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A glossy tourist catalogue
on 25 August 2014
In reducing Africa's 54 countries to a mere 43 Lonely Planet takes the next step in recreating the continent. I can still remember Geoff Crowther's first edition, packed with relevant travel information about every country in Africa, now LP seems to suggest that we all become package tourists and head for South Africa, Kenya or Morocco.
11 countries have been removed, probably for good. A few of them have experienced recent civil unrest, but for the most part, it's just a matter of "so few people are coming here, we can't be bothered". Excuse me, but I somehow always assumed Lonely Planet was made for those of us who feel like going somewhere unusual and strange. Geoff Crowther is long gone. Same goes for Alex Newton, who compiled the Central African guide, which hasn't been updated for the past 20 years! Meanwhile Lonely Planet is turning more and more mainstream, omitting the cheap hotels, the interesting bars and quirky attractions, so that the only potential readers will soon be couples on honeymoon.
Thank god there are still Bradt guides.