For exploration, discovery and just plain adventure, nothing fires the imagination like Africa. From Botswana’s No. 1 lady detective Precious Ramotswe to Topeka’s own Gary Clarke, this wild, beautiful and often conflicted country has captured the hearts of many. You can plan your own safari or enjoy the intrepid adventures of others from the comfort of your armchair with selections from our Travel Neighborhood’s Africa section.
For an overview of traveling in the continent try Lonely Planet’s “Africa.” This comprehensive guidebook covers everything you need to know when you’re planning a trip to this “fantastic, enlightening, surprising and intriguing continent.” I was totally amazed at the wealth of information on everything imaginable from basic travel considerations to facts and insights about the people, the culture and the environment. Loney Planet also has guides to West Africa, The Gambia & Senegal and Kenya, to name a few.
“The Rough Guide to West Africa” is another good comprehensive guidebook. Author Bill Bryson says “Rough Guides are consistently readable, informed and most crucially, reliable.” The sections on each country start with an introduction and the basics, including red tape and visas, costs and banking and health. They also include basic words and sayings in the language. I’ll bet you didn’t know “Tana mokhi?” means “Good morning” (literally “did nothing bad happen in the night?” ) in Susu, a language of Guinea. There are Rough Guides for other places including South Africa and Tanzania.
The 2009 guide to South Africa by National Geographic Traveler has beautiful pictures as well as insider tips and “not-to-be-missed lists.” These lists include entries like “Wine tasting in the Winelands” and “The Garden Route’s small towns and beaches.” Each refers you to a section with detailed information, pictures and maps. Also in each section are sidebars telling about an experience such as deep-sea fishing and drinking in a shebeen (an unlicensed drinking hole).
There are also four new DVD’s in the Discoveries – Africa series on national parks and wildlife in Tanzania. This beautiful country has the most land devoted to national parks and refuges in the world including the stunning Mt Kilimanjaro.