Forty years ago, Theroux travelled to Africa as a teacher in the Malawi bush. Now he is on safari through desert, down rivers and across lakes, across Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. He takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances. To get a real measure of the state of affairs in each country, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries and tourists.
It is a journey of discovery and of rediscovery - of the unknown and the unexpected - charting places unknown and those he knew as a young teacher. In the Swahili language, the word "safari" simply means "journey", and this - to Theroux - is the ultimate journey. It is a trip where chance encounter is everything, where departure and arrival times are an irrelevance, where contentment can be found balancing on top of a truck in the middle of nowhere.
Paperback 496. Published 2004.