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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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  #1  
Old 13 Jan 2008
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What's the score with Lonely Planet's budgets in the Africa guide?

Er, yeah. A few countries they list in that guide, they suggest you arm yourself with anywhere from $50-100USD a day. And yet Wikitravel, people here, people on the Lonely Planet forum all speak of it doing much cheaper. We're ignoring fuel (not relevant to me) and visa costs here -- food, water, accom. and other day-to-days are what I'm talking about.

Who's right? Do Lonely Planet factor in tours? There's no break down that I can see, anyway, of how they reach that figure. Their Lonely Planet index, which tells of the price for bottles of water, condoms, obscure local foodstuffs and such doesn't really explain how they could hit $100. Or do they have a ... standard? Are they above the grotty $5-a-night holes with bathrooms that look as if someone's just casually let off a grenade in them (yeah, I've seen photos from someone's Ethiopia/Somaliland jaunt)?
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Old 13 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by ChrisJ86 View Post
Er, yeah. A few countries they list in that guide, they suggest you arm yourself with anywhere from $50-100USD a day. And yet Wikitravel, people here, people on the Lonely Planet forum all speak of it doing much cheaper. We're ignoring fuel (not relevant to me) and visa costs here -- food, water, accom. and other day-to-days are what I'm talking about.

Who's right? Do Lonely Planet factor in tours? There's no break down that I can see, anyway, of how they reach that figure. Their Lonely Planet index, which tells of the price for bottles of water, condoms, obscure local foodstuffs and such doesn't really explain how they could hit $100. Or do they have a ... standard? Are they above the grotty $5-a-night holes with bathrooms that look as if someone's just casually let off a grenade in them (yeah, I've seen photos from someone's Ethiopia/Somaliland jaunt)?
Hi Chris - can you point me in the direction of exactly where Lonely Planet are saying this... can't spot it... sorry!
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  #3  
Old 13 Jan 2008
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Look at the intro page for each country. Where they give the vitals -- currency, capital, borders and such. Many sit around the $40USD mark. A handful weigh in at $100USD.
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Old 13 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by ChrisJ86 View Post
Look at the intro page for each country. Where they give the vitals -- currency, capital, borders and such. Many sit around the $40USD mark. A handful weigh in at $100USD.
Ahhh got it - thanks :-) Mmmm how odd - even Russia is only $80 per day...

m
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Old 14 Jan 2008
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The LP has shifted their target audience a lot over the years. When studying those sorts of projections, look at the back of each country section to see how they are defining things like "budget accomodation" for that country. Often you see things like "budget" hotel rooms at $60....which will surely skew your daily figures. The guidebooks in general really seem to cater more to the $150 a night, fancy dinner every night, guided tours at every stop sorts of folks.

I assume they have done their homework and that these are really the people buying their books, but it seems to apply less and less to me personally.

enjoy,

Mark
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Old 14 Jan 2008
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Wow!

Well Matt,on that kind of Budget you can live like a King!!!!!!!! espacially here in Spain if you want to Splash out.......you can do Menu del Dia, usually 3 courses and includes a bottle of wine for 7 Euros. (I usually ask if i can take the wine for later as I am driving and they ALWAYS say yes......... I actually don't drink, but I have friends who do! it is nice to sit round the fire later on & offer a glass or two to your buddies)

My Daily Travel Budget in Spain goes Like this:

Breakfast: 2 Cafe con Leche & Half a Baguette Toasted with Tomato & Olive oil 2.50 Euros

Lunch Menu del Dia: 7-8 Euros

Evening, Just a snack. bread/ cheese/ olives & Alcohol free 4 Euros

Fuel 10 -15 Euros depending on what Im doing.....

Camping FREE

so a Budget of 30 Euros a day would see me right. and I wouldn't have Menu del Dia every Day.... maybe every other day. I do like to eat light during the day, especially in Summer...... and have my main meal Spanish style at about 9pm or even 10pm at night....... sometimes later in August if its 40 degrees for a few days on end!

Martyn
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Old 17 Jan 2008
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Okay Martyn! Let's talk a bit more about that free camping! My ears are perked up, I am salivating, and my eyes are growing bloodshot just thinking about free camping. We have located some cmapgrounds that are in the 8 euro bracket, but free is better. thanks

joe
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Old 17 Jan 2008
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beaches....... secluded...OK?

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Originally Posted by Hindu1936 View Post
Okay Martyn! Let's talk a bit more about that free camping! My ears are perked up, I am salivating, and my eyes are growing bloodshot just thinking about free camping. We have located some cmapgrounds that are in the 8 euro bracket, but free is better. thanks

joe
secluded beaches, not in main resorts....but just 'outside' of them you can usually camp for free......
there are sometimes signs saying NO CAMPING or 'Acampar Prohibido' but in all honesty as long as you dont make a nuisance of yourself, or light fires or leave litter or be noisy....... no one cares a fig if you camp.

I have camped in a Van on the Beaches at Monsul in Cabo de Gata & the police came round at 9am to move the 30 or so vans parked up...... gave a few tickets to the stroppy guys, but as soon as they discovered I was English & 'Couldnt' Speak Spanish...... they gave up and said in what little english they had.... 'no sleep aqui, no sleep aqui' (no sleep here) Acampar en Pueblo! ( camp in the Village, in a car park, or park)

also if your discrete no one bothers you...... the Spanish have a saying "Oh yes....... we HAVE those laws........but......." meaning, we take stuff all notice!

so be discrete, no litter, fires, or parties and you will be ok. ( the Spanish on the otherhand are as noisy as hell)

You might think i contradict myself on the fires thing from what I said on my earlier post........ well, its like this...there are special places for lighting fires. barbecue places. if you light a fire in one of them, your ok, if you just do it on a beach..you could be asking for trouble......... just to clarify ! :thumbs:

Martyn
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Old 17 Jan 2008
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Thank you Martyn. I have managed to do that on a bicycle where I could hide my bike by laying it down, but with a big machine that once laid down requires two elephants and a diesel truck to get back up, I've been a bit leery about free camping.
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Old 17 Jan 2008
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Cammo net.....

folds down small....... fits in a stuff sack........

or a bike cover in a very plain colour ( like beige) that you can 'cammo' with some spray cans in earth tones.......

and for sleeping either a HAMMOCK or a bivi bag........

Dont be beat......

martyn
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  #11  
Old 17 Jan 2008
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Lonely planet blows...its really really is getting bad. I dont know if its LP or the people who feautre in it (who suddenly hike their prices) or both...but you are right...$100 a day? i could travel UK based for that. How silly.

Bought a rough guide today and really impressed with it, much thicker, much more writing and much cheaper. The tunisia guide was a 1cm thin and £15.99.
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Old 17 Jan 2008
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Your Sterling are better spent on strippers in America than on the LP guidebooks...they definitely are catering to a different crowd.

They come in handy for lodging recommendations when you arrive in capital cities, BUT you can research that for free on the Thorntree online forum...PLUS its more up to date than the guidebook quote often...

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Old 17 Jan 2008
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I've been complaining about LP guidebooks since I first saw one in use several decades ago....but I always seem to find myself carrying one (sometimes more) wherever I go. A month ago I left my cheap, convenient room in Ceuta (not listed in the LP, of course), crossed into Morocco and didn't notice until the following morning in Meknes that I'd left the guidebook behind. Three weeks later I swung back through on the way to the ferry and found that the Berber chambermaid had carefully set it aside. She gave it to me and turned away to carry on with her work, and I actually had to call her back to offer a tip—not my usual experience in Morocco.

Traveling without a guidebook was interesting for sure, reminding me greatly of travel before such things existed (before the internet, too, if it matters). I don't really like doing internet research enroute, and I speak only a bit of French but no Berber or Arabic. Sometimes I did better without the excess of highly-suspect information and inaccurate maps the LP provides; other times I missed out entirely on interesting stops and side trips. Often, the places I overnighted were chosen of laziness or exhaustion, and I might've done better chosing from those endless LP listings. The mere fact that I often had no idea where I was headed, how long it might take to get there or what would await once I arrived led to some worthwhile experiences....but it also led to some uncomfortable times, without apparent redeeming qualities. Since I was on a motorbike, the absence of information was sometimes dangerous as well; anyone who's toured after dark in single lane Moroccan roads shared with transport lorries and varieties of pedestrians and animals plus other drivers will know what I mean.

On the other hand, I spent no time at all with my face buried in those foolish maps, trying to interpolate directions to my chosen "budget" lodgings or the recommended internet cafes. Not once did I look up from perusing my guidebook in some sort of bar or eatery and notice that it was populated primarily by other tourists, dressed much like myself, glancing up furtively from their own, identical guidebooks. I saw some interesting places and met people I would've missed had I any clue where the consensed points of interest were located. And I found it a real relief not to have to listen to myself complaining about the peculiar tastes and likely mental and emotional disabillities of LP guidebook authors at every turning.

I will continue to try to resist the temptation to think myself greatly superior to those who have never mistakenly left their LP guide behind for a few weeks, though I admit this is terribly tempting at times.

enjoy,

Mark
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Old 18 Jan 2008
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Lonely Planet?... Lying Planet

Having used both the Rough Guide and the Lonely Planet books before, I personally find that the Lonely Planet is crap. I wouldn't use it, it's awful... Rant over. I do use the rough guide, but mainly just to put me in the 'cheap' hotel 'district' (cos they are always all together) so I can nose around myself, so I really do use it as a 'Rough Guide'
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