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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money, 21 Oct 2013
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I totally agree with other reviews. This edition is to me the disappointment of the year. Especially, since I was so much looking forward to getting it before my trip to West Africa in the end of November 2013, whereas now I am considering if I should leave it at home. If these kind of LP guidebooks used to be called bibles, this edition should be treated as a flyer - so thin it is and so little information it has. And the explanation for not covering (de facto) Guinea or Mali ('there are not many people going there') is probably the writer's joke (you could probably write this about most of the countries coverd by this guidebook, you'd save more on paper). I have the old edition of the LP West Africa (1999) at home and went through it last night: it was twice as thick as this one and every single page was full of information or pictures. And it covered countries like Guinea too (and I doubt there were much more people going there at that time than nowadays). Needless to say, I am now seriously considering taking with me to West Africa this old edition instead of the new one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Quite useless, 22 Sep 2013
As someone who's been traveling to West Africa on a semi-regular basis for the past 15 years, I am quite familiar with the various editions of Lonely Planet's West Africa guide. The earlier editions used to be excellent. Subsequent editions turned mediocre, with adequate practical information but scant background information, and feeling more like a collection of individual chapters rather than a cohesive guidebook about the entire region. This edition is a huge disappointment to put it mildly. As the previous reviewer noted, it's shrunk to about half its previous size, and that only because of the addition of some 50 pages on Morocco which is not part of West Africa, and which the previous editions quite sensibly did not cover. Mali, Niger and Guinea on the other hand are no longer covered, the excuse for Guinea being that few travelers are heading to that country these days. The information on the remaining countries is quite rudimentary. In fact, for most the coverage is not more detailed than LP Africa, so there is really no reason whatsoever to buy this book.

Sadly, it appears that Rough Guides will not be releasing a new edition of its excellent West Africa, so the only remaining choices are Bradt's generally excellent country guides where they exist, and (for French speakers) the individual country guides by Petit Fute.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where have all the pages gone?!, 20 Sep 2013
I couldn't believe how thin this book is - it has 520 pages to cover all of WestAfrica when the previous edition had 912 pages! The 2008 Rough Guide to West Africa has 1376 pages for goodness sake!

Ok i know some countries are out of bounds for various reasons, but for example the Nigeria section is 20 pages when the Rough Guide has around 150! Anyone going to Nigeria will need more than this!

And, unlike the Rough Guide and the excellent [...] website, nowhere does it mention that, apart from tourist spots like the Gambia, this is actually the hardest part of the world to travel in, there are fewer sights of interest than many other areas of the world, and that home comforts are far and far between - its not South East Asia or Australia.

Instead we go straight into the usual "If you like ..." sections which are a bit childish for me to be honest.

An in case you are wondering "well why did he buy it", i didnt buy it. 18 was too steep for such a lazy effort.

Please Lonely Planet, go back to what you used to be!
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