Kenya books

On this site you can search and find hundreds of books related to Kenya or East Africa. We try to discuss and review as many as possible. You will find travel guides about Kenya , maps of Mount Kenya,Mount Kilimanjaro and the National Parks in East Africa , Diving sites on the East African coast,books about Kenyan history,Safari guides , Kenyan story tellers, political books, personal books ,wild life guides , basically you might find everything which has ever been published about Kenya and East Africa  or from Kenyans , the website is far too small to discuss and review every book which has been published ( but we will add new reviews every month), so please use the search facilities provided and scroll down . If you want to recommend a new book related to Kenya or East Africa , just let us know ( email on the bottom of the page ). You also can buy books online here in association with . Please support our project ( about us you can read at the bottom of the page ) : If you want to buy a book anyway , please buy it from this website and you help to secure jobs for  Kenyans . Thank you . Have fun to surf around . 


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An eminent scholar and nationalistic leader presents a study of African tribal life as represented in his own Kikuyu society.Jomo Kenyatta provides a detailed insider description of the Kikuyu peoples of Kenya. The book takes a structural functionalist approach to anthropology, providing a very detailed description covering virtually all aspects of tribal life. A native Kikuyu,son of a medicine man, Kenyatta reveals his wonderful anthropological ability in a storybook fashion. A must read for anyone interested in learning about African culture. This book is a must read for anyone interested in Kikuyu culture

I found the Rough Guide far better [than the Lonely Planet guide] with more up-to-date info.This is pretty much everything a guide book should be; plenty of detail on the mainstream stuff (where to stay and eat in Nairobi, how to organise a safari in the Maasai Mara), but plenty also on the areas off the beaten track. Best of all, the book is unfailingly relevant, avoiding the usual pages of filler on the blindingly obvious. The wealth of background information and the dry, witty style are welcome bonuses. The best recomendation I can give this book is that it quite simply made our holiday much more enjoyable than it would have been.We have visited Kenya twice using the Rough Guide both to select safari and resort destinations, and as our "bible" on arrival. The descriptions of the regions, people, scenery, wildlife and accommodation are without equal - we own several other publications on Kenya but none has such detailed and accurate information. The author's deep personal knowledge (and great affection) for Kenya shines through in his observations on the political, social and cultural life of the country and his wry humour always makes it a pleasure to dip into the book while travelling around.

During one of our many breakdowns on safari in August 2001 we were given a lift by a group of ex-pat residents travelling from Nairobi to the Masai Mara. We clambered into their vehicle, our copy of the Rough Guide in hand, and noticed one occupant of the bus clutching the same edition. Our remark that it was good elicited the immediate response "oh, it's definitely the best" - and this from a "local".

Kenya is 2.5 times the size of the United Kingdom. This travel survival guide contains information required for a journey round Kenya. It provides various maps and indispensable advice to help you on your way. THE book for Kenya - great for reading up on culture, tribes and animals found in each region. You will always have some lcoal knowledge however remote the spot your in!! No matter where I go I always put pride in knowing about the specific country's history, culture, people, traditions, and daily life. For planning purposes I had acquired Lonely Planet Kenya but I was positively surprised to find out that this guide book contains a chapter which gives a comprehensive description of the above subjects as well as economics, politics, etc. It helped to give me a good understanding of the country and the foundation for interesting conversations with the local people. The description of how to get around in Kenya also came in handy. In this chapter you will find information about all means of transportation. If you are in for travelling by camel on a safari, you will be able to get good advice in this book! Since most people going to Kenya go there because of the game safaris, this is a subject which is described thoroughly from a practical point of view. You can read about the game reserves and what you can expect to see there. There is even illustrations of the game but I could have used more illustrations. For this purpose I will recommend that you acquire a field book about the game and birds in East Africa. If you are to stay overnight in the game reserves, you can find information about the facilities and price levels of the various hotels and lodges in the game reserves. Overall, you shouldn't worry about bringing LP Kenya as your travel companion

Cameron Burns presents a detailed guide to t hirty of the majour routes for climbers in the East African mountains of Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya.A great addition to the rucsac when pounding the slopes. Don't pay too much attention to the costs included within text, but do pay attention to the great variety of routes and descriptions contained within the book.This is a great book detailing both Trekking and Climbing routes for Africa's two highest peaks. Written in a very accessible style the book gives very straightforward reviews and comments regarding the most popular routes on each mountain. The excellent black and white photo's are perfect accompaniments for the route descriptions and these are supported by useful topo's. The colour prints are appropriately reserved for general "photo album" shots. The book provides route descriptions all the way from the "normal routes" of both mountains to HVS (American Grade VI) routes encompassing scrambles of various difficulties in between. However, don't assume that this is a book for hard-core mountaineers only; it simply does a good job of explaining all the options available. A useful chapter on preparation includes kit lists (differentiated for Trekkers and Climbers), Maps and Guides available, recommended fitness levels, park regulations, food, travel arrangements, access and mountain health (and what to do when it is waning!). I bought a number of guides to these mountains prior to my first trip to Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya. This book and the Mountain Club of Kenya's excellent Guide to Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro are the only two that are dog-eared and the only two that I would take again.This book probably has the edge in terms of practical use for Trekkers, with the MCK book slightly more focussed towards climbers.Either way, both make excellent companions on your African adventure.

This is the history of the Meru people of Mount Kenya, based on their own traditions, from the earliest times through the colonial period. Many of these tales have been ritually passed down through no fewer than 19 generations; others were remembered by those personally involved. The author gathered them in interviews with more than 100 of the Meru's oldest men and women. The traditions touch on every era of the Meru past. They include narrations, songs, chants and childhood riddles. They tell of a mysterious origin, past enslavement, despairing flight, mountain warriorhood, British conquest, and the fight for freedom. The Meru elders speak of urogi, or witchcraft - the incantations rituals, and potions used to deal with the supernatural aspects of Meru life.


This guide includes a chapter detailing Kenya's history and culture, 24 itineraries and excursions taking in sights ranging from the top wildlife reserves to Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Reserve's coral reef, leisure-time suggestions, and a comprehensive information section packed with essential contact addresses and numbers. It also contains dozens of photographs and numerous maps, including a detailed pull-out map.

This is the life story of one man's journey through life which began in Kenya and took him to London. In telling his story he brings together various experiences he encountered from political unrest to racialism to discrimination. This is as much a story about Kenya as it is about the UK. He recalls his grandparent's work on the Railways and comments on changes in society. It is also about his beliefs and spiritual experiences. Overall he sets out to illustrate how he fared in the mother country after arriving just before the ban was imposed on Asians from Kenya.

In 1914 Karen Blixen went to Kenya to run a coffee farm; its failure in 1931 caused her to return to Denmark where she wrote this classic account of her experiences. A poignant farewell to her beloved farm, this work describes her friendships and her affection for the animals and landscape.I consider Out of Africa to be the best-written portrayal of Africa by a foreign writer. She did a great job in her portrayal, indicating that she was well versed not only with the land, but also with the native African peoples she met and knew as well as their way of life. The fact that Karen respected that way of life made her to have a deep understanding of their customs and lives at a time of colonialism where European settlers lived an exclusive life from the natives and only dealt with them as sources of cheap labor. I could not help recalling other titles set in the colonial era such as DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE and NOWHERE IN AFRICA. However, Karen towered above the others in her unique style of recounting her stories.As an avid reader, Out of Africa still remains one of my favourite books. I have returned to it many times to absorb myself in the world of Africa at the turn of the 20th century.Karen Blixen lived in Africa from 1914 to 1931 where she set up a coffee plantation. Through the book she meanders through her life in no chronological order telling wonderful stories about the people she encountered while there. She gives the reader no hints on her personal live leaving you picking through the story desperately trying to figure out the woman behind the life. I found this book both stirring and remarkable and will return again and again. "If I know a song of Africa," she writes, "of the Giraffe, and the African new moon lying on her back, of the ploughs in the fields, and the sweaty faces of the coffee-pickers, does Africa know a song of me?"  


Ghosts of Tsavo: Stalking the Mystery Lions of East Africa is both a riveting adventure travel narrative and a modern-day scientific exploration. Caputo and his small corps of discovery - consisting of a photographer, two eminent scientists from the University of Minnesota and, sometimes, a few armed rangers supplied by the Kenya Park Service - prowl the forbidding plains of Tsavo and southern Kenya seeking close encounters with Africa's most efficient killers--the massive, hauntingly mysterious lions immortalized by the 1907 publication of John Patterson's The Man-Eaters of Tsavo. The book chronicled the bloody exploits of two such beasts that in 1898 killed and ate 140 workers who were building a railroad bridge over the Tsavo River. The seemingly unkillable man-eaters literally stopped the British Empire in its tracks during their yearlong reign of terror. The natives came to believe these body-snatching cats - and their ilk - to be incarnate spirits of African chieftains angered by the building of a railroad through their ancestral lands. The story inspired two feature films, Bwana Devil in 1952 and The Ghost and the Darkness in 1996. But the adrenaline rush of living for months in the shadow of such fearsome critters is only half of our story. Apart from Caputo's widely acclaimed gift for dramatic narrative, what lifts this story out of the category of a thrill-seekers travelogue is the mission of discovery element pursued by the writer with his two scientist companions. The mission: Is there any truth to the recent reports (by two scientists from Chicago's Field Museum) that these fierce mane-less lions could constitute a feline 'missing link' between modern lions and the prehistoric lions that preyed on our Pleistocene ancestors. So this, otherwise, great adventure story is larded with the gravitas of scientific quest, as Caputo traces the efforts of our two biologists to unlock the secrets of the maneaters of Tsavo

 am lucky enough to have a second edition of this book and read it after visiting Tsavo (an arid place) and long before the film came out.
It is a wonderful book if read in the context of the time it was written,(the greens and PC brigades are no doubt horrified)but that is the way it was,you can't change history,unless of course you are an American film director.
As with so many Hollywood "true stories" the film is utter rubbish and bears very little resemblance to the facts -apart from two lions,a hunter and a railway the rest is pure hokum! If the author was still with us he would probably sue.I read this book mainly because I am visiting the Tsavo game reserve in Kenya next year. This book provided a frightening insight to the wildlife of the area.

The book was very interesting and the events that occured made the story quite gripping in places. However, the book is written more as a diary of recollections than a descriptive story. I did not feel that the author added much intensity to the book with this style of writing.

I was initially disappointed to find that half the book is written after the reign of the man eating lions. I was pleasantly surprised when the interest of the authors situation continued following the fall of the lions.

One word of warning to any lovers of wildlife planning to read this book. The book was written about experiences in the late 1800's. The author encounters many different animals and breifly describes there majesty before going into great detail about how he shoots them.

Obviously, attitudes have changed in the last 200 years. If you can overlook the brutal slaughter of the animals, and if you have interest in this field, you should enjoy this book.

Known for such feats as being the first climber to reach the summit of K2 without bottled oxygen, climbing Antarctica's highest mountain, and leading a team to the top of aformidable 2,000-foot granite tower in the most remote corner of the Amazon's Orinoco jungle, Rick Ridgeway, in his latest book, takes a walk. Of course, it's no ordinary stroll. Accompanied by park officers, Ridgeway treks unprotected among lions and elephants, rhinos and oryxes.

The Shadow of Kilimanjaro is as much a search for answers to an adventurer's most soul-searching questions as an account of a thrilling journey. In the introduction Ridgeway writes,

Henry David Thoreau did not write that in wilderness is the preservation of the world, as he is oft misquoted, but that "In wildness is the preservation of the world." There is a difference, and it is significant. A wildness is intact. In wildness, all the original pieces are there. My own backyard mountains in California, from the Coastal Range through the Sierras, are in many places wilderness, but none of it is wildness because the grizzly is gone. We may have the grizzly on the state flag; having it there, however, is not a celebration of our heritage but a burlesque of what we have done to the most noble patriarch ever to walk the land.

Starting at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and ending at the Indian Ocean, Ridgeway's aim during this adventure is less to get there and more to be there. During his weeks on foot, he thoughtfully considers the effects of colonial expansion on Africa's indigenous peoples, its landscape, and its awe-inspiring animals--all the while contemplating with a conservationist's heart Africa's uncertain future.Combining moments of danger with moments of profound introspection, mountaineer/explorer Ridgeway details his journey from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro through the Tsavo game reserves to Mombasa, a month-long journey on foot, which allows him to experience man's primal relationships with the environment. Traveling with an experienced guide, two members of the Kenya Park and Wildlife Service, and two sharpshooters (in case of life-threatening danger), Ridgeway follows dry riverbeds across the savanna, seeking "tactile knowledge of Africa's wildlands and wild animals."

Far more than a search for thrills, the journey offers Ridgeway an opportunity to observe breath-taking vistas and the full panoply of wildlife, from the elephant to the tiniest of birds, paying equal attention to all. Mourning the absence of once-plentiful animals from the bushlands near Kilimanjaro, and the decline of species elsewhere, Ridgeway contemplates the long-term effects of colonialism, big game hunting, poaching, traditional tribal values, climatic changes, and tourism, as well as man's seemingly innate tendency to kill certain species into extinction.

Ridgeway, long a hunter himself, is an engaging author, both observant and thoughtful. A great admirer of hunter-turned-game-park-adminstrator Bill Woodley, whose two sons from the Park and Wildlife Service are on the journey, he provides a sensitive and impartial treatment of conservation issues. Extolling the work of elephant researchers Cynthia Moss and Joyce Poole, the latter of whom joins the group for part of the journey, he points out that they have acquired through study a kind of knowledge not available to hunters. Without preaching, he conveys "the big picture," making a compelling case for the fact that to preserve Africa's large mammals one must "fight fiercely not only to preserve, but even to expand, their wild habitat."

Men and women of passion and action live, fight, love and die in scenes of dramatic intensity. From haunting tragedy on the snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro to brutal sensationalism in the bullring; from rural America with its deceptive calm to the heart of war-ravaged Europe, each of the stories in this classic collection is a feat of imagination, a masterpiece of description. The Snows of Kilimanjaro is among Hemingway's best works. Concise and yet incredibly condense in meaning, it takes the reader through the main events of the protagonist's life. It therefore provides an explanation of how the main character gradually deprives himself of his greatest dreams and ambitions, drifting away in a lifestyle that he accepts rather than chooses for himself. The character and landscape depictions are remarkable, identifiable with the classic Hemingway style. In this way, connections are allowed to be made between this particular work and others by Hemingway, such as, for instance, A Moveable Feast. The magnitude of The Snows of Kilimanjaro is to be found in the fact that it combines many of Hemingway's distinctive storytelling locations in one text and, most notably, in one that greatly demonstrates his craft.
The unique continuity in plot and the marvellous transitions from present to past and vice versa, keep interest in constant maximum level, until the end of the narrative.
The title of the book is highly related to its content, since it defines the outcome. The climax of the story is inseparably linked to its location. The ending is complemented by the scenery and the impact on the reader is immense.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro is bound to be appreciated not only by avid Hemingway readers, but also by readers that select this book in order to become acquainted with the acclaimed author.

There are hundreds of good books about Kenya and East Africa available ,Travel guides ,Kenyan maps , books about Kenyan history,tribes,essays,wildlife,adventure stories, movies,documentaries,political articles,African music and much more .This websit is far too small to discuss all of them . If you do not find what you are looking for you can use the search boxes provided .

Back in print in a single volume, "Born Free, The Full Story", includes the first book "Born Free" and the subsequent "Living Free" and "Forever Free". All three books had an impact on wildlife conservation and attitudes to the environment.

If you want to understand the REAL live in Nairobi , this book is brilliant . The best place to read it is a small bar ( which I hope still excists ) called "friends corner" . Go to River Road and ask around where the bar is. ( NB : it is relatively safe to have your Tusker there , just don't "Going Down River Road" alone in the night !

Kenyan human rights activist wa Wamwere spent a total of 13 years imprisoned and faced execution before pressure from international human rights groups freed him. In this gripping autobiography, wa Wamwere recalls the brutality and oppression of Kenya's colonial and postcolonial history as well as his own personal suffering. He brilliantly incorporates African folklore in his analysis of Western and African engagement. Wa Wamwere is bluntly critical of the rise of the Mau Mau in response to British colonial repression, as well as the debilitating accommodation of Jomo Kenyatta, and the rise of Daniel Arap Moi. Wa Wamwere recounts his career as activist, journalist, and member of the Kenyan parliament representing one of the most depressed districts in the nation, and his refusal to be silenced by the Kenyatta and Moi regimes despite detention, torture, and five times being imprisoned. Despite his personal suffering and Kenya's struggles through colonial and postcolonial strife, wa Wamwere exhibits resilience and optimism in his inspiring autobiography.I Refuse to Die is political activist Koigi wa Wamwere’s account of his life in the human rights movement. In it, he documents the injustices committed under British rule and President Moi’s oppressive regime, and he celebrates the Kenyan people’s ongoing struggle for survival and human dignity. Born in Nakuru, Kenya, in 1949, wa Wamwere attended Cornell University, where he was inspired by the writings of Martin Luther King Jr. He returned to Kenya to push for change, first as a member of parliament and then as a journalist. Wa Wamwere ran for president in 1997, but his outspoken criticism of Kenya’s human rights record incurred the anger of the Kenyan government who imprisoned him four times. Now living in New York, wa Wamwere continues to speak out for democracy in Africa. With 16 pages of black-and-white photographs, this is a moving autobiography by one of Africa’s leading human rights advocates.

The true story of the Mau Mau rebellion of 1952-60 in Kenya, told for the first time

At once a hopelessly romantic love story, a gripping adventure yarn and a fine piece of social anthropology, White Masai is a compulsive read. Whilst on holiday Corinne Hoffman fell in love with a Masai warrior. After overcoming all sorts of obstacles she moved into a tiny shack with him and his mother and spent four years in Kenya. Slowly but surely, the dream began to crumble. She eventually fled back home with her baby daughter. From wild animals through starvation to ritual mutilation, this is a book steeped in humanity and one that tells a fascinating tale. The White Masai is at once a hopelessly romantic love story, a gripping adventure yarn, and, incidentally, a fine piece of meticulously observed social anthropology. It is also a compulsive read. Corinne Hofmann falls in love with a Masai warrior while on holiday with her boyfriend in Kenya. After overcoming all sorts of obstacles, she moves into a tiny shack with him and his mother in his village, and spends four years in Kenya. Slowly but surely the dream starts to crumble until she flees back home with her baby daughter born out of the seemingly indestructible love between a white European woman and a Masai. From close shaves with wild animals to the rigours of a subsistence existence in the bush, disease, malnutrition, hunger, ritual mutilation and, overriding it all, a consuming passion for another, almost wholly alien, human being, this is a book steeped in humanity: one which emphasises how much we all share, and how much has come to separate us. Simply unputdownable.

Excellent book about Diving in East Africa' s beautiful coral reef .

The Arabian dhow, with its characteristic features, is one of the most evocative images of the Gulf, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The great cargo dhows represented a flourishing trade which stretched from the Mediterranean up to China in the time of the Portuguese and the Dutch from the 16th to the 18th centuries. When the pearling industry was at its height in the 19th and early 20th centuries, hundreds of pearling dhows were actively employed, carrying thousands of seamen diving for the finest pearls, a commodity much sought by the Western powers. In times of war, the dhows were magnificent fighting vessels and associated with the piracy so prevalent in these waters. This book is a product of over two hundred interviews with shipwrights and seamen in the Arabian Gulf and Oman over a period of nine years. It compares information given firsthand with the literature already written on the dhow and on Arab seafaring in the past 70 years, much of which was simply technical. Documenting the dhow as an important element in the prosperity of the area before the discovery of oil, we find in this book the geographical conditions and the historical-linguistical background of each dhow-type, the life-pattern in its role as cargo, pearl-diving, pirate and slaving vessel and also how the sea faring communities interacted with the dhow world. is listed in the following directories and searchengines : - where people find experts

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