I posted this on community as well, but it's worth posting here.
I've got a thing for maps. Not GPS maps, but really, real, old-school paper maps. I'll generally start out with trip planning on 1:250,000 topo maps. After that I'll get a few 1:50,000 maps of specific areas of interest. When I've got the broader trip planned, I'll put the key points on my GPS and use that for navigation. But I'll still use the proper maps for reference.
So, we're busy planning a trip later this year, and I don't have maps for the area in concern. No issues, thought I - I'd get them from the government printers.
I spent a day walking around central Pretoria trying to get the specific maps from the government printing services. Faceless .gov employees redirected me all over the place, and I eventually ended up at the department of "Rural Development" (or some such department). Only to find the map offices were offline. I doubt they would have helped much in any case, as they apparently only had the topo-cadastral maps, which were not the maps I wanted. I pretty much decided to give up with government offices and started looking for other ways to get hold of them.
Various well-known mapping companies mentioned 21 day lead times and exorbitant costs (one place quoted me about R300 per map). But I later came across Maps 4 Africa (http://www.maps4africa.net/
). Whilst the 1:250,000 topo maps aren't listed on their website, I gave them a call to discover that the do have them. Very reasonably priced, and the service is excellent. I was even notified when the courier I'd arranged did not arrive on the day they expected him to collect my packages.
To Leon and his team: Thanks massively. Appreciate the effort. It's always refreshing getting excellent service, and I'll be getting all my maps there in the future.