When a seat is not a seat, and the delights of the best little restaurant in Abidjan
Jambo ATC Readers!
For readers, travelers and adventurers alike, we hope our stories give you inspiration and the information you need to explore your next destination!
Accra or bust
With Travel Africa in its 20th year, we’re reflecting on what it was like travelling around Africa in the ’90s. Here Phil Clisby picks up the tale of his 1992 African odyssey, as he embarks on a day-long train journey from Burkina Faso into the Ivory Coast, on a strict deadline to reach Ghana. What could possibly go wrong?
It was becoming very hot and I am starting to feel really sick. The last thing I need is an 18-hour train journey, but, I thought, if the train is half as good as the one from Ouagadougou to Bobo at least I could sleep it off.
The train station is unbelievably huge, as it was in Ouaga – there are around 12 ticket desks, but only one is open. Seeing as there are only two trains a day it does seem a little excessive.
The train is already packed when it pulls in and there are hundreds of people waiting on the platform.
We dive on, find a shabby looking carriage with, thankfully, some spare seats and sit down. But it turns out this is First Class. Instantly regretting our thrifty Second-Class ticket purchase, we move down the train. There’s no room anywhere. People are sitting in the aisles. There are massive baskets of food everywhere – oranges and tomatoes spilling onto the floor – great sacks of material, even live chickens tied together and shoved under seats.
We pray everyone is only taking their produce a couple of stops down the line, to markets, but no – everyone, it seems, is going to the end of the line – Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast.
And at every subsequent stop more people pile on, dragging yet more baskets of stuff.
We find a spot in a corridor on the floor next to an open door – the ventilating system – and settle down.
So, how long have you been travelling to Africa? We are looking for stories and photographs from the 1990s for our Journal section, and we’d love to hear from you if you have any anecdotes or old photos that you’d like to share with us from your travels. Please send them to editor.
How has Africa changed over the past 20 years?
How do you think African travel has changed since 1997, which was the year we launched Travel Africa magazine? Please send any reflections, observations and memories to editor.
Highlights for the next edition of Travel Africa magazine include:
The enduring attraction of safari, and the changing nature of the safari experience
Portfolio of amazing photos that wouldn’t have been possible 20 years ago
Rhinos, symbolising the struggle and success of African wildlife conservation
Special report from Kenya’s Northern Rangelands Trust
A sensory safari in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools (above)
Rwanda’s past, present and future
What’s the difference between a lodge, a tented camp and a bush camp?
The rise of urban tourism… plus so much more
Subscriber copies of this special 20th Anniversary edition (80) will be mailed out at the end of September, soservice or at +44 (0)1844 278883. We are always looking at ways to improve our service and ensure you are getting the most from your subscription to Travel Africa magazine, so help us to help you!