Immersed in West Africa by Terry Lister is a wonderful and realistic travelogue about five Western African countries. Terry Lister travels through Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau – he faced many difficulties at each level but also gathered unforgettable experience about people, colonization, history, nature, and other many things.
He had a mixed sort of travel experience through these countries. He travelled by road, since most of the countries are connected. By going through the pictures given in the book, I can say that the author enjoyed despite being in difficult situations. He mainly faced transport issues, currency exchange and lack of ATM withdrawals, the most dreadful experience was securing money from the corrupt border officials. As shown in the movie Blood Diamond, crossing an African border without getting into difficulty is like securing a place in heaven. Above anything, Terry had to struggle a lot for a comfortable commute there…either cabs mini buses are overcrowded or roads are pathetic.
On one side Africa is corrupt and out of order but on the other side it teems with natural beauty, rich history of colonization and slave trade. Terry’s travel was not all about bad people and frustration, he through his guide also got to meet good families with whom he shared meals and tea. The book is quite exhaustive about countries’ way of life. I was glad to note that Terry didn’t get into political situations of the country. Like a good traveler, he penned down what he saw and experienced.
Having seen so much in Africa as a solo traveler is nothing less than an achievement in itself. West Africa is ignored by mainstream media and tourist groups, however, Terry chose the less-traveled road and comes up with honest insights about these West African countries. He had put a lot of information without meddling it, he was right by providing information in a mild way. With persistence and patience, Terry didn’t spoil his tour. I don’t think so that I can ever travel to Africa but I am glad to experience through the eyes of Terry –the traveler. 5 countries and two months – truly Terry was immersed in West Africa.
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