“I speak of Africa and golden joys – Henry IV, Part 2, Act 5, Scene 3.” So quotes one of the characters early on in this book. A perfect quote for this joyous book.
I didn’t get much time to read on my recent holiday in Botswana, so ended up reading most of this book when I got home. It took me right back there and made me want to return in person immediately, for a more prolonged stay this time.
There are some very funny moments, and tender ones too. The book follows “Mr Mango’s” journey from Capetown to Kasane in Botswana, where he discovers and falls in love with the real Africa. There are tales of football, black mambas, marauding lizards, illegal hunting, cheeky children and life-threatening illness. It is a positive, life affirming story.
Mr Mango’s slight bewilderment as he returns to London matched my own; I had only been away for 2 weeks but still it took a while to get used to city life and crowds of people again. Indeed, I was rather annoyed that he returned and that the book ended so suddenly, as I was enjoying living vicariously in Botswana with the help of Mr Mango.
I recommend this book whether or not you have been to Botswana. If you have not, you will surely want to once you have read it.
Botswana Time / Will Randall. – Abacus, 2005.