Heat and Africa

Sep 2013
1,493
United States
#1
So my question is a general one, throughout history, how have Africans dealt with the heat? I know in some parts like West Africa, adobe was used as a building material because it would keep one cool in the summer. Where any other methods used? I do realize that the continent is not a monolith and that depending on which part of the continent, responses will be different.
 
Nov 2010
7,403
Cornwall
#2
I frequently visit Spain but live in UK. I have been in Spain in 40 degrees heat (in the shade) walking through places like Cordoba and Merida in shorts with a vest top soaked in sweat.

The locals wear jumpers and trousers in many cases and wonder what on earth these silly tourists are doing.

In other words, it doesn't matter one jot to them, people are used to what they are born with, hot or cold.
 
Aug 2009
5,184
Londinium
#3
The few places i've visited in (southern) Africa had a pleasant heat; dry and often with a breeze. Compared to when i went to SE Asia and the humidity was awful. Perhaps the wetter parts would be more humid but generally i found the climate nicer than east/south east Asia
 
Dec 2014
1,082
Europe
#4
I frequently visit Spain but live in UK. I have been in Spain in 40 degrees heat (in the shade) walking through places like Cordoba and Merida in shorts with a vest top soaked in sweat.

The locals wear jumpers and trousers in many cases and wonder what on earth these silly tourists are doing.

In other words, it doesn't matter one jot to them, people are used to what they are born with, hot or cold.
That's a good point. I'd say a lot of Africans would simply be physically acclimatised from a very young age to the heat, just like indigenous Alaskans would be much better at coping with freezing conditions than somebody from, say, Algeria.

What I wonder more about is how did early European colonials from places like Britain, Belgium, or Germany deal with the conditions in Africa, which were so different to their homeland. Did things like heat-stroke or dehydration take big tolls among those first-generation colonists and armies in Africa? What strategies did they use to cope with such a new climate?
 
Last edited:
Sep 2013
1,493
United States
#5
Thanks for the responses, and yes, I wasn't even thinking of it really, but yeah, one who lives in a hot environment will have some tolerance for it as opposed to someone who does not.

I have heard of Europeans running into trouble with diseases when they went to Africa, but I have not heard much regarding the heat issue.
 

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