advice on best travel books for Africa

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Feb 11th, 2005, 12:44 PM
  #1
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advice on best travel books for Africa

Hello gentle Fodorites, I am just in the very daunting first stages of planning our first trip to Africa. I am new to this Africa forum but have had so much help in the past from other forums that I thought I had better take the plunge. Other than this forum, just wondering what resources folks use to help them decide what part of Africa they want to explore. I went to a bookstore yesterday but they only had individual books on specific parts of Africa - east, south, north - but I was hoping to start with a book describing all the different countries and their highlights. We will only have about two weeks so need to narrow things down. Would love to hear how others got started. Appreciate any feedback to get us on the right path!
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Feb 11th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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Here are some threads which have lots of great suggestions, not necessarily for guidebooks but for fictional and nonfictional books based in Africa.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34546531

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34454720

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34536013

I recall a recommendation for a book my Mark Nolting, his name sticks in mind but I forget the name of the book itself.

There are definitely some pan-Africa guide books though mostly they are aimed at budget/ backpacker travellers who often do long, overland trips taking in several countries. That may, or may not, be suitable to you.
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Feb 11th, 2005, 12:49 PM
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correcting link above:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34546531
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Feb 11th, 2005, 12:54 PM
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The Mark Nolting book to which Kavey has referred is Africa's Top Wildlife Countries.
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Feb 11th, 2005, 01:00 PM
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Unfortunately most travel books are not half as helpful as this forum.

Here is a pretty good book for a look at most every country featuring strong wildlife:

http://www.africa-adventure.com/prd_book_atwc.html

Some of the information is already dated, however, and many newer lodges are not yet included.

My suggestion would be to read this book, find an area that interests you and then go a Google search to see what pops up.

Google has been very instrumental in helping me put my own trips together.

Also, make use of the Google "Image" search, and you will get countless photographs to view and you will likely stumble across certain lodges that you would have never have found otherwise.

For example, if you wanted to go to Zambia to visit South Luangwa National Park, I would do a search on Google that would produce the following link:

http://images.google.com/images?q=So...r=&sa=N&tab=wi

Presto, I now have 2,950 images available, all leading me to a website.

One other key element, I believe, is to actually communicate with the game lodges. I have learned a lot just by talking to the game lodges, and if a game lodge cannot be bothered to take the time to provide me with thoughtful responses, then chances are that I do not want to book with such a lodge. I do, however, find most game lodges to be very helpful and an invaluable resource.

Lastly, there is no substitute for experience. My first two safaris, I was basically clueless, and it was not until my third safari (in as many years) when I really felt like I had a good command on things. With my fourth consecutive year of safari this year, I have an excellent command on things. No matter how much I would have read, it would not have compensated for the actual safaris.

At times it may all seem so overwhelming, but I would encourage you to do as much as you can to research your safari and do as much as you can yourself. Do not go with some pre-planned package tour, as it always includes fluff and it will never be exactly to your liking. Instead, find the lodges and game reserves that you best like and build your own itinerary, sending it out to a couple agents for comparison quotes.

Good luck!
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Feb 12th, 2005, 03:52 AM
  #6
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Wow, such great info. from you all! I will get busy with your suggestions and see what I can find. Thanks so much and as Roccco indicated, this forum is hard to beat. And as Arnold said, "I'll be back!" Happy travels everyone.
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Feb 12th, 2005, 05:06 AM
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We bought two books for our upcoming Africa trip. Fodors Southern Africa and the National Autobahn Society Field Guide to African Wildlife.

The Fodors book seems to be a fairly good resource on countries like SA and Botswana, but it has glaring ommissions (ex. there is not a single mention of Singita).

The National Autobahn Society book is outstanding! It has photos and descriptions of the different types of animals and birds that we hope to encounter on our trip. it also describes the varied environs of Africa.
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Feb 13th, 2005, 04:24 AM
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Correction: the Fodors guide does mention Singita (as well as many other less luxurious accomodations). I just stumbled across it in a section I wasn't expecting to find it in.
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