The vastness of Africa is vastly rural. Driving a car or van is the best way to get around. But African road maps are as scarce and inadequate as the mostly unpaved roads themselves. This heavy, oversized, and humungous 336-page atlas (definitely not backpackable) contains the best — and sometimes only — road maps for the entire continent.
Crafted by the cartographic gnomes at National Geographic, this set of maps is meant to be more of an adventure guide. It succeeds as both. These maps indicate the exact information you need while on the road: known ferry crossings, known border posts, known park entrances, local airfields, ruins, mileage markers, as well as the major African towns and national parks interiors. I can’t think of any other maps anywhere else in the developing world that provide this kind of vital information ahead of time. And to top it off, this full-color atlas concludes with 80 good itineraries (with maps!) for creative explorations on the continent. It’s a remarkable achievement; I wish there was one for Asia and South America as well.