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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Old 28 Mar 2006
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Travel guide(s) - which to bring?

We are wondering which guide book(s) to bring on our trip from Cape Town to Nairobi (South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya).

We will be going quite fast, riding an average of 30 kms every single day for three weeks straight, meaning we won't have much time to research accomodatioan at our next stop.

Our main concern is finding accomodation/camping as we will have to find it "en route". We will stick to the main roads.

We already have Lonely Planet's "Africa on a Shoestring" but find it overly vague in terms of references to accomodation along our route. This guide does offer some accomodation references some places, but mainly only in the major cities or tourist destinations. We have a ten year old version of "East Africa" with references in more places than the Shoestring, but still lack references to accomodation in more than half the towns we will be likely to spend the night(the guide would never the less need to be renewed as it is old). We also have a "South Africa" guide which is much better, but still lack references if about a third of the towns.

As no guide offer references to accomodation in all towns, we will just need to find some of them as we go along.

To what degree is it useful or necessary to bring any other guide book than "Africa on a Shoestring"? Should we buy a whole library or just rely on signs by the road, etc? Riding in Europe for instance, I'd just go by signs by the road. Is this a good way to do it in Africa as well? Riding a motorcycle, weight is ofcourse an issue and leaving heavy books at home is tempting.

Will it be difficult to discover accomodation "en route" or will we likely spend lots of time searching, riding arround in towns, getting lost, etc?

All comments are welcome

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Old 28 Mar 2006
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30km a day...are you walking? ;-)

try: http://www.getawaytoafrica.com/

Website for a very good South African travel magazine "Getaway"

...how things change: After posting the link I had a look at the content of the site and clearly they are targeting the flash cash Euro tourist.

[This message has been edited by Bossies (edited 28 March 2006).]
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Old 28 Mar 2006
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On both my bike trips to NW Africa I've carried Lonely Planet's Africa on a Shoestring.

On both occasions I rarely if ever used it to find accommodation.

I've little experience of East Africa.

On balance, for my next bike trip to Africa, I probably won't take any guide book.

IMHO I find guide books more useful for pre-trip research rather than on the road.

If you're concerned about the weight, you could always tear out the relevant pages and just carry them. ALso, torn out pages are more discreet when navigating round big cities where you may not want to stand around looking through a whole guide book.
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Old 28 Mar 2006
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Bossies... I meant 300 kms a day... ha ha
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