Environmental and Geographic ChalengesEdit
As mentioned earlier, Africa features a wide variety of environments and geographies.
Much of the north of Africa is made up of the Sahara Desert, an inhospitable place even
for the nomads who eke a living from the searing heat and blinding dust. Water is an absolutely invaluable commodity, and there are huge are
as where there simply is no water available at all for many months on end. A positive feature about the Sahara is that it is very spasely populated so will likely be almost devoid of zombies. You are more likely to encounter a band of brigands than the undead. If you have the experience and ability to survive in the desert, it would make a perfect destination to head for. Due to the almost total lack of humidity and bacteria, zombies will take far longer to decay than in other areas, but the small numbers one is likely to encounter here makes up for the fact that they may be around for several years. Deserts also offer the survivor a major advantage in that a well sited stronghold allows a 360 degree for many miles. A well trained sniper will easily be able to pick off the odd wandering zombie or small group of bandits long before they pose a threat. If you are inexperienced in desert conditions, do NOT try to seek refuge in a desert. Doing this will certainly lead to death.
There are several rain forest areas in Africa, the largest of which is in the Congo Basin, towards the Atlantic Ocean. Rain forests may have no shoprtage of water and food, but they can be just as dangerous, if not even more dangerous, than deserts. Not only will survivours have to deal with zombies, but they will need to battle the elements of high humidity, almost constant dampness, tropical diseases such as malaria and cholera, dangerous animals, snakes, and insects as well as an indigenous population of forest dwellers and pygmies who will likely be extremely beligerant and da ngerous if approached. Equipment and clothing will rot quickly, and physical health will deteriorate in short order if the survivor doesn't look after themselves.
It is expected that, in the event of a serious breakout, people will flee into the rain forests to avoid the undead. This will lead to high concentrations of people, and consequently a high concentration of zombies. Given the fact that rain forests are difficult to move around in, don't offer much opportunity to found a stronghold, and have so many other dangers, it would be wise to reconsider entering a rain forest to escape the undead hoardes.
The plains of Africa are iconic of the continent. National Geographic and Discovery Channel are full of images of the rolling plains of the Serengeti and the Masaai-Mara. We're all familiar with rivers full of crocodiles, wildebeest, and zebra. At first glanc it would appear that the savannah would be an ideal place to seek refuge from the undead. Unfortunately, while the savannah is a reasonable choice, there ar e several issues that need to be adressed.
The savannah (or "veld" in Afrikaans) is divided into two distinct types:
This is savannah that occurs on plateau areas, generally above an altitude of 1500m (4500 ft) above sea level. These areas tend to be drier, with a moderate climate, and as a result, are often more highly populated, for example the Highveld region in South Africa that is home to around 20 million people. Malaria and the other tropical diseases are extremely rare at this altitude, and there is realtively little in the way of dangerous animals to contend with. Water is an issue due to a very short wet season and shortage of large rivers, but springs and small rivers are plentiful, and survival is a matter of common sense and should be easily possible.
The dry climate will likely delay the decomposition of zombies. A well thought out refuge in the highveld, if far enough away from other people, and well sited, could be ideal for survival during the apocalypse.
All savannah that lies below the highveld is known as lowveld. Lowveld is generally hot year-round, and most have two distinct wet seasons during the year. During the wet seasons it might be impossible to travel by mechanised transport. Lowveld tends to be highly populated by wild animals, and in the eve
nt of an undead apocalypse this may, or may not, be an advantage. There is some disagreement over whether zombies seek out animal flesh or avoid it. If you are absolutely sure that zombies avoid animal flesh, then the lowveld is a superb choice of area to make your stand. Not only will the animals provide a phyisical barrier for zombies to get through (they would be slow moving and easy to grab prey for all manner of scavengers and predators such as African Wild Dogs, vultures, hyaenas, marabou storks etc) but the grazing and browsing animals of the savannah will provide an early warning system when zombies approach. In this scenario, a well sited refuge in the lowveld, surrounded by wild animals will be an excellent choice. If however, zombies seek out animal flesh as well as human, surrounding yourself with wild animals is as practical as a piece of camembert trying to look inoccuous on a cheese platter at a gluttons convention.
In World War Z, Egypt was the site of one of the first outbreaks of the Solanum virus, causing humans to transform into zombies. It was originally referred to as "African Rabies" or "Jungle Rabies", due to its similar symptoms.
- It is believed that the Egyptian outbreak was controlled fairly quickly since the virus did not return end the world.