Three years, 11 countries, 1,200 families, 14,000 kilometers of adventures while walking in the footsteps of mankind through the Cradle of Life. Alexandre and Sonia Poussin undertake to walk the length of Africa entirely on foot, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Sea of Galilee. In a three-year trek along the Great Rift Valley of East Africa, their goal is to symbolically retrace the passage of early Man, from Australopithecus to Modern Man.
Without sponsors, without a support team, sharing the poverty of their hosts, they speak to us on each page of the generosity and enthusiasm of these men and women who populate the African continent. Day after day, Alexandre and Sonia become a bit more African themselves.
In this volume, which recounts the first 7,000 kilometers up to Mount Kilimanjaro, we are privileged to share an intimate look into the heart of Africa and her people.
Originally published in 2004 in France, this fascinating tale captured the attention of Europe. It was an International Herald Tribune best seller (in France, over 280,000 hard copies have sold to date) and an Express Tite-Live best seller for 17 weeks. It received the Best Book Award at the Cosne sur Loire Bookfair in 2005 and the Best Book Award at the Adventure Festival of Les Angles, 2005.
Along with pen and paper, Alexandre and Sonia carried cameras and video equipment. The footage was edited into a film that won multiple awards, including the Golden Fleece at the International Adventure Film Festival of Dijon in 2004. It was also edited into a 12-episode TV special that ran on the Travel Channel over 40 times (with over 300,000 viewers).
In 2008 the books and episodes were translated into English and made their debut in the United States. More about Alexandre and Sonia can be found at AfricaTrekSeries.com.
Africa Trek includes a bonus interview with the author Alexandre Pousin.
©2008 Inkwater Press; (P)2008 Audible
This book is unlike any other I have read with the possible exception of the Lewis & Clark Journals. This couple undertook in 2001 a solo three-year walking tour from the southern tip of Africa to the Sea of Galilee. The book covers the first half of the journey. It is full of highly interesting encounters and candid conversations with the wide variety of people they met (mostly by chance) and who offered them hospitality during their trek. It was not without dangers (wild animals, bouts with malaria, and lawless regions the main ones), but mainly featured open and friendly encounters with people they met, even in the poorest regions of Africa.
They share conversations in which their hosts shared serious complaints about many of the corrupt and short-sighted policies being pursued by certain of the African governments, that of Zimbabwe being the worst example. They also provide their own critical and at other times awestruck (occasionally, somewhat melodramatic in my view) reactions to the sites and regions they visit.
While an unusual and interesting story, given the span of time, people and geography it covers, I gave the book four stars instead of five because I think it will be of most interest to readers who have a particular interest in visiting Africa (my wife and I are planning a visit there this year).
Started off with promise the first night at The Cape, where the couple were lodged by a group of friendly non-white men. The next night they were taken in by a well off white family, and that's all we hear from there to Lesotho - glowing details of each well off white family thereafter, virtually no observations of the terrain, nor other encounters. Lesotho was a bit of a break ... sort of. From there, the rest of Part 1 features stories of black-on-white violence and intimidation as related by each of their white hosts. Every so often, as a sort of "break", Poussin bursts out into a sappy declaration of love, either for his wife, or Africa. I suspect the narration drags all this out more, but couldn't say for sure without having actually read the print book.
I give it a second star as the problem of black-on-white violence (outside the cities) is one that should be noted, and there are some interesting moments here and there.
Bottom line: I truly regret having spent a credit for this book.
The couple walked across Africa - the long way. This amazing feat was documented by them in daily journals and photos, resulting in this interesting story. Unfortunately, the narrator seems to consider every sentence as suspenseful and ground-shaking. The dramatic pauses over the most mundane details rendered the story unlistenable. I stopped listening before they even left South Africa.
Linda in Omaha
The story of a recently married couple taking a trek from the tip of Africa to Isreal was interesting enough to keep my interest all the way to the end, but it was a long trek. I agree with some who said the narrator was painfully slow was somewhat true. I set my iPod to play "faster" so I could get through it. It sounded great on a slightly faster speed.
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