driving my (temporary) benz in africa

  "Welcome to K'la City, where the food is delicious but the roads are shitty."


Like Chris Blattman, I also recently learned the perils of driving on Africa's mean streets. Unexpectedly, one of our Ugandan friends loaned us his Benz. As I took the keys from him, I immediately had flashbacks of turning into oncoming traffic and driving over medians: the adventures of my first day driving in America as a 16-year-old.

That night in Kampala, I had to adjust to both the perils of driving in Africa, and the challenge of orienting myself, British style, on the left side of the road.  Somehow we made it home, after rocking the chassis with a few deep pot-holes and almost knocking over a cyclist with a wide load of sugar cane.

The best part about driving in Africa?  When you are lost, you just ask a few children playing on the side of the road for directions, and they will jump in the back of the car and drive with you there.

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3 Comments:

  • Kids jumping in at the back & driving along with you used to be a great system but now that child thefts/sacrifice are up, it is not a good idea. You may lead a huge community mob to think you are stealing their kids for sale or ritual murder/sacrifice. Just be careful as so many things are changing pretty fast here.

    By Blogger John Kibuuka, at 5:46 PM  

  • Driving in Namibia is completely different: flawless roads, no traffic, and polite cops in late model Volkswagens who enthusiastically give directions without suggesting a cash donation.

    By Blogger Aaron, at 2:37 PM  

  • Great stuff..your blog is quite interesting..and that thing about kids jumping into your car..is called mad love! you have a disciple here:-)..Cheers.

    Hope you drop by my blog too.

    By Blogger Grains of masala, at 10:01 AM  

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