Wilderness in waiting: Safari by the book with 8 important African reads

Wilderness in waiting: Safari by the book with 8 important African reads

Wilderness in waiting: Safari by the book with 8 important African reads

“Wilderness in attendant” is a four-part weekly series showcasing Africa’s proud heritage during the COVID pandemic.

As African countries slowly begin to open up to incoming travel, it won’t take too long for you to enjoy a social safari and take a deep breath of the fresh air of nature. To whet your appetite for future travel, here is a selection of eight of my favorite books that deal with travel, history, wildlife and African life.

The guide to the life of the Lion Tracker, Boyd varty

Life Tracker and Coach Boyd Varty’s second book offers life lessons by combining the internal monitoring of coaching with the external monitoring of nature. This happens, appropriately enough, through the captivating story of a real story of a Boyd and two colleagues chasing a lion. The story itself carries enough suspense, that life lessons receive an additional gift. I recommend that you read it before your next safari, take it with you and read it again in situ. The pages will come to life surprisingly significantly.

Dark Star Safari, Paul Theroux

Although the trip of veteran travel writer Paul Theroux from Cairo to Cape Town is not everyone’s favorite route, spanning the length of Africa, it is capable of giving context and scope to a varied continent which shelters a thousand stories. Politics, history, interviews and funny anecdotes come together to tell this journey of several thousand kilometers.

The Elephant Whisperer, Lawrence Anthony

This book is the beautifully brave story of conservationist Lawrence Anthony’s journey with a herd of rogue elephants, which he hosted in his private Thula Thula game reserve. It is a moving account of its growing relationship with the herd and will not fail to increase your appreciation of these giants, but also to light the fire to see them again soon in the wild.

The Girl Who Married a Lion – Alexander McCall Smith +

A quick glance at the names of the various stories on the book’s content page is enough to cause some laughter. Combining hilarity, fables and folklore, this collection of stories is a tribute to the art of African storytelling. They are written in the distinctive style of McCall Smith, recalling his No. 1 female detective agency, which is also highly recommended.

Long walk to freedom, Nelson Mandela

This autobiography is rightly regarded as the most vital story in Africa. It is the weighty volume of a magnanimous man who, after 27 years in prison, led South Africa’s journey to democracy. It is in the truest sense of the word, an epic work, telling the remarkable life of Mandela. Dedicated in his words to “my fellow South Africans whom I serve and whose courage, determination and patriotism remain my source of inspiration”.

Mourn the beloved country, Alan Paton

The 1948 novel was written by Alan Paton, one of the most beloved writers in South Africa. The South African struggle is told through the story of the Reverend Stephen Kumalo, who, in a quest to reunite his family, is confronted with the harsh realities faced by people of color in South Africa. The book also had two film adaptations, the latter featuring screen legend James Earl Jones as Reverend Khumalo.

Half a yellow sun and Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie has rightly become one of the most important storytellers on the continent. Sumptuous and captivating from the first page, these semi-historical novels take readers into a whirlwind through the Nigerian civil war, told through the prism of a wealthy family, and the lives that intersect with their own. Americanah is Adichie’s next offering and simultaneously, tenderly, raw and offering a hard-hitting truth. The story follows a young Nigerian who immigrated to the United States, and years later he returned to Nigeria. The substantially semi-autobiographical offer explores the intersections of race, identity and nationalism.

Poems collected, Ben Okri

One of the continent’s favorite poets offers a series of reflections that speak of the painful and tumultuous stories of those growing up in Africa. Sometimes a difficult reading when you remember the difficulties and oppression that so many people in Africa had to endure, but certainly a story that deserves to be told with the brutal honesty that is often offered by poetry.

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