Safari Reading List

Safari Reading List

If you’d like to carry out some research before you join us on safari, or to select some books to bring with you – we provide some ideas below.

Background For Your Safari

African Wildlife
by James Kavanaugh
Slip this laminated fold-out guide in your pocket for quick reference in the field.

Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania
by Dale Zimmerman, Donald Turner and David Pearson

Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals
by Jonathan Kingdon
A convenient compact edition of Kingdon’s gloriously illustrated Field Guide to African Mammals. With abbreviated information on identification, distribution, ecology and conservation status and the same 480 outstanding colour illustrations and maps as its bigger cousin.

Wildlife of East Africa
by Martin B. Withers and David Hosking
This take-along guide to 475 common species of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, trees and flowers of East Africa features full- color photographs with detailed descriptions on facing pages

The Safari Companion
by Richard Estes
An invaluable encyclopedic guide to Africa’s mammals by a noted scientist. Written with the typical safari-goer in mind, this perennial bestseller includes black-and-white drawings, an overview of each group and in-depth information.

Wildlife Photography, On Safari With Your DSLR
by Uwe Skrzypczak
Skrzypczak includes chapters on equipment, technique, composition and wildlife in this practical guide, loaded with striking images of the wildlife of Ngorongoro, the Serengeti and the Masai Mara.

Say It in Swahili
by Sharifa Zawawi
A palm-size pocket guide to common phrases and expressions.

The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior
by Ole Saitoti
Bridging several worlds with tremendous grace, Saitoti looks back on his life among the Maasai, both as spokesperson for his tribe and as one of the first Maasai safari guides.

Green Hills of Africa
by Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway paints the true story of his ramblings on safari in this classic, exquisitely written tale of hunting around Lake Manyara, which includes some of the best writing on the land itself and original pencil drawings.

Africa, A Biography of the Continent
by John Reader
With the ease of a practiced journalist, Reader weaves a masterful and lively tale of the continent, from ancient cultures to modern times. Both authoritative and informal, this is a splendid introduction to all of Africa.

The Scramble for Africa
by Thomas Pakenham
Absorbing and meticulously researched, this in-depth history of the Victorian land grab in Africa includes excellent portraits of the egomaniacal personalities who overran the continent.

Missing Links, In Search of Human Origins
by John Reader
Reader (Africa, Biography of a Continent) traces the history of palaeoanthropology in this masterful account of science, the fossil record and the changing understanding our place on Earth. With 75 colour photographs of key fossils.

North of South, An African Journey
by Shiva Naipaul
A sharp portrait of Africa, circa 1979. A brilliant and provocative observer, Naipaul meditates on the various peoples he encounters in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. The best, most insightful thing we’ve read about race relations in Africa.

Out of Africa
by Isak Dinesen
The perennially best-selling tale of a naive young woman who leaves Denmark for East Africa, Dinesen’s (AKA Karen Blixen) autobiography draws us into life on a struggling coffee plantation. It’s a moving story inspired by a love for Kenya and its people. Includes the novella Shadows on the Grass.

The Tree Where Man Was Born
by Peter Matthiessen
A classic portrait of East Africa, enthralling in its detail on nature and daily life. Includes Maasai, Ngorongoro, the Kenyan highlands and Mathiessen’s field trips, safaris and adventures in the Serengeti.

West with the Night
by Beryl Markham and Sara Wheeler
Beryl Markham evokes the landscapes, people and wildlife of East Africa in engrossing detail in this classic memoir of amazing adventures as a bush pilot in 1930s Kenya. A Longitude favorite. This new edition includes an introduction by the daring Sara Wheeler. If you haven’t read this book, whether or not you are going on Safari, you are in for a treat.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro
by Ernest Hemingway
Set in Africa, this collection of 10 prime Hemingway stories includes not just the famous title story but also The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, a chilling masterpiece about an American couple on a big game safari.

Serengeti, The Eternal Beginning
by Boyd Norton
Featuring 250 exquisite colour photographs alongside Norton’s first-hand accounts of travels in Serengeti National Park, Kenya’s Masai Mara and Ngorongoro over a decades- long career.

The most comprehensive online resource available is To find out about wildlife conservation go to, the website of the Tusk Trust. Living with Lions ( will update you on attempts to protect Kenya’s top cats, and Save the Elephants ( is for everyone who wants to put an end to ivory poaching.