Book Review: Whatever You Do Don't Run - True Tales of a Botswana Travel Guide

By Suzanne Gougherty | 

During this worldwide pandemic, a travel book might provide a much-needed escape.

Peter Allison is a travel guide in the Okavango Delta, an extensive inland river delta located in northern Botswana. He was born and raised in Australia, he moved to Botswana at 19 to become a travel guide and has been featured in National Geographic, and other travel industry publications.

His cluster of stories is more than an entertaining travel monologue of a safari guide, its filled with humor, wit and tourists that are as dangerous as the lions, hippo's and the abundance of wildlife who make it this place their home. Allison weaves a good narrative though the pages as he shares interactions with the many tourists, and also the friends he's made at the Safari camp. Along with a few required solo business trips his boss assigned him, well these quickly become adventures in of themselves.

Many of Allison's tour groups were from around the world each of the stories are funny, crazy and filled with hair-raising excitement as well. For instance, a young lady who is wearing HOT pink sparkly dress as her African safari ensemble; a Japanese tourist who wants a repeat performance of him being charged by a lion so he could make a video recording; plus a member of the British Royal Family who is running drunk and half naked thru camp, on and on.

All the wild life excursions that Peter describes, are mainly because of his self-taught skills, which become the framework for a wonderful, descriptive armchair safari - especially the birth of an elephant, his close encounters with two lions and walking on the back of a crocodile. 

The motto at basecamp was ‘Don’t run, whatever you do, - ‘Food runs – and there’s nothing here you can outrun anyway.’ Enough said.

Allisons's love of wild life and Botswana shine on each and every page.

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