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Question: Why did it take so long to have Africa colonized!?
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Africa didn't have items that the Europeans wanted right away!. At first they wanted the silks and teas of China and the spices of the Orient!. Then they wanted tobacco and furs from the Americas!. After they discovered gold and diamonds in Africa, then Europeans wanted to colonize it!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

The interior of Africa is very difficult to explore!. You have to do it on foot, with a hatchet!. Few navigable rivers, usually running the wrong way!. Add to that lots of unpleasant diseases and dangerous animals!.
Until the 19th century most exploring nations were very happy just to let it be!. It wasn't worth the effort!.

Please note that most of Africa was explored already, and some colonies established!. Arabian traders and slavers had extensive knowledge about the interior!. Zanzibar was one of the colonies/trading posts of them!.

It became interesting only when geographic explorers of the Hillary (Mount Everest) type 'why do you climb the mountain!? Because it is there' wanted to find the sources of the Nile, Zambezi, Congo rivers!. And missionaries (Dr!. Livingstone) started to explore the continent!. They have the reputation, but the continent was already explored by unnamed Arabians long before!.Www@QuestionHome@Com