Incredible true tales from a world-renowned safari guide and celebrated author
Romantic notions aside, being a safari guide isn't always particularly enjoyable or glamorous. Quite often it is beset with challenges, like having to spend a night in a thorn tree with marauding hyenas below. But safari guide Peter Allison lives for such moments. Here, the author of the widely praised Whatever You Do, Don't Run details his time spent in safari camps not only in Botswana but also in South Africa, Mozambique, and Namibia—places he loves, despite how much it feels like they might just be trying to kill him.
In Don't Look Behind You, Allison recounts adventures few would live to tell. Like the time he and a group of bored guides launched a makeshift raft into a foaming, flooded river teeming with hippos and crocodiles. Or the afternoon he heard monkeys telling him that a leopard was walking around the camp, and then realized the leopard was in his tent, with him in it.
In addition to relating his encounters with animals, Allison shares the stories of those tourists who have long been pushing him toward early retirement. Normally respectful of all his fellow creatures no matter how many feet they have, Allison fantasizes about leaving one in particular behind on the Skeleton Coast, a place that receives less than half an inch of rain a year, and is patrolled by lions and hyenas.
Peter Allison is a safari guide who has spent much of the last twelve years leading wildlife-viewing and ecotourism trips in Africa, mostly Botswana. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, he has a self-deprecating sense of humor that makes him an ideal narrator for a book about the challenges and elusive joys of dealing with tourists in the African bush. His love of animals led him to train as a safari guide in the early 1990s, and soon thereafter he was hired by southern Africa's largest operator to train all of their safari experts. Safaris he has led have been featured in magazines such as Vogue and Conde Nast Traveler (which described him as "silver tongued"). He has assisted National Geographic photographers and appeared on television shows such as Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures. For most of his safari career he has been based at a camp in Botswana called Mombo, which is situated on an oasis in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. Hunters and poachers cannot venture on the island, and tourism is limited to the small camp.Despite having lived in a tent for more than a decade, Peter is a confident public speaker. In Sydney he presents seminars to the business community on animal behavior and its relation to competitive human behavior and power games.Peter is also active with the Athena Foundation, a nonprofit conservation group. He is on the board of the Athena Foundation's youth program, whose mission is to inspire young people to develop their interest in conservation.
He currently divides his time between Australia, California, and Botswana.
"The best compliment you can pay a travel writer is to read his work and feel like you're right there with him. For more than two hundred pages, I felt like I was in Africa, up to my neck in danger. I don't even know this guy, but more than once I lay awake at night, worrying for his safety. Enough adventure, action, life lessons, and laughs to fill a movie and four sequels. The fact that Allison survived to write any of this down is a miracle in itself." --Cash Peters, author of Naked in Dangerous Places and Gullible's Travels