Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to…

Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown (2002)

by Paul Theroux

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,464435,106 (3.91)50
  1. 10
    The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari by Paul Theroux (John_Vaughan)
  2. 00
    When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin (bergs47)
  3. 00
    Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Travels in South Africa by Gavin Bell (John_Vaughan)
  4. 00
    Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux (John_Vaughan)
  5. 00
    The Blue Nile by Alan Moorehead (John_Vaughan)
  6. 00
    Journey Without Maps by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: Both authors felt deeply about Africa and Greene wrote several works on this theme of inner and actual African travel. Paul returns to his Peace Corp teaching post but the books reveals his disillusionment.
  7. 00
    More Great Railway Journeys by Benedict Allen (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: Chapt 2 for more on Africa - Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown. Paul Theoux
  8. 00
    A Tourist in Africa by Evelyn Waugh (John_Vaughan)
  9. 00
    Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (lauranav)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 50 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
I enjoyed his grumpy old man perspective descriptions (I thought he was rather funny - both laughing with and at him). The many 17 year olds I know who read this though for an English class did not really appreciate him, however (and no, I'm not their English teacher).
  TLkirsten | Mar 21, 2015 |
Enjoyable but heavy going in places, will try again one day as listening to others i'm sure i must have missed something ( )
  Tony2704 | Mar 15, 2015 |
Much like The Kingdom by the Sea, I thoroughly enjoyed this unusual travelouge of an overland trip from Cairo to Cape Town. I like the random twists and turns that the trip takes and his reflections on what has changed in Africa since he lived there in the Peace Corps in the 60's. Aid workers and Safari enthusiats come in for most of his scorn and the ones he meets completely deserve it. More in my series of "I'm reading something I like!".
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
Theroux goes off the deep end a few times with this in his callous name-calling of anyone who doesn't conform to his worldview. I still like and appreciate him quite a bit, but am I detecting a touch of senility in his writing? Once is fine, twice okay, three times bearable, but his harping on themes like the NGOs and their white SUVs or the big game tourists was a bit over the top. Futile and senile perhaps. Obviously though, I still liked the book. ( )
  untraveller | May 15, 2014 |
He writes well but he comes across as an unpleasant, self-righteous old man, the type of man I don't like to meet when I travel. It's interesting that he was so critical of the tourists that go to Africa to see wildlife and have the butler prepare them a bath in a luxury resort, and at the end he does the same, travelling in a luxury train with a butler and staying at a very expensive game resort. I suppose he thought he deserved it and the others didn't. The whole trip looked to me like a late mid-life crisis. I particularly disliked the way he commented on young women (there's no fool like an old fool...) and I found what he said about women's behavior in game reserves absolute sexist nonsense. I was looking forward to reach the end of the book to hear his views on Mozambique and South Africa but that was also a disappointment. I give it 3 stars for the writing, which I enjoyed but I think is wasted in such a person. ( )
  Estrela | Jun 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Theroux is often dour, although he finds hopeful signs that Africa will endure and overcome its present misfortunes in the sight, for instance, of a young African boatman doing complex mathematical equations amid “spitting jets of steam,” and in the constant, calming beauty of so many African places. Engagingly written, sharply observed: another winner from Theroux.
added by John_Vaughan | editKirkus (Jul 21, 2011)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Large-leaved and many-footed shadowing,

What god rules over Africa, what shape

What avuncular cloud-man beamier than spears?

   Wallace Stevens, ‘The Greenest Continent’
For my mother, Anne Dittami Theroux,

on her ninety-first birthday
First words
All news out of Africa is bad.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Japanese Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (5)

Book description
Al het nieuws over Afrika, stelde Paul Theroux vast, is tegenwoordig slecht nieuws. Het enige dat we over de Afrikaanse landen horen, heeft te maken met hongersnood, massamoorden en natuurrampen Theroux had betere herinneringen aan het Afrikaanse continent. Hij dacht aan de vele gevaren, de liefelijkheid, de humor, de schoonheid van de natuur, en besloot per trein een reis te maken door het 'groenste deel van de wereld', waar hij veertig jaar geleden met veel plezier gewoond, gewerkt en rondgetrokken had. Hij was ervan overtuigd dat zijn nieuwe reis weer even plezierig zou worden. Maar Theroux vergiste zich. Hij werd beroofd, beschoten en beschimpt. De wegen waren een verschrikking, de treinen bevonden zich in een vreselijke slechte toestand en een infrastructuur bestond nauwelijks. Afrika leek in veertig jaar alleen maar bergafwaarts gegaan. De mensen waren hongeriger, armer, slechter opgeleid, pessimistischer en corrupter, en de politici onderscheidden zich niet langer van medicijnmannen. Theroux werd ziek en kon vaak niet verder reizen. Toch verveelde hij zich geen moment. Integendeel: zijn verblijf in Afrika werd een openbaring. De reis van Cairo naar Kaapstad bleek een nieuw reisboek dubbel en dwars waard te zijn.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618446877, Paperback)

In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances.
Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists. What results is an insightful meditation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its people, and "a vivid portrayal of the secret sweetness, the hidden vitality, and the long-patient hope that lies just beneath the surface" (Rocky Mountain News). In a new postscript, Theroux recounts the dramatic events of a return to Africa to visit Zimbabwe.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:33 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The author recounts his odyssey down the length of Africa, from Cairo to South Africa, describing the bad food, many delays, discomforts, and dangers of his trip, along with the people and places of the real Africa.

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
19 avail.
55 wanted
4 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.91)
1 1
1.5 2
2 17
2.5 2
3 61
3.5 22
4 142
4.5 23
5 76


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140281118, 0141037296

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,171,397 books! | Top bar: Always visible