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Darkest Africa

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The only thing the people on this riverboat are gambling with is their lives.

"Over weary wastes of veldt and jungle, the drums bring you a story of Africa.
Africa, that land of mystery and ritual, ebony bodies, witch doctors, and sudden death."
— Intro to Moon Over Africa

A great favourite of stories involving the Colonial period of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Africa has lent itself well to many narratives. Its breadth of landscape includes the immense desert wasteland, the wildlife-filled veldts and savannahs, and especially the thick, treacherous jungle (which is, in reality, nowhere near as widespread as non-Africans often picture it, being mostly located within Central Africa). The history includes the ancient sophistication of the Egyptians, rich ancient kingdoms like Kush and Mali, and mysterious tribal groups — as well as the more recent European colonies and dictator-led, cronyism-filled military juntas. And always, there is the wildlife, some of which may be misplaced, and an abundance of plants, both deadly and delicious.

Africa is often used as a Lost World, whose barely-charted depths are thick with lost kingdoms, ruins of bygone empires, hidden mines holding fabulous wealth, and the occasional Living Dinosaurs — the Mokele-Mbembe is a particularly common variant. Even when this isn't the case, the continent is portrayed as the next best thing: mysterious and dangerous, but populated with outcroppings and ties to the modern world. This balance of civilization just within reach and terra incognita a mere wrong turn away gives the "Dark Continent" a unique position. "Adventure in your own backyard" takes on a new meaning if one's backyard hosts the occasional elephant stampede.

It may be noted that in many modern stories, quite a bit of finagling or handwaving is required to get the "traditional" level of isolation, bringing it into Discredited Trope territory. On the other hand, the old stories resonate strongly, and traditional ways of life still hold sway, enough that subversions are frequently effective; the hero can still be surprised when they ask where the nearest telephone is and the village chief pulls out his iPhone. While most African countries became free of European colonialism in the 1950s and 1960s (with a few stragglers in the 1970s), it took many outsiders a long time to start thinking of them as modern societies roughly on par with those in the Americas and Eurasia, with only South Africa (with its sizeable minority of white settlers who used to run things) being considered equal to them for the longest time.

In older stories, the Mighty Whitey and Hollywood Natives abound, along with Misplaced Wildlife.

See also Useful Notes: Africa as well as Jungle Drums and The Natives Are Restless, as well as the Southeast Asian sister trope Holiday in Cambodia. See Bulungi for a modern take on this trope, and Afrofuturism for works which subvert or deconstruct it. Often linked to Developing Nations Lack Cities.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Pyunma/008's home country looks like this the first time we see it in Cyborg 009, but in subsequent stories, Shotaro Ishinomori tried to portray a slightly more realistic version of modern Africa, with cities & cars & things like that (and also changing Pyunma's backstory from a former tribal prince turned into an ex-slave to a former guerrilla fighter caught an injured in a crossfire). Actually lampshades this trope, with 009 saying that Africa's nothing like what he read about in books when he visits.
  • Kimba the White Lion takes place in an African jungle most of the time.
    (From the theme song to the original 1960s dub):note  "Who lives down in deepest, darkest Africa?..."
  • The Speed Racer episode "Crash in the Jungle" was set in the jungles of Africa and featured giant animals, a tribe of natives, and a power hungry warlord.

  • Hana no Ko Lunlun has two episodes that toy with the trope:
    • The Egypt episode uses several of the Egypt cliches (starting with pyramids and treasures from Ancient Egypt, as Lunlun is "partnered" with a Gentleman Thief).
    • The Morocco two parter subverts this since it has a somewhat more realistic worldbuilding. It recreates an old Moroccan village, which is the hometown of Lunlun's friend Sayid, who has been living in England with his grandfather Scharo and is the reason why she's in Africa in the first place, and two or three local traditions like a traditional race that Sayid must participate in to be properly accepted by the villagers.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe: Wakanda, the kingdom ruled by T'Challa ("Black Panther") has laws that maintain "tribal customs" despite being extraordinarily wealthy - a convienent way to maintain its Lost World flavor. Note that Wakanda's history has been revised over time; when it was first shown, it effectively was Darkest Africa, with its technological innovations being recent additions made by T'Challa himself.
  • The home and main headquarters of The Phantom is in the fictional country of Bangalla, which has been represented as a fairly realistic African nation.
  • Carl Barks' Donald Duck yarn "In Darkest Africa".
    • Voodoo Hoodoo also contains elements of this.
  • The early Tintin adventure Tintin in the Congo, infamous for its condescending depiction of African natives and senseless slaughter of wildlife. It's been intermittently available in English; current print runs are aimed largely at older fans and put out in an almost embarrassed fashion. Mind you, that's the revised colored version, where Hergé rounded the sharpest corners and excised the parts that caused the most criticism. The original black-and-white comic was much worse.
  • The setting for Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.
  • Red Ears: Strips set in Africa will generally present it as a mysterious continent filled with tribal chiefs (possibly cannibals), exotic women, and dangerous jungles.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): In one Golden Age tale, that explicitly takes place in a very small corner of the continent, the natives Wonder Woman runs into are enslaving members of another tribe and seem villainous, and while the victim tribesmen are very friendly they're also extremely superstitious and practice Hollywood Voodo. The apparent villainous natives are being forced to capture slaves by a Nazi general who will murder them and their families if they do not and are slightly more technologically savvy than the others, but this is not revealed right away.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Cheetah's post-Crisis backstory plays this entirely straight, with the source of her powers stemming from a cannibalistic cult deep in Africa's jungles.
  • Rulah, Jungle Goddess is about a white American woman stranded in unexplored Africa where she becomes a Jungle Princess ruling over and protecting a local tribe.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Lon Chaney late-period silent flick West of Zanzibar plays this trope for all its worth—jungles, alligators, voodoo, human sacrifices, and savage native tribes.
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy has been criticized for its portrayal of the Bushmen as entirely ignorant Noble Savages. For Xi, "Darkest Africa" makes perfect sense, but white society is bizarre and inexplicable. To the whites, dangerous wildlife and political turmoil are a source of consternation.
  • George of the Jungle, as a parody of Tarzan, by necessity is set here.
  • Jumanji, in which the board game draws out dangerous elements of a distilled "Darkest Africa"-type jungle located within itself. The jungle is not seen in the film, or even seen by any of its characters save for the main protagonist who is trapped there for years. If said protagonist is to be believed, this is for the best. More so in the animated series though, since they did go into the game Once an Episode. There was even a native tribe of tribal masks.
  • Road to Zanzibar
  • Ingagi follows a pair of Great White Hunters as they search for a tribe that allegedly sacrifices its women to hostile gorillas in an effort to avoid raids from the beasts, with the women being used as sex slaves by the apes. It's all here: killer wildlife (not just the gorillas, but also crocodiles, leopards, lions and hippos), Hollywood Natives (not only do they have such backwards customs as the gorilla sacrifice, but there's also a tribe of "pygmies" played by children), and a mysterious, newly discovered venomous reptile called the "tortadillo" (really just a tortoise with fake wings and a tail glued to it).
  • Most of Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
  • Jane and the Lost City, sent during World War II, plays with this trope a bit by introducing a jungle tribe led by the "Leopard Queen" - a scantily-clad African woman who speaks perfect English, and with the proper "colonial" accent to boot.
  • In Five Weeks in a Balloon, the heroes go on an expedition into this setting to claim unexplored territory and prevent ruthless slavers from doing the same.
  • Trader Horn: Mostly played straight, as the natives are portrayed as either savage or childlike, and in the business of crucifying people and making mounds of skulls when they're in savage mode.
  • Averted in the Film Serial Secret Service In Darkest Africa, which takes place entirely in the North African desert in WW2. So plenty of sinister Bedouins and scheming Nazis, but no jungles or spear-wielding natives.
  • The Tarzan film series is always about white people venturing in Darkest Africa; see also the Literature entry below. In Tarzan the Ape Man and Tarzan and His Mate, Harry Holt says specifically that the Elephant Graveyard the expedition is setting out to find is in a part of Africa where no white man has been before, except for Harry and Tarzan.
  • Subverted and exploited in Black Panther (2018). Wakanda pretends to be a third-world backwater as a trick to the rest of the world to be Beneath Notice. The reality is Wakanda is a massive case study for Afrofuturism and the single most technologically advanced and powerful nation on earth thanks to the mountain of Vibranium inside the nation's borders. At the end of the film, the facade is dropped and Wakanda takes a more active role in the world.
  • In keeping with its source material, the second half of Heart of Darkness (1958) takes place in an African jungle full of Hollywood Natives. (But the setting might be a product of Marlow's imagination.)
  • Dead Birds: One of the slaves penned a book containing the ritual that Hollister used to try and bring his wife back from the dead.
  • Mistress of the Apes: When Susan's anthropologist husband disappears in the Congo, she mounts an expedition to find him. She eventually discovers that this especially inaccessible stretch of jungle is home to a tribe of Homo habilis.
  • The prologue to The Witches (1966) takes place in Africa, where the protagonist Gwen Mayfield had been trying to set up a missionary school. The local witch doctor apparently wanted her out and sent all sorts of dark magic to terrorise her.
  • The 1966 mondo film Africa Addio presents an especially horrifying modern-day example of the trope, depicting post-colonial Africa as a hellhole torn apart by civil war, pillage, and bloodletting.

  • Tarzan, in most incarnations, relies on the African dichotomy for its stories.
  • H. Rider Haggard's She and King Solomon's Mines, both with English explorers. Haggard had actually lived in Africa, and knew his stuff a lot better than most writers of colonial adventure fiction; but the European condescension is still present.
  • The Michael Crichton book and movie Congo has the (fictional) ruined city of Zinj populated by hostile gorillas.
  • Draconis Memoria: The fictional Arradsia is very much portrayed this way, being a (rather small) continent possessed of multiple exotic biomes, such as lush jungles, deserts of red sand and volcanic mountain peaks, all inhabited by endemic and unusual creatures. A relatively minor number of foreign colonists operate out of coastal or river-based strongholds, while the interior belongs to the highly aggressive wildlife and even more hostile natives.
  • Gregory McDonald's Fletch Too is set in Africa, discussing some of the issues, including slavery, being modern-or not, archeology, witch doctors, and law.
  • In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the trip into the savage wilderness of Africa mirrors Kurtz's descent into his own darkness. However, Marlow states that England was at one time also considered a dark and savage land by the civilized Romans.
  • Aversion: pretty much everything Chinua Achebe has ever written (the most famous being Things Fall Apart). He is very keen on dispelling this particular trope.
  • An early section of Robinson Crusoe, when Crusoe is fleeing in a boat along the African coast.
    But it is impossible to describe the horrid noises, and hideous cries and howlings that were raised, as well upon the edge of the shore as higher within the country, . . . this convinced me that there was no going on shore for us in the night on that coast, and how to venture on shore in the day was another question too; for to have fallen into the hands of any of the savages had been as bad as to have fallen into the hands of the lions and tigers; at least we were equally apprehensive of the danger of it.
  • The first Time Scout book ends with a trip to 17th century Africa. It doesn't end well. Well, it does, but it doesn't middle well.
  • The sword and soul sub-genre of Heroic Fantasy often is set here or in Fantasy Counterpart Culture versions of Africa with black heroes instead of Mighty Whitey heroes.
  • This is the setting of Five Weeks in a Balloon, the unexplored depths of 19th-century Africa, with no Western civilization to speak of.
  • Pretty much every book by Wilbur Smith ever. There is usually a Mighty Whitey protagonist involved, with plenty of native advisors and companions to round out the cast.
  • In The Kingdom of Little Wounds Midi's origins are given this treatment by people at court, though not necessarily by the author.
  • Remember To Always Be Brave Starts here, and rather gorily at that. It is mentioned that it wasn't always like that, however.
  • In Desert And Wilderness is two kids (and two young escaped slaves) crossing Africa, discovering some lakes previously unknown to civilisation in the process.
  • Kokoland in the Doc Savage novel Land of Long Juju. Only the tribe of the royal family, who are descended from a Lost Roman Legion, are portrayed as civilised. All of the other tribes are superstitious and bloodthirsty savages, who are easy prey from the white villains.
  • Darkest Howondaland, in the Discworld, is very often a parody of this trope. It was revealed, in a postscript to Terry Pratchett's posthumously published novel The Shepherd's Crown, that Terry had at least an outline for a novel that would have explored Howondaland to the same level of detail that he gave to Australia in The Last Continent. Its working title was The Dark Incontinent. Some possible fragments of this book, descriptions of people and places, were released in the recent Complete Discworld Atlas, which gives the name "Dark Incontinent" to a large swathe of the Klatchian continent believed to comprise several kingdoms besides Howondaland. It is described as largely unexplored (except, as the Running Gag concerning exploration on the Disc has it, by local people who don't count) although there appears to be a white settlement in S'Belinde called Smithville, presumably after Howondaland Smith, Balrog Hunter.
  • Temeraire: 19th-Century Alternate History Britain has established several coastal settlements in Africa, but explorers into the dragon-infested inland never return. In Empire of Ivory, the inland is revealed to contain a very large, advanced African nation that enters the Napoleonic Wars and becomes a major global power.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In "Safari O'Toole", the eponymous adventurer spends much of his time in the Savage South, Darkest Africa in particular. He's a fake, but a nice one, who's only trying to impress Mrs. Davis.
    • In "The Hawkins Travel Agency" has a rather unique example. Mr. Stone proposes Mr. Conklin, Mr. Boynton and Miss Brooks all accompany him on a walking tour through Darkest Africa. Stone doesn't find any takers.
  • Spoofed in episode 29 of Monty Python's Flying Circus, in which a band of pith-helmeted explorers discover a restaurant in the middle of the jungle.
  • The Magical Bushman arc from Season 3 of Heroes provides a slight example of this trope. The character himself is something of an aversion: despite making his home in the brush, he has a Walkman and keeps abreast of current events. However, places in the series are usually addressed as "Odessa, Texas," or "Tokyo, Japan." Whenever the action cuts to that plot? "Somewhere In Africa." Yeah...
    • Only because the character that was there didn't actually know where he was, he just kind of appeared there, and mysterious painter man isn't about to tell him that "you're twenty kilometres northeast of Mombasa, you can make it there by nightfall if you hurry", the man's got lessons to learn first.
  • Israeli brief comedy series Lost In Africa features an Israeli fashion modeling company flying to the fictional country Abuna Kilosa, which borders on Chad and Sudan (most likely where RL Central African Republic is), for a photo shoot with a Swedish model and an English photographer. The show averts, plays with, and deconstructs the trope.
    • While the people there are shown as rather primitive, sporting:
    • They also:
      • seem to be doing a genuine effort to fix their country by fighting corruption (as they put it, ‘This is not Burkina Faso!’), to the point that bribing a policeman can cost one half an arm (the original photographer, later replaced by the aforementioned Englishman, tried to buy back a piece of clothing from a policeman, which he interpreted as bribery);
      • they do have some modern technology, such as televisions and vehicles;
      • quite a few of them wear Western clothing;
      • and some of them speak very decent English (most notably the driver and hotel keeper).
    • They also seem to be very aware of their position:
      • When one of the Israelis asks for a doctor to see him at his hotel room and asks him to give him a treatment ‘for tourists’, the doctor does some silly ceremony to please said tourists for an absurd amount of money (hilariously threatening to put a curse on him if he isn’t paid);
      • Suliman, the group’s driver seduces omomtsiyon, the company’s secretary, in an attempt to make her bring him with her back to Israel, subverting Where da White Women At? (this fails, as she angrily dumps him the moment she realises his true plans, which leads to his death in the Tutsi-Hutu fight later on).
    • Also, the company’s boss wants to adopt a very bright kid he meets at the local village, who shows a remarkable talent in math and even learns to say ‘good morning’ in Hebrew (albeit mispronounced), even competing over him with the Swedish model. The Israelis treat the place they're in mostly with condescension (as one of them phrased it: ‘Everyone’s a shell-shocked darkie around here!’) and occasionally with some romanticising. Shlomtsiyon’s argument with Suliman about their future revolved around this: she wanted to get away from the commercialised, competitive West, while he wanted to leave Africa; this is what lead her to realise his true intentions and dump him. The two Europeans seem to regard Israel with the same condescending tone the Israelis treat the Africans (when told that the Israeli model is ‘very popular in Israel’, the English photographer says, ‘Yes, but so is war!’), while both Israelis and Europeans display every possible vice of Western society.
  • On My Name Is Earl, back when Earl and Joy were married, they saw a commercial for some nonprofit trying to help children in Africa. They decide to make a Fake Charity to get money for themselves, but only ever got one "donor." Earl had given up on it after a while (even before getting divorced and starting The List), but found that Joy was still running the scam years later. She even mentioned taking a picture of Earl Jr. looking all sad with flies on him, telling the "donor" that he was a boy named Mbungo, whom the "donor" was helping to go to school.
    • One of Camden's crazy residents is Congolese-born Nescobar A-lop-lop. He once voted for a presidential candidate who spoke in favor of cannibalism (and lost).
  • Adam Ruins Everything: Subverted. Adam has Teddy Ruge, a native Ugandan, rip apart this image, since it was created by companies like TOMS Shoes to sell stuff. In fact, Teddy argues that donations of shoes not only distract people from other problems countries like Uganda face, but actually hurt the local economy by making local industries - like cobblers, in the case of TOMS - noncompetitive.
  • The Saturday Night Live sketch "39 Cents" parodies "Just pennies a day to help destitute Africans" charity commercials, as the poor African villagers in the background quickly take offense to the commercial's star asking for a meager donation of "only 39 cents a day." When he repeatedly refuses their urging to raise the amount asked for (and is called out for not even knowing what country he's in), they take him hostage and use the commercial to demand a $200 ransom.
  • Subverted in a 1970s Sesame Street segment. Smart Tina claims that Africa is just one big jungle because she saw it in a Tarzan movie. But Roosevelt Franklin shows on a map that only a small portion of Africa is jungle. The continent is really a mix of different environments dotted with big cities and valuable resources.
  • That '70s Show: Played for Laughs when Eric is planning to go to Africa, and Kelso tells him about how it's super dangerous.
    Kelso: I heard they have this bug that crawls into your ear while you're sleeping, and lays like a million eggs, and then they shoot out of your nose like little worm-bullets.
    Eric: Kelso, that was on the planet Zorgon... which was in a comic book... that you wrote.

  • Many an adventure or treasure hunt involves a search for something "lost in the African jungle".
  • The 1947 song Civilization ,written by Bob Hilliard and Carl Sigman, is a humorous satire of this trope. It's about a native of The Congo who learns about the "civilized" world from a missionary. From the Congolese native's perspective, the "civilized" lifestyle is actually uncivilized.
  • Vulvodynia's 2019 album Mob Justice is something of a Deconstruction of this, as the album lyrically focuses on the dark side of modern South African life such as the violence, poverty, widespread economic stratification, drug addiction, and lingering scars of apartheid and past oppression that never quite healed yet.
  • As Vachel Lindsay so well put it,
    ''Then I saw the Congo, creeping through the black,
    Cutting through the jungle with a golden track''
    Then along that riverbank, a thousand miles
    Tattooed cannibals danced in files...

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Legendary big man The One Man Gang underwent a new gimmick in the late 80's and became Akeem, the African Dream. The gimmick (which was cheesy and somewhat racist, as it had a white man dressing in African tribal garb and using a stereotypical accent and mannerisms, though it was a Take That! to the wrestler "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, a big fat white guy who tried to talk "black.") billed him from "Deepest, Darkest Africa".

  • Many episodes of The Goon Show took place here to spoof the old stories, and there's no such thing as Mighty Whitey, just "noble" British fighters and explorers who are complete, often greedy idiots (i.e., Major Bloodnok).
  • Moon Over Africa plays this completely straight. Made (and presumably set) in the late 1930's, it takes place in French West Africa near Lake Chad, and depicts Africa as a mystical land full of magic and menace, and is filled with hostile and sometimes cannibalistic natives.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ifri from 7th Sea is a downplayed version, in that it's more High Fantasy than Theah, and the supernatural is way more blatant. The gods regularly interact with their worshippers, and anybody who doesn't believe in Bonsam and thinks he ain't real will quickly learn otherwise. But then again few people from Ifri are savages, noble or otherwise, and most of what makes Ifri so awful is the foreign Atabean Trading Company.
  • The Vampire: The Masquerade sourcebook Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom deals with African vampires. Whereas the Kindred of the East are something completely unique and different (even a little alien) from the western Kindred, the Laibon are in large part degenerate versions of the clans they descended from. Especially cringeworthy are the Osebo, who are a Brujah offshoot whose differences are that they are 1) African, 2) baby-stealing thugs and 3) so stupid and disorganized that they seek out people who can tell them what to do. In other words, walking stereotypes based on the views of pro-slavery American conservatives.
    • In Genius: The Transgression the colonial fantasy of Darkest Africa, the one full of dangerous jungles and lost cities, as one of the Bardos, places that used to exist until they were proven not to (but can still be accessed by those with a few toes out of conventional reality).
  • The pulp themed Spirit of the Century, set in the 1920s, actually refers to Africa as Darkest Africa, and talks about Gorilla Khan's exploits in the unexplored wilderness there.
  • The new Empire of the Apes faction in Monsterpocalypse called this home. No doubt the elders are wishing Kondo had kept to their advice and not decided to take a peek outside into the humans' proper dominion.
  • Spoofed in Toon (but then, of course it is), which has an adventure in "Darkest Africa" reached by...getting off the boat in Africa, then following the sign reading "Dark Africa". It's somewhere on the other side of "Darker Africa". The gag is actually directly lifted from Porky in Wackyland, below.
  • Pathfinder's default setting has the Mwangi Expanse, which is explicitly there to give players some jungles and lost cities to explore. The trope is defied in the game's 2nd edition, however, which humanizes the setting by presenting it from an insider's perspective rather than that of colonialists and looters. The entire continent was only given a few pages worth of detail in 1st edition's setting guide, while 2nd edition released a 400-page book exploring it in great detail.
  • The third-party sourcebook Nyambe essentially gave a Darkest Africa setting for Dungeons & Dragons.
  • There are a number of loosely-historical wargames set in this period, the most popular of which is The Sword and the Flame.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: the Southlands, the stand-in for the African continent has the kingdoms of Araby and the Khemri to the far north, a few Lizardman cities and elven ports here and there, the Skaven capital of Clan Pestilens, with most of the danger being presented by the native savage orcs, who are primitive and stupid even by their northern cousins' standards.
  • Twilight Struggle focuses on the chaotic Cold War-era political aspects of this trope with the Africa region of the board, which includes all of Africa save for Libya and Egypt (they count as Middle East). Most countries in the region are low-stability, which means they are easily controlled by influence and are more vulnerable to coup attempts (only Morocco and South Africa are above level 2); in addition the only Level 1 stability battleground countries (which determine Domination and Control of the region when scored) are here (Angola, Zaire, and Nigeria). Games tend to see rather wild swings of board position here as they progress.

  • Eugene O'Neill's play The Emperor Jones actually takes place on an island in the West Indies, but it might as well be a transplanted piece of Africa.
  • In The Book of Mormon, Kevin Price and Arnold Cunningham are sent as missionaries to Uganda and find out the hard way that "Africa is nothing like The Lion King (1994)!" Instead, it's full of Third World problems such as AIDS, clitoridectomies, and warlords who shoot people in the face. Even so, all the traditional clichés are brought out for one number which has the white missionaries sing, "Weeeee are Africa, We are deepest darkest Africa..."

     Theme Park Rides 

    Video Games 
  • Resident Evil 5 wanders over here for two chapters, but spends the rest in more developed areas. Diaries found in the marshlands reveal that they weren't always this trope: the tribe living there may have been rather Luddite, but they weren't mindlessly savage and violent until Tricell duped them into being their guinea pigs for their viral experiments.
  • Far Cry 2 takes place in a fictional African country called Leboa-Seko, which is populated almost exclusively by people who want you dead.
    • Somewhat justified in that the place is in the last stages of a ruinous civil war and most moderate people / civilians have long since left. Still, things like tarred roads, villages, shops (which don't sell weapons), and noncombatants are conspicuous by their relative absence.
  • Mazuri in Sonic Unleashed gives a very African vibe.
  • Congo Bongo
  • Kemco's Ghost Lion, which is probably the only RPG in the world set in (non-Egypt) Africa.
  • Both Victoria: An Empire Under The Sun and its sequel has nods to this trope in some of its event descriptions. The main reason being that they take place during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and have has one of their major themes the European imperialism of the period... including the colonisation of Africa.
    • From the same company, Europa Universalis (taking place from late Middle Age to Napoleonic times) has Africa as mostly uncolonizable/unconquerable/untraversable wilderness. What usable provinces are there are on or near coastlines (with some exceptions: Nile valley, horn of Africa, West African subsaharan kingdoms), usually have the Tropical modifier (increasing non-native troop attrition significantly), and occupied either by technologically backwards nations (compared to Europe or the Middle-East, anyway) or by very powerful, numerous and hostile natives, making colonization very difficult.
  • Borderlands 2:
    • The expansion pack Hammerlock's Hunt has a fair amount of this, with an unusual emphasis on dark and dreary environments with precious little jungle or savanna to be seen. Hammerlock is of course the very ideal of the Great White Hunter, and the Big Bad (such as he is) is very much a Mighty Whitey controlling the aggressive and shamanistic tribesmen. In a small twist, the tribesmen are largely white and are former colonists who went mad after being abandoned on Pandora by their employers, as well as Hammerlock being black, and the Big Bad being Japanese.
    • The natives return again in Sir Hammerlock and the Son of Crawmerax dlc, this time worshipping the titular Son of Crawmerax. Hammerlock will again comment on how savage they are, until one of them chimes in and points out that he (the native) has a degree from a university on Eden-5, then proceed to call Hammerlock a dickwad for the insensitive comments.
  • In an extremely rare variant of this trope, Ryse: Son of Rome has a mission set in Darkest Britain. The lands north of Hadrian's Wall are portrayed as a dark and foggy Death World where Everything Is Trying to Kill You. The local population are savages who wear animal skulls and furs, scream and holler in a horrific Black Speech, and kidnap foreigners to sacrifice them to their gods by burning them alive. Basically, it hits every characteristic of this trope... it's just set in Scotland.
  • Fricana in Quest for Glory III starts out with the Egyptian-themed Tarna, moves into the African savannah, and then eventually reaches this, culminating in the Lost World, the final section of the map containing the Lost City, as well as a hidden monkey village, a tribe of hostile apemen and lots of pissed-off demons. The section before that is a large jungle containing a secretive tribe of magic-wielding leopardmen that attack the player on-sight and are distrusted by their counterparts, the nomadic, savannah-dwelling Simbani, and it's the protagonists' job to stop the two from going to war.
  • The Lost Kingdom park in Theme Park World, full of jungle animals and tom tom drum-based rides.
  • EarthBound (1994) has Deep Darkness, a place mostly composed of jungles and swamps; the jungle is so dense that it's impossible to see through it, unless you have the Hawk Eye (Retrieved from the pyramid in Scaraba), which allow you to "Pierce the darkness".
  • Pandyssia, the only continent on the world of Dishonored, takes clear inspiration from this trope. It's massive, it's mysterious, and it's largely unexplored because explorers make a habit of going mad and/or dying horribly to the fantastically dangerous plants, animals, diseases, and terrain.
  • Strange Brigade Has the titular Brigade fighting Mummies across Still Ancient Egypt and other nearby locales in Darkest Africa at the turn of the century in order to prevent a recently released Sealed Evil in a Can Ancient Evil Mummy Queen from attaining full power and taking over the world. As you might guess, it takes a lot of (very tongue-in-cheek) inspiration from old adventure serials, much like those that inspired Indiana Jones and The Mummy Trilogy.

    Web Animation 
  • Parodied in The Cheese Family, where at the zoo the Cheese family see "...the funny grapes from Darkest France".

    Western Animation 
  • Wackyland, from the Looney Tunes short Porky in Wackyland (and also from its remake Dough for the Do-Do), is located here. Porky Pig has to fly over Dark and Darker Africa to get there.
    • The first three shorts from the Inki series also takes place in there.
    • Another two Bugs Bunny short's entitled Hold the Lion, Please and Which is Witch have Darkest Africa as their setting.
  • At least four of Van Beuren Studios cartoons are set in Darkest Africa; one of them is even called "Darkest Africa", with the other three being "Jungle Jazz", Mild Cargo" and "Plane Dumb".
  • Many, many episodes of Danger Mouse, mostly because it was parodying old adventure serials of the kind that inspired the Indiana Jones movies. (Weirdly, The Bad Luck Eye of the Little Yellow God was ostensibly set in Brazil, but is in all other respects Darkest Africa.)
  • Popeye once traveled to Darkest Africa searching for Bluto in Fightin Pals; the short shows him actually going through Dark Africa and Darker Africa before reaching Darkest.