good reference books - Kenya and Tanzania safari

Jan 20th, 2003, 11:20 AM
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good reference books - Kenya and Tanzania safari

My husband and I are going on safari in June to Kenya and Tanzania. I would really appreciate suggestions for good wildlife guides particularly, and also any other suggestions for useful reading material so we are a bit prepared for the experience.

A previous poster recommended the National Audobon Society Guide to African Wildlife in their trip report - is this a good field reference guide?

Any suggestions as to good guidebooks or general reference books about Kenya and Tanzania?

(we both have birthdays coming up, so it seems a good time to find out!)

Jan 20th, 2003, 03:06 PM
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Hi Nicole,
The Audubon book is excellent, in addition for looking at animal behavior I would recommend The Safari Companion A Guide to Watching African Mammals by Richard Estes. Has line drawings explaining posture and group behavior 4 to 10 pages per animal. Also Insight Guides East African Wildlife. As far as country guides, I just went to a large bookstore and picked out the ones that appealed to me, there are many I ended up with Nelles Guide Tanzania and Spectrum Guide to Tanzania. A book on Swahili is good to have also, I liked The Rough Guide to Swahili - more for fun than need - everyone spoke English. I also checked the library for both travel guides, and books with more history just for background. There are even mysteries novels with aqfrican theme, let me know if you want more titles.
Jan 21st, 2003, 07:15 PM
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Hi Nicole! First off, have a wonderful trip to Kenya and Tanzania. I agree with Darlene's suggestions, but I would also offer the following: "Lonely Planet East Africa" and "Africa's Top Wildlife Countries" by Mark Nolting. I found those two books extremely helpful with not only the planning of our trip, but preparing us for what we would see. I wish I was going in June!! Alas, I have to wait until 2004 to return. Have a fantastic and memorable journey.
Jan 22nd, 2003, 03:29 AM
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As a follow-up question to the previous post, I would welcome hearing recommendations for a book on birds of East Africa. We made the mistake of passing up opportunity to purchase while in shops at park entrances and now .......
Jan 22nd, 2003, 07:57 AM
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Hi Dick,
I just looked through all my materials on African Bird books. I have included a list from Longitude Books which the most complete that I could find. While we were in Tanzania we picked up the Collins book, it was very complete and it was the one that our guide used. That way, he could say - it's page 23 number 6 and we could follow along. It also had range maps for East Africa. It was excellent for identification, however, it had nothing on behavior, or habitat, so if you are interested in that I would say that one of the others might be good. There were other books at the lodge gift shops that we stayed at, but because of the weight I didn't get any others. The Audubon book also has some birds, with additional information, but it was not very complete (for birds).

A Photographic Guide to the Birds of East Africa
¥ David Richards ¥ FIELD GUIDE ¥ An handy pocket field guide
to the common birds of East Africa. (EAF17, $15.95)

Birds of Eastern Africa, Collins Illustrated Checklist
¥ Ber Van Perlo ¥ FIELD GUIDE ¥ The most convenient reference
available for easy identification in the field. (EAF40, $35.00)

Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania ¥ Dale Zimmerman ¥ FIELD
GUIDE ¥ The definitive handbook to all of Kenya's 1,080 bird
species. (EAF21, $75.00)

Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania, Field Guide Edition
¥ Dale Zimmerman ¥ Donald Turner ¥ David Pearson ¥ FIELD GUIDE
¥ A compact edition of the definitive, four-pound handbook
featuring the same stunning color plates. (FG39, $29.95)

Jan 22nd, 2003, 08:00 AM
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Address for Longitude Books which didn't post correctly above is
Jan 22nd, 2003, 08:04 AM
Posts: n/a I don't know why this won't post. I am not an employee, just a book lover.
Jan 22nd, 2003, 11:28 AM
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Thanks Darlene. Have some $$ from Christmas and will check into your recommendations. Again, thanks.
Jan 22nd, 2003, 01:09 PM
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Thanks to Darlene and Susan for excellent suggestions. I think most of them will either be bought, checked out of the library, or browsed through while in the library over the next few months.

Thanks also Dick for providing useful info (again!) this time in the form of a follow-on question - I am tempted to track down one of the bird guides also.

Darlene - my husband and I both read lots of fiction, so african-themed mystery novels might be a fun option. (perhaps as reading material for the long flights, if not before). If you have a few in mind, I would appreciate titles/author suggestions.

Already excited about going - hopefully this kind of preparation will make 5 months go quickly!
Jan 22nd, 2003, 04:00 PM
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Nicole, you are most welcome. Did my e-mail with pictures ever reach you? We have been experiencing problems with our server. Dick
Jan 23rd, 2003, 05:14 AM
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These were really good, and take place on safari, but are now hard to find.
Deadly Safari by Karin McQuillan, 1990
ElephantÕs Graveyard, by Karin McQuillan, 1993
The Cheetah Chase, by Karin McQuillan, 1994

Murder At Government House, by Elspeth Huxley, 1937
Murder on Safari, by Elspeth Huxley, 1939 & 1966

These seem to be available
Mrs. Pollifax On Safari, by Dorothy Gilman, 1976, 1977
Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer, by Dorothy Gilman, November 1996

and then mysteries taking place in Botswana: Tese are simple but fun, they have just been reissued in the US
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith, 1998
Tears of the Giraffe, by Alexander McCall Smith
Morality for Beautiful Girls, by Alexander McCall Smith, 2001
Jan 23rd, 2003, 09:41 AM
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Hi Nicole! Darlene's recommendations are all good. I would just add "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver. That story takes place in 1959 in the Belgian Congo. For non-fiction, give "Jambo, Mama" by Melinda Atwood a try. It's about an American woman who decides to live in Kenya. Both are thoroughly enjoyable.
Jun 21st, 2003, 09:21 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 81
Stanley's (the explorer) Through the Dark Continent makes for good pre-trip pre-reading and of course there is the classic autobiographical Out of Africa by Isak Dineson (aka Karen Blixen) who farmed coffee in the Ngong hills outside Nairobi 1913 to 1930-something.
On the guidebook list, I highly recommend and have just purchased copies of African Safari Journal (Mark Nolting) for all my traveling companions on our upcoming trip. I perused it at Barnes and Noble (16.95 US) but it was much cheaper through (11.87). It is a note-taker's/list-maker's dream book, with a wildlife identification section and pages to write where/when/what animals you saw, your complete itinerary, a record of your film rolls, packing list, etc. etc. etc.
I also echo the recommendation of National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife - beautiful photos grouped by animal type so you can easily see the sometimes subtle variations between different species of gazelles, zebras and such.
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