‘Only food runs’ – Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: the lively adventures and biting wit of an African safari guide

Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide by Peter Allison – a hilarious, highly original collection of essays in the tradition of Bill Bryson – out now from Jonathan Ball Publishers.

This edition features a new Introduction and new material from the author.

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, Allison tells of the time he became aware of unseen danger, and knew that somewhere within meters of him was a hunting lioness.

About the author

Peter Allison is originally from Sydney, Australia. His safaris have been featured in National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, and on television programmes 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.

Categories Africa International Non-fiction South Africa

Tags Jonathan Ball Publishers New books New releases Peter Allison Whatever You Do Don't Run

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