ALSO FROM STRANGER'S GUIDE
Did You Know?
Ganvié is a city on a lake. Literally on a lake. In fact, it’s the largest collection of lake dwellings on stilts in Africa, and 20,000 people call it home. It’s been this way—in the middle of 84-miles-square Lake Nokoué in Benin, West Africa—for more than 500 years, and was originally designed as a safety measure. The people who called the lake home were shielded by law from being captured and sold into slavery. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the name Ganvié translates from the Fon language as: “We’ve survived.”
Encounters that take you there.
Before there were guidebooks, 18th- and 19th-century authors wrote “stranger’s guides” to cities and countries, pamphlets and books that combined helpful tips with particular and offbeat advice and context: the best boarding houses alongside bits of history, preferred brothels as well as ways to avoid pickpockets. These guides were far removed from a modern, sanitized Fodor’s—rather they were personal, eccentric and intimate portrayals of place.
Stranger’s Guide is a modern version of that idea—a nonprofit publication designed to reveal the intricacies of places across the globe, through both local and foreign eyes.