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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: South Africa Flexibound – 3 Aug 2009

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  • Flexibound: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Dorling Kindersley (3 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405312254
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405312257
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 522,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The holiday starts the moment you open the guidebook. (The Guardian) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David Cole on 27 April 2009
Format: Paperback
For years I bought Rough Guides, Time Out and Lonely Planet guides for places I was visiting. More recently I've bought these, and I think they are much more readable and therefore useable. Maybe the other three are aimed at a younger market, and I've now moved out of that demographic, and like the photos, exploded diagrams, and shorter narative. Maybe they are just less daunting...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 21 Feb. 2010
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
I skimmed through the relevant chapters in this book several times before our holiday in South Africa. It's one of those books that don't make much sense until you get there. Once you are in the country it's useful as a reference guide and I use it to tick off places I've seen etc. I'm not sure it's useful to have so much detail of certain things, eg layouts of buildings and castles. It's very touristic and won't cover things that you experience whilst driving along and often you see something but it's not in the book. It also tends to push you to the tourist activities rather than see it yourself activities. For example, the referral to Boulders Beach Penguin Colony near Simon's Town was a hot spot of tourists, including a bunch of Japanese tour groups, and you had to pay to get in to see the Penguins. Instead if you drive 5 more min you can spot Penguins without tourists and having to pay. I'm all for exploring yourself without being told what to do by a book.
To summarise, useful when you arrive in South Africa to figure out what you have seen and what tourists like seeing.
Be aware that it doesn't contain useful maps for driving. You are better off buying one when you get to South Africa. Also, if you have an interest in animals and plants, get another book as this one won't cover flora and fauna.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By pedmatters on 20 April 2009
Format: Paperback
Travelled with it in January-February 2009 from Joburg to Cape Town. Gives you a good list of must see places although does skip a few places you inevitably pass on your way and ask yourself a questions this book simply doesn't have any answers to as if big portions of the country simply do not exist. All in all, it does the job, giving you a bit of history, little tips and a good background. Map wise - you need a proper atlas that is easy to get and comes free should you rent a car with a major rental company. the book is politically correct, sometimes dry and certainly won't substitute the live experience of interacting with the locals. Perfect for preparation home work you need to do before the planned trip.
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By Darren Simons TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 July 2012
Format: Paperback
Despite being quite critical of DK guides generally, I think the guide for South Africa is fairly good and I've used it for trips to the Western Cape / Garden Route (from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town), Johannesburg, Durban and Kruger. As all DK guides are, this one is glossy, has lots of nice photos to whet your appetite, although the maps are poor.

For me though, the format of this guide works well for SA where you often have quite long distances to travel by car or plane between places and it's about what there is to see on the way and in the cities themselves. Each state/region has its own chapter, and a reasonable history and map is provided for each of these. The Cape Town guide is particularly good, giving an overview before providing the guide for the centre, then further out (I would suggest there is easily enough in this guide to occupy a week or in Cape Town). Each town has its main sites, there's some good trails detailed and hotels/restaurants are listed at the back.

I'd recommend taking this book along with a decent road map or second guide, but there is a lot of detail for certain sites / museums which isn't necessarily covered in other guides.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even for destinations I have not (yet) visited, I love reading this series of guides. They bring the destination to life in superb detail. The guide is easy to read with lots of colourful depictions and it covers every aspect of your trip. My bookshelf is now filling up with the Eyewitness books and I do not intend to stop with this one. But on this occasion I really am going to South Africa and it is making my holiday a little easier to plan.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this when I was looking to plan a trip to South Africa and really didn't have a lot of knowledge about the country. I wanted something that would help me with my planning and would ensure that I made the right choices in terms of what I should do. I have foudn the guide very helpful and as and when I travel to South Africa it will travel with me. A good resource.
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By smsteeds on 29 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this from cover to cover on a 6 hour flight the other day in preparation for our family trip to S. Africa in August 2013. We plan on going to the Kruger, Pretora, Durban and the Cape so this comprehensive book of those areas (and more) has helped hone a plan that hopefully will give pleasure to all of us. I certainly feel better prepared for having read it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. J. Downs on 17 July 2010
Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
This book was purchased as a birthday present for someone who is due to visit Sout Africa for the first time, and I have not therefore had a chance to do more than glance through it. My impression, though, is of a well organised and informative guidebook which is unusually well illustrated and makes a welcome and civilised change from Lonely Planet and Rough Guide books which seem to be directed to an audience of scroungers.
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