Improving Wikivoyage in the African Region

Any thoughts, suggestions or ideas on improving content on wikivoyage in Africa?


Since our multi-year experience shows that local coverage is usually not good (people just want to promote something, typically their business, and do not understand what a travel guide is), the only way is to travel to Africa and to write the articles. In the Russian Wikivoyage, we have reasonabky good coverage of Namibia and Botswana because one of our editors at some point traveled there.

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What about establishing a user group or starting a project as regards this

To be honest, I am very skeptical. Wikivoyage has a difficult position, because there are not so many people who are interested in writing a travel guide (compared for example with a number of people interested in sharing their general knowledge in form of an encyclopedia), and the project is in a direct competition with publishers of travel guides (which have way more finances than encyclopedia publishers have, and the competition is much stronger). I know quite a few people interested in writing travel guides, but they just get their salary for travel writing. I assume that if there were lots of people in Africa who (i) are capable of writing a good travel guide (ii) are interested in writing one (iii) for whatever reason, are not paid by major companies like Lonely Planet for writing guides, we would somehow know about this. I think these people are just not there, and creation of a user group would not magically attract them and make Wikivoyage African coverage flourishing. But this is of course just my personal opinion.

Well wikipedians in Africa have travelled a bit and there could be a month where we could all contribute our travel experiences to Wikivoyage. It could be something like wiki loves travel or something else…

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I do not want to discourage you, but I have a bit of experience here. When Wikivoyage moved to WMF servers and was officially opened as a new WMF project, there was quite some publicity, and in the Russian Wikivoyage, where I am active, we had an influx of new editors (both registered and IP) who have seen the announcement on Wikipedia and wanted to contribute in some way. Only a couple of them knew what they were doing. Others either did not understand the difference between Wikivoyage and Wikipedia, were trying to create an encyclopedic article and were frustrated that the policies are different; or just were adding indiscriminately information about their hometown in way more detail one would ever need for a travel guide. Most of the information which was added during that month was not really useful, we (about five active users at the time) manages to convert it to something useful or to remove it, but this was not really a pleasant experience.

Again, may be if one creates a user group, gets funding, starts doing some training and eventually running editathons, may be it could work. However, this involves so many ifs that I remain sceptical.

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