Philip Briggs has been exploring the highways, byways and backwaters of Africa since 1986, when he spent several months backpacking on a shoestring from Nairobi to Cape Town. In 1991, he wrote the Bradt Guide to South Africa, the first such guidebook to be published internationally after the release of Nelson Mandela. Over the rest of the 1990s, Philip wrote a series of pioneering Bradt travel guides to destinations that were then – and in some cases still are – otherwise practically uncharted by the travel publishing industry. These included the first dedicated guidebooks to Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana and Rwanda, all now in their fifth to seventh editions. More recently, he authored the first dedicated English-language guidebooks to Somaliland and Suriname, as well as a new guide to The Gambia, all published by Bradt. Also a prolific writer for magazines, he spends at least four months on the road every year, usually accompanied by his wife, the travel photographer Ariadne Van Zandbergen, and spends his rest of the time battering away at a keyboard in the sleepy South African coastal village of Wilderness.
This edition has been updated by Sandra Turay, a graduate of Ethnic Studies and Journalism whose curiosity for the world's peoples and places has led her to study, work, teach, volunteer (Peace Corps Ethiopia) and travel throughout Africa and hideaways across the globe.