Safety Tips When Driving in Africa]
Driving in Africa is completely different from driving in Europe or the west. It's not just the road orientation that is different but also some of the signs and the driving habits may be different from what you are used to. Therefore, if you want to enjoy driving in Africa, you will have to exercise a certain degree of caution and be very patient on the road. You never know who else is not being careful on the road and the last thing you want is to have a road accident in Africa. However, this is not designed to discourage you from driving in Africa. It can be a good experience if you love driving and to help me get the most out of it, here are a few safety tips to help you while on the African roads.
Get the paperwork right
You will need to have some form of paperwork for you to drive in Africa. For most countries, having an international driving license will suffice but in addition to this, some countries may require you to get an equivalent of their driving licenses. As such, you may need to take some driving test in the country and be certified that you can safely and comfortably drive all the countries roads. Therefore, be sure that you have the necessary paperwork that will enable you to legally drive in African roads. One thing you must know is that the police manning the roads in Africa are very corrupt and if you are found without the proper papers, they may take a huge sum of money from you. Don't fall for this exploitation.
Do not be carjacked
Projecting is very common in Africa. When you are a white driving in the African roads, you automatically mark yourself as a target for carjackers. These calls for extra caution on your part as a driver to say safe and alive in Africa. The first thing you have to do is to avoid the places that you will be told are dangerous for whites going to with their cars. Secondly, you must avoid driving dark places, especially when you're alone in the car. In some cases, you will be safer if you have an African driver to take you through some of the places. His company and the fact that he is the one behind the wheels will make you safer compared to being in the car alone or having only whites in the car.
Don’t stop at the red lights at night
You may wonder why you should not to stop at red lights at night but there is a very good reason for it. In most of the African cities, the traffic lights are operational only during the day. If you go to a city like Nairobi or Johannesburg, the traffic lights will be very effective during the day and they will do a very good job in controlling the traffic. However, the lights do not work at night. At night, you need to use your intuition as a driver to know when it safe to go. Stopping at red lights in most African cities normally give carjackers the opportune time to strike. Therefore, if you don’t want to risk your car and life, you must never stop at the red light at night. This is especially if you're in a remote place and you can't seem to figure out exactly where you are.
Ensure you are not followed
If you're careful not to be followed when driving in Europe or the United States, then you should also be careful not to be followed when driving in Africa. It's common for thugs to follow targets and you must be very careful that anytime you driving, there is no car trailing behind you. Suppose you're from Spin palace review casino or any casino, for example, be sure that there is no one idling around as you approach your car. If that is the case, take your time and go back or get help immediately. Another place where you need to be careful to not be followed is when approaching your residence. Check the mirror to see that there is no car behind you when you get through into the gate. Make a pass if you have to so that the trailing car can go before you make a turn for your gate.
Don’t distract yourself
Avoid getting distracted while driving on African roads with things like mobile phones or watching music while driving. Things happen fast and any slight distractions are enough to get you into a serious accident that you may regret for the rest of your life. Just as you take talking to your phone seriously while driving in Europe or in the United States, you should also take it with same seriousness when driving in Africa. Besides, you don't know just how many rogues are in the road and you don't know what they may do if you are not keen even for just one second. Keep your phone away and avoid any other form of instruction.
Don’t stop for strangers
If you don't want to get kidnapped, robbed or ransomed, then you must avoid stopping for strangers, especially at night and in remote places. It is common for people to fake accidents and flags you down so that you may offer assistance in Africa. You should desire to help whenever possible, but stopping for these people have proven to be costly for very many tourists driving in Africa. They just assume or pretend to have gotten into an accident and once your stops the car, other team comes from the bush to ambush you and rob you of your belongings. When you get flagged down especially in a remote area or at night, the right thing for you to do is to drive without pretending that you saw someone flag you.
Watch these tips and stay safe when driving in African roads. It can be fun, but also dangerous at the same time.