Monday, 15 January 2018
Walking the Nile by Levison Wood
Levison Wood set out to walk the whole length of the River Nile from its beginning as a spring in the mountains of Rwanda through desert and rainforests to LakeVictoria (once thought to be the actual source of the river) and onwards to the delta at the Mediterranean Sea.
Along the way he walks through areas of Rwanda full of terrible memories of the genocide, through lush national parks, devastated forests, inhospitable deserts and through war-torn South Sudan. In some areas he is greeted with crowds singing songs in his honour, in others he is arrested, in others he has to hide from gunfire. He learns about illegal wildlife poaching and about the difficulties of balancing wildlife conservation with the needs of local farmers.
For much of the way he is accompanied by Boston, his guide who becomes a friend.
The book is very readable and offers insights in the history of the Nile and the surrounding areas and commentary on current social and environmental situations. Wood writes with an endearing honesty about his low points when endless desert and searing heat make him want to give up the trek. He is good natured about his fellow travellers and the people he meets along the way, though angry about excess bureacracy! He is however naive, both in his insistence on walking through a war torn South Sudan and in some aspects of his expedition management.
This is a book well worth reading for anyone interested in rivers or the history of these parts of Africa.
Walking the Nile by Levison Wood published by Simon and Schuster.
This journey was also made into a documentary for Channel Four TV, you can watch it here. (Some countries may not be able to view these videos).