I have absolutely, 100% traveled to Africa during my lifetime. I’m basically an expert on the continent. So if you’re a travel novice who’s interested in checking out the gorgeous land of lions and tigers and Timon-and-Pumbaas, I’ve got some advice for you!

First of all, be careful around quicksand.

During my numerous trips to Africa, I can’t tell you how many times I got stuck in quicksand. It’s really scary. Thankfully, the locals are more than willing to throw a rope at you just as the quicksand reaches your chin. Sometimes, they don’t have ropes, though. Sometimes they’ll throw you a snake. Either way, you’ll get rescued at the last moment. Always.

Still, falling into quicksand is definitely a hassle. And you usually have to tip the rope guy afterward. It’s just a couple bucks, but with all the quicksand in Africa, that money can start to add up.

Just watch where you step, is all I’m saying.

Second, try not to eat the zebra meat.

Zebra meat is everywhere. As a frequent visitor to Africa, I’ve eaten zebra more times than I can count, and it always gives me a stomach ache. In case you’re not sure what zebra meat looks like, just watch out for a giant drumstick with stripes on it. The stripes are a dead giveaway.

Not only is zebra meat high in cholesterol, it’s also surprisingly expensive. Zebras are everywhere in Africa. They’re like the pigeons of Africa, just hanging out on city streets and nibbling on litter. You’d think their meat would be cheaper than beef or lion, but it’s really not.

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Third, watch out for stampedes.

You probably don’t know this, because you’re not an expert on the African continent the way I am, but you have to be very careful with stampedes. Some places have daily wildebeest stampedes at noon, and they are deadly. Thousands of wildebeest will plow across city streets and run over everything in their paths.

The best thing to do when you’re in a stampede is to stop, drop, and roll. If you do that, the hordes of galloping animals will jump over you and you’ll be okay. It’s happened to me more times than I can count. Just be careful where you fall, though. Remember the quicksand.

Finally, don’t crawl into giant pots of hot water.

If you meet some friendly locals who invite you into their pot-shaped Jacuzzis, it’s usually innocent enough. But sometimes, just as you’re about to get comfortable in the hot water, people start throwing in carrots and potatoes. That is not a good sign.

If you find yourself in this situation, don’t wait until you smell something delicious and realize that the delicious smell is you. That’s a rookie travel mistake. Just jump out of the water and run away as fast as you can. Trust me.

If you remember all this advice, you’ll have a wonderful time in Africa. Just like me. Because I’ve been there many, many times.

Evan had so much fun living in Africa, in fact, that he wrote a trashy romance about it. Check out One Night in Zanzibar to read all about his travels, romances, and brushes with the law. It may not be 100% factual, but it’s 100% trashy.

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