Classic Reads about Africa!

While you may not be able to travel here, you can bring a little bit of Africa into your home by reading these all time classic books;


Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen

Out of Africais Isak Dinesen's memoir of her years in Africa, from 1914 to 1931, on a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in the hills near Nairobi. She had come to Kenya from Denmark with her husband, and when they separated she stayed on to manage the farm by herself, visited frequently by her lover, the big-game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton, for whom she would make up stories "like Scheherazade." In Africa, "I learned how to tell tales," she recalled many years later. "The natives have an ear still. I told stories constantly to them, all kinds." Her account of her African adventures, written after she had lost her beloved farm and returned to Denmark, is that of a master storyteller, a woman whom John Updike called "one of the most picturesque and flamboyant literary personalities of the century."

West With the Night: A Memoir by Beryl Markham

West with the Nightis the story of Beryl Markham--aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty--and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and '30s.

Love, Life, and Elephants by Dame Daphne Sheldrick

Daphne Sheldrick, whose family arrived in Africa from Scotland in the 1820s, is the first person ever to have successfully hand-reared newborn elephants. Her deep empathy and understanding, her years of observing Kenya’s rich variety of wildlife, and her pioneering work in perfecting the right husbandry and milk formula have saved countless elephants, rhinos, and other baby animals from certain death.


In this heartwarming and poignant memoir, Daphne shares her amazing relationships with a host of orphans, including her first love, Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope; Rickey-Tickey-Tavey, the little dwarf mongoose; Gregory Peck, the busy buffalo weaver bird; Huppety, the mischievous zebra; and the majestic elephant Eleanor, with whom Daphne has shared more than forty years of great friendship.


But this is also a magical and heartbreaking human love story between Daphne and David Sheldrick, the famous Tsavo Park warden. It was their deep and passionate love, David’s extraordinary insight into all aspects of nature, and the tragedy of his early death that inspired Daphne’s vast array of achievements, most notably the founding of the world-renowned David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Orphans’ Nursery in Nairobi National Park, where Daphne continues to live and work to this day.


Encompassing not only David and Daphne’s tireless campaign for an end to poaching and for conserving Kenya’s wildlife, but also their ability to engage with the human side of animals and their rearing of the orphans expressly so they can return to the wild,Love, Life, and Elephantsis alive with compassion and humor, providing a rare insight into the life of one of the world’s most remarkable women.

Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey

One of the most important books ever written about our connection to the natural world,Gorillas in the Mistis the riveting account of Dian Fossey's thirteen years in a remote African rain forest with the greatest of the great apes. Fossey's extraordinary efforts to ensure the future of the rain forest and its remaining mountain gorillas are captured in her own words and in candid photographs of this fascinating endangered species. As only she could, Fossey combined her personal adventure story with groundbreaking scientific reporting in an unforgettable portrait of one of our closest primate relatives. Although Fossey's work ended tragically in her murder,Gorillas in the Mistremains an invaluable testament to one of the longest-running field studies of primates and reveals her undying passion for her subject.

Born Free by Joy Adamson

There have been many accounts of the return to the wild of tame animals, but since its original publication in 1960, whenTheNew York Timeshailed it as a "fascinating and remarkable book,"Born Freehas stood alone in its power to move us.


Joy Adamson's story of a lion cub in transition between the captivity in which she is raised and the fearsome wild to which she is returned captures the abilities of both humans and animals to cross the seemingly unbridgeable gap between their radically different worlds. Especially now, at a time when the sanctity of the wild and its inhabitants is increasingly threatened by human development and natural disaster, Adamson's remarkable tale is an idyll, and a model, to return to again and again.

Cry of the Kalahari by Mark & Delia Owens

This is the story of the Owens' travel and life in the Kalahari Desert. Here they met and studied unique animals and were confronted with danger from drought, fire, storms, and the animals they loved. This best-selling book is for both travelers and animal lovers.

I Dreamed of Africa by Kuki Gallman

At the age of twenty-five, Kuki Gallman, divorced and badly injured in a devastating car accident, left Italy to convalesce in Africa with the man who would become her second husband. Enchanted by the land, they established a vast ranch on the Laikipia plateau in Kenya. But Africa's splendor came with a price. Filled with pain and joy, beauty and drama, Gallman's haunting memoir "captures perfectly the magic of Kenya" (The New York TImes Book Review)


Jock of the Bushveld by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick Jock of the Bushveld, published in 1907, has been read and enjoyed by millions of children and is now a classic among animal stories. It remains as fresh and exciting as it was when it was first written and is dedicated by Fitzpatrick to '...those keenest and kindest of critics, best of friends and most delightful of comrades the likkle people!'


Jock's owner was a young transport rider in the rugged and colourful days of the Transvaal gold rush. Those were the days when big game roamed the land and each sunrise brought a new adventure.


The story of the bull terrier who shared his master's life on the veld has been illustrated with lively sketches by Edmund Caldwell.





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