An anon user removed a bunch of countries. I can't figure out a legit reason for it, so I rolled it back. For a second I thought it might be a trim to remove some countries which are listed in subregion articles... but it was inexplicable to me that Niger, Nigeria, and South Africa were removed but smaller countries like Gabon and Rwanda were left in. -- Colin 18:46, 30 Jan 2006 (EST)
Huh? Is there a reason we don't have a cities list here? Or did we really just forget? --PeterTalk 20:06, 16 January 2008 (EST)
It's a continent, like Asia and North America. None of them have a city list --Nick 00:12, 17 January 2008 (EST)
No kidding, I'm surprised I didn't realize this earlier :) --PeterTalk 01:25, 17 January 2008 (EST)
Does not surprise me, it a common mistake that happens to the best of us from time to time; I think it's called the Miss Teen South Carolina syndrome. Does not matter how many atlases and maps there are on the planet, people in general seem to have a mental image of Africa as a small country. Tourists visit the Kruger National Park and think they have seen all that Africa has to offer, civil war breaks out in Rwanda and friends in Europe will urge me to flee Africa and move there, drought and famine occurs 7000km away in Ethiopia and people want to start sending me food packages. --Nick 02:22, 17 January 2008 (EST)
Rwanda & Burundi
I know this will require a bit of annoying tweaking of maps, but I really feel that these two should be included in East Africa, not Central Africa. I know they are both sometimes considered part of either one, but for the sake of the traveler, they will most certainly be visited as part of an East African itinerary rather than a central one. Any opposition? – cacahuatetalk 06:28, 1 June 2009 (EDT)
I just noticed this, and I agree. They are also both culturally more similar to Kenyans and Tanzanians, as many/most of them speak Swahili. ChubbyWimbus 22 Dec 2009
I agree as well, for the reasons mentioned in the OP. They may speak French & be a bit tropical, but both are more connected to East Africa via trade, tourism, & politically than they are to Central Africa. And while we're discussing regions, I think Zambia should be a part of Southern Africa as the geography, accessibility, & democracy are in stark contrast to the jungles, difficulty of access, & dictatorships of Central Africa plus it has strong commerce ties with Southern Africa. I also feel East Africa is too large a region and should be broken up. I don't know much about Mozambique, but could it be moved to Southern Africa as well(?) or would it be better to break off Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, & Ethiopia as a "Horn of Africa" region as they are much different from the other countries of East Africa. Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles, & Comoros should definitely be removed from East Africa and put in their own region as they are even more distinct from the other East African countries...francophone tropical islands of mixed-race peoples with political and commercial ties to France versus the (mostly) English-speaking savannas of black people with political and commercial ties with other African countries and the UK. AHeneen 04:29, 22 December 2009 (EST)
I'll support moving Zambia, and Rwanda & Burundi, for the reasons above (although Rwanda & Burundi are more Central African in geography, and awfully wrapped up in east Congo politics. I'm less sure about the proposal to break up East Africa, and would want to see a more concrete proposal. I'll change the maps if we gain consensus for the changes. --PeterTalk 18:06, 22 December 2009 (EST)
Cities and Other Destinations
I now see that we have some :) Good stuff. My feelings are that we should not agonise too much over which make it to these lists but I am sure that:
we should not have two cities from the same country (so one of Cape town or Jo'burg goes)
I was doing some other editing and you beat me to posting on the talk page. Africa is an area of interest to me, but as such a vast and little-visited continent as it is, it's hard to come up with a decent "other destinations" list. As you may have noticed, I went ahead and listed a couple of things as placeholders (to show what nine destinations looks like) and put "somewhere in Egypt?". I'm not an expert on that part of the continent and since it's frequently visited by tourists, I thought someone else on WT might have a good idea. Valley of the Kings sounds good to me...Memphis (Egypt) is also a possibility. Same thing with Axum/Lalibela...I would like to see an Ethiopian destination, but am not an expert on that area (come to think of it, I listed Addis Ababa in the cities, not sure if there should be 2 from Ethiopia)
'W' National Park is an article that I've wanted to add, but haven't had the time to create...I have a guide book (Bradt Guide to Niger) which has good coverage of it and I hope to get around to adding some quality info to it. It's the best West African other destination I could think of...it has geography ranging from savannas to rainforest with plains and mountains situated on the mighty Niger River and home to a wide range of wildlife.
As far as CT and Jo-burg...they're probably both in the top 5 most visited African cities (in Asia, there's Hong Kong & Shanghai both in China) and I don't have a problem with them being there since the list as it is spans every region. It was hard to pick a destination for Central Africa (I feel Zambia ought to be moved to the Southern Africa region) and went with Luanda...a fascinating city if you have the time to read about/research it, but as far as tourists go, it has next to none (besides oil-relation business travellers).
The list isn't perfect and I have thought of a few issues since creating it(3 places in SA), but I'll await feedback. A few places I contemplated listing: Lagos (W.Africa's grimy mega-city, but has little of interest to travellers, mostly a travel hub and place for businessmen), Abidjan(but I think Accra is about as noteworthy a city and is much more popular with English-speaking travellers), Tunis/Tripoli (add a popular N. African destination, but Marrakech and Cairo are better to list), Kampala (more of a base to explore Uganda than a destination in and of itself), Kinshasa/Brazzaville (the largest Central African city, but VERY crime-ridden and far off the beaten path for tourists...Luanda seemed like a better destination), a south-central city but Victoria Falls is listed and CT and Joburg are far more popular and filled with more tourist attractions, a city on an island (Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Madagascar, Reunion) but no big city stood out. As for other destinations, a west African game park could be listed (Ngorongoro Conservation Area? Serengeti National Park?) instead of Mount Kilimanjaro, Carthage could replace Leptis Magna, Okavango Delta could replace Kruger National Park given there's already 2 cities in SA, Fish River Canyon Park (interesting place in Namibia, one of Cameroon's many NPs instead of 'W' NP, and (finally) is there anything worth mentioning on Madagascar(I feel bad leaving it out)? AHeneen 04:18, 17 December 2009 (EST)
I basically like the list of cities. I think there is a nice spread across the continent, and all of these are top African destination cities. If someone wanted to get rid of one, I guess I'd prefer to nix Johannesburg. It is one of the top destinations in Africa, but, to be fair, South African destinations in general are more visited than other areas, and Cape Town has a better reputation. Also, Kruger seems more important for the "Others", so if there is too much South Africa, I'd rather Johannesburg be the one to go. If we are looking for representation of each of our regions, Khartoum may be a good replacement.
Although I've never been to Africa, as someone who is interested, I think Aheneen did a good job with the lists. ChubbyWimbus 05:27, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Re-reading my initial post, it sounds a little brusque. Apologies for that and it was not intended that way. I was in between meetings and rushing a little. I have to agree with ChubbyWimbus - well done indeed AHeneen with this list. I like the Carthage suggestion and it is a lovely place to boot. For ancient Egypt I would look no further than Valley of the Kings. Some others from me:
If we want a real OtBP, leftfield and very unique OD - Skeleton Coast. But hardly anyone makes it there.
Zanzibar merits consideration as an OD. We are Tanzania-heavy already though.
Unfortunately our Madagascar OD's are non-existent. Some of the most unique and important conservation sites imaginable. --Burmesedays 05:44, 17 December 2009 (EST)
To respond to the above two posts...Khartoum is not as great a city nor as popular with tourists (in my opinion) as Addis Ababa and the other places I've mentioned in Ethiopia and then to the north, we'll have a city and a destination in Egypt; thus, there's no worry about the region not being represented. Johannesburg could be nixed, but it's the main gateway to SA and southern Africa in general and has no shortage of museums and other interesting things for tourists whereas (and I'm not terribly knowledgeable about SA) CT seems more of a friendly and beautiful place, but not nearly as much to do. I'll see what soem of the SA users have to say. Timbuktu and Agadez are interesting places indeed, but they are cities, after all, which is why I didn't mention them (although Axum is a city I suggested above as a destination). I thought about Zanzibar as well, but I thought of it as more of a region or (due to its population) city than a destination (my perception is that destinations are rural, non-cities), but that could work as well. As for Carthage vs. Leptis Magna, Carthage is more famous in history but is mostly short ruins on the ground whereas Leptis Magna (the WT article doesn't do it justice, check it out on Wikipedia) is far better preserved and has many structures (including a vast amphitheater) still intact as they were 2000 years ago...so it's a matter of fame/ease of access vs. quality. I'll go ahead and change to Valley of the Kings in the article. Skeleton coast doesn't seem to offer much, in my opinion, isn't it just a large expanse of desert with a few rusted shipwrecks? Our Madagascar ODs are non-existant? Do you mean the articles are simply non-existant, or the island has nothing to offer (for destinations)? Because if it's the former, I don't think having a poor/non-existant article should disqualify a destination from making the list...it should be about the quality of the destination. AHeneen 07:22, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Because of their immense size, I would push for both Lagos and Kinshasa on the cities list, especially the former, which sees a ton of business travel. It's the biggest metropolis on the continent (or will be shortly). I'd take out Dakar and Luanda (definitely Luanda) in their place. If we have a better replacement, then I would support dropping Johannesburg for geographical spread, but I'm not sure we do. If we really want a Saharan city, it should be Bamako or Khartoum, but I'd rather see a Malian OD:
Dogon Country! We still don't have an article for Dogon Country (we do on the Russian version, though, and I'll gladly get it started to avoid having a red link on the continent page). It's definitely a top "other" destination in Africa, and I definitely think it's the best feature for the Saharan region (even if it's a bit out of the desert). I would definitely trade it for W NP.
Lalibela is more interesting than Axum, I'd say, for travel, but Axum is more important... I think that one's a coin flip. --PeterTalk 12:08, 17 December 2009 (EST)
On Madagascar, it is missing or empty articles I am refering to. Madagascar is so important and so different, some naturalists consider it a separate continent. Have a quick read here. Leptis Magna vs Carthage, fair comments. I just love Carthage so am probably biased :). Peter is spot on about Dogon Country. No article! How has that happened? --Burmesedays 12:46, 17 December 2009 (EST)
Alright, Dogon country sounds better than W National Park. I've got a nice guidebook to Mali (Bradt, 2006? edition) with some good info on the area, but I'll have to dig through some boxes of books to find it. In the meantime, there is an official tourism website for Dogon Country in English! As far as Lagos & Kinshasa go, Lagos is a major city, but there isn't much in the way of things to do...it's mostly a transit hub and a place for businessmen (and recently more and more business is moving to Abuja) and oil workers en route to the Delta. I like Dakar as it's a major business AND tourist destination in western W. Africa and has tons of flights/connections to W. Africa (only Lagos has more connections). There's no need for a city in the Sahara as there aren't any major cities in the region. Bamako is only a base for flights/travelers to Mali's more famous cities and Dogon Country. Khartoum is big, but as the list is, there's 2 cities and 2 ODs in adjacent countries (Egypt, Ethiopia).
All that leaves one questionable city (in my opinion): Luanda. Kinshasa is a huge city, indeed. However, it is one of the most crime-ridden cities on the continent, pretty much the only tourist attraction is the falls on the Congo River, and business travellers to the city are mostly francophones. Luanda, on the other hand, is roughly comparable to a Dubai in Africa...oil revenue has led to a massive construction boom in the city and it is a growing business destination (for English-speakers, more so than Kinshasa). Tourism is limited due to the difficulty of getting a visa and the cost of hotels, but there are more tourist attractions than Kinshasa (mostly colonial structures like the fortress). If you'd take just 2 and a half minutes to watch this video, you might understand why I chose it. And the city has an impressive list of connections to Europe (London, Paris, Lisbon, Frankfurt),Brazil, Beijing, Dubai, and Delta had approval to begin service back in June from Atlanta (one of several US-African routes they canceled due to the economic crisis) and there's a weekly chartered flight for oil workers from Houston. I don't blame people for not knowing much about the city given the civil war just a decade ago, but things have drastically changed in the past 5-8 years and I think it deserves to represent central Africa. AHeneen 01:28, 18 December 2009 (EST)
I don't really like the idea of Lagos on the list. It has a high population, but I've only ever heard horror stories about it. Even the most adventurous and well-traveled people always report Lagos as one of the least safe and scariest cities they've visited. Combined with AHeneen's comments about their being nothing to do in the city, I just don't think it's really a "Top 9" city...
Oddly enough, I recently did research on Luanda and added a lot of the current "See" section info, and I also got the impression it was an "up-and-coming" destination. ChubbyWimbus 01:43, 18 December 2009 (EST)
I still think any cities list that excludes Lagos just looks incorrect, since it's such an important city, and because we're not just writing for sightseers (I have plenty of acquaintances who have been there for business/NGO/political work—can't say that for any of the other destinations save Cairo). But since no one seems to agree with me, please feel free to ignore that concern.
I'm leaning Aksum over Lalibela as it is, I believe, better known internationally. The same argument applies to Serengeti, rather than M'zab (regardless of how ridiculously cool the latter is). --PeterTalk 19:32, 19 December 2009 (EST)
And I'll add re: Lagos that the fact that it is both oft visited and dangerous/chaotic makes the guide all the more important—that is, travelers are really going to want some good advice and reading before going there. --PeterTalk 19:41, 19 December 2009 (EST)
I agree on both accounts (Aksum/Axum over Lalibela and Serengeti over M'Zab Valley), because they are definitely more well-known, very "African" destinations.
I do not dispute you that Lagos is important in Africa. It just doesn't seem touristy. If there is a push for it, I'd rather see Johannesburg out than Luanda, to maintain some diversity, even though Johannesburg probably receives more visitors in a year than Luanda gets in a decade...
I also destubbed Leptis Magna, but I gave it the city outline. It's ruins/archaelogical site, though. Do those get city templates or something else? ChubbyWimbus
I still think Lagos should stay out. One more thing I've thought of is that Dakar (which seems to be what Peter wants Lagos to replace?) is the only city from francophone Africa, a very important part of the continent, whereas Accra is similar to Lagos, in that it is English-speaking, has nearly as many flight connections, and probably has as many visitors (except they're largely tourists vs. businessmen), but it is far safer to visit. After adding the "Get in/by plane" section to the Africa article, I've realized that Johannesburg (along with Cairo) is the most connected city in terms of flights. You can fly just about anywhere from Jo-burg and once you factor in its size and the number of museums/shopping/things to do in the city, I'd rather see Cape Town axed (especially since there's three South African cities/ODs). AHeneen 04:10, 22 December 2009 (EST)
I think the small city template should be OK for Leptis Magna. Some other important archaeological sites use that template. See Borobudur and Prambanan for example. --Burmesedays 08:58, 22 December 2009 (EST)