Walking the Nileby Levison Wood
An account of the author’s pioneering walk along the length of the Nile, “an immense feat of endurance, a magnificent journey and a great adventure” (Ranulph Fiennes).
The Nile has long been an object of fascination and obsession, and from Alexander the Great to Victorian explorers it has enticed men into wild adventures. Levison Wood is just the latest. Starting in November 2013 in Rwanda, Wood set forth on foot, aiming to become the first person to walk the entire length of the fabled river.
Wood followed the Nile for nine months, over 4,000 miles, through six nations—Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, the Republic of Sudan, and Egypt—to the Mediterranean coast. Like his predecessors, he camped in the wild, foraged for food, and trudged through rainforest, swamp, savannah, and desert. He traversed sandstorms, minefields, and more, becoming a local celebrity in Uganda, where a popular rap song was written about him, and a potential enemy of the state in South Sudan, where he found himself detained by the secret police. As well as recounting his triumphs, Wood’s captivating account recalls the loss of Matthew Power, a journalist who died suddenly during their trek. As Wood walks on, often joined by local guides, Walking the Nile maps out African history and contemporary life. An inimitable tale of survival, resilience, and sheer willpower, Walking the Nile is an inspiring chronicle of an epic journey down the lifeline of civilization in northern Africa.
“Many have attempted this holy grail of an expedition—so I admire Lev’s determination and courage to pull this off.” —Bear Grylls
“[A] thoughtful, informative, and extremely good book.” —Daily Mail (UK)
“Obsession, sacrifice, bravery, death—the themes of great expedition tales haven’t changed since Odysseus set sail. The adventurer Levison Wood has accomplished a doubly impressive feat, not only walking the Nile but capturing that experience in this lovely, evocative book.” —Mark Adams, New York Times bestselling author of Turn Right at Machu Pichu
“Walking the Nile has enticed many explorers, but Wood provides an up-to-the-minute portrait of the nations and people that claim the world’s longest river . . . Wood is a sharp observer and authoritative writer. He takes pains to describe the Rwandan conflict, the Egyptian revolution, the Sudanese civil war, and all the culture clashes in between . . . A bold travelogue, illuminating great swathes of modern Africa.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Wood’s interest, as well as his talents as a writer, lie . . . in finding out ‘what life was like in corners of the world that do not always make it into our headlines’ and in capturing the character and foibles of the people who inhabit them . . . Mr. Wood has a good eye for detail and a better ear for dialogue . . . What’s more, unlike many explorers who went before him, Mr. Wood seems to have remained composed and charming throughout.” —Anthony Sattin, Wall Street Journal
“[An] ambitious attempt . . . the opinions of the people [Wood] encounters . . . are dynamic and at times surprising . . . These voices, seen through the lens of Wood’s words, make this memoir a success.” —Publishers Weekly
“Moments of sheer beauty and splendor are expertly juxtaposed with descriptions of the harshness of life for millions living in Africa, giving this account a depth and humbleness not often found in memoir/adventure writing. Wood has set a standard that will be hard to surpass.” —Shelf Awareness
“Gripping . . . Collecting these stories–let alone doing so beautifully—requires a variety of lucky skills. Wood emerges as a dutiful and brave guide.” —Nathan Deuel, Los Angeles Times
“A travelogue vivid enough to feel the burning sands in our soles.” —John Sandford, Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Walking the Nile continues the illustrious tradition of travel adventures stretching from Marco Polo to Henry W. Longfellow to Bear Grylls . . . Wood’s remarkable achievement is one each reader can savor vicariously . . . This worthy effort . . . should satisfy even the most jaded armchair adventurers.” —J. Kemper Campbell, Lincoln Journal Star
“In the macho, adrenaline-fuelled arena of TV adventurers, Levison Wood is that rare beast: the real deal.” —Claire Webb, Radio Times (UK)
“Unlike a great many pretenders, [Wood] is the real deal: a former paratrooper, a major in the Army Reserve and as hard as nails.” —Sunday Telegraph (UK)
“Wood is not most men . . . He has earned a reputation as a real-life action man.” —Mirror (UK)
“Britain’s best-loved adventurer.” —Times (UK)
An Amazon Best Book of the Year (Nonfiction)
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
Levison Wood named a Top 50 Traveller by Condé Nast Traveler (UK)