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Book Review: Travels in the Kalahari by Roxanne Reid

19 July 2013

READ IT: Travels in the Kalahari, by Roxanne Reid

Soon the sun was beginning to set and we were back on our deck, chicken on the braai, wine in our glasses and lightning flashing in the distance. The rain came after we were in bed, kicking up a colossal din against the iron roof for ten minutes before easing to a light drizzle. We dozed, the sound of howling jackals faint in the distance.

Travels in the Kalahari is more a recollection than a story – writer Roxanne Reid lets readers share in her memories of travels through the “land of thirst” — a place she’s clearly passionate about.

Written in conversational style, the book is not a scientific record of sightings nor a single story about a journey. Chapter for chapter, it reads like a lighthearted guide gleaned from personal and overheard experience, with amusing tales, shocking events and interesting people.

It’s a great read, whether or not you have been to the Kalahari, as her love for the area is infectious and made me long to go back.

Reid has been to the Kalahari more than two dozen times. Her experiences range from getting to know the mind of a tracker, driving along one of the Kgalagadi National Park’s 4×4 trails to a close look at the life of a meerkat.

This is Reid’s third book, and it is highly recommended for would-be Kalahari travellers. It would make a great gift for friends you’re hoping to infect with a love for the vast, red dunes and intense quiet that is the Kalahari.