Africa Travel Fatigue Travel Tip

Africa Travel Fatigue Travel Tip
“Travel teaches tolerance.”
- Benjamin Disraeli, 1st earl of Beaconsfield

I have traveled in West Africa three times and now one time in East Africa, I am not going to count Morocco and Egypt as part of Africa.

I lived in Africa from one to eight months each time. I am starting to show symptoms of Africa travel fatigue, the major symptoms are anger, impatience and intolerance of African people.

It is difficult to respect African people; they do little to deserve it.

Kabale, Uganda
East Africa
Wednesday, May 20, 2009


“Travel teaches tolerance.”
- Benjamin Disraeli, 1st earl of Beaconsfield

Who is Benjamin Disraeli referring to in this quote? He is referring to the people, places and things we encounter when we travel.

- Mental or physical exhaustion: extreme tiredness or weariness resulting from physical or mental activity

How much stupid behavior can you put up with before you go crazy? I came to a primitive and uncivilized place, I am experiencing exactly what I expected and planned on experiencing.

- Return something to original condition: to restore something to its condition when new, or make it more vigorous, dynamic, and effective.

How do rejuvenate myself, how to I restore my mental condition? I must stop doing what caused the fatigue, then proceed to do activities that gives me energy.

I have been through this emotional roller coaster many times. Every person is different, I know when my energy is being drained, and I know ways to restore my energy. I often walk away from a person and ask myself,
“Does this person give me energy or am I weaker?”

I knew my energy was weak and I was in luck, I was able to return to the Flockline hotel here in Kabale where the staff treats me with respect. Hmm, they do better than average, they really have no clear understanding of developed world manners.

How do they treat me with respect? The do not call me White Man or Musungo, they actually use my name, just this is relief.

I am watching computers on my computer; maybe I should watch the Gladiator.

I enjoy a good conversation, the man’s name is Bruno, he is a friend here in Kabale. He is extremely energetic and never stops talking, genuinely a good person. I start to laugh every time I talk with him; this is my goal, to feel happier.

This is a Justin, a girl that works in the Hotel, she also makes me laugh, her English is sparse, however she makes the day better.

Normally, I could find an expatriate community in a country and go visit them, have some good conversations in English some sanity. I have not encountered any expats hanging around for the fun of it here in East Africa.

I recommend people travel with a friend, not a good way to learn about Africa, however a good way to keep from going crazy. The majority of people can tolerate up to one month in Africa without serious problems.

I am following the advice of Wade from
“Walk Slow.”

Africa Travel Fatigue Travel Tip


By clicking on the "Subscribe to Comments" you will receive an email when members post new comments on this page

Your suffering from your bipolar illness. You do a pretty good job of covering it up. Denial is a great tool. You will not find happiness on the long and winding road. Walk slow.

Andy, you are suffering from a lack of purpose in life. Used to be you had to really hustle to keep travelling. Trading work for rooms, creating websites, making deals etc. May not have always been fun but it kept you occupied and kept you sane. Now this website takes care of itself. Upload a new post and a picture and call it a day. How long does it take you? 20 minutes? Shoud be good, but it isnt is it? Too much free time, to much time to obsess and decide that people are out to get you that the world is bad and getting worse. The world is great, life is a gift. Appreciate it. Good people are everywhere. Find them. Try to find a purpose. The missionaries and ngos although possibly misguided are trying to do that. Dont be jealous and hate them. Emulate them in your own way. Make a life for yourself that you enjoy. Ive read this blog forever and still enjoy but am sad to see you slowly spiral downward. Take care of yourself. If worse comes to worst go home to Indiana for a year or two and reconnect with family and friends. There is no shame in taking a break from travel until you rediscover your love for it.

Btw, Andy. Not sure how much the blog comments weigh, but I imagine they must leave a trace in your mind. I wanted to say I appreciate not just the travel tips and your vivid observations of the places you experience. Im looking forward for more descriptions of feelings and inner musings.

Your psychic has some attributes that swell in different ways than those of your readers. I know youll hate this statement, or find it idiotic, but do aknowledge some people who follow you online and wish to learn more about how mind receives the experience of travelling and continuous musing at real and small things (how to wash a bag, how to keep mosquitos out of your door etc).

Most people are drugged and dont see reality. How does your mind feel to see reality? :)

Thanks JAckass. I forwarded your webpage to atleast 50 of my African American friends a few weeks ago and they have been following you because they would like to do what your doing and hope to learn a few things and learn not what to do, but today I get flooded with Do you know this redneck\ I hope this Racist dies What a F**** A*** Hole. Why did you send me this ? Emey I thought you where a nice person. Why send me this SH*T

And so much worse I can figure out how to say without it all being bleeped !

You sound like such a idiot this week ANDY I love your blog I just picked the wrong time to tel the world I LOVE YOU !

Now you screwed me over big time !!!! This is why you have no life.

IF You have put yourself in their African life the situation may not seem so weird ? You dont get to analyze from their prospective.

so they are primitive. we are not now they have free love and we do not. we waste money on soap and they do not. you do not belong and they do. Leave it or love it like they say back in the good old USA.

PS Please Stay

Whats up with Africans Eyes always glassy and yellow ?

Hey Hobo,

Yeah, I agree with the former Dude. You sound a bit jaded and fatigued from what you are doing. It hasnt sounded like you have done and enjoyed anything in your travels to east Africa. What the hell did you expect? Paradise. Ethiopia sounded like the pick of places, although I am certainly not inspired by your comments to go visit any of these places. Not much natural beauty neither.

What else do people go to Uganda for, see gorillas? I agree that it is a steep charge to pay when you can see a smaller ape somewhere for free. Plenty of gorillas in zoos around the world!

You need to go and have some fun. How about taking a break from travel and doing a lecture circuit to live people who are interested in your exploits over the last 11 years?

I couldnt agree more with both The Doctor and Forever Reader.

This blog reads more like a poorly written Alice in Wonderland sequel rather than any true reflection on someone traveling the world. Does hobo even consider some of the thoughts he puts down? Africans are uncivilized... Everyone has odd behaviors and disrespectful mannerisms except for hobo and his class... People smell and are out to steal... And on, and on, and on. (Que Bob for his routine Stick up for hobo post.)

hobo, the world isnt meant to make you happy, comfortable, or shove what you feel is the appropriate way of life back at you.

So boorish...


I try to acknowledge readers, however difficult to do with the BlackBerry keypad.

I try to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Example: I told readers I was fatigued and why. They start escalating the reasons or examples. I admit and accept I am having emotional problems dealing with Africa and listed some solutions.

Why are their eyes yellow? I do not know, this photo was taken in sunlight so not a lighting problem.

It is not drugs or alcohol, that is a USA black problem, not a big issue here.

Maybe high blood pressure? 26 Years old, the nutrition is great in Kabale.

The Black body is different than mine. Hmm, she cleans clothes...
There is a charcoal fire close. Maybe she cooks.

I think you are seeing a black body with no white race dilution. I will try to focus on the yellow.

Funny thing about readers and writing, very few writers admit they have feelings and they are not perfect, this is what causes the anger and confusion. I do not obey norms of writing. Then again it would be dysfunctional to change my writing.

National Geographic says this Travel Journal is one of the ten best on the planet. This happened while here in Africa.

Life is Good
Andy Graham of

Hi Andy,

As having lived in West Africa for over two years on my own search for home I can relate to a lot of what you are saying.

I think you are on the right path in finding people that can bring humor into your life when traveling solo.

Cultural differences are a lot different on the ground than on the TV reports. This I know, and I can relate to your current situation.

Sometimes - parts - of your posts are a little off the wall But, writing from some of the places youve been and under difficult situations e.g. Blackberry posting, dodgy cyber cafes etc. makes things difficult.

I know I find it hard at the best of times when I write things up, and reading back on my old posts I see countless spelling mistakes and grammar etc.

Travel like this is not the same as the guy staying in a plush hotel with a satellite connection and private car along with a driver waiting across the road.

I hope people see and understand this in your writing.

I wish you safe travels



Being real is risky! You are bored, angry and irritable. People want neat, pretty packages that make them feel good. Your blog is consistantly among the best for a reason. Its not like thousands of other blogs because of your honesty and willingness to write what you really think. The Hobo is not PC.

Que Bob for his routine stick up for those with different opinions post..... Moi Moi has an interesting point. It is easy to read posts AND comments in a negative light. But realistically, they all count. Writing from your feelings will tend to upset someone. But to have the courage to do it is commendable. Thanks for adding to the comments Moi Moi.

Emey post is very interesting also. I only have had a few black friends through the years. But none of them have any interest in going to Africa because they think it would be much worse than Andy shows it to be. I think maybe your friends need to go to the places Andy is going with a similar budget. I would not be surprised if thier opinions would then be worse than Andys. I do not see any racist comments in the posts, as I see it they are comments about Nationalities and culture, not race. But then, I am not in the same shoes as your friends.

Bob L

I just went back through a few weeks of comments. Emey, I would like to see a more detailed post from your friends as to just what they found offensive in these articles. Do they feel that the posts are inaccurate? What in the posts do they find racist? They do realize that these posts are day to day journal type stuff, not polished, finished magazine articles, correct? In my quick scan I could find nothing that even spoke about race other than saying that a black persons body is different from his and that the people here are undiluted with the white race for the most part. Hell, MY body is different than his, and I would not find that offensive. And I do not find it offensive when people suggest that the dark coloring of those on my mothers side of the family might be because of their relative proximity to Africa. Although, to suggest that an area of Poland is close to Africa is a bit of a stretch. Close to the Med, sure. And the med is close to Africa, so.....

This is a great venu for somewhat controversial issues related to culture, travel and pre-conceived notions. I dont know if Andy would agree with me, but I like it. Explore new ideas through readers comments and his posts.

Its interesting to read some of the comments left by readers regarding Andys travels. I just have a couple of comments.

1. In order to really understand Africa you must go there. It is completely different then what people think it is.

2. The way of life and mentality of the people there is almost opposite of what people in 1st world countries experiance. Life is soooo much simpler and slower paced.

3. I dont think Andy is making any racist remarks or anyone else for that matter. However we must accept the fact the fact they are different as is everyone else in the world. However if you have been to Africa you will know that Africans are very racist towards white people. Probabaly because of events in history but they are none the less and it is not pleasant.

4. Central African countries are not Paradise. They have other things to offer. Lets keep in mind the big picture. Andy is on a Round The World Trip, so it would be normal for him to pass through these countries.

5. Life can be quite mundane in these countries. There is not much to do unless you go sight seeing, drinking and hanging out with friends. Life is very slow paced.

6. I have been to the DR Congo for 6 months and I would not go back, but atleast I did go and saw what it was. Africa is like a lawless land living 50-60 years behind us.

Good luck on your travels Andy... Im sure a lot of people would love to do what you are doing... myself included :)

Poor geography skills

"not going to count Morocco and Egypt as part of Africa.'

Yah, than what will you count them as?

They are African. Period. And what of Libya, Algeria and Tunisia? If you don't count Morocco or Egypt, what of the other three countries? What do you count these five countries as stuck up in the North? Interesting... just accept that Africa is more diverse than you probably first thought. All five of those countries have had heavy interactions with the countries to the south. Don't even begin to tell me that Morocco is more like Europe, with the slight exception of Tangier..Please tell me you saw more than Tangier!

I finally had to stop when I read this: "It is difficult to respect African people they do little to deserve it."

My mistake for coming to this blog. Learn some geography, tell us what continent you think Morocco and Egypt are part of (since apparently 99 of us are wrong according to you) and go back to the USA, the Africans would be BETTER OFF!

Carl, that was entertaining, you ever think about maybe you are little crazy getting angry at a webpage?

My Account