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5.0 out of 5 stars CROSSING THE HEART OF AFRICA, 19 Feb 2012
By 
Dr S. S. Nagi "Nyrobe" (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crossing the Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure (Paperback)
This book was first published in 2010, has 320 pages, 27 B/W photos and 1 map on page 4. The book is dedicated to 'LAURA'. JULIAN SMITH is fascinated by EWART SCOT GROGAN's(Bwana Chui-1874 to 1967)journey from Cape to Cairo, 112 years ago. What Grogan did for Gertrude, Smith wanted to do for himself and Laura, living in Portland, Oragon. How much must have changed in Africa? After 24 Hr on Plane to Johannesberg, Smith takes 3 days to arrive in BEIRA, Mozambique(Portugese East Africa). His plan was to take 2 months to complete his journey to CAIRO. He leaves Beira on 24.7.2007, to cover 6,500 miles through 7 more countries. At night he stays at Vila-de-Sena and cycles over ZEMBESI river into MALAWI(Nyasaland). He had done the distance in 3 days, what took Grogan 9 months. From BLANTYRE, he goes to Nkhata Bay to take a ferry on the lake, north.
From north of Lake Malawi, Smith takes a bouncy bus to the south of LAKE TANGANYIKA. He suffers from diarrhoea and sickness. From KASONGA, he takes 'LIEMBA' ferry, the oldest passenger ship in the world(1913), north sailing the east shore. He gets off at KIGOMA and rings Laura. Next he takes a bus to Burundi and stops at BUJUMBURU(Usumbara). Smith,3 weeks into his safari, Grogan had taken 15 months for his. Next, he is in KIGALI, capital of Rwanda and sees graves of genocide in 1994. From his guesthouse at KIBUYE, Smith watches the beautiful LAKE KIVU, which because of geological activity, is now full of methane and CO2. Mt Gotzen(Nyiragongo) had erupted in 2002.
They climb SABINYO, one of the VIRUNGA volcanoes, to see gorillas. Then, he crosses into Uganda and takes a motobike taxi to LAKE EDWARD and Katwe. He is on the equator, and stays in a hostel at Queen Elizabeth National Park. Passing Ruwenzori Mountains(MOUNTAINS OF MOON) on his left, Smith's taxi heads over the equator to FORT PORTAL(Fort Gerry). Through the SEMLIKI Valley and east of LAKE ALBERT, he passes Rhino Camp and WADELAI and arrives at the WHITE NILE. He flies from KAMPALA to JUBA in Sudan. Unable to travel north because of civil war in North Sudan, he takes a plane from Juba to Kampala and rings Laura. He flies home and Laura surprises him by being at New York Airport. They marry on 20.10.2007.
Julian Smith mixes his own adventure with those of Grogan, Livingstone, Stanley, Speke and also his life with his Laura. AFRICA HAD CHANGED AND NOT CHANGED since Grogan's Safari in 1898. Other books of interest are:-
(1) From Cape to Cairo, Grogan 1902(2010)
(2) The Story of Cape to Cairo Railway, Weinthal 1922
(3) A Cuckoo in Kenya, Robert Foran 1936
(4) Tales of the African Frontier, Hunter 1954
(5) The Man from Cape, Wymer 1959
(6) The Lunatic Express, Charles Miller 1971
(7) The Legendary Grogan, Farrant 1981
(8) Out in the Midday Sun, Elspeth Huxley 1987
(9) Last Lion of Empire, Paice 2001
(10)The Roar of Lion, Frank Coates 2007
Having born in Kenya, I enjoyed reading this book.
Read and ENJOY.
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