Augustas Kligys Katja Lachmann


Letters |augustas|

Letters | katja |

Tips & Tricks

Guest Book



angola(1) benin(1) botswana(3) burkina faso(2) burundi(1) cameroon(2) central african republic(3) chad(1) comoros(1) congo(2) congo (zaire)(2) cote d'ivoire(1) equitorial guinea(1) eritrea(1) ethiopia(11) gabon(1) gambia(1) ghana(1) guinea(2) guinea-bissau(1) kenya(6) liberia(1) madagascar(1) malawi(4) mali(2) mauritania(2) morocco(1) mozambique(4) namibia(1) niger(2) nigeria(2) rwanda(2) senegal(2) sierra leone(1) south africa(9) sudan(1) swaziland(1) tanzania(6) togo(1) uganda(5) zambia(6) zimbabwe(4)
| 1...5 | 6...6 | [share your information]

o Books about Africa
o Words in Swahili language (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, etc.)
o Wild animals - How to react
o Travelling by land: from Ethiopia to Kenya and backwards
o Magic phrase in Swahili language
Books about Africa

I read some books about Africa and would like to recommend a few of them when preparing going to Africa. Unfortunately, all of them are in German, but I will try to translate title thus maybe you can find it in English or another language, too.
Sieben Jahre im Sattel: Durchgedreht - Weltanschauung auf Rädern (German)
Le Chant des Roues (French)
Seven years on bike: Crazy - View of world on wheels (English - free & direct translation by Katja)
Author: Claude Marthaler
Publisher: Reise Know-How Verlag
Year: 2002
ISBN: 2-88086-277-9

Claude was traveling seven years around the world and all by bicycle. When coming to Africa he traveled from Cape Town through South Africa, up to Botswana, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco. The trip through Africa last about 1,5-2 years.
Afrika - Das letzte Abenteuer - Die Geschichte eines Safariführers (German)
Dangerous Beauty. Life and Death in Africa: True Stories From a Safari Guide (American)
Author: Mark Ross
Publisher: Argon Verlag, Berlin and Verlag Hyperion/Talk Miramax Books, New York
Year: 2002 (in Germany), 2001 (in US and Canada)
ISBN: 3-596-15596-7

Mark Ross is a guy living for many years in Kenya working as a Safari guide. It is a personal history how he became Safari guide including stories about his life, his love to Kenya, animals and difficulties he had to face especially during his life in Kenya. It is a fantastic book not only when you want to learn about wild animals but what else you might face when living in Africa.
more books soon

by Katja, created: 26/06/2004 [botswana, burkina faso, cameroon, central african republic, gambia, guinea, guinea-bissau, kenya, malawi, mali, mauritania, morocco, mozambique, niger, nigeria, senegal, south africa, tanzania, uganda, zambia, zimbabwe]
Words in Swahili language (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, etc.)
Hello. Hi. Jambo?/Habari Zako/ Mambo?
My name is John Ninaitwa John / Mimi Ninaitwa John / Jina Langu Ni John
What is your name? Wewe Unaitwa Nani? / Unaitwa Nani? / Jina Lako Ni Nani?
Where are you going? Unakwenda wapi?
Are you going to Arusha? Unakwenda Arusha?
Are you going direction ...? Unaelekea upande ... / Unaelekea mahali gani?
Where is the road direction ...? Ipi ni barabara ya kuelekea ....?
I am going to ... Ninakwenda ...
No money Hakuna pesa / Sina pesa (in Tanzania: Sina hela)
Gas station Kituo cha mafuta / Kituo cha gesi
Traveler (hitchhiker, backpacker) Msafiri
Where to go Niende wapi / Kwenda wapi
Where to get off Nitelemke wapi or kituo ninapotelemka
Where is the city center Wapi ni mjini?
OK, fine etc. Sawa / Safi / Poa / Sawasawa
I am tired Nimechoka ("sana" = very much, therefore nimechoka sana = I am very tired)
Go away! Ondoka / Kwenda uko [Very rude], use "nenda zako" - go your way.
Stop the car! Tafadhali (=please), simamisha gari!
Pretty woman Mwanamke mzuri / Msichana mzuri
Mwanamke mrembo (but this means that the woman is married so take care). You can use "msichana mrembo",  i.e. prety girl/lady. Most kenyan ladies like this.
I do not know Mimi sijui / Sijui
Internet cafe internet cafe / Huduma za mtandao za kisasa
Toilet Choo
Entrance Sehemu ya kuingilia / Kuingia
Exit Sehemu ya kutokea / Kutoka
City Mji
Country Nchi
Yes Ndiyo
No Hapana
And Na
You Wewe

Funny phrases in Swahili (slang):
This depends with age and area of usage. Teenage people like a lot of these. But widely by many people are:
Sauti nyororo --- Good and beautiful voice.
Kiboko yao --- Beautiful lady.
Diambo --- Fight/war.
Koinange street --- pesently used and very hot word. It means a street where you go for prostitutes. This place even ministers go to collect women. It was in the newspaper so people are aware of it.
I am broke --- meaning i do not have money.
Are you fresh (in english) and Uko freshi? (in swahili) --- meaning you do not have AIDS virus.
Niko sware --- meaning i am ok (refering to AIDS)

by aloyce, onyango, updated: 22/05/2004, created: 13/05/2004 [burundi, central african republic, comoros, congo, congo (zaire), kenya, madagascar, malawi, mozambique, rwanda, south africa, tanzania, uganda, zambia]
Wild animals - How to react

I read the book "Between Cape Town and Kalahari". The author is Rainer M. Schröder. He and his wife went together on a trip through South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. They had some friend called Willy in that book, who had 20 years experience with doing safaris and wild animals. Here I translated myself some important information:


There is no need to be afraid of lions when meeting them in the wilderness. Lions are not up to search the near of human beings, especially they are not searching for men as victims. The reason is that they hunt for what they have learned during their "childhood". That means, everything they are interested in are animals being on the "menu" the mother provided them as tasteful and worth to hunt. Lions need a special technic to hunt animals and as men are not in their natural life circle they never learned which technic to use for hunting them. There are lion specialists i.e. that hunt buffalos because in their region are very much. If buffalos leave that area and only zebras and other animals are left, they have difficulties in hunting them. They are not sure which technic to use best because in the first 24 months of their life they learned only to hunt buffalos. Lions are always doing that what they have learned from their mother.


There is no danger as long as the elephant does not feel threatened, but you never know what the elephant thinks. So if elephants react angry and start to follow you (a very sign for being angry), it is good to have some cloth (i.e. t-shirt) that spoils by perspiration. You should take that and throw behind you when you are sure the elephant goes after you. Elephants do not have good eyes, they rely more on their nose. So when throwing a sweated cloth the elephant will think this is what he did not like to be in it is area. The elephant will thus attack the cloth in its blind rage. That will give you time to escape - thus RUN!!! (an elephant can sprint from 0 to 50 km/h in a (few) seconds)

You should try to find out, too, from where the wind blows. Go against the wind.

It helps to make noise that the elephant does not know to make him leave from you. For example, when hitting a metal (car) with a stick. This kind of noise is not natural and not known to the elephant. Thus he will better leave as he does not know if it is a sign of danger.

One more thing: Elephants hate clapping of hands.


You can follow giraffes in case you search a way out of a dangerous situation. Or just in case to search a safe way to get through some area. The reason why is that giraffes are very tall and can scan the area. If there would be any danger, they would not walk there. It is good to know when wanting to cross a river, as there could be crocodiles.


You have to be very quiet because it really hates noise and it can turn wild.

Anyway, always rely on your own instinct, too.

Katja, augustas, updated: 22/05/2004, created: 08/05/2004 [angola, benin, botswana, burkina faso, cameroon, central african republic, chad, congo, congo (zaire), cote d'ivoire, equitorial guinea, eritrea, ethiopia, gabon, ghana, guinea, kenya, liberia, malawi, mali, mauritania, mozambique, namibia, niger, nigeria, rwanda, senegal, sierra leone, south africa, sudan, swaziland, tanzania, togo, uganda, zambia, zimbabwe]
Travelling by land: from Ethiopia to Kenya and backwards

Ethiopia --> Kenya

You can definitely do a combination of hitching/buses/trucks from Addis to Kenya, just be prepared for a hard road when you hit Kenya. You can catch a bus from Addis to Moyale, Ethiopia, the road is paved, walk across the border and get a truck through Northern Kenya (the reverse of my trip). There is also a good chance if you hang around in the Piazza in Addis (the Taitu is , in my opinion the best place to stay, but also a great place to get info), you might find private vehicles going that route. On the truck from Moyale -- make sure you get a spot on the top. The bars are uncomfortable, but it's well worth it for the views and the comaraderie.

Day 1: Addis Ababa - Shashemene. In the morning get to the bus station at 5am as sometime between 5.00am and 5.30am the gates to the bus station open and you get to join the hectic scrum for a bus. There are plenty of buses going to Shasmemene as it is a transport hub for the south. These buses are old noisey and packed solid. Getting on the bus early is imperitive as you might be lucky enough to sit next to the driver, or at least near a door, or failing that, a window. If your in the middle prepare to sweat it out in the crampt conditions covered in chat leaves and fruit. It only takes 2/3rds of a day.

Day 2: Shashemene - Yalebo. Buy a ticket the night before for Moyale, the border town (the bus will stop over night in Yalebo). Again, get there at 5am. I got on a 4.50am which was top banana as I got the choicest seat. If you get to these places early they may let you in to the bus station before the masses as you are a white person, which is less stressfull. Shash - Yalebo is a full day, like 12 hours.

Day 3: Yalebo - Moyale. Get on the same bus for the half day trip to Moyale. It'll leave between 5 and 5.30 and if your late they dont care - you'll get stuck in the nowheresville that is Yalebo.

If your lucky then you might get a Landcruiser share taxi on the evening of day three from Moyale to Wadjir. I had to wait untill the next day when I got a bus to Wadjir. Again, buy your ticket to Nairobi, overnight in Wadjir.

Day 4: Moyale - Wadjir. This takes 8 hours but there are loads of bandits so army guys with guns travel on the bus with you and also roam the countryside. The alternative is to go via Marsabit and Isiolo, which is supposed to be safer, but Ive spoken to 3 different groups of people who went this way and its 2 1/2 days sitting on top of a cattle truck because the road is unspeakable and only these vehicles will take you. The Moyale - Wadjir 'road' is just terrible, rather than unspeakable!

Day 5: Wadjir - Nairobi. Bus left at 3am for the 12 hour trip to Nairobi. The hotel got all the passengers up and made breakfast and we all stayed in the same place so I think that this is the done thing, as it means arriving in Nairobi in the late afternoon, rather than at night (not good), as the streets are very dangerous. You've now made it to Nairobi!

Kenya --> Ethiopia

The starting point is at Isiolo -- this is were you catch a truck. Fortunately going North the trucks are filled with cargo as opposed to cattle -- as they are going South. You want to board the truck at around 4:30 AM -- make sure you have a flashlight. The trucks leave from the central area in Isiolo -- you can get someone to help you procure a position but it will cost extra (there are a lot of touts around, but very very very few travelers -- at least when I was there -- I wound up being the only one.) At least a year ago -- despite Lonely Planet indications -- there are no longer any buses. It should cost around 450 Kshillings for the trip. You will overnight in Marsabit. The ride is hard, and you go through some extrodinary places. Two different deserts with many different tribal peoples. Once you get to Moyale, most likely you will be covered with dust and very impressed by the beginnings of the paved road. You'll need to change money with one of the rasta guys. Make sure you have USD in smallish denominations. Ethiopia fixes the exchange rate so it should generally be around 8 birr/USD. Lots of cheap places to stay in Moyale -- mostly brothels and be prepared for bedbugs. You catch the buses up the hill at the bus station early early in the morning -- around 4:30 AM . Sometimes you can buy tickets the night before and persuade the bus driver to let you get a seat before the stampede starts. On the truck there will be be very few if any ppl who speak English so practice a little Swahili -- you might want to bring snacks. Make sure you have plenty of water.


More about this road you may find in the following ThronTree (Lonely Planet) threads:
Overland Safety from Ethiopia to Kenya
Ethiopia and Kenya

by Jen, Tristan Byrnes and augustas, updated: 19/05/2004, created: 14/05/2004 [ethiopia, kenya]
Magic phrase in Swahili language
The following phrase in Swahili language might be sometimes useful for the travelers


Literal translation: please(tafadhali) i am asking(naomba) help(msaada) to travel(kusafiri).
Another interpretation:
"Please, i am asking for permission to travel".

One russian traveler was suggested this phrase by some Tanzanian policeman.
by augustas, created: 01/05/2004 [kenya, tanzania, uganda]
| 1...5 | 6...6 |