How safe are the following (mostly) West African countries, and what can I expect my budget to be?
posted by maya to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
(I'm looking for personal experience in West Africa and I am well aware of travel.state.gov!)
Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco (inc Western Sahara), Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, GhanaTogo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome & Principe, Gabon, Congo, DR Congo
This question is very very long, but will give you a very good idea of my experience, along with numbers I have already found.
I. My experience in Africa w/ partial list
II. List of probable destinations with possible budgets.
III. tl;dr / questions repeated
I. My experience in Africa
I am looking for travel budget information along with general safety experience from individuals. I am well aware of the US travel.state.gov site and general travel warnings. I also read and occasionally post to the Lonely planet Thorntree. Guidebooks, websites and magazines do not always have budget information that works for me. In the list below I have included the daily suggested budgets for some of African countries I have been to, in addition to what I actually spent. I've also traveled extensively outside of Africa, including many 'dangerous' places with no problems.
Ideally, it would be amazing to find someone who has done the kind of trip I have in Africa, but on another coast. I move slowly and often end up staying with people. I only rarely do expensive activities like caving or elephant rides. I eat local food or self-cater.
In part of a larger trip, I was there overlanding by bus/train/ferry/etc for a year in Africa 2009-2010 (Cape to Cairo)- here are a few of the countries from that trip with perceived danger or large budget discrepancies. The 'Daily budget needed' numbers come from 1. Lonely Planet 2007 Africa 2. Lonely Planet 2010 Africa 3. Roam the world (website)
Safety: I had absolutely no trouble here, but felt a little worried at times because of multiple warnings by select South Africans. Time was spent in 'dangerous' Johannesburg and in some slums.
Daily budget needed (according to various sources): 25-50, 35-70, 100
Actual daily budget: $33.60
Safety: Very rural, no issues.
Daily budget needed (according to various sources): 25-45, 30-60, 99
Actual daily budget: $10.70
Safety: No problems, but mild police hassling trying to cross water border while hitchhiking.
Daily budget needed (according to various sources): 25-100, 30-150, 102
Actual daily budget: $18.67
Safety: No issues in big cities, islands or rural areas.
Daily budget needed (according to various sources): 50-75, 60-100, 75
Actual daily budget: $18.88
Safety: No problems, even staying in heart of downtown Nairobi.
Daily budget needed (according to various sources): 75, 50+, 67
Actual daily budget: $18.95
Safety: Perfect, despite travel warnings (Northern Sudan)
Daily budget needed (according to various sources): 20-30, 25-150+, 15
Actual daily budget: $22.74
Safety: Was worried because of what people said beforehand, though everything was beyond great. Some hassles led to needing the police, but no danger felt.
Daily budget needed (according to various sources): 30-50+, 50, 45
Actual daily budget: $20.29
I know well that budgets depend on the mode and speed of travel, and also depend on excursions, purchases, etc. I do not try to save money traveling, but I naturally travel cheaply with few needs.
II. List of probable destinations with possible budgets. (US Dollar)
Where I might go (roughly sorted North to South) 2012-2013 with listed daily budgets from 1. Lonely Planet 2007 Africa 2. Lonely Planet 2010 Africa 3. Roam the world (website)
1. Tunisia - 30, 42, 46
2. Algeria - ? , 35-75, 57
3. Morocco (inc Western Sahara)- 15-25, 25-60, 57
4. Mauritania - 25, 30, 47
5. Senegal - 40-60, 60-80, 82
6. The Gambia - 20-40, 40-80, 61
7. Mali - 25, 30-50, 37
8. Guinea-Bissau - 30+, 50-80, 62
9. Guinea - 10-20, 30-60, 16
10. Sierra Leone - 15-25, 15, 42
11. Liberia - 50+, 50+, 103
12. Ivory Coast - 15-20/40 in capital, 30-60/70-100, 44
13. Burkina Faso - 15-25, 20-50, 34
14. Ghana - 30-50, 30-50 or 50-70 in Accra, 62
15. Togo - ?, 30-50, 45
16. Benin - ?, 30-50, 42
17. Nigeria - 25-50, 40-70, 116
18. Niger - 15-100, 15-70, 34
19. Cameroon - 40, 40-60, 52
20. Central African Republic - 15-50, 25+, 44
21. Chad - 20-30/40 capital, 25-50/50+, 40
22. Equatorial Guinea - 40-90, 30-60/90 Malabo, 78
23. Sao Tome & Principe - 85, 70 Euro, 100
24. Gabon - 60/100 (interior/Libreville), 50-200/100, 60
25. Congo - 30-60, 20+, 44
26. DR Congo - 80-100, 30-40+, 57
In your experience:
A. How safe are the above 28 places for a very well-traveled female anthropologist who will not drink alcohol and go very far to respect local customs and be careful?
B. How do those budgets (sources above the list) stack up to your experience as a cheap-y, simple, slow traveler?
Thank you so much.