The key to using FF miles anymore is to plan as far in advance as possible...ten months is my standard. The other is, of course, routing flexibility. If you can't get to Africa going east, try going west through Hong Kong...that sort of thing.
Another possibility is to get as close as possible using FF miles and then pay for a short local flight. For example, for an upcoming trip to North Africa, it takes far more miles to get to Tunisia or Morocco than it does to get to Europe. So we're using FF miles to Malta (part of Europe) paying for a short flights to Tunis, again to Casblanca, take the ferry from Tangier to Gibralter (Europe again) and FF miles home from there.
I've done a fair amount of this and I'm always happy to recommend routes, airlines, airports, etc. for anyone who is interested.