The Independent Traveller
Making a little go a long way
by Philip Briggs

Edition 36: Autumn 2006

It’s a question I’ve had hissed at me by uncertain fellow travellers all over Africa, and one I’ve also often been moved to ask awkwardly myself: should we leave a tip and, if so, how much?
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The power of positive thinking
by Philip Briggs

Edition 35: Summer 2006

It has, I suspect, become rather trendy to portray tourism as an intrinsically destructive activity. In recent weeks, I have been barraged by travel articles whose writers have dragged in a few half-baked ‘issues’ relating to the negative impact of tourism, in an apparent attempt to boost their own credibility. 
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Snap Happy
by Philip Briggs

Edition 34: Spring 2006

Should we pay to take photographs of traditional African cultures? It’s a question that arises all over the continent, from Mali’s Dogon Country to Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. But nowhere does it seem to polarise opinions and fray tempers quite so frequently as it does in Maasailand, whose fabulously photogenic pastoralist inhabitants live in proximity to several of East Africa’s most popular wildlife-viewing areas, including the Serengeti and Masai Mara.
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Capital Appreciation
by Philip Briggs

Edition 33: Winter 2005/6

The first night of my African travel career stays vivid in my memory. It was February 1986, and I touched down in Kenya fresh from two misplaced, miserable years in London, buoyant at the prospect of returning to the continent where I’d grown up, and fuelled with heady images of East African icons such as Zanzibar, Serengeti and Kilimanjaro.
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Africa for beginners
By Philip Briggs

Edition 32: Autumn 2005

For most, the choice of destination falls between these extremes. Of Africa’s fifty-odd countries, at least half boast the combination of a decent range of tourist attractions, reasonable facilities, and a stable political climate. So where in this wonderfully varied continent should the first-time visitor start?
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English spoken here
By Philip Briggs

Edition 31: Summer 2005

George Bernard Shaw’s famous quip about countries divided by a common language could apply to plenty of Anglophone nations ‐ not least the 20 African territories where English is an official language. In The Gambia, good English is a sign of a good education, and traders are very proud of their patter.
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For a few dollars more
By Philip Briggs

Edition 30: Spring 2005

Until about 15 years ago, delusional official exchange rates encouraged a thriving black market in most parts of Africa. Indeed, there were countries ‐ Tanzania springs to mind ‐ where changing money legally meant paying ten times the going rate for local services and products. And this scenario created several problems for travellers: not only a small but real risk of arrest, but also potential exposure to scams such as bogus police raids.
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Money Matters
By Philip Briggs

Edition 23: Spring 2003

Fifteen years' travelling around the continent should have left me eminently qualified to give advice about the best way to carry money in Africa. But, after getting it wrong
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Road Rage
By Philip Briggs

Edition 22: Winter 2002

There's much to be said for using local public transport to explore Africa. It's cheap, for starters, as well as providing excellent opportunities for unforced
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Bargaining
By Philip Briggs

Edition 21, Autumn 2002

Bargaining is a way of life in much of Africa. The
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Dressing the Part
By Philip Briggs

Edition 20, Summer 2002.

One of the advantages independent travel has over packaged tours is the
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Making the Distance
By Philip Briggs

Edition 19: Spring 2002

Ask an African how far apart two given towns lie, and
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