Alison M. Jones Photography:
Recommended Books: Africa


Beard, Peter, text and photographs. The End of the Game. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

Longing for Darkness: Kamante’s Tales from ‘Out of Africa’. Collected by Peter Beard with photographs (1914-1931) and captions by Isak Dinesen. San Francsico: Chronicle Books.

Beckwith, Carol, photographs; Saitoti, Tepilit Ole, text. Maasai. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1985. Maasai is a grand, beautifully designed book (240 plates in full color, 40 line drawings, 3 maps). This photographer/author team gives incredible and accurate accounts of traditions and rites of passage. Expensive and worth it!

Beckwith, Carol, and Fisher, Angela. African Ark: People and Ancient Cultures of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Harry N. Abrams.

Beckwith, Carol, and Fisher, Angela. African Ceremonies. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1999. Having traveled in Africa for more than 30 years, British antrhopological photographers Beckwith and Fisher have documented countless disappearing customs and ways of life. The world owes them gratitude for this incredible body of documentation. This book is on the Explorers Club’s list of 100 best books on 20th century exploration.

Bentsen, Cheryl. Maasai Days: Fifty Days After ‘Out of Africa’ An American Woman Living in Kenya Makes Friends with the Tribe Isak Dinesen Admired Above All Others. Summit Books.

Cassidy, Shelley-Maree; Taschen, Angelika, ed. The Hotel Book: Great Escapes Africa. New York: Taschen, 2003.

Combes, Simon. An African Experience: Wildlife Art and Adventure in Kenya. London: Clive Holloway Books.

Coze, Harvey, and Reader, John. Pyramids of Life: Patterns of Life, Death in the Ecosystem. London: Harvill Press.

Estes, Simon. Behavior Guide to African Mammals. Los Angeles: U. of California Press, 1991. Both first-time tourists and professional wildlife guides refer to and enjoy this well-organized synopsis of animal behavior!

Fossey, Dian. Gorillas in the Mist. Houghton Mifflin Co.

Gilbert, Elizabeth L. Broken Spears: A Maasai Journey. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003.

Goodall, Jane. Africa In My Blood: An Autobiography in Letters The Early Years. Houghton Mifflin Co.

Grzimek, Bernhard and Michael. Serengeti Shall Not Die. Ballantine Books Inc., 1959. Scholarly, classic, but easily readable by the layman, this is an early story of conservation in East Africa – with a chapter on the Maasai.

Hemingway, Ernest. Green Hills of Africa. 1994. “All I wanted to do now was to get back to Africa. We had not left it, yet, but when I would wake in the night I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.”

Jackman, Brian, and Scott, Jonathan. The Marsh Lions: The Story of an African Pride. Boston: David R. Godine Books.

Johns, Chris. Wild At Heart: Man and Beast in Southern Africa. National Geographic Insight. 176 pages, 128 color photographs.

Joubert, Dereck, text; and Joubert, Beverly, photographs. Hunting with the Moon: Lions of Savuti. National Geographic Society Book.

Künkel, Reinhard. Ngorongoro. NY: Harper Collins, 1992. Coffee table book of photographs of wildlife in the Crater (and are also in the Mara-Serengeti eco-systems) that would entice anyone to want to be on safari!

Lainé, Daniel. African Kings. San Francisco: Ten Speed Press.

Lanting, Frans. Okavango: Africa’s Last Eden. Chronicle Books.

Leakey, Richard, and Morrell, Virginia. Wildlife Wars: My Fight to Save Africa’s Natural Treasures. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Leslie Melville, Betty and Jock. Raising Daisy Rothschild. Allen Lane Books.

Lindblad, Lisa and Sven-Olof. The Serengeti: Land of Endless Space. NY: Rizzoli, 1989. The photos give good sense of place. The foreward by George Schaller (researcher with Wildlife Conservation International) outlines the history of the Serengeti.

Lovell, Mary S. Straight On Till Morning: The Biography of Beryl Markham. New York: St. Martin’s Books.

Matthiessen, Peter. The Tree Where Man Was Born.
Peter, Eliot.The African Experience.
New York: E.P. Dutton & Co, Inc.

Moorehead, Alan. The Blue Nile. Dell.

Moss, Cynthia. Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family. William Morrow and Co. (Set in Amboseli National Park since 1972; 680 elephants)

Newman, Kenneth. Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa. South Africa: Struik Publishers.

Patterson, Col. J.H. The Man Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures.

Pavitt, Nigel.Samburu. Foreword by Wilfred Thesiger. Henry Holt Publisher.

Pavvitt, Nigel. Turkana: Kenya’s Nomads of the Jade Sea. New York: Harry N. Abrams.

Reader, John. Africa: A Biography of the Continent. Vintage Books.

Ridgeway, Rick. The Shadow of Kilimanjaro: On Foot Across East Africa (1997). Henry Holt and Co.

Ritts, Herb. Africa. A Bulfinch Press Book. Little, Brown and Co. 78 black and white photographs.

Schoeman, Amy. Skeleton Coast. Struik Publishers.

Scott, Jonathan and Angela. Mara-Serengeti: A Photographer’s Paradise. London: Fountain Press, 2000. This includes photographic tips at the end.

Scott, Jonathan. Painted Wolves: Wild Dogs of the Serengeti-Mara. London: Hamish Hamilton Books.

Scott, Jonathan. The Great Migration. London: Elm Tree Books, 1988. This is the best depiction I know of the wildebeest migration. The Epilogue is a must-read for anyone interested in African conservation.

Sicard, Grace Mesopirr. A Tale of a Maasai Girl. London: The Book Guild Ltd.

Stevenson, Terry, and Fanshawe, John. Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa – Kenya, Tanzanao, Uganda, Rwanda, Buruundi. London: T & AD Poyser.

Wolfe, Art. Africa. Foreword by Jane Goodall. Text by Michelle A. Gilders. Widland Press.

Wolfe, Art. Tribes. Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. Crown Publishing Group.

AFRICA ~ Literature

Benuzzi, Felice. No Picnic on Mount Kenya: A Daring Escape, A Perilous Climb. The Lyons Press.

Courtenay, Bryce. The Power of One: The Classic Novel of South Africa. Ballantine.

Fuller, Alexander. Don’t Lets Go To The Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood.

Hemingway, Ernest. Green Hills of Africa. 1994. “All I wanted to do now was to get back to Africa. We had not left it, yet, but when I would wake in the night I would lie, listening, homesick for it already”.

Heminway, John. No Man’s Land: The Last of White Africa. A Harvest/HBJ Book.

Markham, Beryl. West with the Night. San Francisco, North Point Press, 1983 (original 1942). This is exquisitely written, wise, funny, in the spirit of exploration – and much better, I think, than Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa – but do see the Out of Africa movie with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford for a visual and historical sense of East Africa.

Theroux, Paul. Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town. Houghton Mifflin.


Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness & The Secret Sharer.

Shoumatoff, Alex. In Southern Light: Trekking Through Zaire and the Amazon. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986. “This is transportation by literature. An exotic and wonderful book.” Tracy Kidder.


Angelou, Maya. All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes. Vintage Books.

Laine, Daniel. African Kings. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.

Lamb, David. The Africans. Vintage Books.

Naipal, V.S. A Bend in the River. Introduction by Elizabeth Hardwick. New York: The Modern Library, 1997.

Sarpong, Peter. Ghana In Retrospect: Some Aspects of Ghanian Culture. Ghana Publishing Corp.

Strand, Paul. Ghana: An African Portrait. Commentary by Basil Davidson. Aperture Books.

Field guide


Allan, Iain, ed. The Mountain Club of Kenya Guide to Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro. Nairobi: Mountain Club of Kenya, P.O. Box 45741, Nairobi, Kenya, 1988.

Benuzzi, Felice. No Picnic on Mount Kenya: A Daring Escape, A Perilous Climb. Introduction by Rick Ridgeway. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 1953.

McCallum, Ian. Thorns to Kilimanjaro. Cape Town: David Philip Publishers, 2000. “An inspiring journey of the soul ... This is a book to read in a way you might climb a mountain – slowly ... don’t miss the view.” — Cape Times

Salkeld, Audrey. Kilimanjaro: To The Roof of Africa. Introduction by David Breashers. Washington D.C.: National Geographic.

Thesiger, Wilfred. My Kenya Days. London: Flamingo, 1995.