Month: February 2016
Uber ride service has been much in the news in recent years. As the platform has expanded around the globe, so has the opposition against it grown, particularly by taxi drivers. They have a genuine reason to be concerned on what their business will be in the coming years. Taxi industry is highly regulated in many countries, but Uber drivers operate more or less on “wild” basis (it is worth reminding that unofficial taxis have always been common in many countries, long before the emergence of Uber). Uber itself does not operate vehicles, instead it provides a software platform to connect drivers with customers, and facilitating the payment. That makes determining its legal status a complicated matter. So far Uber has been at least partially banned in number of places, like Berlin and the whole of Spain. While legality of Uber is questionable in most jurisdictions, the service enjoys considerable public support. A service like Uber is a way forward, like most forms of digitalization. Not embracing development is a step backwards, a poor policy. That’s why Uber should be here to stay, but the service has to conform to local conditions, and admit it is not above others.
Those of us used to travelling in Africa are likely to have seen trucks full of (usually) western tourists. That’s a fairly popular way of getting around Africa. Typical to overland truck tours is:
- Trucks specifically fitted to sustain rough roads and carry passenger, equipment and luggage
- Tours may last weeks, sometimes even months
- Tours cover more than one country
- Tours end at a different place (and country) than the starting point
- Many tours are planned to minimise costs (e.g. camping)
Most overland tours take place in Southern Africa. East Africa is another hotspot. A few operators offer tours also in Northern or Western Africa. The most popular route is arguably from Cape Town via Namibia and Botswana to Victoria falls, this itinerary takes usually around 20 days.