Walking the Nile

Trekking more than 4,000 miles entirely on foot through six African countries for a period of nine months might sound like some kind of personal hell for most people, but for Levison Wood, walking the length of the Nile was a lifelong dream and epic adventure. Spurred by tales of Victorian adventurers, Wood's Walking the Nile blends personal reflections of his day-to-day existence out on the trail with historical, political and cultural details of the regions he hiked.

Starting at a tiny spring in Rwanda, the source of the  Nile, he follows the trickle of water through thick jungle, across searing deserts, past relics of ancient civilizations, and through some recent military hotspots. Along the way, he meets natives living in squalor who offer him what little food they possess, suspicious policemen who watch him like a hawk, and guides who over time become long-term friends as they share the grind of walking such a distance. Narrow escapes from crocodile and hippo attacks, a terrible tragedy in South Sudan, and close encounters with gun-toting individuals keep readers on edge as they follow the banks of the Nile with Wood. Moments of sheer beauty and splendor are expertly juxtaposed with descriptions of the harshness of life for millions living in Africa, giving this account a depth and humbleness not often found in memoir/adventure writing. Wood has set a standard that will be hard to surpass. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

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