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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Must read books for African travelers

If this is your first Africa vacation in East Africa you may be interested in any literature that exists on Kenya. With the advent of the internet it is easy to simply ‘google’ and get information on what to expect. If you want to do more than browsing though, I would suggest you that you get a copy of the books listed below.

Tutorials on the language

Though English is the official language, most of the East Africans speak Swahili. Getting up to speed on a few Swahili word can help you immerse yourself in the conversation with ever friendly people.Common greeting like Habari yako? ( “How are you?”) can be a great ice breaker.

Beginner's Swahili (Beginner's Guides) by John Indakwa, Daudi Ballali, Eliane Taddei

Guide on African safari attractions
The Dive Sites of Kenya and Tanzania by Anton Koornhof
East Africa Handbook by Michael Hodd
Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania by Dale A. Zimmerman, Donald A. Turner, David J. Pearson (Contributor), Ian Willis (Illustrator)

Famous Africa memoirs

Out of Africa By Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
Out of Africa is an account of Karen Blixen’s life in Africa from 1914 to 1931. Her legacy still lives on in Nairobi’s Karen Blixen Museum and Masai Mara’s Karen Blixen Camp.

African Nights by Kuki Gallman
Gallmann's collection of true stories of her life in the Kenyan Highlands reads like a novel. One story flows into the next as Gallmann writes of her interactions with the Kenyan people, other European farmers, and African animals. Central to the stories are the customs and rituals of the Kenyan.

I Dreamed of Africa
by Kuki Gallman
Kuki Gallman came to Kenya in 1972, and settled with her husband on a ranch on the Laikipia Plateau at the edge of the Great Rift Valley. In this memoir she recounts her personal tragedy and life on the ranch.
Ms Gallman still lives in Kenya and recently opened her house and grounds to visitors. You can read more about her two camps  Mukutan Retreat and Makena’s Hills Tented Camp on our website.

Born Free, The Full Story – By Joy Adamson
This is a true story of a woman who raises a wild lioness, the very famous Elsa. Another amazing story that should be on every Kenya traveler and animal lovers must read list.

The White Masai
- Corinne Hofmann

The Flame Trees of Thika by Elsbeth Huxley
The Flame Trees of Thika is based on Elspeth Huxley’s experiences growing up in a coffee farm in colonial Kenya. The book was made into a movie starring Hayley Mills and shot at Lewa Downs, in Kenya.