Favorite books about Africa! History, adventure, etc

Ragman

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I am currently looking for a copy of "The Covenant" by James Michener.
 

bilmcc

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JMO, but White Hunter puts most every other book (until 1970s) into a period timeline which helped me while reading many others.
This is good to know! Thanks.
 

adgunner

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After you burn throught the Capstick, Ruark, Wilbur Smith etc... you could try Hunting the Elephant in Africa by Capt Stigand, The book of the Lion by Sir Alfred E. Pease, African Game trails by Theodore Roosevelt if your looking for some older stuff.
 

bilmcc

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BC.Pat

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Jock of the Bushveld , Sir James Percy FitzPatrick the language is a bit colorful describing the locals but its a great read especially if you value a good hunting dog as a partner.
My personal favorite of many of those previously mentioned.

Cheers
Pat
 

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Another vote for Wilbur Smith, both the sailing and the hunting part fascinates me for some reason... ;-)

There are several great books written by Game Rangers from SA, Bruce Bryden, Jan Roderigues, James Stevenson-Hamilton (One of the pioneers who started up the Kruger National Park) and of course the books from Ron Thompson.
Mike Cameron - "My Wanderings Through Africa"
Check Safari Press or Rowland Ward for their books as well.

Clive Cheney's "The Comprehensive Guide to Tracking" is also great reading.

Several rifle books written by Wieland, Boddington, but also Van der Walt comes to mind.

Peter Stiff has a series of books about many different subjects about the Southern Africa area, mostly about conflicts in the last 50 years or so.

Martin Meredith's " The State of Africa" was a great read for me to show how Africa and the different states became what they are today and how the situation is today. He has several books in similar fashion.

Tony Park and Deon Meyer are writing fiction about the Southern Africa areas. Great books, but not in Wilbur Smith's class imho.

This is in addition to the many great advises above from other posters.

Good luck with the reading!

//Gus
 

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I am currently looking for a copy of "The Covenant" by James Michener.
If you're looking for one to read (not a 1st edition), Amazon has most of Michener books.
 

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Safari Press has it for $100 new. I saw it on Amazon for 300+.
Someone must have beat me to it - don't see Into the Thorns listed
 

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Someone must have beat me to it - don't see Into the Thorns listed
You might call them. It is in the catalog I received today.
 

008

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Good to hear, I love hunting with dogs and currently have a staffie so I have this in my que.

Edit: meant to quote BC.Pat about Jock of the bushveld.
 

cagkt3

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fourfive8

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Have quite a few of those mentioned and have read some more than once. For me, I need to read Hemingway more than once just to absorb all the nuances. I also like Ruark a lot and can tell Ruark viewed and respected Hemingway as a mentor of style. Sometimes I enjoy the easy-to-read Capstick style as well as that of McIntyre just to relax the brain while reading. Sometimes I like to concentrate on details, history and geography as reflected in works such as Wanderings… by Selous A very good one, IMO, not mentioned unless I missed it, is Heat, Thirst & Ivory by Everett.
 

Cousin Bongo

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There are so many...
Here are some recommendations:

Scouting On Two Continents - Frederick Burnham
Commando; No Outspan; Trekking On - Denys Reitz
The Washing Of The Spears - Donald R. Morris
African Dangerous Game Cartridges - Pierre van der Walt
Aagaard's African Adventures; Finn Aagaard - Selected Works -Finn Aagaard
Rifles For Africa - Gregor Woods
Safari: A Chronicle of Adventure
Shadows in the Sand: A Koevoet Tracker's Story of an Insurgency War - Sisingi Kamong

CB
 

fourfive8

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My oh my!! No one has mentioned WDM Bell. I see that Safari Press has reprints of two of his books, in hardback, currently on sale for about $25 ea. Bell of Africa and Karamojo Safari.
 

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What are some of your favorite books about Africa including history and adventure? Looking to branch out of my perspective and see what you all like to read!



Since you didn't mention hunting, I have tried to stay away from hunting only books. Most of the following deal with colonial days. A few are more recent. I have enjoyed them all. If you have a specific subject you are interested in, ask, I might be able to help.


White Mischief James Fox

Out of Africa Isak Dinesen

White African LSB Leaky

The Imminent Rains John Heminway

No Man's Land John Heminway

From the Cape to Cairo Ewart Grogan

The Flame Trees of Thika Elspeth Huxley

The Last Empire Stefan Kanfer

Battle for the Bundu Charles Miller

My Reminiscences of East Africa General von Lettow-Vorbek

My Kenya Days Wilfred Thesiger

Northrup Judy Aldrick

A Knot of Roots The Earl of Portsmouth

Lost Lion of Empire Edward Paice

Swahili for the Broken Hearted Peter Moore

The State of Africa Martin Meredith

The Winds of Havoc Adelino Serras Pires

The Elephant Hunters of the Lado Foran

Travel and Adventures in South-East Africa FC Selous

West with the Night Beryl Markham

The Zulu War Michael Barthorp

Gordon of Khartoum Paul Charrier

Great Elephant Alan Scholefield

The Scramble for Africa Thomas Packenham

The Boer War Thomas Packenham There are a number of good books on this subject. Hopefully some of our Afrikaner friends will add books from the Boer perspective.

Scapegoats of the Empire (about Breaker Morant) George Witton

The Emin Pasha Relief Expedition Iain Smith

The Ghosts of Happy Valley Juliet Barnes

The Last Resort Douglas Rogers
 
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BC.Pat

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Good to hear, I love hunting with dogs and currently have a staffie so I have this in my que.
I think this book will be right up your alley , I would be very surprised if you didn't enjoy it. Its a classic !
 

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Most of John Taylor's books are pretty good reads.
 

Hank2211

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Again, some of these are non-hunting, but you did mention history. Not all are easy to find, but I think all are excellent:

Through the Dark Continent, In Darkest Africa, and How I found Livingstone - Henry M. Stanley

Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambezi, and Livingstone's Missionary Expeditions in South Africa - Livingstone

Sunshine and Storm in Rhodesia (history of the second Matebele rebellion) - F. C. Selous

Ismaelia and The Albert Nyanza - Sir S. W. Baker (Baker wrote other, excellent African books)

The Uganda Protectorate - Harry Johnston (a prolific writer on Africa)

Gordon's Journals at Khartoum - Gen. Gordon

The Land of the Lion - Rainford

My African Journey and London to Ladysmith via Pretoria - Winston Churchill

I could go on, but I will stop there (for now!). There is a huge volume of really excellent books written by English explorers and others in the 19th century, as Africa was being explored and opened up. In particular, there are some really excellent books around the search for the source of the Nile - including The Source of the Nile by John Hanning Speke and The Lake Regions of Central Africa by Sir Richard Francis Burton (both claimed to have found the source - Speke was right, but lost the public relations battle). You can get a good summary of this history by reading the two books published by Alan Moorhead - The White Nile and The Blue Nile (1960 and 1962) - great books to start on. It was reading some of these books which put my imagination into overdrive and decided me that I needed to not only visit Africa, but to get as close to the old times. Apart from hunting , that is very hard to do in this day and age.
 

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