Africa - English Rules

Author: Dr Reiner Knizia
Illustrator: Franz Vohwinkel
The dark continent of 19th century Africa is waiting to be explored by your Research Scientist. As you move, you will encounter animals, wealth, nomadic people and monuments. By careful positioning of animals, base camps and nomads, you will gain points. In addition collecting the most goods and gold/diamonds will also yield points, the winner being the one who most successfully explores and gains the highest score.

Game parts:

Preparing to Play

Each player takes an Overview card and the 2 Researchers in their chosen colour. Note the scoring track as denoted by ships, around Africa.

Discovery markers are randomly placed face down, one on each space. Leave the five 'Start' CITY squares free. Each player takes two Basecamps which are placed off-board before them. Put ten Basecamps, forming a supply, and Bonus markers, into the large circle encompassing the monument symbol. (top right of board)

With less than five players, spare Basecamps are removed from play. Each player places one RESEARCH explorer on the zero mark (large ship in circle) Explorers will be moved along scoring track for each point a player wins. If a player passes 50, place corresponding "50" marker in front of you.

Decide First player, who places Research scientist on a START CITY of their choice. Remaining players do likewise. Play continues in clockwise order.


Each player on his/her turn may either do (A) once or (B) twice. That is, they;


***TRANSLATOR's NOTE: I read this as move up to 2 spaces and make one action, then again move, and commit an action.

EXPLANATION OF FIVE ACTIONS. Task to gain immediate points and/or prepare for final valuation.

B1. In moving up to two spaces, Researchers must not enter or go over another Researcher's space or a space with a face down (undiscovered) counter. Naturally a Researcher may not want to utilise his moves, and remain on his space. Researchers are allowed on empty spaces, spaces already uncovered (tile facing up) or space with a base camp.

DISCOVER by UNCOVERING one marker from a space adjacent to where your Researcher is situated. All counters, whether they remain upon the board in Africa, or in a player's hand remain face up. Discoveries are dealt with in different ways;

GOLD and JEWELS: When turned over, player immediately receives 1 or 2 points, depending whether the counter shows one or two gold/jewels. Counters remain on the board for later base camp research.

TRADE GOODS: Five in each of five types.

On discovery, the player removes goods from the board, openly displaying them by his/her side. Although no points given on discovery, a player will receive points in the final scoring phase depending upon the quantity gained in each type. (see final valuation, below, and Overview card) -

TRADE: The player may now immediately trade the newly discovered goods item for a commodity he/she wants. As the trading player has to take ALL goods in ONE type from another player, this will be a problem if other players have more in a commodity than the player wants to trade. Therefore a trading player may supplement the newly taken commodity by adding (giving) the same goods from their supply as depicted on the newly acquired counter. E.g. On my turn I discover a kettle and can give this, and 2 other kettles from my supply to Andrew. This forces Andrew to give me ALL 3 statue counters that I request. If Andrew had had 4 statues then only having a total of 3 kettles means I cannot take statues from him. A player being requested to exchange cannot refuse to trade.

In addition to trading with item removed from board, a player can also trade in another commodity. In the illustration Andrew offers his head carving for Bridget's kettle AND he offers her two tall statues for two garments.


Once uncovered, an animal marker remains on the board. The player immediately receives one point. Now as part of this discovery action, the player has a choice as to where he situates this newly discovered animal. He can either; Leave it where he found it, and immediately score a point for every space having an animal of the same species on, which adjoins or borders the newly discovered animal. Although a larger herd may have been formed, only animals directly adjacent to the discovered animal receive a point.

Or a player may move the newly discovered animal to any empty space adjacent (bordering) to an animal of the same species, as long as there are MORE animals in the new herd that are adjacent to the moved animal, than in the old herd. One point is scored for every animal in the new herd that is the same species as, and adjacent to the newly moved counter animal. The picture on page 2 shows where an elephant yields 1 point for being discovered. It happens to be alongside one elephant, so gaining an additional 1 point. HOWEVER, moving the elephant to a space alongside a herd of three, increases the points to 1 (discovery) + 2 (1 for each ADJACENT elephant in the newly joined herd.) It can be seen that one of the elephants is not adjacent to the newly moved elephant and does not score. This elephant cannot be included when checking numbers in herds as only adjacent animals are counted.

NOMADS, in contrast to animals, lead solitary lives. Once discovered, they remain face up and the player receives one point for every free space adjacent to the nomad. Again, as with animals, a player may immediately upon discovering a nomad, move it to any free space and score one point for every adjacent empty space. Again, the number of adjacent free spaces must be larger in the new location if the nomad is to moved.

MONUMENTS, GOLD, JEWELS once discovered, remain face up on the board. On discovering a monument, the player receives a Base camp from the general Supply into his/her personal stock. For discovering mineral wealth, the player immediately receives one or two points, equal to the number of gold stones or jewels pictured on the counter.


A player may move an animal that has already been discovered. (I presume this means on a previous turn) The animal being moved must be adjacent to the Researcher. Points are awarded equal to the DIFFERENCE between the number of adjacent similar animals in the new, destination herd and in the old herd. If the new herd has 2 and the old had 0, then 2 points are received. Again same rules of movement apply as stated above.


A player can move a previously discovered nomad. Again, the nomad must be next to your Researcher. Similarly, points are based on the DIFFERENCE between the number of adjacent free spaces in new destination and free spaces in old location. Example: page 3 - player moves the nomad. Before, the people had one free adjoining field to gain 1 point. NOTE: the space on which the Researcher stands is counted as a free space. Now the people neighbour 3 spaces. Scoring on difference is 3 - 1 = 2 points.
NOTE: A space with a Base camp on is not a free field.

Action 4. ERECTING BASE CAMP for research.

When placing a Base camp on a free space, research takes place and the player receives a point for every animal, nomad, and monument on spaces adjoining the camp. Base camps are placed on same space as a Researcher.

Action 5. ERECTING BASE CAMP for mineral exploration

Place a camp on any empty space (no mention of Researcher being needed here - though one presumes same rule as in 4) and remove all face up discovered gold and jewel counters on spaces adjacent to the camp. These do not score points now but can be used towards the final evaluation. NOTE: The rules do not appear to allow for the following scenario: As the game proceeded, if player A (who erected the mineral research base camp) had explored elsewhere and player B turned over a gold/diamond adjoining the now vacant base camp, the question arose as to owned the newly discovered wealth, the original base camp erector or the new discoverer? You decide. I am sure later English rules will clarify this situation. We decided it was player A's fault for leaving his Base camp and player B took the newly discovered wealth into their hand. We presumed here that wealth uncovered (adjacent to base camps)in turns after base camp placement, can be taken into the hand. Some players are stating that if I (player A) do venture elsewhere, and other players flip over counters which then happen to be minerals, then they would need a new base camp to remove gold/diamonds from the board. Again English rules no doubt clarify.


Once the eleventh and last Monument is located, the game finishes. As a camp can no longer be inserted, the player finding the last monument receives 3 points.


Points are given for gold, jewels and trade goods. The player with most gold receives 10 points. The player with second highest gold quantity receives 6. Other players do not score. If several players possess the same quantity of gold, total the victory points and divide by the number of equal players. Points are similarly awarded for jewels. In the scoring example on page 4, Andrew has four gold pieces and gains 10 points. Bridget and Connie have 3 gold pieces each, so take 6 victory points and divide by two entitled players, to have 3 points each.

trade goods 5 of one type give 12 Points.
  4 of one type give 8 points,
  3 of the same give 5 points
  2 of the same give 3 points
  1 of any type gives 1 point.

(See page 4 of rules)

The player who has led their researchers to make the most points from their discoveries and movements wins the game of Africa.

2 player variant

Put 8 base camps in the opening stock on the board and the bonus sign are put on the circle with the Monument. Therewith the game ends immediately the ninth Monument is uncovered.

Young Player variant

The game can be simplified in that each player has their researcher only move and act once per turn instead of twice.


Vacant and occupied fields.

Start cities and spaces with Researchers on, and spaces with no counters or Basecamps on, count as empty fields. Animals and nomads being moved can be pushed under Researchers. Spaces already discovered, (counter face up),and with Base camps on are not empty.

Translated by David Carlile. Sorry for any errors. Enjoy the game!