Our personal favorites:
1. Mark and Delia Owens - Cry of the Kalahari [a modern classic to let us know that it is still possible to have new adventures. This combination of adventure and scientific discover will probably teach you more about Africa and wildlife any other book. Although they earned the enmity of the Botswana authorities for this book this book has done more for Botswana tourism than anything else published.]
2. Mark and Delia Owens - Eye of the Elephant [a sequal to the Cry of the Kalahari is impossible, but this is still interesting. Takes place in North Luangwa]
3. Laurens Van Der Post - read anything but particularly The Lost World of the Kalahari, The Heart of the Hunter and Last Testament to the Bushmen. Written by a man who grew up in Africa, was raised by a bushwoman, was a personal friend of Carl Jung's, is a veteran in the practical aspects of adventure in the Bush, and is one of the wisest men of our age.
4. Shawn Varty and Molly Buchanan - I Speak of Africa The Story of Londolozi Game Reserve - lots of animal anecdotes and an interesting history/perspetive on the toil and tears of African wildlife management. Great pictures from one of South Africa's great game lodges.
5. Fredrick Courtney Selous - African Nature Reminiscences [an old classic. The scientific eye of Selous marks him as just as superb a guide today as in his own time].
6. Bror, Baron Von Blixen Finecke - African Hunter [an inestimable classic from one of the original great white hunters]
7. Karen Ross - Okavango, Jewel of the Kalahari
8. Sir Percy Fitzpatrick - Jock of the Bushveld - This tale of trekking supplies accross the African bush in South Africa was written by a man who became a right hand man to one of the Randlords.
9. Ernest Hemingway - True at First Light [a new posthumous publication] and The Green Hills of Africa [his classic] - no one has a better eye for Africa, or can describe it or its affect on the human spirit as well as Papa. If you want to go on a walking safari, read Hemingway.
10. Beryl Markham - West With the Night - Great descriptions of safaris with Bror Blixen
11. Isak Dinesen - Out of Africa [her lyric descriptions of safaris and African life are superb].
12. Bartle Bull, Safari: A Chronicle of Adventure - Rollicking tales by the master of the genre. Also Cafe on the Nile and White Rhino Hotel.
13. Derek and Beverly Joubert, Hunting With the Moon : The Lions of Savuti. also, The Africa Diaries: An Illustrated Memoir of Life in the Bush.
Veteran wildlife photographers and moviemakers, this couple are involved in Wilderness Safari's Vumuru and Duba Plain's Camp
1. Jamie Uys, ANIMALS ARE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE this documentary of wildlife in Africa is fun and interesting including wonderful shots of the Namib desert and the Okavango Delta. One amusing scene shows elephants staggering around drunk after eating naturally fermenting marula fruit.
2. Jamie Uys, THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY
1. Christian Jacq, Ramses Series, while many critics disparage the work, it is very easy reading and will give you an excellent sense of the culture, more or less painlessly.
1. Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa [the standard for birds]
Kenneth Newman Newman's Birds of Southern Africa [more portable than Roberts]
2. Lonely Planet Guides [although written with a conscious eye towards the budget traveler, these guys think like travelers, not like "destination marketing specialists"] e.g. 1) Zimbabwe Botswana and Namibia 2.) Kenya 3.) East Africa
3. Michelin Maps of Southern Africa and East Africa
Recommendations from others
1. C. Stuart Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa
2. A Brush with the Wild - Paul Augustinus
3. N. Nolting - Africa's Top Wildlife Countries [overrated - an uninspired catalog of places]
4. John McNutt & Leslie Boggs Running Wild [about Africa's Wild Dogs]
5. Botswana Tourist Map - Beck
6. V. Roodt, Guide to the Common Trees of the Okavango
7. Mike Main; Kalahari - Life's Variety in Dune and Delta
8. Karen Ross, Okavango - The Jewel of the Kalahari
9. Anthony Bannister and Peter Johnson, Okavango - Sea of land, Land of Water and The Bushmen
10. Estes, R., The Safari Companion : A Guide to Watching African Mammals Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, and Primates , Behaviour Guide to African Mammals
11. Balfour, D, This is Botswana
12. Balfour, D., Chobe, Africa's Unspoilt Wilderness
13. Kuki Gallman, I Dreamed of Africa [This is a great but very sad story of this woman's hardships and sacrifices to make a home in the Laikipia region]
14. Readers Digest - Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa.
15. Bosman & Hall-Martin, Elephants of Africa
16. Tim Beddows, Safari Style
17. Berlitz Swahili Phrase Book - Bear in mind that Swahili is used principally in Kenya and Tanzania and will be of little use in Southern Africa
18. George Schaller, Serengeti Lion
19. Longing for Darkness: collected by Peter Beard
20. Jane Goodall, Through a Window
21. Ole Siatoti, The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior:
22. Dian Fossey, Gorillas in the Mist
23. Frans Lanting, Christine Eckstrom(Editor), Okavango, Africa's Last Eden