A liberating motorcycle journey through Africa with descriptions of the amazing people and places, the joy of big skies and the open road, and the sometimes harrowing events that would shape destiny.
Into Africa tells the story of a novice motorcyclist who takes on the challenge of riding the length of the continent just because, 'it seemed like a great idea’. Sam Manicom had only planned to take a temporary break from his successful retail career, but the one-year ride was so life-changing that he continued adventuring around the world for another seven years, covering 55 countries and 200,000 miles. Sam had no idea how liberating motorcycle travel would be. Revelling in a new-found freedom without timetables or routines, he became fascinated by his ability to explore side roads at a whim and reach remote parts of the continent that many travellers never find. Though Africa is just 5,000 miles from top to toe, Sam explored over 22,000 miles on every kind of road imaginable.
Narrated by Sam, ride with him as he describes Africa's amazing people and places, the joy of big skies and the open road, and the sometimes harrowing events that would shape his destiny. This is a genuine tale of the unexpected.
©2008 Sam Manicom (P)2012 Sam Manicom
I have listened to, read, and watched most books, audiobooks, and videos on long distance motorcycle riding. Mr. Manicom's books rate as some of the best, possibly the best, in the genre. They are definitely the best on Audible. So, yes, I would listen to them again.
I listened to his books our of order, that is to say I listened to his second book first, then this one which is his first. This book was excellent as well but I found the second one "Under Asian Skies" to be more entertaining. I feel he matured as a writer and as a rider, but again both are superb.
This story is very compelling and, had I not read so many other books covering long distance riding in Africa, I would give it 5 stars. Its still better than the other books as a story. Mr Manicom is very good and telling the story of the lands he is in and seems genuinely curious about the cultures and people he meets. His descriptions are typically more vivid than others in the genre. One comes away with a sense of the beauty, smells, and feel of a place. He also comes across as a very likable chap, not cocky like some riders/authors and not rushing to the finish line like others. He is honest about his abilities and skills and the listener sees him grow in many ways as the journey progresses.
He is also a superb narrator so one doesn't get "ear tired" from listening to the story. He is as good as a professional narrator.
He is sort of a likeable everyman. Some long distance riders try to portray themselves as some globe trotting adventurous supermen just one step down from James Bond. Mr. Manicom humanizes the journey and is a sympathetic figure. He also makes better use of adjectives and you walk away with a better feel of the places he visits when compared to other travelogues.
To be quite honest the Africa route has been done to death. Its an amazing, huge, and diverse continent but I have found the books to be very similar. It is easily the #1 route to write about for long distance riders. This is my 7th book I have read/listened to that covers long distance riding in Africa and almost all have taken the same route. That on top of the countless blogs that cover the subject. That is not to say it isn't a HUGE accomplishment or worth doing, but as a listener/reader I appreciated his second book much more as the route was far less common to read about.
He has written 2 other travelogues "Distant Suns" and "Tortillas to Totems" which I hope come to Audible.
This book sits in my top 5
The whole journey was memorable
His reading style was nice and easy to listen to, very clear and clean
Indeed could stop listening to it
I enjoyed his mellow voice and could have listened to him for hours. I felt like I was able to experience his journey alongside him. There was a good mixture of real truths and lessons learned. I would love to hear more books by him. I listen to audiobooks constantly and I found him one of the best readers yet.
My ideal travel story - great details of the people, countries, landscapes and culture along the way, told in a light-hearted, upbeat, entertaining style. Not a story of soul searching or "finding himself" but not superficial either, packed full of one fascinating episode after another.
Sam gets fully immersed in Africa and the people around him, and his observations are totally open-minded and non-judgemental. Love that he narrates it himself, and he comes across as a totally likeable guy.
I loved his pragmatic "just deal with it" attitude - whether getting malaria, dealing with the many excruciating border crossings or having a serious bike crash.
Found out he's written several more travel books and my only disappointment is - why are they not on audible??
Yes, there's a lot of details that seemed to get lost my first time through, at least for me. Maybe I'm just less capable, but listening seemed difficult at times due to the vast amount of details, people, places, and events going on at one moment.
Sam, his positive attitude and willingness to overcome hardship and frustration was inspiring. What a rad guy
Hard to imagine; he's narrating his own memories, and thus has a lot of enthusiasm. You can tell he's really enjoying the experience.
Hard to think of one specific moment over all others, there's plenty of moments and a reoccurring theme that equally moved me to admire the general kindness of those in Africa.
If you've read Jupiter's Travels or watched Long Way Round/Down, this book is another one to convince you to travel the world on a motorcycle.
If you have ever taken on a long ride on two wheel you will recognize the struggles Sam goes through and the highs of completing such a ride. This is a great read for anyone who has a bike, or has always wanted one.
The author reads this book. In this case it becomes much more intimate. While it is based on a journey on a motorcycle, the focus of this book is the humanity and experiences of Africa and the people he meets, both native and visiting along the way.
The easy and non-embellished style of telling the accounts without a political or preachy perspective.
When he is haggling over the price of a mango at the fruit stall with in the market.
I felt like I was a part of this journey. It was richly described and experienced. I felt sad at the conclusion as I felt a great journey had just concluded.
Though this journey takes place mostly on a motorbike, it is NOT focused on the motorbike. It a journey of humanity and the experiences of the author in Africa over a year.
Yes, however I did pick up a copy of the print to highlight and make notes in...it is rather tattered now
The whole trip is memorable...and good information on the medical situation if hurt.
His voice carries you through the story, and I love the way his inflections pull you in...great campfire or pub tales must come from him.
I was captivated through out the book and have recommended it as a must read/ must listen on Adventure IQ
If you are into exploration by vehicle, this is a must. I have traveled some of these areas and love the way the story is told. We need more audio books that feature both two-wheeled as well as four-wheeled exploration (overlanding).
"A mad choice leads to a brilliant adventure!"
Definitely, I have read the book and was pleased to hear it in Sam ' s own words.
I don't generally read travel books, they aren't my thing so can only be compared to Sam ' s other works... of which Under Asian Skies is the only one available on audio book yet.... I seriously encourage him to publish the others in audio format.
It is very personal and makes you feel like you are with him... His written work does this too... but hearing his voice makes it work even better.
As a biker myself I have to laugh at some of the rookie mistakes I remember making myself... but in Sam ' s case he did it on a.mad adventure for a rookie to take on. RESPECT!
I believe his insight into culture is also important as there are many misconceptions in the western world that he puts right.
Sam is a brilliant story teller who makes you feel like you are travelling with him. The fact he narrates his own books makes it more personal.
While this is about a man riding his motorcycle the bike itself is only the vehicle. .. bit he metaphorically and literally and allows for the adventure.
This book is great for both people who love bikes as well as those who have never been near one.
Really enjoyable. Excellent narration. Please can we have more audible books from Sam Manicom
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