Observations on Life and Work in Africa
Submitted 2 years 9 months ago by AlexP.
This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get while meeting new people. What is it really like to live in Africa? Many long-term members have also expressed an interest in visiting the continent, and every year I am bombarded with questions about when to go, where to go, whether to do a shared tour, and so on.
In this post, I'll answer some of the standard questions. I lived in West Africa for around two years, East Africa for a year, and have traveled in South and North Africa. So far, I've lived in/visited 13 African countries. That doesn't make me an Africa expert, but it's enough for me to start sharing some real details.
Is Africa the same as it is outside of the Arab world?
No, there are significant variations between nations, just as there are throughout the world! Rwanda, for example, is not the same as Equatorial Guinea. Cameroon is not the same as Ethiopia, which is not the same as Kenya, and so on. The regional denominations, on the other hand, have some worth. There is a distinction between East Africa, South Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, and North Africa that gives these classifications meaning. I'll get to that later. Nonetheless, there are 'weird' countries within these groups. Ethiopian society is somewhat distinct from that of the rest of East Africa. West Africa is particularly difficult because of the stark differences between Nigeria and Senegal, as well as the countries surrounding them. Then there are Muslim countries with a history of violence, such as Mali and Burkina Faso. They still have two languages, French and English, and there has traditionally been a lot of variation due to colonialism.
Is it a good idea to go to Africa if you are not an experienced traveler?
No, most likely not. In several cases, Africa is harsher than Eastern Europe, Asia, or Latin America. This is mostly a continent with people struggling to thrive, and as a result, there are many hustlers (men and female). This means you have to be on your toes at all times. You stand out, and people notice that you have money. There are a few places where you won't be taking too many risks, mostly where the tourism industry is more advanced, such as Zanzibar (Tanzania), South Africa, Rwanda (insane security), Sao Tome (small island), full tours in Kenya/Tanzania where everything is taken care of, and some places in North Africa. And if you are not white, things can be simpler in terms of protection and not being harassed, but people may notice you are different.
Is Africa dangerous?
It depends on where you are, but it is not as risky as you would think. For example, in terms of armed robberies, I don't believe most African countries are any riskier than, say, Colombia or Brazil. Many are likely to be safer, since there is less access to firearms and political violence can be serious. Ghana and Ethiopia, for example, are considered to have low levels of protection. Rwanda is better than most Western countries due to its organization and zero-tolerance policy. Nonetheless, statistics are not accurate in this region, so no one knows what the actual risks are. One significant difference, in my opinion, is in countries where there is a problem with terrorism or narcotics. Kenya, for example, is a beautiful country, but visitors have been victims of both ordinary crime and terrorism there. South Africa is much more advanced, but it struggles with drug problems and racial profiling, which means that if you walk down the street late at night in Capetown, some junkie with a knife might see you as an opportunity. In other nations, white people are so revered (or feared) that it is not in the mind of the average criminal to rob you. He realizes that messing with Whitey will change his life forever. Countries with significant Muslim populations should be avoided for terrorism: Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, CAF, Nigeria, Mauretania, Niger, Sudan... Other security problems make Cameroon, Eritrea, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo suboptimal.
So where should I go?
First and foremost, what are you looking for? You want the real thing? Do you want to get it on with some thick black chicks? Do you want to go on a safari and take a picture with a giraffe? It all depends, but here's some general advice. First and foremost, go to a location where the language is spoken. Don't go to an ex-French colony if you just speak English. You can also avoid visiting an ex-Portuguese colony. Now that you've thought about it.
Go to Kenya/Uganda/Tanzania/Rwanda/Botswana/South Africa/Namibia/Zimbabwe/Zambia/Malawi/Ghana if you speak English. Do not travel to Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, or Liberia.
Go to: Sao Tome/Cape Verde/Mozambique if you speak Portuguese. Do not go to Angola.
Go to Latin America if you speak Spanish
If you speak French, you can visit Rwanda, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Don't go to the others, with the exception of Madagascar, which seems to be interesting as well.
For a first-time tourist, avoid all of Central and West Africa (except Senegal, Ghana, Sao Tome, and Cape Verde). East and South Africa are your best bets! For the average guy reading this, I'd recommend starting with Kenya, Uganda, or South Africa. The islands of Mauritius and Reunion are also worth a visit, but they are more suited to luxury tourism.
What is the point of going to Africa?
Untouched habitats, a diverse range of cultures, wildlife, and biodiversity, a wild nightlife, and sexy women.
So how are the women in Africa?
If you like black women, you'll find some real treasures here. First and foremost, curves are everywhere, and yes, they also outnumber Colombian/Brazilian women in butt! Depending on the region/country, the boobs are hit or miss. Sex can be plentiful in Africa, but so can the financial drama that sometimes accompanies it. African women have no problems with sex, but they are aware that it is their most valuable commodity and source of income. Depending on the nation, this may mean that they would easily get it on with you because you are a foreigner hoping for a better future, but with nothing else asked for, or that in another country every hot girl will ask for money for sex, particularly because you are a foreigner. It all depends on the situation.
They generally admire powerful men. They want to be ruled, but they strike back even more fiercely than the other groups. Romanticism does not operate in this situation; money does. Take her to a nice restaurant rather than buying her a small flower on the corner. The definition of love is extinct in some locations. They want a reliable supplier. A solid physique is advantageous, but not as much as it is in the West. They would value you more if you have money rather than if you are physically fit. In this sense, it is a harsh truth. Your most valuable asset is your (financial) strength. That is why many older expats love it, because they can still get it on with the best girls here (sometimes for a fee), while other younger guys might be frustrated because any other girl they meet seems to be looking for a financial deal ("why doesn't my game work here?"). Don't worry, you can still get laid with nice women here, but it might be a less enjoyable experience than in Latin America or SEA depending on your personality.
In terms of sex, it can be incredible here in Africa because they know how to do it and aren't afraid to show it. However, don't expect to be able to transform these girls with sex; it won't work. They get it on with you because you deserve it as a (potential) provider, not because they need it. They won't fall for you just because you're very good in bed, and they won't ask for sex. Sex is what men get when they treat women well; it is not something that women love (in their culture). That, in my view, explains why, despite the fact that sex is prevalent in Africa, African women are not as horny as Latinas, for example.
-Which game is common in Africa?
None (or all), I suppose; what is much more critical is frame and being extroverted. Frame meaning you must still be able to avoid being threatened. When confronted with a potentially conflicting scenario, do not back down. You are the one of worth, and you deserve to be treated with dignity. Since most Africans are extroverted, you must be very extroverted. You would do well in Africa if you approach random people on the street, make silly jokes, party hard, and are not afraid to step into a rundown bar and ask for a beer. Day game is also a good choice for finding good girls since they are usually not found in nightlife. The online market is heavily influenced by the region. It works wonders in most of East Africa, but it can be overwhelmed by whores in Central Africa. It is conditional. Same-day lays are popular in many nations, but in others, such as Ethiopia, you may have to work a little harder. Try to be lighthearted, easygoing, dominant, and carefree.
-Where are the hottest girls in Africa?
If you like a lighter look I'd say Ethiopia and probably Cape Verde are great options. If you don't mind dark but like tall, model-like chicks, then Nigeria, Senegal (real dark) and the Tutsis in Rwanda have stunning talent. I also heard great things about Guinean and Angolan women as they are often lighter true mixing with Portuguese blood, but still have those amazing curves. The ugliest girls I've seen were in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The best asses are no doubt in West Africa. Cameroon has talent as well, but very shitty attitudes.
-Where are the easiest girls in Africa?
Uganda and Kenya definitely have very easy women and yet you can find good quality. I imagine Tanzania to be similar as well. From other sources, I heard Mozambique has very pretty and very crazy women and possibly Madagascar as well.
Does Africa have a low cost of living?
Unfortunately, not at all. Because of the extreme inequalities, it is often more costly than Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. If you want to get some modern facilities, you must be a member of the wealthy upper class, so the major cost is usually in housing/hotels and transportation (flight tickets). Food and nightlife are usually inexpensive. Internet/data is also cheap in most countries, but the standard varies. Consider $50/night as a decent norm for good accommodation in most countries. It can get expensive if you want to party hard. Yeah, Africa can be really cheap if you have an iron stomach and can eat street food, don't mind crappy bedbug-ridden hotels and long cramped together bus trips.
What about health risks?
This is a real issue. I've had to deal with tons of tropical diseases, including malaria, typhoid, etc. Even less dangerous things like bedbugs, amoebas etc. are a real pain in the ass and can make a short trip a nightmare if you are unlucky.
Healthy food is very important and is also part of why once again Central Africa is to be avoided. Almost every big disease in the world comes from Central Africa. Think Ebola, cholera, etc. Why? Probably something to do with people eating bushmeat and all the strange bacteria that live in the Congo forest.
How to avoid getting sick? Well, go to big cities where there are more international and higher level restaurants I guess. Always go to restaurants where there are a lot of people. It's better to eat in a small restaurant that is packed than in a fancy one where there is no one. Even then, the risk exists. Hygiene food standards are just poor on the black continent. Ethiopia is also notoriously bad for food infections. One of my worst memories is hiking a hill in La Libela, Ethiopia and then having my stomach turn and having to walk back for 20 minutes with the most awful stomach pains. I stopped midway at a local house to ask if I could use the toilet, they pointed to a hole in the ground with shit everywhere, no paper...no thanks, I'll keep suffering until I reach my hotel.
For HIV/Aids: the South is by far the worst (South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique). Aids is going down in most parts, but can still be a serious factor to consider. Check the general figures of every country you visit. Some additional tips, besides condom use: don't do anal in Africa, wash your dick immediately after sex and maintain good hygiene, if it stinks don't put it in, don't worry about oral sex, avoid prostitutes, take care of open wounds.
For malaria: only take daily medicine if you come on a short trip, else it is too harsh for your kidneys. For long trip/long stays just keep Malarone at hand in case you feel ill. The biggest issue with malaria is that westerners don't identify the symptoms. If every time you get a serious headache or some flu-like symptoms in malaria areas you go to the clinic and get tested, you will be fine in no time. The problem lies with people in really remote areas (no access to medicine), westerners thinking its just a cold or the flu and letting the disease develop and especially in people returning from trips and having doctors outside of Africa misdiagnosing disease since they don't consider Malaria (or you might not have told em you were in Africa).
Bring medicine! Anti-diarrhea, but also antibiotics, probiotics, etc.
What type of expats/foreigners you come across there?
There is a big difference though between the short term western visitors coming through NGO's or the like in the more comfortable African countries and the real hardened Africa expats which you can even find in the biggest shitholes. The latter category has some really cool people, mostly guys who've seen the whole world, took massive risks in their lives and had a ton of interesting experiences. They generally are very red-pilled, a bit similar to some military mindstates perhaps, often have a young beautiful wife, are used to be a boss in their environment so generally big egos but with a lot of knowledge and attitude to match. All the latest western fads have also largely gone by to these people, they don't give a fuck about your IG account, me-too, political correctness and you won't catch them wearing skinny pants either. Great guys to have some beers with in some rundown bar next to a dirtroad. Why does anyone stay long term in Africa? Generally because they don't depend too much on general luxury that we know. They don't like dealing with the politics of the west and are more outcasts. Some guys just make a shitload of money in all kinds of shady sectors and others are really there because they love the black girls.