Travel books that will inspire you to explore : The ability to imagine is a strong tool, and reading may inspire and take you to fantastical worlds. Occasionally, the act of reading a book can transport us on a journey that involves self-discovery as well as seeking adventure. Having travelled to many different nations and cultures, we’ve put up a reading list and a list of our favorite books that have influenced us. Continue reading if you’re prepared to let your imagination transport you to far-off locations and give you a bad case of wanderlust.
- The elephant whisperer, Lawrence Anthony.
A herd of rouge elephants is urged to be taken in by a South African conservationist in order to save them from being shot. He concurs, and here is the tale of how, following significant trauma, he was able to rebuild their faith in others. You can learn a lot about life, freedom, and loyalty from this narrative.
2) Killing for profit, Julian Rademeyer.
An intense and unvarnished book that will make you aware of the struggle to preserve a species that has existed for more than 50 million years. An engrossing story that explores the world and tracks the deadly path of the “rhino war” in Southern Africa as well as one of the most covert trades in history. From the front lines including poachers, mercenaries, and gunrunners, to diplomats and government officials, wildlife trafficking kingpins, and the far-east pharmaceutical markets.
3) Born Free, Joy Adamson.
This is the genuine story of Elsa, a stunning lioness who was raised in captivity before being eventually released into the wild. It is a touching tale of humankind and animals.
4) Gorillas in the mist, Dian Fossey.
A story of the renowned primatologist’s remarkable life in a remote African rainforest and her attempts to keep mountain gorillas alive. This is a tale of personal exploration that paints a vivid picture of one of our closest surviving relatives.
5) An African love story. Love, life and elephants. Dame Daphne Sheldrick.
Memoirs of an amazing life tale written by one of Africa’s most notable environmentalists. Dame Sheldrick lived her whole life in Kenya, where she and her husband David toiled ceaselessly to rehabilitate orphans of endangered animals, including zebras, rhinos, and elephants, and then released them back into the wild to be with their natural habitat.
6) Vanishing Kings: The lions of the Namib Desert – Philip Stander.
Beautifully put together sequence of images showing the Namib lions and their trip through this hard yet enticing land. The only desert on Earth where a small population of lions that have adapted to life in the desert is the old Namib. Amazingly, these rare lions have persisted in survival in Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. However, until 20 years ago, they were elusive and rarely sighted; it was thought that they had gone extinct until scientist Dr. Philip Stander discovered them again in 1997. Subsequently, he started studying lions, an endeavour that has lasted a lifetime. He has succeeded in revealing the mysteries of these incredibly adaptable large cats, who appeared to flourish in this hostile habitat.
7) The scramble for Africa, Muriel Evelyn Chamberlain.
An overview of Africa’s amazing and complex history from the Victorian era to the late 20th century in brief and concise form.
M.E. Chamberlain contrasts the Victorian perception of Africa with our current understanding of the continent’s history and civilization in her seminal review, analyzing case studies in great detail, ranging from Egypt to Zimbabwe, and making the case that knowledge of African history and background is just as crucial to comprehending European politics and diplomacy and the’scramble’.
8) Zulu – Saul David.
A thorough yet extremely readable history of the occasions leading up to and during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War. Although David does not overcomplicate the war’s history, this makes it an excellent choice for readers who are not as familiar with the subject matter. Nevertheless, the events are covered in enough detail to please even the most erudite reader. This is one of the best books on this violent era of South African history because of the delicate, yet detailed, descriptions of the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift.
9) Blood River, Tim Butcher.
After in the footsteps of legendary Victorian explorers, the author skillfully and passionately describes his perilous voyage through the Congo carrying just a bag and a few thousand euros concealed in his boots. Navigating a variety of vehicles, such as a motorbike and a dugout canoe, with assistance from a colorful cast of people that included UN relief workers and a pygmy on a campaign. Although Butcher’s voyage was an amazing accomplishment, the Congo’s story is much more amazing.
10) Mukiwa, White boy in Africa – Peter Godwin.
An autobiographical story of his upbringing in Rhodesia in the 1960s, the brutal conflict that followed, his service in the Anti-Terrorist Unit of the Rhodesian Army, and his eventual return to Zimbabwe as a journalist, exposing the crimes that the then-government was responsible for.
11) Out of Africa, Karen Blixen.
Memoirs detailing the Danish author’s 17-year struggle to establish a home and livelihood in Kenya, as well as her romantic relationship with British aristocracy Denys Finch Hatton.
For Daphne, a typical day is fighting against the constant threat of poaching for the ivory trade, finding homes for orphan elephants, and saving baby elephants from poachers. Greetings from Africa.
12) Long walk to freedom, Nelson Mandela.
Memoirs of Madiba from his 27-year incarceration, including the complex talks that resulted in his release and the start of apartheid’s demise. Long Walk to Freedom, the gripping autobiography of our era’s most exceptional moral and political figure, masterfully recreates the drama of the events that shaped Nelson Mandela’s destiny. Long Walk to Freedom is an inspiring, gripping, and highly emotional account of an extraordinary life filled with adversity, resiliency, and final victory, all presented with the poise and authority of a natural leader.
13) A long way gone, Ishmael Beah.
The memoirs of a young Sierra Leonean soldier. See the horrific tale of war through a child’s eyes. Many writers and journalists have found it difficult to image themselves after reading Ishmael’s extensive responses to issues like “How does a child become a killer?” and “How does one stop?” An intensely compelling novel filled with painful candour
14) The boy who harnessed the wind, William Kamkwamba.
The real narrative of William Kamkwamba, written during Malawi’s famine. How his ingenuity and curiosity triumphed over hardship to provide his hamlet with water and power. William hopes that one day other Africans will be able to power their own computers, access the internet, and see for themselves how his life has transformed as a result of seeing that book in the library. He believes that other Africans will learn to help themselves, one windmill and one lightbulb at a time.
15) West with the night, Beryl Markham.
Pilot and trainer of racehorses. The life of this extraordinary woman in Kenya throughout the 1920s and 1930s a unique period. Markham was brought to Kenya when he was four years old. As an adult, she made friends with big-game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton, who made her an aeroplane ride in OUT OF AFRICA. Markham was so thrilled with the safari experience that she went on to become the first female commercial pilot in Kenya.
16) Don’t run whatever you do – Peter Allison.
This captivating book, which takes place in the Okavango Delta of Botswana, is a compilation of stories the author wrote while on field trips as a guide. His tales are contagiously captivating and effortlessly transport you to the life of a safari guide. You may learn when an elephant is actually going to charge and what to do if you come across lions through hilarious yet real stories. Some of the stories explore how much more untamed tourists can be when compared to the nature; examples include Japanese tourists who disobey all rules in order to take better pictures and half-naked Royal Family members who go missing. You will be left wanting to go on safari after reading this book.
17) Diamonds, Gold and War – Martin Meredith.
An amazing history of South Africa that shows how the country’s diamond and gold mines in Kimberley and the Witwatersrand helped it become the dominant force in Africa. In addition to providing a fascinating look into the past, when prospectors came to this region in search of their fortunes, Meredith’s story tackles head-on the difficulties that South Africa has experienced in getting to where it is today.
18) Long Way Down by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman.
A humorous book about the difficulties and thrills of taking an overland journey across 18 nations, 14 of which are in Africa. Ewan and Charley provide an engaging look into what makes this such a unique and varied continent by writing about many of the highlights of the sites they visited along the journey, the people they met, and the wildlife they experienced.
19) African safari papers – Robert Sedlack.
A tale that is unique. You can almost picture yourself on a safari with a boisterous, irrational teenager. While their son is getting high and smuggling drugs, their mother becomes nuts and their father starts drinking excessively. Anything might occur.
20) Dark star safari, Robert Holt.
A compilation of short stories featuring fantasy, science fiction, and the paranormal. Explore this incredibly witty collection by looking past the obvious and you’ll find some surprising insights.
21) A guide to the birds of east Africa – Nicholas Drayson.
A touching tale of two guys who are in love with the same woman, and their attempts to win her affection by finding out about her love of birds; the victor gets to bring their partner to the ball.