The book

First-Time Africa is a guide to read before you go,  a planning handbook that will give you the tools, the confidence and the inspiration to do the trip you’ve long thought about (or that’s just occurred to you).

The front, full-colour section of the book introduces some of Africa’s almost endless highlights, including some authors’ favourites, some must-dos and must-sees and some quirky ideas.

The first 15 chapters are all about planning the trip. This is where we tackle the nuts and bolts of travel in Africa, with advice on buying your ticket, when to go, what to pack, how to get around and what to expect from life on the road anywhere between Cairo and the Cape. We also devote two chapters – 13 and 14 – to African culture and responsible travel.

The remaining 53 chapters cover the countries, with profiles of every nation and dependent territory on the continent, including the islands, giving you essential background and opinionated suggestions about where to visit, along with maps, transport and visa tips and estimated daily budgets. The only countries we have omitted from the book are the territories of Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland.

The directory at the back of the book is crammed with useful contact details, including web links, many of which we have included on the country pages in this website, book reviews and festival listings organized by country, and comprehensive listings of tour operators, volunteer organizations, travel agents and other resources.

Publishing information 
The 1st edition of The Rough Guide to First-Time Africa was 
researched and written by Jens Finke and published in June 2007. 
Richard Trillo and Emma Gregg researched and wrote a completely 
new 2nd edition from scratch in 2010, respecting Jens's copyright 
on the original work. The 2nd edition was published in April 2011.

This page last edited 9 June 2011 © Richard Trillo and Emma Gregg

5 Responses to The book

  1. is there an up to date publication/

    • Hi Margot, I’m afraid there’s been no new edition of “First-Time Africa” since the one that Emma Gregg and I did in April 2011, which is the subject of this website.

      • Thanks for your reply. Can you recommend where I look for up dates on roads and safety plus changes to bureaucracy? Everything I have found on line is pre 2011.

  2. Hi Margot, I would get on the Trip Advisor Africa forums first ( , and then, depending on which countries you’re planning to visit, the Thorn Tree forums (

    Good luck planning!

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