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Whatever You Do, Don't Run (updated)

Whatever You Do, Don't Run (updated)

4.3 96
by Peter Allison

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A hilarious, highly original collection of essays based on the Botswana truism: "only food runs!" With a new introduction and new material from the authorIn the tradition of Bill Bryson, a new writer brings us the lively adventures and biting wit of an African safari guide. Peter Allison gives us the guide's-eye view of living in the bush, confronting the world


A hilarious, highly original collection of essays based on the Botswana truism: "only food runs!" With a new introduction and new material from the authorIn the tradition of Bill Bryson, a new writer brings us the lively adventures and biting wit of an African safari guide. Peter Allison gives us the guide's-eye view of living in the bush, confronting the world's fiercest terrain of wild animals and, most challenging of all, managing herds of gaping tourists. Passionate for the animals of the Kalahari, Allison works as a top safari guide in the wildlife-rich Okavango Delta. As he serves the whims of his wealthy clients, he often has to stop the impulse to run as far away from them as he can, as these tourists are sometimes more dangerous than a pride of lions. No one could make up these outrageous-but-true tales: the young woman who rejected the recommended safari-friendly khaki to wear a more "fashionable" hot pink ensemble; the lost tourist who happened to be drunk, half-naked, and a member of the British royal family; establishing a real friendship with the continent's most vicious animal; the Japanese tourist who requested a repeat performance of Allison's being charged by a lion so he could videotape it; and spending a crazy night in the wild after blowing a tire on a tour bus, revealing that Allison has as much good-natured scorn for himself. The author's humor is exceeded only by his love and respect for the animals, and his goal is to limit any negative exposure to humans by planning trips that are minimally invasive—unfortunately it doesn't always work out that way!New story: People often ask safari guides about the experience that frightened them the most. In this story Peter Allison tells of the time he became aware of unseen danger, and knew that somewhere within meters of him was a hunting lioness. Peter Allison is originally from Sydney, Australia. His safaris have been featured in National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, and on television programs such as Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures. He travels frequently to speaking appearances, and splits most of his time between Botswana, Sydney, and San Francisco.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Allison's infectious enthusiasm for both the African bush and his job showing its wonders to tourists is readily apparent." —Booklist "His misadventures make Whatever You Do, Don't Run an absorbing read. . . . The material is rich, and Allison is a gifted storyteller. And the only thing stranger than African fiction is African truth." —National Geographic Adventure "After reading this entrancing memoir, an African safari may move to No. 1 on your travel wish list. The only catch is you'll want the author as your guide." —Chicago Sun-Times

Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Peter Allison is a safari guide who has spent much of the last twelve years leading wildlife-viewing and ecotourism trips in Africa, mostly Botswana. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, he has a self-deprecating sense of humor that makes him an ideal narrator for a book about the challenges and elusive joys of dealing with tourists in the African bush. His love of animals led him to train as a safari guide in the early 1990s, and soon thereafter he was hired by southern Africa's largest operator to train all of their safari experts. Safaris he has led have been featured in magazines such as Vogue and Conde Nast Traveler (which described him as "silver tongued"). He has assisted National Geographic photographers and appeared on television shows such as Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures. For most of his safari career he has been based at a camp in Botswana called Mombo, which is situated on an oasis in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. Hunters and poachers cannot venture on the island, and tourism is limited to the small camp.Despite having lived in a tent for more than a decade, Peter is a confident public speaker. In Sydney he presents seminars to the business community on animal behavior and its relation to competitive human behavior and power games.Peter is also active with the Athena Foundation, a nonprofit conservation group. He is on the board of the Athena Foundation's youth program, whose mission is to inspire young people to develop their interest in conservation. He currently divides his time between Australia, California, and Botswana. The local Batswana dubbed him "The Sexually Frustrated Elephant." The origin of this epithet is explained in the book.

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Whatever You Do, Don't Run 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 96 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a quick read and a good digression from all the travel books I read before going on my trip to Botswana. I read this while I was on my safari and it is hilarious and an easy read during your siestas. When I returned, I lend the book to my friend who has been to Botswana and she absolutely devoured it. It's a laugh out loud book.
Nighthawk921 More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. It make me laugh, cry, cringe and wish I was there! And through all of that I was learning about Africa, its animals and what a Safari might be like. I have always been interested in an African Safari and now I know I definitely want to experience one. This book is good for anyone. You dont have to be a nature lover to love this book.
Island_Chica More than 1 year ago
I love traveling, and for me an African Safari is the dream trip. Until I can make the journey to Africa, this book is a great substitute. Told through the eyes of a Safari Guide, Peter Allison takes you with him through animal encounters scary and breathtaking and through encounters with a truly puzzling species - our fellow man. The book is highly entertaining for anyone interested in the subject, and I recommend it as a great read for escapists and travelers.
Jackaroo More than 1 year ago
Peter Allison takes the reader on a laugh out loud journey through southern Africa with most of the stories taking place in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. The authors ability to blend ecological facts into his tales is wonderful. It is an amusing book and the stories transport the reader to the African bush where the most dangerous and frustrating animals are the tourists themselves.
isopropyl70 More than 1 year ago
People will ask you what you're reading you will be laughing so often. This book is not an authoritative guide to safaris, but gives you the mostly unseen side of the business. His accounts sound like the adult equivalent of summer camp counselor. Some parts are not for the squeamish. Great pictures - could use more of them.
CMMurin More than 1 year ago
I read this book just about cover to cover. Peter Allison clearly loves the places, people and wildlife that he writes about. Self deprecating humor makes you laugh out loud while the detail and care in the stories makes you want to visit Africa even if you never before entertained the idea.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing! I thought and felt like I was right there in the desert. The author did so well that I sometimes thought I could hear the same sounds that he was describing! I think this is an excellent story about leearning about, loving, and hating the desert and the desert animals! The people were the worst or best depending on how you look at it!
book_wrm More than 1 year ago
What a great read! Peter Allison gives us a glimpse into the often hilarious, and sometimes harrowing, life of a safari guide. Through a series of quick chapter-length stories, Allison brings us along on his adventures. I followed enthusiastically! I confess, after reading this book, I immediately got online to research a safari trip of my own.
JoyElizabeth More than 1 year ago
This book was a delight to read. It was touching, informative, funny and exciting. It is difficult to decide who the true "stars" of the book are: the animals, the narrator, or Botswana itself. Treat yourself to this little jewel!
annieWISC More than 1 year ago
Having read this true, humorous and harrowing tale of safari life, watching nature from the safety of my screen porch will suffice for this reader. However, it was fun to go along for the ride and learn about both the animals and the safari life from the guide's perspective as he progressed from novice to professional. This book is summer camp on steroids.
Avid-readerKS More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a great look into life as a safari guide, that is if your very young and prone to making some error in judgment which leads to hmmm trouble. 'Don't Run' was an enjoyable read, loved the animal stories, It's a human face of someone encountering African life in the wild and living to tell about it.
silverbelle More than 1 year ago
Peter Allison gives the reader an insiders peek at the inner workings of an African Safari. A witty, well written series of vignettes that left me wanting to read more by this author. I have never particularly been interested in taking part in a Safari, but that did not interfere with my enjoyment of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will make you laugh out loud, make you cringe, and warm your heart. It is really well-written and the author pokes a lot of fun at himself and the hijinks he gets into. Overall, he really imparts his own love of animals and conservation into every page and makes you fall in love with the Botswana bush and all its inhabitants.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed both of his books to the extent that I've booked my 1st trip to "the bush" for my 40th birthday... admittedly it's still a ways away but I'm excited none the less. Hopefully our guide keeps our vehicle out of the hippo pools!! ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is the story of one man's adventures in southern Africa. It is written in short chapters which are usually funny. A delightful read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read. Very humerous, interesting, and informative for someone planning a safari - as we are. Would love to be on a safari with Peter!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A 19 year-old backpacks thru Africa until he runs out of money. His solution is to get work at a wildlife reserve. This book is his accounts of being a guide at a safari, and what amazing accounts they are. Peter Allison's adventures in the wild of Africa are as entertaining as they are awe inspiring. If you don't laugh at his run-ins with mice, snakes, mosquitoes, and other assorted fauna, then you need to check your funny bone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jimcox46 More than 1 year ago
First hand accounts of Peter Allison as a Safari guide in Botswana. A series of short stories that provides good insight into the world of photo safaris, guides and customers. Some touching and funny moments dealing with tourists, animals and fellow guides. Easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny book. Lots of adventure and human interest stories. I enjoyed it very much.