Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book review of Safari Ants, Baggy Pants and Elephants by Susie Kelly

French Village Diaries review Safari Ants, Baggy Pants and Elephants by Susie Kelly
Safari Ants, Baggy Pants and Elephants
by Susie Kelly

I’m geographically veering way off course today and leaving France for the exotic delights of Kenya with my review of Safari Ants, Baggy Pants and Elephants by Susie Kelly. This is the latest travel memoir from Susie and despite it not being about her adventures in France, I was captivated from chapter one. 

I have been a fan since picking up my first Susie Kelly book, Best Foot Forward, almost ten years ago. It was the first book I reviewed on my blog and Susie was the first author I reached out to on Facebook, and I was so happy when she accepted my friend request! I know many of you have also enjoyed Susie’s books over the years so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to review and share this one. For me, being back in a Susie Kelly book is comforting as well as entertaining and this one didn’t disappoint. 

If I had to describe this book in just one word, it would be thoughtful. Susie, who grew up in Kenya, returns with her husband Terry for the safari opportunity of a lifetime. She thoughtfully shares her Kenya with us; the sights and colours, the sounds and scents, as well as the fabulous meals they indulge in. While any good writer could bring a safari trip to life, Susie, who has over 50 years of love for the country, is able to add an extra dimension on top of her wide-eyed wonder and obvious joy at all they experienced. In this memoir she compares and contrasts the Kenya of her youth with what she finds today and adds her thoughts and experience when talking about the lives of the white settlers who brought such change to Kenyan life.

From Five-Star luxury, to slum schools, to elephant orphanages, every experience is described with honesty, sympathy and not forgetting Susie’s unique sense of humour. Her love for the people, the place and the life she led there came across and as her trip came to an end I could feel her ‘drinking’ Kenya; consuming as much of everything as she could to keep it within her.

Susie is a great ambassador for Kenya and through her I felt I had ‘seen’ a little slice of the real Kenya. While I’m unlikely to ever be able to follow in her footsteps, I’m sure for many readers, having read this book they will visit. For the rest of us, it’s the best safari experience you are likely to get, without going on safari! You can join Susie on Facebook here to see more from her trip to Kenya.

Safari Ants, Baggy Pants and Elephants is published by Blackbird Books and is available in ebook format. Links to Amazon for Susie's books can be found below.

You might also like to read my France et Moi interview with Susie here or my reviews of her other excellent books, see below.