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African Inspiration: Literature & Film

Written by  Hannah

  • 05 May 2020
African Inspiration: Literature & Film

As we sit tight and wait eagerly for a time when we can travel once again, there are plenty of ways to keep our minds occupied. Whether you’d like to learn more about an African country you’ve already visited, increase your knowledge in preparation for a future holiday or simply interested in finding out more about Africa, let us open your eyes to the world of African literature and film.

African Literature

Many people are using this quiet time to read more books, so why not expand your usual genres and have a go at something different? In a continent as historically, geographically and culturally diverse as Africa, it will come as no surprise that you can find many highly reputed authors. Here are some classics to get you started:

1. The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell (Zambia)

2. The Sheltering Desert by Henno Martin (Namibia)

3. The House of Hunger by Dambudzo Marechera (Zimbabwe)

4. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (South Africa)

5. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (South Africa)


African Non-Fiction Books

Many nations in Africa would not be what they are today without their tumultuous pasts. It is worth knowing a bit about the events that have shaped these countries, before you visit them.

1. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (South Africa)

2. Out of Africa by Karen Blixen (Kenya)

3. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (South Africa)

4. The Old Way: A Story of the First People by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (Namibia)

5. Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide by Peter Allison (Botswana)


African Documentaries

The African savannah has been the filming location for many a wildlife documentary, thanks to the dramatic wildlife interactions that can be captured – from lions fighting hippos in the Okavango Delta to the annual wildebeest migration across Tanzania and Kenya.

1. Our Planet – David Attenborough (Tanzania)

2. Eye of the Leopard (Botswana)

3. Vanishing Kings: Lion of the Namib (Namibia)

4. Africa – BBC Earth (all over Africa)

5. Solo: A Wild Dog’s Tale (Botswana)


African Films

Films like Out of Africa (starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford) put African safari on the map back in the 1980s, and even today many of the safari lodges draw on this style, including Hamilton's Tented Camp in South Africa's Kruger National Park (pictured above). There are also many excellent and moving films showcasing Africa’s troubled past, including the apartheid era in South Africa.

1. Virunga (Congo)

2. Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (South Africa)

3. Cry Freedom (South Africa)

4. The Last King of Scotland (Uganda)

5. Out of Africa (Kenya)


We pinned Africa on the Llama Travel map in July 2019 (read our blog to find out why), starting with Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Victoria Falls. To find out more, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020 7263 3000.

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