The below is a list of my go-to resources when I’m planning a trip to Africa. This list is by no means extensive, so do get in touch with any other suggestions!
I’m always surprised by the number of people who do not travel with a guidebook. I’d be lost without them! Of-course they are useful for pre-trip planning, but they are invaluable when in country with little or no internet access.
Bradt Guides – My personal favourite! These travel guides are so comprehensive, with the usual information on accommodation, attractions, but also on routes, national parks and at the front of each, history, culture and wildlife. The Bradt series includes guides for really off-the-beaten track destinations, including those recovering from civil strife. They also published the first guide book to Africa on the international market, so if they don’t know what they are talking about, no one does!
Lonely Planet – I sometimes like to purchase a second guide book in addition to Bradt, and my go-to second choice would always be Lonely Planet. They contain a little less detail, but have clear and succinct listings, which can be quickly scanned, and include more ‘shoestring’ options for budget travellers.
Africa Magazine – I can’t recommend this magazine highly enough. Useful tips and information, and extremely insightful articles, accompanied by fantastic photography. Great for getting inspiration for your next trip to Africa. Subscriptions are very reasonably priced.
Wanderlust Magazine – This is a great read for adventurous and authentic travel ideas. I always look forward to receiving my copy through the letterbox!
Handbooks and Manuals
A selection of useful references books. Some Africa specific, others for general adventure travel:
Overlanders Handbook – Definitive manual for planning and undertaking vehicle dependant journeys.
Looking for Lemons – A guide to travel safety and security, full of practical advice and prevention methods, as well as how to cope when things go wrong.
Off-Road Driving – Tips for driving safely (and successfully!) on all types of off-road terrains.
Sasol Birds of Southern Africa – Very comprehensive. Great illustrations, well laid out and easy to use.
Smithers’ Mammals of Southern Africa – Wonderful guide, good details on smaller mammals such as hard to identify rodents
Web resources / Apps
Tracks 4 Africa – GPS maps covering the entire continent. Amazingly detailed…seriously do not leave home without these if you are intending on self-driving!! Alongside the Navigation maps, download the T4A accompanying app with a map that pinpoints campsites, shops, fuel stations and other useful services. Essential.
iOverlander – This app (which is totally free) is great! Created to help Overlanders on the road find good places to stay. It is mainly aimed at campsites, but does have data on some other types of accommodation and some restaurants. Help the community by leaving reviews or adding places you have been.
Virunga – A moving and insightful documentary about the ongoing poaching battle in the Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo.