Save Big On Open-Box & Pre-owned: Buy "Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown” from Amazon Warehouse Deals and save 69% off the $16.95 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all Open-Box & Pre-owned offers from Amazon Warehouse Deals.
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown Paperback – April 5, 2004
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Theroux travels with Africans in conditions which are unspeakable for those of us accustomed to jet travel, high speed trains and air-conditioned vehicles. He meets with many of Africa's literary icons, numerous dignitaries, and contacts from time spent in Africa 40 years previously. He is also not afraid to use his renown to gain access and audience where the rest of us would have no chance. Combine these factors with his considerable literary skill, and the result is an unrivalled publication.
His descriptions (notably the sunset on the East African plains) are breathtaking without being long-winded. He is able to contrast this with descriptions of squalor, hardship, the disintegrated infrastructure of the towns, and the transport used to travel between them . The various colleagues and friends he visits along the way, including the vice-president of Uganda, represent Africa's intellectual and political elite. Mostly, these people are enlightened, pro-active and deeply aware of the problems facing their countries. It is encouraging to read their discourse, as it is so easy to dismiss Africa as the stereotype of disenfranchised paupers governed by despotic tyrants.
His time spent in Africa during the 1960's was a time of liberation.Read more ›
Traveling alone by cattle truck, "chicken bus," bush train, matatu, rental car, ferry, and even dugout canoe, he tries to blend in as much as possible, buying clothing at secondhand stalls in public markets, carrying only one small bag, and avoiding the tourist destinations. He is an observant and insightful writer, and his descriptions of his travails are so vivid the reader can experience them vicariously. His interviews with residents are perceptive and very revealing of the political and social climate of these places, and his character sketches of Sister Alexandra from Ethiopia (a nun who "has loved") and of two charming Ethiopian traders, a father and son, who take Theroux to the Kenyan border, are delightful.
For most of the countries of Africa, however, he has no kind words. Kenya is "one of the most corrupt...countries in Africa," everything in Kampala, Uganda, has changed for the worse, and in Tanzania "there was only decline--simple linear decrepitude, and in some villages collapse." At the U.S. embassy in Malawi, he finds an "overpaid, officious, disingenuous, blame-shifting...embassy hack" and, in pique, he wonders, "Had she, like me, been abused, terrified, stranded, harassed, cheated, bitten, flooded, insulted, exhausted, robbed, browbeaten, poisoned?Read more ›
Paul Theroux was in the Peace Corps in Africa in the early 1960s until he was ejected from the Corps for giving a member of an opposition political party a ride to neighboring Uganda. That same friend--who later became Malawi's ambassador to the United Nations--got Theroux a job at the college where he had become headmaster. Theroux stayed there as a professor until leaving Africa in the late '60's.
Having left so much of Africa hopefully poised for independence and rebirth, he returns to travel through one ravaged kleptocracy after the next; countries where the most common greeting to foreigners has become "give me money." And why shouldn't they expect another handout? Aid programs abound, pouring billions of dollars, or francs, or marks into countries where the people seem unable to lift a finger to help themselves. Everything, everywhere, is filthy. Foreign doctors work in hospitals for low salaries that African doctors refuse to accept. Theroux is approaching 60 years old on this trip, a milestone that so few Africans reach that many people cannot conceive of the number being connected with age. What happened here?
The saddest chapter in "Dark Star Safari" is when he visits the college where he taught in Malawi.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wish I was there. What a magnificent adventure! Theroux transports you as few travel writers can. Highly recommend.Published 1 month ago by margot
This is a terrible book, riddled with errors. As a South African and Afrikaans speaker I can tell you Paul Theroux got just about everything about South Africa wrong. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ronee Michelle Robinson
A great read like all of his books. A little dated but most of his observation still apply.Published 1 month ago by Sheltie Man WV
Mr Theroux's journey takes a look at the Africa that most tourists would never get to see, as he arrogantly points out several times throughout the book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mungo__Park
Another great travel book by a master of the genre. Traveling alone, as he usually does, and avoiding the tourist routes, Theroux endures miserable hotels, impossible roads,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Richard McMahon
Good book, very informative and you feel like you are traveling xxwith Paul Theroux. You really get an education about the places where he travels!Published 2 months ago by Belle
It was the first of his travel books I read. Not just a travel book. It is beautifully written and hard to put down. Read morePublished 2 months ago by email@example.com