The Best Books On African Wildlife And Safaris

The Books I Picked & Why

Africa Bites: Scrapes and escapes in the African Bush

By Lloyd Camp

Africa Bites: Scrapes and escapes in the African Bush

Why this book?

Yes, Lloyd is a friend of mine but despite the number of campfires we have sat around swapping tales there were many in this book I had never heard. Like all good guides, Lloyd is a natural storyteller, but he is also a great reader and that has a positive effect on this, his first book. His writing shines, the stories move along briskly like a startled warthog, and in no time it is over and you want more.


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Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer and the African Adventure the Victorian World by Storm

By Monte Reel

Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer and the African Adventure the Victorian World by Storm

Why this book?

This book has been given by me to many of my wildlife loving friends, with a hissing insistence they must read it. It tells the story of how the gorilla entered the western conscience just as evolutionary debate was raging. The characters include many that loom through history, yet the central figure has been banished from it. The why of that is the greatest, most tragic part of this excellent work of narrative non-fiction.


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King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

By Adam Hochschild

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa

Why this book?

Most books on this list are informative and fun. This one has no scope for humour. This book taught me more than any other of why so much of Africa is the mess it is today. A grim read but this telling of a Belgian king’s obsession with obtaining a colony and his brutal reign over it is breathtaking and horrifying.


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Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa

By Peter Godwin

Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa

Why this book?

Godwin’s brilliant memoir of growing up in what was then Southern Rhodesia, fighting in a war, then defending as a lawyer some of those who he’d fought against is told with enormous wit and great literary flair. It’s a travesty that no film has ever been made of this book, but perhaps no one would believe the stories.


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A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons

By Robert M. Sapolsky

A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons

Why this book?

Not new but far from dated this is one of the funniest books I have read about an outsider in Africa. Sapolsky bucks the trend of scientists being poor communicators, and details with warmth and hilarity his time researching baboons in East Africa. Once you’ve finished chortling you might just realise how much you have learnt along the way.


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