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Walking the Nile by Levison Wood

June 19, 2019

 

The Blurb

 

A major Channel 4 series and a Sunday Times bestseller His journey is 4,250 miles long. He is walking every step of the way, camping in the wild, foraging for food, fending for himself against multiple dangers. He is passing through rainforest, savannah, swamp, desert and lush delta oasis. He will cross seven, very different countries. No one has ever made this journey on foot. In this detailed, thoughtful, inspiring and dramatic book, recounting Levison Wood's walk along the length of the Nile, he will uncover the history of the Nile, yet through the people he meets and who will help him with his journey, he will come face to face with the great story of a modern Africa emerging out of the past. Exploration and Africa are two of his great passions - they drive him on and motivate his inquisitiveness and resolution not to fail, yet the challenges of the terrain, the climate, the animals, the people and his own psychological resolution will throw at him are immense. The dangers are very real, but so is the motivation for this ex-army officer. If he can overcome the mental and physical challenges, he will be walking into history...​

 

About Levison Wood

 

 

Levison Wood is a writer and explorer. Having traveled in over 80 countries he documents the journeys of tribal peoples and minority groups around the world. He served as an officer in the British Army Parachute Regiment with operational experience in Afghanistan and training missions around the world. His expeditions have taken him from the deserts of North Africa, to the mountains of Central Asia and the jungles of South America. He is a Co-Founder of Secret Compass, has led pioneering treks across Madagascar and Iraq and is the first man to attempt to walk the length of the Nile in 2014. Levison is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and International Fellow of the Explorers Club. He was born in Staffordshire in 1982 and educated at the University of Nottingham and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

 

My Review

 

I have not seen the Channel 4 production of 'Walking the Nile' following Levison Wood's journey on foot from the true source of the Nile in Rwanda to its delta in Egypt, but then I'm a reader and do not even own a television. But I think I got far more from turning these pages and would have been less captivated from passively watching a tv screen. 
This is a story of one man's journey to walk upstream from source to delta, with no clear rationale for doing this, other than it was there and he wanted to do it. It's an incredible journey with lots of low points, fear, frustration, sadness, and despair, not to mention the physical toll it had on the author's body. But the high points were the support, hospitality, and selflessness of the ordinary people he met in each country he traveled through, including war-torn South Sudan and Sudan. Also amongst the high points were the extraordinary bonds he had with his guides, particularly Boston, who I clearly would have liked to have completed the whole journey with Levison Wood. 
I'm sure Levison Wood has absorbed much of Africa in his soul, and for me, there could not be a better rationale than that for completing such a journey. It's an experience that I could never match, but thank goodness for people like Levison Wood who can, and is willing to share that experience through books like this. Worthy of the highest rating, maximum of five stars.​

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