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Customer Review

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very out of date....get the new one., 12 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Uganda (Bradt Travel Guides) (Paperback)
This review may seem very unfair considering that when buying the book we always knew it would be significantly out of date, however, we didn't have a lot of other choice. I found that the book contradicted almost all the information we received from local people. The lay out was extremely confusing....for example fort portal and surrounding areas didn't even vaguely represent the area or the relevant accommodation. Prices were out but that was not unexpected.

The book also suggests that one particular town called Katwe is "Perversely Charming"....well, as four women who are experienced travellers we have never felt more unnerved and uncomfortable in a place. We checked out one of the recommended accommodations (which as it turns out you wouldn't have let your dog stay there) and decided we would rather pull the car over on the side of the road and sleep there. Dangerous and misleading information. Hopefully this has been rectified in the new book.

We did have an old copy of the Lonely Planet East Africa guide included in our car, which by no means had the detail of this book but it did seem to include a lot of other interesting things to do other than wildlife viewing which I think this book is very focused on.

It is unfortunate that no other guides exist. Take the new copy with you, check the updates on the internet, talk to locals and other travellers, and by no means rely on it.
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Initial post: 14 Sep 2013 14:45:57 BDT
P. R. Briggs says:
As a co-author of this book, I'd like to thank you for posting a review.

However, I am quite surprised that you found 'the book contradicted almost all the information we received from local people' and 'fort portal and surrounding areas didn't even vaguely represent the area or the relevant accommodation' - I get a huge amount of feedback from readers and nobody has ever raised this sort of factual issue before. If you feel like elaborating or being more specific, please make contact (my email address is in the book, or you can post to my update website http://bradtugandaupdate.wordpress.com), & I will attempt to address your concerns in future editions.

With regard to your most specific criticism, you don't explain why you found Katwe to be 'unnerving and uncomfortable', or qualify in what what sense our information about it is (strong word) 'dangerous'.

What I can say is that both myself and co-author Andrew Roberts have visited Katwe on several occasions, and I have had reams of reader feedback about it over the 20 years since the first edition was published, and nobody has ever suggested it is in any way threatening. Granted, as we say in the book, it is "monumentally rundown". But dangerous? If your concerns are based on something more concrete than a general impression, or other than the sort of one-off incident that might happen anywhere and cannot realistically be predicted by a guidebook, then PLEASE let me know, and I will include suitable warnings on the update website and in future editions.

We only list one lodge in Katwe, placed in the Shoestring section (described as being 'for travellers who want the cheapest possible accommodation irrespective of quality'), and describe it as 'the best of a few small basic lodges'. None of which adds up to a glowing recommendation... we were just making budget travellers aware that some basic accommodation exists in what happens to be the closest town to the main entry gate to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Finally, I do think that marking down an old edition as being 'very out of date' when a new edition is already published is, if not 'very unfair', then certainly unhelpful and itself inherently out-of-date! Self-evidently, unless one actively prefers anachronistic travel information, it would be commonsense to buy the brand new 7th edition (see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Uganda-Travel-Guides-Philip-Briggs/dp/1841624675/) rather than the four-year-old 6th edition. But this is not a flaw in the 6th edition, just the inevitable product of passing time - indeed, if it is truly necessary to state the obvious, I might also point out that the 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st editions are, in that exact numeric sequence, even more dated than the 6th edition!

Thanks again, and hope to hear from you!

Philip Briggs
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