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General Topics
Overland Travel Overland Travel
Trains, trucks, busses, pirogues, donkeys - tips, stories and advice
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Air Travel Air Travel
Discuss West African airports and airlines
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Safety and Health Safety and Health
From malaria prophylactics to traveler's diarrhea and everything in between
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Music Music
Track down that song you heard 41 times in that bush taxi
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Food Food
Share your favorite dish or recipe, or simply try to figure out what you've been eating
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Languages Languages
Discuss languages you are learning or seek a translation
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Miscellaneous Miscellaneous
For anything that doesn't fit anywhere else
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Countries
Benin Benin
Former home of the Dahomey Kingdom, birthplace of Voodoo, wildlife in the north, urban fun in Cotonou, plenty of interesting villages in between.
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Burkina Faso Burkina Faso
One of the most charming countries in the world that can also be called "land-locked and dusty." Fun cities, beautiful countryside, a few big ticket sights, deep culture, including a multi-generational movie-making and film-watching scene.
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Cape Verde Cape Verde
Located roughly 570 km off the coast of West Africa, too few people visit this island nation that happens to be a stable democracy and home to a vibrant blend of cultures.
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Cote d'Ivoire Cote d'Ivoire
Dance to coupe decale in Abidjan, drink palm wine on the beach, explore mountains and waterfalls, and learn what it means for a country to be ethnically diverse.
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Gambia Gambia
Nestled completely within Senegal's borders, The Gambia is an interesting case of an anglophone country inside of a francophone one. Popular for its beaches, Gambia offers much to discover in its interior and some of the richest music in the region.
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Ghana Ghana
Stuff yourself with jollof rice, waakye and banku, enjoy the bright sounds of highlife and the persistent beat of azonto, and discover a full spectrum of beaches, waterfalls, wildlife, and rainforest.
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Guinea Guinea
Catch a dununba community drum and dance session while you're in the capital Conakry, trek through the hills and waterfalls of Fouta Djallon, and learn about Fulani culture in the only country in West Africa where the Fulani ethnic group form a plurality.
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Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau
One of two lusophone countries in the region, Guinea-Bissau is well known for the beautiful Bijagós Islands that lie off its coast. The country is also home to danceable gumbe music and a rich history of cinema courtesy of directors like Flora Gomes.
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Liberia Liberia
One of several countries in the region known for a history of conflict, Liberia should also make you think of surfing opportunities, palm wine music and enterprising hip-co, and some of the deepest rainforest in the region.
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Mali Mali
Once the empire of Sundiata Keita, Mali has perhaps more historical and cultural attractions than any other country in the region. It also has one of the best live music scenes in Bamako and a beautiful stretch of the Niger river that winds its way through many of the country's regions.
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Mauritania Mauritania
Straddling North and West Africa, Mauritania has an ancient history with Saharan nomads. Few countries allow you to profit from both the sea and the desert, but Mauritania is one of them. Be sure to listen to some Noura Mint Seymali before you leave.
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Niger Niger
Tuareg guitar music, the Aïr Mountains, camels walking through the capital, Hausa farmers and Fulani nomads - all can be found in this landlocked country that also hosts the river for which it is named.
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Nigeria Nigeria
West Africa's most populous country also makes the greatest contributions to music and film (see Nollywood) in the region. Often left off itineraries for fear of hassle, Nigeria has much to offer the traveler, whether it's in the booming city of Lagos or in one of the country's many nature reserves.
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Senegal Senegal
Enjoy the sea breeze and Mbalax music in Dakar, take in the natural beauty of Casmance and get your hands dirty with Wolof, a language that has you saying what sounds like "wow" every time you want to say "yes."
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Sierra Leone Sierra Leone
Like Liberia, people seem to insist on talking about the conflict first, but Sierra Leone is quickly leaving that behind, becoming the preeminent destination for eco travel in West Africa and hosting one of the region's most beautiful and lively capital cities (Freetown).
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Togo Togo
Few coastal capitals are as appealing as Lome and few countries fit as much natural beauty into such a narrow frame as Togo. From lush hills dotted with villages to scrubland in the north and beaches on the coast, Togo has a bit of everything.
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