3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
aka the Bible,
This review is from: Africa on a Shoestring (Lonely Planet Shoestring Guide) (Paperback)
Objectively, this is the most hardcore guidebook in the world. Covering nearly 50 countries, a dozen war zones, a thousand languages - it's Africa in 1000 pages.
This will give you the very basics: how to get to/from a country, lots of details on crossing borders overland, transport options, basic accomodation and eating solutions. Think of it as a normal Lonely Planet guide but covering only the highlights, with far fewer maps (only capitals) and much less history and background.
It's not perfect, of course, but if you're covering large swathes of the continent than it's by far your best option. Some people may be better off with a Southern/East Africa guide (from LP or others), but if your backpack can't accomodate multiple guidebooks, this is the one for you.
have fun on the trip.