Having travelled across West Africa for over ten years, Peter Biddlecombe's often hilarious account of a long and lingering liaison dangereuse with the sixty per cent of the continent that is French-speaking is a highly readable, hugely entertaining introduction to the je ne sais quoi of French Africa.
In countries such as Togo, Mali and Burkina Faso, Biddlecome encounters old-fashioned camel butchers, modern witch doctors who run mail-order companies, gold smugglers and counterfeiters who send their sons to Oxford. He also experiences a delicious foie gras of places: from eerie voodoo ceremonies in the old slave port of Ouidah to Italian ice-cream parlors in the middle of the Sahara desert.
And Biddlecombe reveals not only Francophone Africa's politics, often bizarre business traditions and culture, but also provides a mass of practical advice on everything from how to eat a water-rat to talking your way through a road block in the middle of an attempted coup.
Peter Biddlecombe is a travel-hardened businessman and the author of four previous, gloriously funny accounts of global business trips. He lives in Waldron, Sussex when he is not hanging around the airports of the world.