I first went to Africa 50 years ago, in 1963, when I JOINED THE PEACE CORPS. I wrote Dark Star Safari  about a trip I took over land from Cairo to Cape Town. I decided to resume the trip in Cape Town and GO NORTH , UP TOWARD WEST AFRICA. I’d gone all the way down the right-hand side of Africa, and I wanted to go up the left-hand side.
People think of Africa as widely scattered villages, but it’s really not. Because of insecurity — from militias, warlords, tyrannical governments — PEOPLE FEEL SAFER IN CITIES. And I thought: This is not the Africa I knew, an Africa that’s entirely urbanized. I really don’t like traveling in cities. I haven’t given up on Africa . . . but the experience has changed.