Philip Briggs has been exploring the highways, byways and backwaters of Africa since 1986, when he spent several months backpacking on a shoestring from Nairobi to Cape Town. His association with Bradt started in 1991 when he wrote the first guidebook to South Africa to be published after the release of Nelson Mandela. Over the rest of the 1990s, Philip wrote a series of pioneering Bradt guides to destinations that were then - and in some cases still are - otherwise practically uncharted by the travel publishing industry. These included the first dedicated guidebooks to Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana and Rwanda, all of which are now in their 4th-7th edition. More recently he wrote the only guidebook to Somaliland, also published by Bradt. He first visited The Gambia in the late 1990s as part of an extended trip to West Africa and returned there twice, most recently in 2013. He has visited more than two dozen African countries in total and written about most of them for specialist travel and wildlife magazines including Africa Birds & Birding, Africa Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Travel Africa and Wanderlust.
This edition has been updated by travel writer and photographer Simon Fenton. After an early career as a biologist, he lived, worked and travelled in Asia for several years before returning to 'settle down' and set up the award-winning social enterprise StreetShine before a perfect storm of events re-ignited his wanderlust. He eventually found himself in Senegal, where he and his Senegalese partner Khady have built – and run – an eco-guesthouse in Abene, a few miles south of the Gambian border. As a member of a jola family, a tribe widespread across the Gambia and southern Senegal, Simon speaks a smattering of the local languages and regularly travels across the region with a particular interest in documenting the local jola culture.