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Lonely Planet West Africa (Travel Guide) Paperback – September 1, 2013
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There is no coverage at all of Mali, Niger or Guinea, due to the current dangers of traveling there.
And rather than, sensibly, devoting more pages and more detailed coverage to those countries that CAN be visited safely, those chapters are much smaller than in previous editions -- typically about half the size. (15 pages on Gambia; 20 on Benin vs. 30 and 40 in the last edition.)Given that West Africa is a part of the world where good travel info is hard to find on the internet (few hotels, except the top of the line ones, have websites, there are few reviews on travel sites), this is a part of the world where travelers are going to need to still rely on the printed word, and where LP could have, and should have, stepped up to the plate.
If they didn't feel it safe or worthwhile to visit West Africa, they shouldn't have bothered with this new edition at all.
Sadly, it appears that Rough Guides will not be releasing a new edition of its excellent West Africa, so the only remaining choices are Bradt's generally excellent country guides where they exist, and (for French speakers) the individual country guides by Petit Fute.