Before you travel to Africa

Considering a trip to Africa?  With many borders across the globe still closed, it seems the perfect time to indulge in a selection of great African books.  This is our collection of suggested reads to immerse you into the spirit of Africa.

New History of South Africa by Hermann Giliomee and Bernard Mbenga

New History of South Africa

History has been my favourite subject of reading throughout my school and adult life.  To know South Africa intimately, you need to know her journey (history).  This tome of a book is a living narrative of the great struggles and victories our incredible country has witnessed.  Whether you are planning to visit South Africa or have visited her before, this book shares so much more than what just the eye sees. – Wade Bawden

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Long walk to freedom

A great and insightful read on the life and dedication of Nelson Mandela’s fight against apartheid. Absolutely inspiring! – Desiree Pillay

The Last Rhinos by Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence

The Last Rhinos

The story of Lawrence Anthony’s journey into war ravaged Congo to find and convince the rebel groups to help save the northern white rhino.  What an amazing man and brilliant read! – Viki Haasbroek

The Long Way Down – An African Adventure by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boornman

The Long Way Down

The book is image heavy and tells the story of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boornman’s journey from Scotland through eighteen countries in Europe and Africa to Cape Town on motorbikes. The journey covers 15,000 miles (24,140 kilometres) and was inspired by their UNICEF visit to Africa. It truly showcases the terrain, wildlife, culture, history and people of Africa is such a nice way and was such an easy read. I loved the illustrated pictures as it took you on the journey with them. As the journey entered Southern Africa it was so nice to start recognising areas, attractions and names. – Renier Friis

I Dreamed of Africa by Kuki Gallman

I Dreamed of Africa

Such a timeless classic.  Based on the true story of Kuki’s relocation to Kenya. A story of love, heartache and survival in the early days of foreign settlement in Africa and their adjustment to Safari life. – Janine Southwood

Blood Sisters by Barbara and Stephanie Keating

Blood Sisters

One of my favourite books of all times – this is the story of 3 young girls who come together at a Kenyan school and form a unforgettable friendship that survives many decades. All 3 girls come from very different backrounds/  It’s a gripping story that you cannot put down. – Janine Southwood

A Lion Called Christian by Anthony Bourke and John Rendall

A Lion Called Christian

A story we all familiar with – this is the story of two young travellers in London who buy a lion cub at Harrods.  Eventually they bring the lion back to Africa to live in its natural habitat with George Adamson and so begins the story of Christian the Lion and his life back in the wild. – Janine Southwood

Cry of the Kalahari by Mark and Delia Owens

Cry of the Kalahari

For anyone who has visited the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the legend of how zoologists, Mark and Delia Owens moved from the United States to the reserve in the mid 1970’s with an antiquated Landrover, basic camping equipment and an extremely limited budget is an amazing start to this story. The fact that they survived to tell the tale is equally amazing as the book goes on to share their experience of living for 7 years in one of Africa’s greatest Game Reserves.  This book is essential reading for anyone wishing to visit the Central Kalahari in particular and Southern Africa in general. – David Standage

Memories of a Game Ranger by Harry Wolhuter

Memories of a Game Ranger

I thoroughly enjoyed Memories of a Game Ranger.  The author Harry was a game ranger in the Kruger National Park for 44 years, and the book takes us through his experiences and illustrates the history, as well as the changes from the infancy of conservation efforts in our iconic Kruger National ParkThe book was first published in 1948, so you can imagine, it’s an ‘old school’ issue, but beautifully written and an entertaining read 😊 – Karina Brand

L’Analphabète qui savait compter by Jonas Jonasson

French book 1

(Translation would be ‘The illiterate who knew how to count’).  A comedy that takes place in South Africa actually, it’s about Nombeko and her unlikely adventures when she tried to get rid of a nuclear bomb. – Johanna Zerbib

La Massaï Blanche by Corinne Hofmann

French book 2

(Translation would be ‘The White Massaï’).  A true story about the writer’s life, a White European girl who fall in love with a Massaï warrior in Kenya. An amazing story, that takes you right in the bush, and which is also heartbreaking. – Johanna Zerbib

And finally, a book none of us has yet read but which we really look forward to doing!  Written by our friend in the industry Grant Fowlds together with Graham Spence, Saving the Last Rhinos.  Has anybody read it yet?  Does anyone have a review on the book?

Saving the last Rhinos

Do you have any great suggestions for books we haven’t mentioned here?  Let us know.


Tel: +27 31 275 3500

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