositing rubbish (including tampons or sanitary pads, which should be disposed of separately).
  • There’s also a bizarre hybrid, in which an unplumbed Western toilet is perched over a long-drop hole. As you can imagine, the lack of running water can turn these into an unspeakable horror.