Safari Ants, Baggy Pants & Elephants: A Kenyan Odyssey by Susie Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it a good idea to revisit your childhood? For Susie Kelly it definitely was as you will discover in this fantastic book. I first became a fan of Susie back in the UK when I read of her move to France, and her adventures and exploits since. In 2014 she released I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry, a poignant memoir, which included her wonderful childhood in Africa, and this is its long awaited sequel.

In this book we join Susie, and her husband Terry, as they take up an invitation from her old friend Vivien, owner of As You Like It Safaris, to go on a safari, and enjoy the experience through her beautifully descriptive writing and wonderful photographs.

And so, leaving her animals in France, under careful supervision, in August 2015, Susie and her husband Terry set off for an African safari. More than 40 years after leaving Africa, many things have changed, including Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya, which through her eyes as the plane landed now resembles a space station.

Immediately feeling like she has come home, Susie straight away treats the reader to the full African experience, as she  vividly describes the sights, sounds, and if possible the smells of this amazing continent.

After meeting other safari members, and a well-deserved sleep in the Nairobi Serena hotel, Susie, Terry and their group start their safari by making their way to the Amboseli National Park 140 miles south of Nairobi, and Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. I cannot begin to describe how much Susie’s writing and reminiscing brings this book to life. Not only is the reader treated to stunningly vivid descriptions of the animals and scenery, but also the native tribes and the people who are guiding them. At this point I have to say that Susie has taken some amazing photographs throughout the safari adventure and they complement this book beautifully.

The safari group stayed at some wonderful and famous places, from the Mount Kenya Safari Club, with its touch of celebrity lifestyle, to camping in tents for an ‘Out of Africa’ experience in the Masai Mara. However, these were no ordinary tents, in fact it is only their canvas walls which gives them their name. These were beautifully furnished, double lined, insect proof rooms, on raised platforms with double and four poster beds, and they were situated on the bank of the Olare Orok river, so Susie and Terry could sit on the veranda and watch the hippos in the water.

Being an animal fanatic I enjoyed learning so much about African wildlife from this book and also the incredible people who care for, and protect it

After a childhood spent on this vast continent, time spent in England, and 20 years in France, Susie has used her own unique style of writing to bring together her African safari, and past alive, and has generously shared it with her readers.

Whether you are looking for a book about Africa, love wildlife, or are addicted to memoirs, I guarantee that you will not be able to put this one down!

For those who would like to join Susie’s safari and watch Africa come alive, Susie has produced a special slide show album of her visit for her readers to enjoy http://tinkerbelle.jalbum.net/Safari%20Ants,%20Baggy%20Pants%20and%20Elephants/

 

About the Author: Born a Londoner, Susie Kelly spent most of the first 25 years of her life in Kenya. She now lives in south-west France with her husband and assorted animals. She believes that her explosive temper is a legacy from her Irish-American grandfather, but has no idea who to blame for her incompetence as a housewife. Still, she’s very kind to animals, small children and elderly people. Susie particularly enjoys exploring the road less travelled, discovering the lives and events of lesser-known places. Susie has a rapidly growing fan base. All 5 of her popular travel books have dominated Amazon’s UK paid French Travel Bestsellers, achieving the straight flush #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5. Her remarkable memoir I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry reached #35 in the US Top 100; in 2016 her story of running holiday gites in France Swallows & Robins: The Laughs & Tears Of A Holiday Home Owner reached #9 in the Australian Amazon Top 100 and was a non-fiction finalist in The People’s Book Prize. Prior to publishing with Blackbird, Susie was with Transworld who sold over 50,000 of her titles in the UK.

 

About the Book  The long-awaited sequel to Susie Kelly’s US Amazon Top 40 ranking memoir I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wish-Could-Say-Was-Sorry-ebook/dp/B00CS8YG34/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1496753364&sr=1-6 described by BookBub as “A Child Called It meets Out Of Africa in this stunning memoir of a woman’s 1950s childhood in Kenya. Filled with candid humor and insights, this authentic tale captures one woman’s incredible coming-of-age journey.”

More than 40 years after leaving Kenya, Susie unexpectedly finds herself returning for a safari organised by an old friend.

With her husband Terry, Susie sets off for a holiday touring the game reserves, but what she finds far exceeds her expectations. In this, her seventh, travelogue, she takes readers from five star hotels to luxury tents in the wilderness, and to poverty in Nairobi’s slums, describing a journey of joy, excitement, discovery, nostalgia, of new friendships and encounters of the very close kind with Kenya’s majestic wildlife. Forgotten memories come flooding back as she revisits the scenes of her childhood and adolescence, so movingly portrayed in her popular memoir I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry, many of them changed beyond recognition.

Written in her characteristic laid back style, this is a travel tale that will appeal to all those readers who have enjoyed Susie’s previous books, as well as anybody who has lived in or dreams of visiting Kenya, the magical land Susie still thinks of as ‘home’.

‘Vivid, moving, entertaining. Anybody thinking of taking a safari holiday in Kenya, or who would like to take an armchair safari to Kenya, should read this book.’

“Hemingway wrote:’I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.’ That is how I feel about Kenya. You feel at once insignificant and amazing, just for being here. This magnificent, beautiful country, birthplace of mankind, owner of my heart.” Susie Kelly, 2017

Available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/Safari-Ants-Baggy-Pants-Elephants/dp/0995473579/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1496753364&sr=1-2

and kindle format https://www.amazon.co.uk/Safari-Ants-Baggy-Pants-Elephants-ebook/dp/B06XZPJP8Y/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1496753364&sr=1-2