Experience the best of West Africa with Lonely Planet. With our 7th edition you'll discover the varied landscape of this fascinating region - take a slow boat to Timbuktu, camp under the Sahara's starry skies, hike through ancient Dogon Country, discover Cote d'Ivoire's cosmopolitan Abidjan and kick-back on Ghana's palm-fringed beaches.
Lonely Planet guides are written by experts who get to the heart of every destination they visit. This fully updated edition is packed with accurate, practical and honest advice, designed to give you the information you need to make the most of your trip.
In This Guide:
Essential safety information provided throughout
Unrivalled activities and courses information for the whole region
Green Index to make your travels ecofriendly
…Lonely Planet, the intrepid traveler's bible...' --Los Angeles Times, April 2005
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Most helpful customer reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful.
From a returned Peace Corps Volunteer
By Jason Chance
This book is practically the bible for W. Africa travel. I lived and worked in W. Africa for 3 years (2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer) and I never went anywhere without consulting LP. The information is as accurate as anything out there. It offers you suggested itineraries and "off the beaten path" suggestions as well as the traditionally touristy destinations. Many parts are less objective than other parts and the writers tend to harp on corruption. But W. Africa is a pretty corrupt place in general. If you don't like the editorial sections, skip 'em, the info you need is still there.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful.
Decent info, but presented awkwardly.
By James S. Dodds
This is an adequate guide, but was disappointing in a few areas. Firstly, it is not geared to someone making a comprehensive West Africa trip but rather reads like a collection of individual country guides. It's OK if you are going to just fly in a hang out in a single country, but information about planning cross border itineraries is very thin. There could be better integration for the area.
Secondly, using the maps and references to them is a bit taxing. Place names that would likely be obsure to the reader are presented in the text without specifying country or area; the only way to figure out where or how is to scan maps randomly for some idea of specifically where they are talking about. Place names are often referred to with different spellings, or more colloquially, in the text than on the maps, making finding them once again a tiring guessing game. There is a lack of consistency. Beyond that, the maps are small and lacking in detail. In other words, you can sort it all out, but this guide makes you work harder than you should have to. You get the feeling that it was written by people who assume you already know the area well, and that it needed to be proofed once more.
I agree with the accusations of ethnocentrism mentioned previously, but I've grown used to it in LP guides, and in a way appreciate seeing the author's predjudices up front.
Use this guide and you'll have a fine trip, I think, but you'll spend too many hours wrestling logistic details from the text when you could be perusing the fun stuff.
I use LP, Rough Guide, and Moon guides alternately when I travel. Actually, I usually buy all three, study them all before departure, and take the one I think is most useful. I have not found any one brand to be consistently better or worse, it varies by area and author. In this case I think the Rough Guide is much better. It very neatly addresses all my reservations above, and with a better layout.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful.
By A Customer
I spent several weeks travelling through Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire and Senegal in late 1999. it was the first time i had ever travelled alone and this book served as my primary companion. although i didn't always agree with the ratings of particular establishments (especially in Cote D'Ivoire), I found it to be very well researched and handy to have both for its quick maps and background information on the countries. I also purchased the Rough Guide to West Africa, b/c I am a big fan of their series, but the Lonely Planet guide was by far the best for this region. Keep in mind that the political situations in these countries change so abruptly that you still need to be prepared for anything. For example, there was a coup d'etat in Cote D'Ivoire while i was there. I still had a tremendous time on my trip, and i know that lonely planet deserves some of the credit.