Traffic,Transport, Travel



I am a firm believer that “God is good, all the time and all the time, God is good.” I am a firm believer as folks say God takes care of babies and fools and I would like to think that I am neither. I have done some foolish things in my life, but being a fool well, I hope not.  You are wondering, about now, what in the world I am talking about.  Well, I am trying to figure out a way to talk about traffic, transport and travel in Central and West Africa.

Here goes:

In Yaounde, Cameroon there are no lanes, no street signs and traffic lights are summarily ignored. Anne says, “they’re just a suggestion.”Cars, mostly yellow cabs go up and down the streets stopping to pick up passengers and cutting in at will. It’s hard to describe the chaos but it is fascinating to watch. All this takes place while mototaxis dodge, weave and speed between the cars. Sometimes they are carrying as many as three people plus the driver. It is harrowing.



In Sierra Leone, they at least have street signs, but most of the time traffic is at a stand still. It took two hours to move a bus I was on five miles…and no I am not exaggerating. Traffic and transport is quite an experience.

In Dakar Senegal, traffic is congested as it is in any large city. The nice thing is that while you seat in traffic you can read the writing and admire the colorful artwork on the buses.


The conditions of the cars, mini vans and buses are also a sight to behold. Sometimes they seem to be held together by tape and wire. Pierre Marie, one of the taxi drivers that took me to do errands on a regular basis had a wire clothes hanger as a door handle. Windshields are cracked, broken or missing, bumpers hang off and people pack in.

Sometimes there are as many as five people in the back and four people in the front in a small Toyota Corolla. I have even seen buses loaded with people with additional people and baggage on the roof luggage rack. It is a terrifying sight, especially when many of the roads are only graded dirt with ruts and gullies.

I must say there was never a dull moment being transported in Central and West Africa. Even flying from one country another is an adventure. On my way to Dakar Senegal from Yaounde Cameroon, we stopped in at least three other countries.  I Abidjan, Ivory Coast have seen the landscape close to the airport in Abidjan Ivory Coast, Lome Togo, Liberville Gabon, Bamako Mali, and Banjul Gambia. So my travel had plenty of travel.

Like I said there is never a dull moment on the streets of Central and West Africa. Traffic, transportation and travel is really a trip. That will never deter me from being continually westafricabound.

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