Kingdom of the Elephant by E.A. Temple-Perkins

There used to be more books written about Africa back when this vast continent was still being 'discovered'. The colonial era, for all its faults, yielded a large number of memorable books written by settlers, explorers, hunters and adventurers – many have been forgotten and some have become collectible.

Some dramatic titles, such as Three Years in Savage Africa or Savage Sudan, reflect the white man's preconceptions about African life, but these books still appeal to collectors and history buffs. Hunting was a major theme for many authors, who travelled to Africa, marveled at the animals and then gunned them down.  Books about big game were eventually replaced by photography books where the camera did the shooting. Next up were the early conservation books outlining the animals and their habitats that were under threat. The turmoil of colonialism - including the repression of native culture, the ivory trade and slavery - can also be found in long out-of-print literary accounts.

Books inspired by Africa's fauna generated many beautiful bindings and intricate cover designs. Elephants, lions, zebras and leopards were frequently used by publishers to decorate books from the past 150 years. These dramatic covers alone would force any bibliophile to pick one of these books.

Books on Safari

Guide to Rhodesia by Beira and Mashonaland and Rhodesia Railways
Guide to Rhodesia
Beira and Mashonaland and Rhodesia Railways
(faux leopard skin cloth)

I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson
I Married Adventure
Osa Johnson
(zebra striped boards)

Three Years in Savage Africa by Lionel Decle
Three Years in Savage Africa
Lionel Decle
(faux leopard skin corners)
Safari Koa Chui by Bruce Lee Kennedy
Safari Koa Chui
Bruce Lee Kennedy
(faux leopard skin)
Safari Diary 1961 by Bess Johnson
Safari Diary 1961
Bess Johnson
(faux leopard skin)
Kenya Diary 1902-1906 by Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen
Kenya Diary 1902-1906
Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen
The River Congo by Harry Hamilton Johnston
The River Congo
Harry Hamilton Johnston
Great Cats Chronicle by Simon Combes
Great Cats Chronicle
Simon Combes
African Safaris by Major G.H. Anderson
African Safaris
Major G.H. Anderson
African Game Trails by Theodore Roosevelt
African Game Trails
Theodore Roosevelt
Elephant Hunters, Men of Legend by Tony Sanchez-Arino
Elephant Hunters, Men of Legend
Tony Sanchez-Arino
Through Gasa Land by Parker Gillmore
Through Gasa Land
Parker Gillmore
African Safari by Peter Pickford
African Safari
Peter Pickford
Queen of Shaba by Joy Adamson
Queen of Shaba
Joy Adamson

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