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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Treasures of South Africa

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXSAF303. Buy these 4 items as a set for $85 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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The Safari Companion

The Safari Companion

by Richard Estes

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 459 PAGES

An invaluable encyclopedic guide to Africa's mammals by a noted scientist, this perennial bestseller includes black-and-white drawings, an overview of each animal group and in-depth information. Written with the typical safari-goer in mind. (AFR06, $30.00)

The Wildlife of Southern Africa

The Wildlife of Southern Africa

by Vincent Carruthers | Kenneth Newman

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES
  • BEST SELLER

With 1,200 color illustrations by a range of experts, this compact field guide includes all the birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, fish and plants that a traveler is likely to encounter in southern Africa. (SAF59, $28.00)

Insight Guide South Africa

Insight Guide South Africa

by Insight Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

South Africa is brought to life in hundreds of color photographs and vividly written essays by a team of experts. Panoramic in scope, the guide takes us from Johannesburg out into the veld, providing genuine insight into the history, nature and modern politics of this complex land. (SAF21, $24.99)

South Africa Map

South Africa Map

by Globetrotter

  • 2014
  • MAP
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

Detailed maps of Cape Town, the Garden Route, Kruger and other popular spots are featured on the reverse of this country map. (SAF09, $9.95)

 
Lonely Planet Botswana & Namibia

Lonely Planet Botswana & Namibia


by Lonely Planet

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 424 PAGES

An informative practical guide to Botswana and its attractions, including nearby Victoria Falls. (BOT14, $28.99)

A History of South Africa

A History of South Africa


by Leonard Thompson

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 512 PAGES

A succinct history of South Africa, especially strong on early Africans and European colonization. (SAF101, $20.00)

Africa, a Biography of the Continent

Africa, a Biography of the Continent


by John Reader

  • HISTORY
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 816 PAGES

With the ease of a practiced journalist, Reader weaves a masterful and lively tale of the continent, from ancient cultures to modern times. Both authoritative and informal, this is a splendid introduction to all of Africa. (AFR49, $20.00)

The Making of Modern South Africa, Conquest, Apartheid, Democracy

The Making of Modern South Africa, Conquest, Apartheid, Democracy


by Nigel Worden

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 198 PAGES

This well-researched, readable primer covers South African history from colonial conquest to the end of apartheid and beyond, with an updated chapter focusing on 1994 to 2007. Worden is a professor of history at the University of Cape Town. (SAF222, $38.95)

The Scramble for Africa

The Scramble for Africa


by Thomas Pakenham

  • HISTORY
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 738 PAGES

Absorbing and meticulously researched, this in-depth history of the Victorian land grab in 19th century Africa includes excellent portraits of the egomaniacal personalities who overran the continent. (AFR26, $23.99)

Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart


by Peter Godwin | Chris Johns

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2007
  • HARD COVER
  • 176 PAGES

This lush collection of full-color photographs tackles conservation, development and tradition in southern Africa. It's a well-illustrated portrait of the region by National Geographic photographer Johns and veteran journalist Godwin. (SAF130, $65.00)

Hidden Cape Town

Hidden Cape Town


by Paul Duncan

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 240 PAGES

This unique journey behind the facades of South Africa's most interesting landmarks is both an architectural and cultural study. It includes over 300 photographs and informative text. (SAF336, $39.95)

Conversations With Myself

Conversations With Myself


by Nelson Mandela

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 454 PAGES

Mandela draws on letters, notebooks and taped interviews for this account of a remarkable life. (SAF313, $18.00)

Long Walk to Freedom

Long Walk to Freedom


by Nelson Mandela

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 640 PAGES

An unpretentious tale of an extraordinary life, Mandela's autobiography is essential reading for an understanding of South Africa. His grace and his love for his country shine throughout. (SAF15, $18.00)

Cry, The Beloved Country

Cry, The Beloved Country


by Alan Paton

  • LITERATURE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 317 PAGES

The deeply moving story of Reverend Kumalo's quest for justice. First published in 1948, it is a striking, poetic tribute to the power of the individual and a trenchant indictment of apartheid. (SAF30, $16.00)

South Africa, A Traveler's Literary Companion

South Africa, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by Isabel Balseiro | Tobias Hecht

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 239 PAGES

This diverse collection of short stories reveals South Africa through the eyes of its writers, including Nadine Gordimer, J.M. Coetzee and Alan Paton. (SAF236, $14.95)

The Conservationist

The Conservationist


by Nadine Gordimer

  • LITERATURE
  • 1983
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

Gordimer's subtle Booker Prize-winning novel portrays a wealthy South African industrialist who struggles to preserve his way of life, his power and his possessions in the face of massive injustice. (SAF218, $16.00)

The Power of One

The Power of One


by Bryce Courtenay

  • LITERATURE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 528 PAGES

This riveting novel tells of the coming-of-age of a six-year-old English boy in South Africa during the darkest days of largely pro-Nazi South Africa, based on the author's childhood. (SAF26, $16.00)

Animal, The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife

Animal, The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife


by Don E. Wilson | David Burnie

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 624 PAGES

A giant reference to wildlife throughout the world, compiled by the Smithsonian and a group of zoologists. From insects, marine life and amphibians to birds and mammals, it runs the gamut. (BST80, $50.00)

South Africa

South Africa


by Michael Poliza

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2010
  • HARD COVER
  • 277 PAGES

The intrepid Michael Poliza works his large-scale magic on the remarkable landscapes, people and wildlife of South Africa. He settled in the country for seven years, capturing the peoples, topography and, of course, the wildlife of the compelling country. (SAF283, $95.00)

African Wildlife

African Wildlife


by James Kavanaugh

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 1999
  • PLASTIC CARD

A laminated foldout guide illustrating almost 150 species of African animals, designed for quick reference in the field. (AFR109, $6.95)

Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals

Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals


by Jonathan Kingdon

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

A conveniently compact edition of Kingdon's gloriously illustrated Field Guide to African Mammals. The guide includes abbreviated information on identification, distribution, ecology and conservation status and 480 outstanding color illustrations and maps. (EAF128, $25.95)

Smithsonian Handbooks, Mammals

Smithsonian Handbooks, Mammals


by Juliet Clutton-Brock | Don E. Wilson

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

This sturdy field guide colorfully describes 500 of the world's mammals. (BST76, $22.00)

Wildlife of Southern Africa

Wildlife of Southern Africa


by Martin B. Withers

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

This Princeton Pocket Guide, featuring 400 color photographs by Withers and co-author David Hosking, covers all the birds, mammals, lizards and insects you are likely to encounter. (SAF300, $19.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.