Friday, 10 August 2007

Great new West Africa maps

While editing the new edition of the Rough Guide to West Africa, I've been using an excellent new map of the region published by Reise Know-How, the lively German travel publisher, in their World Mapping Project Series. In fact there are two maps of West Africa, one covering the southern countries, from about 18°N southwards and one I haven't seen yet covering the northern part of the bulge. They're both double-sided, at 1:2.2m, in other words 1cm = 22km, which is almost twice the scale of the Michelin map of the region, the classic "Michelin 153", now the Michelin 741 which is 1cm = 40km. Curiously, the West Africa Michelin map has been out of print for several months and a new edition, due in May 2007, is still awaited. As Reise Know-How prints their maps on plastic paper called Polyart, they will actually survive a pounding for several months while you carry them around. They're certainly more detailed than the Michelin (compare these clips from the Bamako region), and indications are they're more accurate too. You can get them from good map stockists, like Stanfords in London, or direct from Reise Know-How. Highly recommended (and Michelin has had a long innings. . .).