The summer holidays have started in Europe, so many people are looking for reading tips. And we are happy to help! Now that you temporarily can’t go on a tour of Africa, you can still dream away with the books below. The writers give you that real Africa feeling, so enjoyment is guaranteed. After reading these books, don’t wait too long to contact us, so that we can make your dream trip to Africa come true!
Book tip 1. Out of Africa – Kenya
This is an absolute classic and needs no introduction for most people. Years ago, this book (and the movie!) was one of the first reasons we fell in love with Africa. The stunning images described in the book and the love for African nature and the local people are always a source of inspiration for us. If you haven’t read this memoir about life on a coffee plantation in Kenya, then you know what to do. And if you’ve already read this book, too!
Book tip 2. The elephant whisperer – South Africa
When conservationist Lawrence Anthony (one of our heroes / sources of inspiration / role models from South Africa!) is asked to take a herd of elephants to his Thula Thula Game Reserve, his first reaction is: refuse. But Anthony is the last chance for the herd that regularly escapes. The giants will all be killed if Anthony doesn’t take them in.
Anthony agrees, but before their move takes place, the animals break out again. The leader of the herd and her calf are shot. When the remaining elephants arrive at Thula Thula, they are traumatized, unmanageable and very dangerous.
With endless patience, Lawrence Anthony eventually succeeds in gaining the herd’s trust. He gradually realizes that “his” elephants teach him a lot about life, loyalty and freedom. Their great interconnectedness humbles him.
Against the backdrop of life on the reserve with unforgettable characters and animals, Lawrence Anthony tells a moving, inspiring and humorous story that deeply impressed us.
Don’t forget to read his other books too!
Book tip 3. Mother of Malawi – Malawi
Throughout her life, Annie Chikhwaza has retained a heart for the marginalised. First in the Netherlands, then in South Africa, now in Malawi, she has reached out with practical help. When she married a poor African pastor and moved to Malawi, she was horrified by the thousands of orphans on the streets. Today Annie cares for 200 children, some HIV positive, and has built a small town called Kondanani (‘’Love one another’’), with a medical facility, nursery school, primary school, high school and farm. In a country with more than one million orphans, Kondanani is an oasis of love. Annie is tough. She has overcome molestation, divorce, carjacking, a broken back, attempted murder, attempted rape, and the death of her beloved husband. Yet she has a vision, and will not be deflected.
Book tip 4. Blood River – Congo
When war correspondent Tim Butcher was sent to cover Africa in 2000 he quickly became obsessed with the idea of recreating H.M. Stanley’s famous nineteenth century trans-Africa expedition – but travelling alone. Despite warnings that his plan was ‘suicidal’, Butcher set out for the Congo’s eastern border with just a rucksack and a few thousand dollars hidden in his boots. Making his way in an assortment of vessels including a motorbike and a dugout canoe, helped along by a cast of unlikely characters, he followed in the footsteps of the great Victorian adventurers. Butcher’s journey was a remarkable feat, but the story of the Congo, told expertly and vividly in this book, is more remarkable still.
Book tip 5. The cry of the Go-Away Bird – Zimbabwe
Elise loves the farm that is her home; she loves playing with beetles and chameleons in the garden, buying sweets from the village shop and listening to the stories of spirits and charms told by her nanny, Beauty. As a young white girl in 1990s Zimbabwe, her life is idyllic. Her clothes are always clean and ironed, there is always tea in the silver teapot, gin and tonics are served on the veranda, and, in theory at least, black and white live in harmony.
However this dream-world of her childhood cannot last. As Elise gets older, her eyes are opened to the complexities of adult existence, both through the changes wrought in her family by the arrival of her step-father Steve, and through her growing understanding of the tensions in Zimbabwean society. As Mugabe’s presidency turns sour, the privileged world of the white farmers begins to crumble into anarchy.
You might be asking why ”The boy who harnessed the wind” by William Kamkwamba is not in this list. Well, we certainly recommend to read the book and watch the movie! But we believe that this inspiring local Malawian story deserves a blog post on its own. Read more about ”The boy who harnessed the wind”!
We love being open and honest, so we’d like to inform you that there are “affiliate links” in this blog. This means that when you buy these books or other articles via those links, you simply pay the best price, while we receive a small commission. Every bit helps us to get through this tourism-free time! You’re welcome to contact us, should you have any questions.