Walking the Nile: Book summary and reviews of Walking the Nile by Levison Wood

Walking the Nile

by Levison Wood

Walking the Nile by Levison Wood X
Walking the Nile by Levison Wood
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2016
    352 pages
    Genre: Travel & Adventure

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Book Summary

An inimitable tale of survival, resilience, and sheer willpower, Walking the Nile is an inspiring chronicle of an epic journey down the lifeline of civilization in northern Africa.

The Nile, one of the world's great rivers, has long been an object of fascination and obsession. From Alexander the Great and Nero, to Victorian adventurers David Livingstone, John Hanning Speke, and Henry Morton Stanley, the river has seduced men and led them into wild adventures. English writer, photographer, and explorer Levison Wood is just the latest. His Walking the Nile is a captivating account of a remarkable and unparalleled Nile journey.

Starting in November 2013 in a forest in Rwanda, where a modest spring spouts a trickle of clear, cold water, Wood set forth on foot, aiming to become the first person to walk the entire length of the fabled river. He followed the Nile for nine months, over 4,000 miles, through six nations - Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, the Republic of Sudan, and Egypt - to the Mediterranean coast.

Like his predecessors, Wood camped in the wild, foraged for food, and trudged through rainforest, swamp, savannah, and desert, enduring life-threatening conditions at every turn. He traversed sandstorms, flash floods, minefields, and more, becoming a local celebrity in Uganda, where a popular rap song was written about him, and a potential enemy of the state in South Sudan, where he found himself caught in a civil war and detained by the secret police. As well as recounting his triumphs, like escaping a charging hippo and staving off wild crocodiles, Wood's gripping account recalls the loss of Matthew Power, a journalist who died suddenly from heat exhaustion during their trek. As Wood walks on, often joined by local guides who help him to navigate foreign languages and customs, Walking the Nile maps out African history and contemporary life.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[An] ambitious attempt... the opinions of the people [Wood] encounters... are dynamic and at times surprising... These voices, seen through the lens of Wood's words, make this memoir a success." - Publishers Weekly

"A bold travelogue, illuminating great swathes of modern Africa." - Kirkus

"Armchair travelers and those looking for a side of Africa not generally seen will find adventure sprinkled with culture and history in this narrative that circumvents the colonial pomp while following in the shadow of the original British explorers of Africa." - Library Journal

"[A] thoughtful, informative, and extremely good book." - Daily Mail (UK)

"Wood gives an engaging account of his journey and the people and wildlife he meets along the way... Gripping and illuminating, this is an account of an adventure by an explorer very much aware of the complexities of the world around him but determined to pursue his goal." - The Good Book Guide (UK)

"There are already quite a lot of locust-loving TV He-Men out there trying to fill the evolutionary gap between Crocodile Dundee and Michael Palin. But Levison Wood is a cut above." - London Evening Standard (UK)

"A remarkable, challenging, and inspiring journey." - Beyond (UK)

"Wood reminds us we're not running out of new places to explore." - Scotsman (UK)

"Wood's journey has inspired many others ... Since Homer composed The Odyssey we've known it's the journey, not the destination alone, that truly rewards us. Yet, without those restless individuals blazing a trail for us to follow, would we ever even peek beyond the horizon? And that is perhaps why adventurers such as Levison Wood are considered timeless icons of masculinity." - Times (UK)

"An immense feat of endurance, a magnificent journey and a great adventure." - Ranulph Fiennes

"Many have attempted this holy grail of an expedition - so I admire Lev's determination and courage to pull this off." - Bear Grylls

"Obsession, sacrifice, bravery, death - the themes of great expedition tales haven't changed since Odysseus set sail. The adventurer Levison Wood has accomplished a doubly impressive feat, not only walking the Nile but capturing that experience in this lovely, evocative book." - Mark Adams, New York Times bestselling author of Turn Right at Machu Pichu

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Author Information

Levison Wood

Levison Wood is a writer, photographer, and explorer, who has travelled in over 80 countries, documenting the journeys of tribal peoples and minority groups. He served in Afghanistan as an officer in the British Army Parachute Regiment and is co-founder of Secret Compass, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an International Fellow of the Explorers Club. His work has featured in international publications around the world including National Geographic, Discovery Channel Magazine, and on CNN, Channel 4, and the BBC. When not abroad, he lives in London.

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