I hope that you have enjoyed reading through the previous pages. Perhaps it has informed and amused prospective newcomers to West Africa, rekindled old memories of similar travels for those
more experienced adventurers, or at the very least, sparked an interest in the fascinating culture of this region.
Any opinions expressed are purely personal ones and should not be taken as hard and fast
rules for bush travel or expected happenings to occur, should you embark on similar trips. The events described are a true description of what happened to us on this particular trip.
I am firmly convinced
that the reason I have so little trouble on trips similar to this one, is that I am always conscious of the fact that I am a visitor to another's country. I try to learn about their culture, laws and customs and their
thinking behind these rules of conduct.
Whilst not agreeing with everything I see or have to do ... I always treat these "rules" with respect. It is neither my place nor intent to enforce European culture
or behaviour here.
I was lucky to have been born in what is known as a "developed country".. have benefited from both a decent UK education and from having a loving family. I
have never had to fight for my survival. But there is a need to understand those people who have to strive every day just to get their next meal. "Homes for the Elderly" or "Night Shelters" for the
homeless are rarely found or needed in West Africa. Most West Africans ( from the most streetwise bumpster / hustler to the lonesome herdsman in the bush ) have a basic form of respect and caring for others, regardless
of colour, race or religion. If you are down on your luck, stranded, injured, lost or destitute .. a genuine helping hand is usually just around the corner.
This recent comment from a friend is very apt: "I expect after a while living in such a completely different world, it is hard
to return to our consumer-driven world. It must be like having a dual personality and very hard to take seriously all the pettiness back here."
How right you are my friend !
As in any society there are those ( truly not as many as you are led to believe) that are, shall we say
untrustworthy. All West Africans know the difference between right and wrong ... and when fairly confronted with blatant transgressions, will usually concede to their error.
Whilst the foolish, gullible and
pompous visitor should not expect pleasant experiences in West Africa ... those who treat the local people they meet en route with due respect, will benefit from making friends with one of the most charming peoples in
Grateful thanks for all your help go to Awa, Umi, Lalla, Miriam, Sidi Moctar, Pap, Kotob and Mohammed ... amongst all the many other drivers, guides, officials and newly made friends ... who
helped to make this trip so enjoyable.
Merci, Jerejef, Abaraka, Shukran and Thank You to you all
I hope to see you again, in good health and in the not-to-distant future.
My apologies for any factual inaccuracies, spelling mistakes or typos.
All comments, corrections, constructive criticism, orders for beads, offers of sponsorship for future excursions, six-figure cheques ( in UK
Sterling of course ) for advanced payments to secure future publications of other completed trips, film and TV serialisation rights etc. ...
will naturally be very welcome !
Until the next time ... if you have had half the fun in reading this as I did in writing it,
then multiplied together .... we have both had a quarter of the amount of the fun we deserve !!
I wish you All the Very Best ... have fun, take care, enjoy your life ... but above all