2007 Jeep Jk Wrangler and Unlimited Rubicon - First Drive Africa
First Drives: 2007 Jeep JK And Unlimited Rubicons
By Douglas McColloch, Photography by Courtesy of DaimlerChrysler, Douglas McColloch
If you've never been to Africa, be prepared to get vaccinated, at least a month ahead of time, for just about everything. For Zambia, proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for entry. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control recommend shots for hepatitis A and B, meningitis, measles and rabies, and pills for typhoid and malaria. We've already had the measles, and rabies is not a concern (foaming at the mouth comes with our job), but we needed everything else. Also, our doctor recommended boosters for tetanus and polio since we hadn't had any for, oh, three decades.
All this protection comes at a price. Your typical primary healthcare doc won't be licensed to dispense these goodies, and unless you can find a public health clinic in your area, you'll need a referral to an infectious diseases specialist. And since most HMOs consider items like yellow-fever shots as discretionary expenses, be prepared to foot most of the bill. Here's what our tab looked like once Nurse Ratched finished turning one of our editors into a redheaded voodoo doll:
|Hepatitis A & B vaccine (2) ||$300 |
|Meningococcal vaccine ||$116 |
|Yellow fever vaccine ||$120 |
|Typhoid oral vaccine (4) ||$116 |
|Polio vaccine ||$46 |
|Tetanus/diphtheria vaccine ||$20 |
|Administration charges ||$100 |
|Doctor's office charges (2) ||$250 |
|Anti-malarial pills (10) ||$20 |
|Total ||$1,088 |
- Fear the hippo. Not the smiling tu-tu'd terpsichore of Fantasia fame, real-life hippopotami are considered by many Africa experts to be the most dangerous animal on the continent (not counting mosquitoes), responsible for more human deaths per year than big cats or snakes. Highly territorial and often belligerent (they fight each other frequently, and many males sport battle scars), these behemoths have been known to charge humans-and their boats-without provocation, capsizing watercraft and biting off limbs (and even heads!) with their massive lower incisors. Nearly all the famed 19th-Century Africa explorers-Stanley, Livingston, Selous and Burton among them-reported hippo attacks during their travels. Hippos can weigh as much as 311/42 tons and can run at speeds of up to 20 mph (i.e., faster than you, unless you're Justin Gatlin), so should you stumble upon one during the winter calving season ... hey, hakuna matata, dude.
- Hippos eat about 100 pounds of vegetation per day. Elephants eat three to six times that amount, and half of it exits their bodies as waste. Hiking into the African bush is a feast for the senses.
- Slightly larger than the state of Texas, Zambia hosts over 70 principal languages, including Bemba, Tonga, Nyanja, Lunda, and Luvale. Lucky for us, the official language is English.
- To 'wheelers, the word "Jambo" may suggest a popular Midwest truck-show series, but in Swahili, it's a universal greeting that loosely translates as "howdy." Swahili words that have found their way into modern English vernacular include bwana ("sir"), jumbo, Kwanzaa ("first fruits"), tote ("to pile up"), and safari.
- At Mfuwe International in Zambia, the local groundskeeper mows the airport lawn with a machete.
- Travel Tip: The next time Paris Hilton sits next to you on a flight to London, have your camera ready. No one will ever believe you otherwise.
Bozo the Tourist: "Tell me, are water buffalo known to charge at humans?"Kiki the Bush Gui
By Douglas McColloch
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