Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop Black Friday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Paperwhite Listen in Prime Shop Now Shop now
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Somewhere Over The Rainbo... has been added to your Basket
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Somewhere Over The Rainbow: Travels in South Africa Paperback – 1 Feb 2001

8 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
£3.96 £0.01
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more

Black Friday Deals Week in Books
Visit our Deals in Books store to discover Amazon's greatest ever deals. Shop now
£10.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow: Travels in South Africa
  • +
  • Scenic South Africa
  • +
  • Diamonds, Gold and War: The Making of South Africa
Total price: £33.96
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address 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.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (1 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349112614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349112619
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

For his second travel book, reporter Gavin Bell--no stranger to South Africa-- returned to the country to check the pulse of Mandela's "rainbow nation". He is blunt about what he found: "Half of the population had mobile telephones, the other half had no running water, and all of them were afraid of being mugged".

South Africa, "struggling to deal with the legacies not only of apartheid, but of centuries of colonialism", is in trouble, its people not so much divided as simply foreign to each other, history having cruelly widened the gulfs between peoples scattered across this vast, often beautiful, but also often boring, hot and inimical land.

The real threat to South Africa now is globalisation: the destruction of communities by capital. It's easy to sneer at white farmers, as they regret the breaking of the paternalistic bonds that once existed between themselves and their black employees. But Bell makes no such mistakes. He has, after all, just heard much the same lament--from Mandela's country cousin. "'He says he was happy when they were children'", the translator explains. "'They drank sour milk from the cow, and they ate the cow, without buying anything. You can't get sour milk today. Then they wore blankets, now it is Western clothes. Also there were a lot of ceremonies in those days, and there are not so many today.'"

This is not a political study: Bell offers the armchair traveller many sensuous diversions and he is often achingly funny. But he can never quite put out of his mind that this was JRR Tolkein's birthplace; and there is something of Mordor about the landscapes he describes. --Simon Ings --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Wry and deft ... travel writing of a high order, given steel by [Bell's] keen understanding of the country's contradictions (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

A fine, gentle and loving travel book about South Africa which captures the magic of the land and the warmth of its peoples (SCOTSMAN)

Wherever Bell goes, he brings a gimlet eye to the human and unusual (YORKSHIRE POST)

One of life's great wanderers, at home when he is away ... a lucid, deeply informative and highly entertaining piece of travel prose (GLASGOW HERALD)

A warm, sane and illuminating book (Ned Sherrin)

See all Product Description

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
First Sentence
It was the warning about ships being attacked off West Africa that caught my attention. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up as Christmas present for a friend who likes travel writing and the history of nations. Having read the first couple of pages I could not put the book down. Here's why:
The author (Gavin Bell)approaches an extremely diffcult topic (change in South Africa after the fall of the Apartheid government)through the eyes of a traveler. The author travels to some of the most remote and dangerous places in South Africa and interacts quite beautifully (and without judgement) with the local people. It is through this interaction that he gains insight into how things have ( or have not changed since the ANC government has come to power).
The descriptions of landscapes (rural and urban) travelled from barren deserts, tropical forests , wild animal infested savanna's, raging seas, magestic mountains, victorian dorps (villages), crime ridden cities and displaced townships are deftly intervoven with local stories and attitudes which provides an accurate and digestable history of the country.
As a South African who has been living in the UK for 3 years I can honestly say he has hit the nail on the head. Politically, he has cpatured some remarkable insights. Geographically, he has explored extensively. He has combined the two brillianlty. This is definatley a book for all, not only non-South Africans as I was treated to new discoveries and insights.
If you want to get an acurate feel for the diverse magic of South Africa, read this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kavey on 29 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
I added this book to my wish list recently as an idle reminder to myself to ask for it for Christmas. An enterprising friend found my wishlist and sent me this book as a surprise for my birthday.
I found the book compelling reading. Full of insightful comments and amusing or thought-provoking anecdotes it taught me much about South African people, politics and history without being in the slightest bit dull or dry.
By describing his encounters with ordinary citizens of South Africa Gavin Bell brings the country and it's people to life and provided me with understanding that I would have found difficult to obtain from a straight history or current affairs book.
His writing is beautiful and sympathetic and some of the best I've read in the genre for a long time.
I very highly recommend it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TWAN on 17 April 2004
Format: Paperback
A good introduction to a complicated land. The book is enaging and easy to read, but there is too much over-simplification of the complexities of the country. The humour is also too affected. For a better understanding of South Africa, read Frank Welsh's A History of South Africa; Max Du Preez's Pale Native, or Hermann Giliomee's The Afrikaners.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first 100 pages are a struggle and not as well written as what is to follow (hence only giving 3 stars) Really I would give this book 2 stars for the first 100 pages and then 4 or 5 for the remainder of the book.
Once Gavin Bell gets into his rhythm of writing it is compelling reading, it is insightful, I love the helpful Afrikaans glossary at the start of the book and the map of where he has been. It was interesting and a good read.

I would recommend to anyone to read Rian Malan's My Traitor's heart, but this isn't a bad addition to reading about South Africa also.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse