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Difference between revisions of "West Africa"

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'''West Africa''' is the western region of [[Africa]]. In the north the region is bounded by the [[Saharan Africa|Sahel]], and in the south and west by the [[Islands of the Atlantic Ocean|Atlantic Ocean]]. The most densely populated area of Africa with many places to see.
+
'''West Africa''' is the western region of [[Africa]]. In the north the region is bounded by the [[Saharan Africa|Sahel]], and in the south and west by the [[Islands of the Atlantic Ocean|Atlantic Ocean]].
 +
The most densely populated area of Africa, it is both the continent's most difficult place for travel and potentially its most rewarding.  
  
 
==Countries==
 
==Countries==
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| region1color=#bfd686
 
| region1color=#bfd686
 
| region1items=  
 
| region1items=  
| region1description=A safe and easy country for travellers to visit; birthplace of the Voodoo religion and former home of the Kingdom of Dahomey
+
| region1description=A safe and relatively easy country for travellers to visit; birthplace of the Voodoo religion and former home of the Kingdom of Dahomey.
  
 
| region2name=[[Burkina Faso]]
 
| region2name=[[Burkina Faso]]
 
| region2color=#c1af80
 
| region2color=#c1af80
 
| region2items=  
 
| region2items=  
| region2description=Landlocked country that is very off the beaten path for visitors
+
| region2description=Landlocked country that is very off the beaten path for visitors.
  
 
| region3name=[[Cameroon]]
 
| region3name=[[Cameroon]]
 
| region3color=#8dc1a7
 
| region3color=#8dc1a7
 
| region3items=   
 
| region3items=   
| region3description=Sometimes referred to as ''Africa in Miniature'', the terrain includes rain forest, desert plains, mountains and high plateau
+
| region3description=Sometimes referred to as ''Africa in Miniature'', the terrain includes rain forest, desert plains, mountains and high plateau.
  
 
| region4name=[[Cape Verde]]
 
| region4name=[[Cape Verde]]
 
| region4color=#ec38bc
 
| region4color=#ec38bc
 
| region4items=  
 
| region4items=  
| region4description=Tiny Atlantic island group off the coast of Senegal
+
| region4description=Tiny Atlantic island group off the coast of Senegal with wonderful beaches.
  
 
| region5name=[[Cote d'Ivoire]]
 
| region5name=[[Cote d'Ivoire]]
 
| region5color=#d3dabb
 
| region5color=#d3dabb
 
| region5items=
 
| region5items=
| region5description=Formerly something of a jewel in the West African crown, this nation has taken huge steps backwards due to recent religious driven conflict
+
| region5description=Formerly something of a jewel in the West African crown, this nation has taken huge steps backwards due to recent religious driven conflict.
  
 
| region6name=[[Gambia]]
 
| region6name=[[Gambia]]
 
| region6color=#ce6262
 
| region6color=#ce6262
 
| region6items=
 
| region6items=
| region6description=Tiny coastal nation popular with European package tourists and birdwatchers
+
| region6description=Tiny coastal nation popular with European beach package tourists and birdwatchers.
  
 
| region7name=[[Ghana]]
 
| region7name=[[Ghana]]
 
| region7color=#94af90
 
| region7color=#94af90
 
| region7items=  
 
| region7items=  
| region7description=A stable country with great potential and a rapidly growing tourist destination; massive Lake Volta and the former home of the great Ashanti Kingdom
+
| region7description=So-called "Africa for Beginners"—West Africa's richest, most-English speaking country, with highly varied landscapes, a few off-the-beaten-path beach getaways, and the solemn, imposing slave castles of the coast west of Accra.
  
 
| region8name=[[Guinea]]
 
| region8name=[[Guinea]]
 
| region8color=#a0cdbd
 
| region8color=#a0cdbd
 
| region8items=  
 
| region8items=  
| region8description=Some great hill scenery (''the Switzerland of Africa''), major rainforests and Atlantic beaches, ravaged by decades of political turmoil.
+
| region8description=Some great hill scenery (''the Switzerland of Africa''), major rainforests and Atlantic beaches, ravaged by decades of political turmoil and lawlessness.
  
 
| region9name=[[Guinea-Bissau]]
 
| region9name=[[Guinea-Bissau]]
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| region10color=#dede9f
 
| region10color=#dede9f
 
| region10items=  
 
| region10items=  
| region10description=Settled by former African American slaves in the 19th Century, this country has been through murderous conflicts, and should not be considered a tourist destination.
+
| region10description=Settled by former African American slaves in the 19th Century, this country has been through murderous conflicts, and it is too dangerous to visit outside Monrovia.
  
 
| region11name=[[Nigeria]]
 
| region11name=[[Nigeria]]
 
| region11color=#98c180
 
| region11color=#98c180
 
| region11items=
 
| region11items=
| region11description=A country made wealthy from the discovery of large Oil Reserves, albeit long-hobbled by political conflicts.
+
| region11description=A vast, dangerous, chaotic, overpopulated, and always fascinating country, with great wealth—little of it shared with its people.
  
 
| region12name=[[Senegal]]
 
| region12name=[[Senegal]]
 
| region12color=#a9b869
 
| region12color=#a9b869
 
| region12items=  
 
| region12items=  
| region12description=The most westerly country on the African mainland, and a something of a transition zone between the West Africa and North Africa
+
| region12description=West Africa's ''other'' "visitor-friendly" destination, with tasty food, nice beaches, and French colonial history.
  
 
| region13name=[[Sierra Leone]]
 
| region13name=[[Sierra Leone]]
 
| region13color=#a0b486
 
| region13color=#a0b486
 
| region13items=
 
| region13items=
| region13description=Some of the best beaches anywhere in Africa and huge potential for tourism; however the aftermath of brutal conflict in the 1990s still looms large
+
| region13description=Some of the best beaches anywhere in the world, and huge potential for tourism, but held back by enormous transport infrastructure problems and extreme poverty.
  
 
| region14name=[[Togo]]
 
| region14name=[[Togo]]
 
| region14color=#d3c19a
 
| region14color=#d3c19a
 
| region14items=
 
| region14items=
| region14description=A small, sleepy country that is home to no less than 40 different ethnic groups
+
| region14description=A small, sleepy country that is home to no less than 40 different ethnic groups, and the surreal villages of [[Tamberma Valley]].
 
}}
 
}}
  

Revision as of 21:47, 20 December 2011

West Africa is the western region of Africa. In the north the region is bounded by the Sahel, and in the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean. The most densely populated area of Africa, it is both the continent's most difficult place for travel and potentially its most rewarding.

Contents

Countries

Countries of West Africa
Benin
A safe and relatively easy country for travellers to visit; birthplace of the Voodoo religion and former home of the Kingdom of Dahomey.
Burkina Faso
Landlocked country that is very off the beaten path for visitors.
Cameroon
Sometimes referred to as Africa in Miniature, the terrain includes rain forest, desert plains, mountains and high plateau.
Cape Verde
Tiny Atlantic island group off the coast of Senegal with wonderful beaches.
Cote d'Ivoire
Formerly something of a jewel in the West African crown, this nation has taken huge steps backwards due to recent religious driven conflict.
Gambia
Tiny coastal nation popular with European beach package tourists and birdwatchers.
Ghana
So-called "Africa for Beginners"—West Africa's richest, most-English speaking country, with highly varied landscapes, a few off-the-beaten-path beach getaways, and the solemn, imposing slave castles of the coast west of Accra.
Guinea
Some great hill scenery (the Switzerland of Africa), major rainforests and Atlantic beaches, ravaged by decades of political turmoil and lawlessness.
Guinea-Bissau
A former Portugese colony which has been through lots of struggle since independence and is little visited by travellers.
Liberia
Settled by former African American slaves in the 19th Century, this country has been through murderous conflicts, and it is too dangerous to visit outside Monrovia.
Nigeria
A vast, dangerous, chaotic, overpopulated, and always fascinating country, with great wealth—little of it shared with its people.
Senegal
West Africa's other "visitor-friendly" destination, with tasty food, nice beaches, and French colonial history.
Sierra Leone
Some of the best beaches anywhere in the world, and huge potential for tourism, but held back by enormous transport infrastructure problems and extreme poverty.
Togo
A small, sleepy country that is home to no less than 40 different ethnic groups, and the surreal villages of Tamberma Valley.

Sometimes Mauritania, Mali, Niger, and Chad are also considered as West African states.

Cities

Other destinations

Understand

Talk

Mostly due to the colonial past of the continent, common languages spoken in the region are French, English and Portuguese.

Get in

The African highways connect many cities in West Africa with Nigeria being the main hub.

Flying from other African cities can be dangerous as many airlines have a very poor safety record. Check this first before choosing to fly with an airline.

In order of size here are the main airline hubs.

  • Lagos Airport - Serveral flights per day to London. Less frequent flights also to other main cities in Europe
  • Dakar Airport - Many flights to to Millan, Madrid, Brussels and Paris
  • Accra Airport - Many flights to UK (Manchester, London, Glasgow) as well as Frankfurt.
  • Abidjan Airport - Flights to Paris, Brussels and Dubai

Get around

Generally it takes time - and a whole lot of patience - to move around in West Africa. The roads are not all in great conditions and many roads aren't paved. Always be sure to have an extra day or two in the end if you are going somewhere since planning is very hard when the transport is unreliable.

See

Go to Benin if you´re interested in voodoo because this is where it originates. There should be plenty of opportunities to go to voodoo festivals and fetish markets.

Mali has Dogon-country which is a world heritage site. Also go to Timbuktu/tombouctou - the city known from Donald Duck magazines - and Gao which contains yet another world heritage site.

If you're interested in meeting some of the world friendliest people go to Burkina Faso or Ghana.

Do

Eat

Drink

Don't drink tap water unless you have a cholera vaccination which also protects you against tourist diarrehea.

Make sure your water bottles are sealed and not just refilled with tap water. It can be hard to see.

Stay safe

West Africa is probably the one place on earth where you should protect yourself in every way from mosquitoes. Do not sleep without a net and do not go without malaria-medicine.

Also you need a yellow-fever vaccination to enter most (if not all) of these countries.

Remember to check all of your other vaccinations because many other might be necessary (meningitis, typhus, cholera, rabies).

Get out


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