Books to Read Before You Travel to Tanzania

Books to Read Before You Travel to Tanzania

Oct 6, 2015|Traveler ResourcesWhere we travel| by Jessica Samuelson

Here is a selection of books you may want to consider reading before you journey to Tanzania.

Bradt Safari Guide Northern Tanzania

by Philip Briggs

A compact, practical overview of the history, wildlife and attractions of the Serengeti and surrounding parks, including Zanzibar.

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.

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.

Tanzania Map

by Nelles

A clear, double-sided map with neighboring Rwanda and Burundi.

Northern Tanzania Map

by Ma Company (Tanzania)

A colorful, hand-drawn map at a scale of 1:1.4 million with illustrations of common trees.

Culture Smart! Tanzania

by Quintin Winks

This pocket guide introduces local customs, etiquette and culture.

Lonely Planet Tanzania

by Mary Fitzpatrick

A comprehensive, practical guide to Tanzania featuring maps, a good overview of culture, history and nature and much nuts-and-bolts information on excursions, accommodations and sightseeing.

Say It in Swahili

by Sharifa Zawawi

A palm-size pocket guide to common phrases and expressions.

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.

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 color 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.

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.

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 color photographs alongside Norton’s firsthand accounts of travels in Serengeti National Park, Kenya’s Masai Mara and Ngorongoro over a decades- long career.

African Wildlife

by James Kavanaugh

Slip this laminated foldout guide in your pocket for quick reference in the field.

Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania

by Dale Zimmerman, Donald Turner and David Pearson

Ideal for the Serengeti, this field guide features 124 stunning color plates.

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 color illustrations and maps as its bigger cousin. If you have suggestions for other books we should add to this list, please let us know in the comments!

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