I am thinking and observing, I really need the latest version of a guidebook to access and not this six year old Lonely Planet, I have a copy of the Lonely Planet Africa, however it seem just about worthless, I do not even have a hotel in Abdijan, Ivory coast listed, I have no essential hotel to sleep in, what good is a guide with no hotels.
I found only one hotel listed for the whole country in the Lonely Planet Africa for the country of Ivory Coast. This almost deems the book worthless as a guide, the History and Culture is not going to keep me safe, however a taxi to a safe hotel will keep me safe, where I can learn the culture and the History. I suspect that 99 percent of the books are never used for actual travel, thus they are really servicing their readers better.
If I could read French, I could buy a French… I can read French, I will maybe try to buy a French guide.
However, anyway you do it, a paper guide is a little difficult to carry, I would need 12-15 guides and about 10 kilos of weight in books to carry in Africa to travel West Africa. The internet to me it the solution as I could then pick and choose pages to print.
I have the history and culture notes in my encyclopedia Encarta on my computer. I need Hotels and Maps of cities to traverse West Africa. I do recommend a person buy a guidebook, it is silly and dangerous not to have a guidebook.
However, the path is obscure, many travelers I am sure wish to exaggerate the adventure about explaining the problem in an over zealous way. ATM and Bank Machines are everywhere in Abdijan Ivory Coast, I also seen many Mercedes Benz and a very large grocery store with a fresh food or deli area.