New Kenya Guide Book

May 23rd, 2006, 12:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
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New Kenya Guide Book

I'm not sure if it's acceptable to mention Lonely Planet on a Fodor's website, but Lonely Planet just published the new 2006 guide book on Kenya. It's very good and very comprehensive.
simbakubwa is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 12:55 PM
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Thanks, simbakubwa. Also, I noticed the new Bradt for Tanzania will be available in August. There is a 2006 Bradt for Northern Circuit and Zan out as of this month.
Leely is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 09:09 PM
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Thanks Leely,

Will keep a look out for the bradt,.
May 24th, 2006, 02:04 AM
Join Date: May 2006
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Being in a hurry and needing quickly a guide I bought this new Lonely Planet for Kenya.
As things look like almost done (the holiday is planned and we'll be in Kenya in august on the following itinerary: Nairobi - Amboseli- Laikipia - Lake Baringo - Lake Nakuru - Masai Mara - Lamu) I am now looking for some books to read more about this places.
I would also like to read about people, life in Kenya, animals and birds.
Please let me know what books helped you with this.
Ile is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 05:37 AM
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I think you Fodorites should collaborate together and write a new Fodor guide on Kenya. You are so knowledgable it is almost scary sometimes.

stakerk is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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Asante Simbakubwa.

Here are some books, mostly about wildlife and traditionally living tribes in Kenya (and Tanzania).

No Man’s Land by George Monbiot

In the Dust of Kilimanjaro by David Western (lots about Amboseli)

The Safari Companion by Richard D. Estes

The Shadow of Kilimanjaro by Rick Ridgeway

Coming of Age With Elephants by Joyce Poole

Facing Mt Kenya by Jomo Kenyatta

The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior by Saitoti ole Tepelit

Maasai by Saitoti ole Tepelit and Carol Beckwith

A Primate’s Memoir by Robert M. Sapolsky

Imperial Reckoning – The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya by Caroline Elkins

The Lions of Tsavo by Bruce D. Patterson

Out of Africa by Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen

The White Masai by Corinne Hofmann

Nyamera is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 12:52 AM
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Hello lle,

here are a few books that you might enjoy as pre-holiday reading.

Joy Adamson's Born free, Living free and Forever free are always a good read. Also, the novels of Australian author Frank Coates, Tears of the Maasai, Beyond Mombasa and In Search of Africa are all set in Kenya. Out of Africa is a classic, while the three safari mysteries by Karen McQuillan, Deadly safari, Cheetah Chase and Elephant graveyard are all light reads as is Death in Kenya (Lake Naivasha) by M M Kaye. These are all hard to get but should be available from antiquarian booksellers.

I have read some wonderful wildlife memoirs such as Coming of Age with elephants by Joyce Poole, The Sound of thunder by Katy Paine and anything by Jonathan Scott (Big Cat Diary) but particularly The Leopard's Tale and Lions.

For memoirs of life in Kenya I have enjoyed the books by Kuki Gallman (I Dreamed of Africa, Night of the lions) set in Laikipia and Tick bite fever (growing up in 1960's Nairobi) by David Bennun which was laugh out loud in some places.

I have also enjoyed Mirella Ricciardi's book Family Saga (she is Oria Douglas-Hamilton's sister) and her collections of photographs that include Vanishing Africa and African visions.

Happy reading.
Treepol is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 05:15 AM
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I shall dedicate this message to one book, a MUST for all well-fed G-8 folks:

by Walter Rodney
Heinemann Kenya. Nairobi
printed on cheap paper, buy it on Nation Bookstore at the Stanley or at Prestige Bookstore on Mama Ngina street

alll the best

aby is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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Posts: 1,252
I also bought the new Lonely Planet today - only it and Insight are available in Bangkok, so even just a new Lonely Planet edition is a bit of an event for me! I don't actually need it because I think I have all the information I need for the next year from here (especially) and elsewhere on the Web but I just love books and choice is limited.

The new Lonely Planet seems quite an improvement on the old one (they have anew writer on the team who seems very good) and there are a lot of new accommodation ideas suggested that I wasn't aware of. I noticed in particular that it is much more helpful for the genuinely independent traveller wanting an inexpensive trip without a group budget safari. Unfortunately of course not everything has been updated with a personal visit and I noticed a couple of retained dodgy assertions already...... maybe they put them in to add some "surprises" to people's travel.

My only current recommendation for reading about Kenya is Wilfred Thesiger's "Kenya Days" but it is not exactly a Kenya primer since old Wilfred wasn't shy to substitute opinion for fact and had some very unusual perspectives.
kimburu is offline  
May 26th, 2006, 09:36 PM
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personally i prefer non-LP books
IMO Rough Guide, Footprints & Handbook r better (not only in Kenya)

LP has a lot of info for backpackers - most Fodorites r not ("Rough" is even better in this field)

as for other books i like Nyamera's list but would like to add a few words

# Facing Mt Kenya by Jomo Kenyatta
this is a very special book - an anthropological study of the anthropologist own tribe ! (well, modern anthropology doesn't know how to define a "tribe" but Kikuyu call themselves a tribe though)
# the books about Maasai r photographic albums, but the text is excellent (not only footnotes to the photos)

# The Safari Companion by Richard D. Estes
highly recommended guide.
It is a short version of "The behaviour guide to African Mammals" by the same author.
Still it is a guide - if you'd like more "fluent" reading (not by species as in the guide) i recommend:
Cynthia Moss - Portraits in the wild - Animal Behaviour in East Africa.
Moss made long term research of Elephants in Amboseli. She\s written also 'Elephant Memories - 13 years in the life of an elephant family'

those who like Joy Adamson books - she's written also about a leopard & Cheetah - 'Queen of Shaba' & 'Pippa's Challenge' (if i remember correctly)

happy reading

aby is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 02:11 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 34
Thanks for all the suggestions! Looks like I'll have nice weekends from now on woth all the books you recomended.

I couldn't agree more with you; I wasn't able to find so much info in any book/guide as I found here on this forum.

thanks for your list. By the way, your trip report is great!

Treepol and Aby,
the books in your lists (some of them I've already read, but not many) seems to be exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again!

The only "sad" thing is that living in France means that I must order everything on the internet; I miss big bookshops...

Have a nice weekend,
Ile is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 08:30 AM
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though not set in Kenya, these books are excellent reading:
Cry of the Kalahari
Eye of the Elephant and just released
Secrets of the Savanna
all written by Mark and Delia Owens
matnikstym is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 09:10 AM
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I read Karen McQuillan’s books in Spanish, years before my first trip to Kenya – and I spent a lot of time looking for a 4th book. Maybe you can find them in French.

I’m looking for some good new novels about life in Kenya, written by Kenyans or people who know something about normal life in Kenya, but I can’t find any. Maybe I should reread Devil on the Cross by Ngugi wa Thiong'o to see if I feel less stupid now when I know a little more about Kenya.

Now I’ll try not to order The Behaviour Guide to African Mammals and Portraits in the Wild.

This thread also made me discover a new camp in the Mara – Nyumbu Camp.

Nyamera is offline  
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