Lessons To Learn From Taking Public Transport Across Africa

The rule of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” shouldn’t be restricted to just Rome. In fact, it is a practical metaphor to understand the adaptability of the customs and culture of the people native to the land where you are traveling. 

Likewise, travelers who have visited Africa before would tell you that for a true and authentic African travel experience. It is best to take the public transportation mediums and do as the African people would. 

Getting around in Africa via public transport is a fun-filled adventure of its own and one that you will never forget. Another benefit is that it’s the cheapest way to do so and the easiest way to interact with the locals. 

If you have been planning a trip to Africa, then you have come to the right place, and that too, just in time for some public transportation lessons and tips. These are some lessons learned from taking public transport across Africa and how you can use it to your advantage. 


The African Bus Ride Is Anything But Ordinary

One thing is for sure a bus ride in any part of the second-largest continent of the world will be anything but ordinary. The number of passengers will always exceed the maximum number allowed, and you or anybody for that matter cannot do anything about it. The best is to be mentally prepared for an overheated, uncomfortable bus ride. 


Make Space For Yourself In The Bush Taxi (Mini Bus)

Similarly, the Bush Taxi, as Africans call the minibus affectionately, is very popular and common among the locals but it is definitely no luxury either. Chance, you would be expected to hang out the door, partly sticking your leg in the on-coming traffic, then find a seat to sit comfortably. 


Don’t Flaunt Your Money In A Passenger Seat Of A Taxi

In countries where poverty is the famine, you don’t want to sit in the passenger seat of a taxi beside a man driving around in such harsh conditions to make ends meet and flaunt your money. It is best to let your cash bundles rest in your secret pocket while you keep some change on hand to pay him after the ride ends. 


Important: Keep Your Camera Shut

African culture is one of the most dynamic ones in the world. One thing that confuses many people is how traditional and deeply rooted in old-world norms it has remained to this day. As a tourist, you may want to click pictures, but it is best to keep the camera shut while using a public transportation medium or else be ready to face a gun for “pornography.” 


No Trains Whatsoever

Africa is not accustomed to trains. There are absolutely no trains, local or commercial whatsoever. Except there is a Tazara Train that connects Tanzania and Zambia with an active line and better conditions. Others are practically non-existent or in such bad conditions that you would rather end up murdered than reach the destination. 


Final Thought

Like any part of the world, Africa has its shortcomings, especially with the medium of public transport, given the people that usually use it have not been accustomed to hordes of cash or a white dude flashing a camera at their face. They are more than welcoming and hospitable, but it is never a bad idea to keep to your own business than not.