- Watch - Safari lodges dotted around east and Southern Africa have web cams placed at waterholes. Pour yourself a gin and tonic and enjoy a twice daily game drive on WildEarth TV, or watch what's going on in Nkhoro Pan, South Africa; and a variety of parks in Kenya. You can also dial into your Netflix account and watch some classic movies set in Africa. Or enjoy some classic Nollywood fare to simulate watching TV in a hotel room in Africa.
- Read - There's nothing like a good piece of descriptive writing to transport you back to Africa. I regularly blog about my latest reading list, and here's my Top 10 Books about Africa list. I also use this list to get ideas, especially before heading out on a safari. Not into reading fine print so much? Then enjoy the wonderful visual world of Michael Poliza's amazing aerial photography, or grab yourself a copy of the UK based Africa Travel magazine.
- Play - a good African board game is hard to beat, many of them involve strategy as well as flair. Of course mancala is well known and a lot of fun. One of my favorite non-traditional games is "10 days in Africa", where you try and get across the continent in ten days using various modes of transportation. Great game to play with kids and teach them a little adventure and African geography at the same time.
- Taste - Miss the flavor of a little peri-peri chicken? Nandos has opened shop in Washington DC, and I even spotted their brand in my local supermarket in New York. There are lots of other South African restaurants out there, and thankfully there's always the option to order online or I would be out of biltong, and that's not a good thing. Of course both Ethiopian and Moroccan food is readily available in most metropolitan areas, or try your hand at cooking a lemon chicken tagine for yourself.
Excellent African coffee is available everywhere, and Rooibos tea is also easy to find these days. African beers are not very common, they don't exactly have a stellar reputation, and tend to taste better on site really. But if you're hankering for a Castle or Windhoek, try your areas best import beer store, they will sometimes surprise you. Wine, especially South African wine is luckily available in almost every decent wine shop around the world.
- Listen - listen to African music, there's plenty online and if you don't know where to start, check out About.com's World Music Guide's Top 10 Starter CD list. I usually buy some local music everywhere I go, it's amazing how it can transport you back when you listen to it. One of my favorite apps is Tunein - a radio app where you can listen to local radio from anywhere in the world. A great way to keep up with the news and gossip in your favorite African country. Use Surfmusic.de's great list of radio stations in Africa, to find out what's out there.
- Blog Trawl - Browse through TravelBlog.org to live vicariously through those who are traveling right now. Some of it is too personal, some of it's badly written, but none of it is boring. Find out what it's like being on the front lines in African conservation, from these amazing blogs on Wildlifedirect.org. Or check out my blog for ideas and inspirations to get you planning your next trip to Africa.
- Plan - Africa is just a flight or ferry ride away, so stop dreaming and get planning ....