Filled with humor and tense is-he-about-to-get-eaten moments, Whatever You Do, Don’t Run details Peter Allison’s adventures as a career safari guide in Botswana. From swimming with elephant herds to accidentally stepping on crocodiles to facing down charging lions, Allison may seem at first to have a death wish. Fortunately, his genuine respect and understanding of animals allows him navigate even the most dangerous situations with skill and — occasionally — grace. Told in a funny, familiar voice, Allison’s stories come alive on the page, leaving readers to feel the searing heat of the Motswana sun and the smell of a disgruntled water buffalo’s breath.
Also highly recommended on audiobook.
“Other elephant herds came and went in the months that followed, but they had a wary wildness to them, easy to see in the way they held themselves as I approached. I could not get as close and would never have tried swimming with them or attempted what I did the next time Salvador and her family came to Mombo. I found the group ambling along and felt a surge of fondness for them, which doubled when I saw that Salvador’s daughter (easily recognized as she had inherited her mother’s buck teeth) had had an addition since she had last been with us. The little chap was already walking confidently but still had little control over the many thousands of muscles in his trunk. It swung like a rubber hose under too much pressure, on occasion so violently that it would startle him and send him scurrying to his mother for protection. Like every other guide or wildlife lover who is eventually eaten or trampled, I felt that I had a bond with this herd that would make me safe with them. I wanted to try my luck again.”
Peter Allison is the author of Whatever You Do, Don’t Run; Don’t Look Behind You; and How to Walk a Puma. Born in Australia, he currently lives and works in South Africa.
Length: 246 pages
Set in: Botswana
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