StoryAfrica is given a fascinating introduction in this volume of the Travel the World by Train series. The Morocco train departs from exotic Marrakesh, traverses endless plains of scorched earth, and stops at ancient Oujda, "The City of Fear," whose labyrinthine bazaars evoke the movie Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Carthaginian ruins enhance the journey through Tunisia, which ends at the azure Mediterranean resort of Djerba, refreshing travelers since the days of Homer's Odyssey. The Egypt excursion follows the Nile River to the ancient pyramids of Giza and Luxor's enigmatic City of the Dead.
Riders departing Nairobi, Kenya, pass vast expanses of savanna in Tsavo National Park, where elephants, zebras, and ostriches run free. In the middle of nowhere, this train picks up Masai tribesmen, in full regalia, en route to market. Outside looms 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro. On one train in Uganda, the leather seat upholstery has been ripped out, to be made into handbags. Another Ugandan passenger line is a former cattle car, with no seats at all. Then there's South Africa's luxurious Blue Train from Johannesburg to Cape Town, where pure gold coats the windows to filter out the ultraviolet rays, and wine is served in crystal goblets. The video prompts us to remember that this, after all, is Africa, continent of stark contrasts. --Laura Mirsky
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