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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review: Encircle Africa: Around Africa by Public Transport by Ian M. Packham

Title: Encircle Africa: Around Africa by Public Transport
Author: Ian M. Packham
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Bawdy Zebra
Publish Date: November 14, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this didn't affect my review.






What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Encircle Africa: Around Africa by Public Transport is the account of Ian’s attempt to complete the first solo and unassisted circumnavigation of Africa using public transport. The decision to travel using transport only available to local populations ensured immersion with populations across the continent. It led Ian to cross Africa riding in battered minibuses and bush taxis, on the backs of flatbed trucks, over rivers in dugout canoes, and along the coast of South Africa in a van delivering freshly-made meat pies.

Travelling 25,000 miles (40,000 km) – equivalent to circumnavigating the Earth at the equator – with no communications but an old mobile phone, and all his kit for more than a year of travel hauled onto his back, Ian was as reliant on some of the one billion people that call Africa home as he was on his own wits.

Lasting more than 13 months his journey took Ian along the coast of 31 countries, where he discovered for himself the daily struggle of living in and travelling through Africa. Starting his journey in Gibraltar before crossing to Tangier in Morocco, he travelled westward, experiencing Africa at its most raw and real.

He is forced to fight off thieves in Senegal, is mistaken for an undercover UN official during Liberia’s presidential election, refused entry into the Democratic Republic of Congo, and while in Sudan becomes perhaps the only person teargassed trying to visit a museum. Travelling during an electrifying year for Africa, he is one of the first tourists to visit the Libyan capital after the revolution that wrenched Colonel Gaddafi from power."


My Two Cents:

"Encircle Africa" is a travel memoir of Ian Packham's travels through the continent of Africa. Packham decides to travel throughout Africa using only public transportation. He decides to stick to the shore of Africa and visit all of the countries around Africa's edges. If you are in armchair traveler like me, you will enjoy this book!

Each chapter of the book takes on a couple different countries throughout Africa. I really liked how Ian was able to give us a little bit of information about the feeling of each place along with some of the history of each area. There are many countries within Africa that I don't know much about so it was interesting to get a first-hand point of view of what those countries are like. I found myself wishing that some of the chapters were longer because each of the places seem so interesting. This book really only gives you a very brief taste of each place.

Overall, I found the writing of this book to be very good. The author definitely knows how to bring the people of all of the different countries in Africa he visits to life. There were a couple grammar and punctuation issues with this book; however, I chalk this up to this book being a debut book. With a little more fine-tuning, This author will make a very good travel author!


  



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