Our 2019 Africa Reading List

Of course the possibility of spending your 15+ hour journey to one of Africa’s most attractive destinations catching up on missed television shows and blockbuster movies seems intriguing – but you also suddenly have the time to read one of those books that’s been on your reading list for months.

And if you haven’t even had the time to start a reading list, we’ll help you find your next great read. Whether you get it off Amazon, buy it on the airport or download it to your kindle, you’ll be prepared for when that screen decides not to work!

Perhaps Mary JO Manzanares’ recent Travel Reading List can inspire the same love and curiosity for the world that she found through books. Here are our favourite reading prompts from her list that can be interpreted in any way you wish. Let it open your mind and enlighten your next journey or perhaps get you in the safari mind-set.

A book published in 2019

A best seller from 2018

A book with a destination in the title

A book set in a destination you want to visit

A book that inspires you to travel

A book on the New York Times Best Seller List

A book with a one-word title

A book that won a literary award

A book set on the continent of Africa

We have chosen our top five classic titles that have come out of Africa. Enhance your next safari with a novel set in your destination – whether it’s a fiction or a true story, set in the past or present. We hope this will encourage you to explore new authors, voices and genres as you travel through unchartered territories, try new cuisines and experience different cultures.

Love, Life, and Elephants 

By Dame Daphne Sheldrick

Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s memoir explores her efforts and dedication to preserving Kenya’s wildlife. The late Dame was known as the “first person to successfully raise new-born elephants”.

I Married Adventure 

By Osa Johnson

In this classic, American couple Osa and Martin Johnson are adventurous filmmakers who recount their journey through Africa in the early 1900’s.

Dark Star safaris

By Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux’s inspiring novel takes us on his overland journey from Cairo to Cape Town only using public transport such as trains, buses, mokoro’s as well as planes, cars and armed convoy. Get to know Africa as well as Paul Theroux through his eyes and discover how the continent had changed.

The Number 1 Ladies detective agency

By Alexander McCall Smith

Precious Ramotswe is Botswana’s first female detective. This enjoyable read novel is the first of seven in The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and will surely put a smile on your face.


I Dreamed of Africa

By Kuki Gallmann

This powerful story introduces the reader to the Italian writer, Kuki Gallmann who had a life-long love and fascination with Africa – starting in her childhood. Visit Kuki in Kenya where at the age of 25, she and her future husband established an expansive farmstead. Let her describe Africa’s beauty to you and journey with her as she navigates 90,000 acres of land, pregnant and alone after the tragic loss of her husband.

Happy reading and blissful travels. Let us know which of these was your favourite read!

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