Zanzibar Books

We often get asked which books we would recommend. In association with and , we are happy to suggest a hand-picked selection of travel guides, reference books, travelogues and music. All titles relate to Zanzibar, Tanzania, East Africa, or Africa as a whole. Please click on the relevant title/s for more details and ordering information.

Swahili for the Broken-hearted
Peter Moore

A week after breaking up with the girl next door – his girlfriend and travelling companion through Central America – Peter Moore heads off to Africa to lose himself for a while. In the grand tradition of 19th-century scoundrels, explorers and romantics, Africa strikes him as the ideal place to find solitude and anonymity in the face of a personal crisis. What follows is Peter’s journey from one end of the Dark Continent to the other.

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Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town
Paul Theroux

“Safari” in Swahili means a journey, typically a long one. In “Dark Star Safari”, Theroux’s itinerary is African, from Cairo to Cape Town – down the Nile, through Sudan and Ethiopia, to Kenya, Uganda and beyond to South Africa. Journeying by train, boat and cattle truck, he passes through some of the most beautiful – and often life-threatening – landscapes on earth. This is travel as discovery, but it is in part a sentimental journey. Almost 40 years ago, Theroux first travelled in Africa as a teacher in the Malawi bush. Now he stops at his old school, sees former students and revisits his African friends. Seeing first-hand what has happened in Africa in those four decades of independence, Theroux is obsessively curious and wittily observant.

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Kilimanjaro: to the Roof of Africa
Audrey Salkeld

A British prime minister in Queen Victoria’s England once dismissed Kilimanjaro as “that mountain behind Zanzibar with the unrememberable name.” Today, there can be few who don’t recognize its most beautiful and evocative name. The climb up Kilimanjaro has been likened to a journey from the equator to the poles, passing as it does through zone after zone of climatic change, from tropical forest to frozen desert. And Kilimanjaro’s human history is no less rich than its natural history. In Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa, accomplished mountaineer and writer Audrey Salkeld presents a comprehensive and awe-inspiring portrait of this noble mountain and its myriad facets. Published in conjunction with the release of David Breashears’s stunning new IMAX® film about Kilimanjaro, this book is an extraordinary journey to the roof of Africa.

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North of South: An African Journey
Shiva Naipaul

The author tells of his journey to Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique and sets out to answer the question – what do terms like “liberation”, “revolution”, “African socialism” actually mean to the people who define and use them? Naipaul is immensely skillful in his interweaving of his own feelings and impression with those of the people he meets on his African travels. Naipaul shows a special talent for grasping the dilemmas faced by both African nations and African peoples.

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