Hi, I want to move to Africa so I can do wildlife photography and community work with schools. I have been and feel inlove with Uganda, but not sure i could survive there long term. I am looking for a city where I can live in mountains of rainforest with stunning valley or water views surrounded by wildlife, but still close enough to modern western amenities such as good hospitals, doctors, cappuccinos and muffins lol!
Congratulations on preparing for the trip of a lifetime! Africa is wonderful!
I would first base everything on safety, and make that your priority, then go from there. The CIA has a website that will give you all of the needed info and more, it is at: websitehttps://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
I would go for sub-saharan Africa, unless you want a middle-east feel, but it sounds like you aren't particularly interested in Middle East locations. The Gambia, Ghana (my home in another year!), Cameroon, Sao Tome & Principe, Gabon, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Madagascar, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, and South Africa all have stable to semi-stable governments in place, have wildlife and animals, and are livable with most or all the comforts of home. In my opinion, the BEST of those, AND English-speaking population, are Ghana, Botswana, Cameroon (also French), The Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The others do not speak English, at least as an official language, but are beautiful nontheless. I think Uganda is a fairly safe country, but the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is still there in the Northern area mostly, and operates today abducting children to be recruited as child soldiers. Also, the rebel group known as the Interhamwe occasionally will go into Western Uganda, and killed some foreigners (8 I think?) about 10-12 years ago. Uganda's official language is English though! Also Luganda, in case you were curious! You have alot to choose from! Personally, I wouldn't be too afraid of the "Interhamwe" or the LRA, unless you plan on going to the north or west part of the country all by yourself for years on end.....something might happen then, who knows?
Check out the CIA's site - you'll find a ton of useful information and lots of facts. Great site!
thanks mate, i'll check out the cia website and you are right, safety is the highest priority. second for me is hospital and medical. of the countries you listed, did you do any research on the medical system?
out of interest, why did you pick Ghana and what will you do there when you move?
you are right, i am not interested in a middle eastern culture. I have worked in Saudi an Dubai and that was enough for me.
Please don't think I'm wacko or crazy - but I didn't pick Ghana, it picked me! I knew I've always wanted to live in Africa - mostly to help people and those that are less fortunate than others - but didn't quite know where. I had it narrowed down to sub-saharan Africa, did alot of praying (I'm a Christian) and God LITERALLY TOLD ME where to go. It was very emotional, very real, and very solid.
Regarding medical - smart thing to do on your part. Ghana has very good medical facilities that rival the best on the continent. The VERY best - which can easily be compared to the US & Europe - would be in South Africa without a doubt. Both Cape Town and Jo Burg have excellent facilities, but if it's "REAL" Africa you truly want, forget South Africa! Ghana's medical is pretty decent, there is a place called Lister Hospital (www.listerhospital.com/gh) Very modern 25-bed hospital which has a lab, pharmacy, and ER Services. General consultations are $15-$20 USD plus registration fee. There is also Nyaho Medical Centre, and Trust Hospital. All are in Accra, the BIG capital. Kumasi has Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital with 700+ rooms.
I have not checked out the other countries very much, but I'll be happy to find out if you need me to!
Thanks Ron, Totally understand. its not until you walk around a place that you know its right for you. It has happened to me in Australia, but unfortunately the 'lucky country' is too expensive for most now. I'm researching the CIA website which is quite helpful and also talking to a Sth African friend who is big on Nambibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. everyone is different. I will probably go back to Uganda as it captured my heart and see where the wind blows from there. appreciate your thoughts Ron. Thanks Pete
Good for you! It truly sounds like Uganda is YOUR place! I know for a fact that East Africa is beautiful, and you probably couldn't have chosen a better place for WILDlife, including mountain gorillas, the Big Five, etc., and geographically speaking, you get lots of green and jungle. English is their official language too. Also, are you planning on residing in Kampala? If you happen to miss eating a good steak (if you've been eating fish and plantains), try Le Petit Bistro on Gaba Road. I think they start at around 5 bucks (USD).
thanks for the steak tip Ron. its amazing how Africa gets into your heart. so much resources yet so much corruption keeping the country poor. Africa could blitz US, China and india with its wealth, yet the people are still living 3rd world. its unbelievable. i have been through the main countries in the CIA webiste and countries like Ghana, Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda all have strong economic growth and potential. can't wait to get back there. i think i will start in Ug where i know and then get into these other countries and compare, but i know i won't find the lush rainforests of ug anywhere else except Gabon. be good to keep in contact Ron and maybe catch up once you move there. Pete
Thank you all so much for your advice. Tanzania and Gabon are definitely on my list. I have seen documentaries on Gabon with the rainforest down to the beaches and lowland gorillas. Tanzania is suppose to be one of the most stable countries with great tourism, but i don't know much about Cameroon. from an expat perspective, i would love to know whether westerners can buy land, if these countries are politically stable and that the govt is not likely to suddenly take land back, are the hospitals and medical systems up to western standards and the cost of living. i believe Gabon has the highest cost of living in Africa. fee free to post here if you can help with more information Thank you all again
Last edited by Petele (18 September 2011 06:32:33)
I read all the comments and could not help adding that Namibia is, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful countries on the African continent.
The potential for business is great; the people are friendly; medical care in private hospitals such as Medi-Clinic and Roman Catholic Hospital are comparable to any in the western world and only two hours flight from Jo'burg where there is top notch hospitals.
It is safe and politically stable. The only challenge is low educational standards. So if you have young kids be prepared to pay for private schools and there are some good ones.
Housing is affordable; and there is one feature that you will not find in East Africa: Hunting is licensed and there is great wildlife. There are guest farms which I did not understand for almost three months after I moved here: these are private conservation farms where owners breed wildlife and professional hunters come from around the world to hunt trophies.
The lodges are beautiful and you have not lived until you have run up, harder than it sounds, a sand dune. It is like walking on sugar....really tough but a lot of fun.
There are beautiful hills and the beach in Swakopmund is great but not comparable to Mombasa or Malindi or even North Miami Beach. Hey, you can't have everything :-)
Hey, disclaimer: I am not a travel agent nor a tour guide... just love the country.
well, i just spent 4 months up near Mt Kenya / Nanyuki, doing volunteer work looking after 2 chimps. No rainforest, but i'm staying ring on the Mt Kenya froest, surrounded by elephants, baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, bush buck, warthogs, etc. Beautiful. Nanyuki has teh british and kenyan military bases, so plenty of good and cheap resturants, supermarkets and cafes. Land is still cheap, but going up as more and more people are looking at Nanyuki to live. Temp is between 25-28 degrees during the day and around 10 degrees at night, which is perfect.
Hi, I moved to tunisia. I live in MAHDIA and here is pretty nice. No muffin, but you have croissant,chocolate cake and other amazing food. Here is really ok, no problems at all. No thieves , private and public hospitals and amazing landscape.
Hi, I'm thinking of moving to Africa to teach. I am not limiting myself to any one particular country or region but would surely appreciate some advice from those who might have been or are in a similar situation. I'm: -36 -have taught for over 10 years -am fully credentialed -only speak English -very independent
My "must have's" or main concerns are: -the location needs to be safe/stable -the location is not too remote or isolated (I have elderly parents that live in the US and just in case they had a health-related emergency, I wouldn't want to be so far away geographically that returning to the US in a reasonable amount of time would be very difficult.)
I believe that Namibia meets all your concerns for the following reasons:
1. The country is politically stable;
2. Has all the comforts and services you are used to and yet the African experience is within your fingertips; you are thirty minutes away from a game drive and an hour and half flight from some of the most exotic lodges its been my pleasure to experience. Of course there is the downside associated with any developing country (and developed countries for that matter) such as extreme poverty etc among some communities.
3. We have an excellent international airport with flights connecting in Johannesburg to New York, Orlando, Atlanta;
4. A great expatriate community which we are working on making the best among the Expat-blog family.
5. A great need for teachers
6. Warm and friendly people (you will find this in most of Africa)
Please let us know, if you do choose Namibia, if we can be of any help. We would love to introduce you to the Expat family as that will help you feel at home and settle down faster.