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South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (Lonely Planet Country Guides) [Paperback]

Richard Everist , Jon Murray , Simon Richmond , etc.
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Dec 2001 Lonely Planet Country Guides
Covers every corner from the Cape winelands to the peaks of the Drakenberg and Kruger National Park. Looks at South African music, art and culture and at the smaller indigenous groups. There is separate coverage of Lesotho and Swasiland and accommodation options for mid-range travellers.

Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 5th Revised edition edition (31 Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186450322X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1864503227
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 12.9 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 976,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Nobody covers the world like Lonely Planet.' --New York Post, May 2004
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
The current national boundaries in Southern Africa are predominantly the creation of competitive European imperialist powers in the 19th and 20th centuries. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 10 Mar 2008
I have been a fan of lonely planet books in the past and own quite a few of them. However, having just returned from a trip to South Africa where used this one heavily to plan the trip, I was pretty disappointed. In general there seemed to be too heavy an emphasis on the backpacking traveller and people who have lots of time for their travels (lots of details of 5-day hikes and things) as opposed to the general holiday(ing) traveller. I also think that there were just some significant misjudgments in their recommendations. There were several towns described as "choc-full" of activities that then proved to be pretty dull and others that were described as "historic" or "quaint" which had little to look at.

Finally, I also think that there was too much "worthiness" creeping in as well. I think there was an appropriate emphasis on township tours and the complex social situation in South Africa (the section on history was very good) but there was then also sideways digs at places the book perceived to be "tacky" or "artificial" when in some cases these were actually pretty well run tourist attractions. I am sure with more time and with a slightly hardier spirit I could have gone for some of the more "authentic" options the book outlined, but short of time and looking for some ease of travel I actually rather enjoyed some of the "artficial" places the book was so disparaging of.

Like I say- not one for the holidaying tourist- this is strictly one for the backpacker or gap year traveller.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I am surprised at the negative feedback here. As a consistent user of Lonely Planet guides, I have to say that this ranked as one of the more useful country guides i have come across. Writing guidebooks must be a very tricky business - it is necessary to include such a vast quantity of information, while trying simultaneously to capture the feel and mood of a country in such a way that people know what to expect back home. This particular guide does an excellent job in this respect.

I spent one month travelling from Pretoria to Cape Town, taking a winding route through Swaziland and Lesotho. I had no schedule and went where I wanted when I wanted. And perhaps it is for this kind of travelling that this guide is most suitable - it doesn't necessarily tell you how best to combine two or 3 attractions for a short holiday, which is a travel agent's job, but rather it gives a very involved lowdown on most places of consequence in which you might find yourself.

The information was detailed and correct, with pleasingly accurate (both on facts and on less tangible factors - atmosphere, attitude, etc.) descriptions of places and accommodations, and some fantastic recommendations for restaurants, especially in and around Cape Town.

I can't imagine which towns the other reviewers are referring to when they talk about misplaced or underdone praise. I felt that the passion with which the authors wrote the book was well apportioned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful guide but not the best 2 Jun 2008
By Darren Simons TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As Lonely Planet guides go, I must admit this one was a little disappointing. Certainly the usual details of history, maps, accomodation, sites and restaurants are included. But somehow the guide doesn't really pick up on what South Africa's about... The details of game reserves was very disappointing and certainly much of the area that I visited was not covered in as much detail as I'd have liked. For a country with the scenery of the Drakensburg, the beauty of Cape Town and the wonder of the game reserves that's really rather surprising.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful and up-to-date 15 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book to accompany me on my 3-month trip to South Africa. The book packs in a lot of information, and I didn't come accross anything that seemed out-of-date or no longer existing. Cape Town is covered extremely well and I used many of the recommendations for restaurants (it's imperative that you visit Mama Africa, but definitely make sure you book in advance), backpackers and tourist attrcations.
I valued the travel information section, which provides accurate details on how to get around and advice on local customs.
Other cities seemed well covered too and the maps at the back were invaluable. Kruger National Park is also covered in some depth and is useful when visiting this attraction.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read - whets your appetite for travel 28 Nov 2009
Lonely planet books are okay and this does a good job. We made a decent holiday plan from this and another book but were able to leave enough space in our itinerary to wing some time on holiday with this in our backpack.
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