MAPS AND BOOKS:
The main maps are the two Michelin maps entitled, Africa Central and South and Madagascar (map 746), as well as Michelin Africa, North East and Arabia (map 745). These are adequate for travelling on the main routes and for planning but will not be detailed enough for the more isolated tracks. The three very detailed Tracks 4 Africa maps for Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique and Malawi will be taken as well. The best map I could locate for Zambia is the Zambian Road Map from Hupe. For Tanzania I only have the rather poor Globetrotter Map, the Michelin maps and the Tracks 4 Africa maps (www.tracks4africa.com) on my GPS.
On advice I have also purchased Veronica Roodt’s 5 maps of the important game reserves in Tanzania. These are very detailed and are the only maps that I know of that indicate the Special Campsites within these reserves, which will be very handy when trying to book them at the Tanapa offices. These maps are The Tourist Map of the Serengeti National Park, Tourist Map of the Ngorogoro Conservation Area, The Tourist Map of Lake Manyara National Park, The Tourist Map of Tarangire National Park and finally The Tourist Map of Arusha National Park. These I ordered online from the website for her products at www.africa-maps.co.za. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. These maps will be used in conjunction with her two booklets The Tourist Travel and Field Guide of the Serengeti National Park and a similarly named guide to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. I also plan to buy the Giovanni Tombazzi maps of the Tanzanian Game Areas once we reach Tanzania as I have been unable to source them in SA. I have seen copies of these and they seem excellent.
I have no specific maps of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan or Egypt and the Michelin’s will have to do together with Tracks 4 Africa on my GPS. We will attempt to buy decent maps within these countries but apparently may struggle. I have been advised that for Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda the Nelles mapa are best, these can be ordered from www.nelles-verlag.de. Other maps that are advisable to order beforehand are the Reise Know-How Maps obtainable from many reputable on-line map dealers. I unfortunately found out about these too late to order them. I know Zimbabwe well and have a simple Infomap. We always cross reference our GPS routes with a map to avoid being misled.
As far as guide books are concerned we will be taking the latest editions of the Bradt guides to Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Pemba, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan. I will probably have to get hold of the Bradt guide for Egypt. There is strangely enough no up to date Bradt edition for Kenya. I have the Bradt Kenya Highlights and The Rough Guide to Kenya. For Zambia I have a booklet entitled Guide to little-known waterfalls of Zambia by Quentin Allen, Ilse Mwanza and others. We will be in Northern Zambia in May, a good time to view the waterfalls in Northern and Western Zambia. I have only seen this booklet for sale in Zambia. I will be taking my laptop as well with its large database of relevant collected information within folders on each country. We will also have internet access via a dongle for the laptop and via our cell phones. We will buy data bundles, air time and sim cards as we travel. Apparently there is also fairly regular free or reasonably cheap wi-fi access at lodges, campsites and restaurants.
For bird guides I have my Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, together with the Roberts android app on my cell phone for the bird calls. For further north I have Birds of Africa South of the Sahara by Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan. This is supplemented by Birds of East Africa by Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe. To cover Ethiopia I have Birds of the Horn of Africa; Nigel Redman, Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe. I have recently heard of an android app, e-Guide to Birds of East Africa, 1,000 bird calls which unfortunately was out of stock when I enquired.