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Africa (Lonely Planet Read This First) Paperback – 1 Mar 2000
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Every year thousands of travellers head off for their first international journey, and Lonely Planet's "Read this First" series equips them with the confidence to meet all challenges they encounter on the road. This is the essential pre-departure tool for travel to Africa.
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Well, Lonely Planet have come up trumps again! This is an excellent starting place for planning a trip - be it from 1 week to 1 year, a holiday or a travelling adventure.
This book gives a detailed description of how to go about planning any trip (regardless of continent), then describes the joys and problems of Africa (culture, health, etc). And THEN it provides a few pages describing each country - what's good to see, visa requirements, and so on. It even provides suggested itineries, highlights and a map.
Basically, it's what you need to know about a country in order for you to decide whether you research a place in depth or consign it to the "not going there" pile. It doesn't try to put you off, it just tells it to you straight, and allows you to make your own mind up (unless it's a country in serious turmoil, when the LP take the responsible line and say that they are not recommending anyone travelling there).
So ... unless you know exactly where you want to and for how long (when you buy the guide to a particular country) ... read this first!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
That being said, there's some great information here. I particularly like the suggested iteneraries. They give you suggestions on what you can do if you have one week, two weeks, or a month in each country, with a map and brief information on sites to see and travel methods. That's the second half of the book. The first half of the book is general travel information for developing countries that's definitely required reading for first time travelers to Africa.
This book (only a few dollars used - it's out of print now) and a full-featured travel guide (Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Bradt, etc) will be very useful in planning your trip to Africa.