Unlike two years ago when I was on this round of visits I am taking the time to enjoy a little bit more of the places I am visiting. Although that’s not strictly true since I had a great afternoon visiting the local textile market and Mont Fébé the first time I was in Cameroon.
On Friday my hosts managed to get me to the airport in just an hour in a dark stormy night, driving up the wrong side of the road directly into oncoming trucks and motorbikes, horns sounding and lights blazing. We weaved in and out being cars not fit to drive, rusted and dented to bits, around shared taxis picking up customers from street corners, yelling out prices and destinations, past utes packed 20 people high, over and around endless potholes and puddles. Along and up and around back again past the bars, street stalls, coiffures, and street grills. Noisy, chaotic, dangerous, but yes, also a little bit thrilling. And to think last time in Cameroon I made a real trip of it for more than four hours on the notorious trunk route from Yaoundé to Douala, with the added bonus of more than a dozen ‘checkpoints’ (some official, some not), log trucks and petrol tankers. Farewell, Central Africa.
I am now in Eastern Africa. This weekend in Nairobi has been time for sightseeing before heading South to Botswana. Sometimes I have to stop and recognise how ridiculous and fortunate it is that I have the opportunity to visit all these places, and meet happy creatures like this one:
Rothschild giraffe at Giraffe Centre, Nairobi