What do you think of when you think of safari? Lions? Tigers? Khaki vests?
What about books? While reading might not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning your safari, learning about the people, wildlife and landscape of the countries you are traveling through is an essential part of trip preparation, and books should be a part of any packing list – they’ll tuck in nicely beside that khaki vest!
Name What You See. Bring along a good wildlife guide like the Wildlife of East Africa so you can identify the abundant species you encounter as you go. We highly recommend the Safari Companion as well as a good birding guide like The Birds of Botswana.
Get Inspired. Photography books are wonderful ways to picture and plan your trip ahead of time. While they may be too heavy to pack, coffee table books also serve as a great memento upon your return, bringing back the landscapes you explored. Serengeti Spy is one of our favorites, giving a grounds-eye view of the creatures you may encounter when on safari in the Serengeti, while African Air can open a whole new perspective from above.
Go Deeper. Memoirs by travelers who have been there before can be a wonderful way to become intimate with a culture before you arrive. Narratives like Beryl Markham’s classic West with the Night and Ernest Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa or Cry of the Kalahari take you into a country, preparing you for the new sites and sounds of a wildlife safari experience.
For more recommended reading for your East Africa travels, click here.