Books 10: Africa Reportage and Maasai Life

'The Tree Where Man Was Born' by Peter Mattheissen is a record of travel in East Africa in the 1950s and 1960s. Mattheissen' writing is a source of the conservationist, ecologist consciousness of today. The book describes the wildlife of the area  at that time, and also the people. The book is written in a language both elegant and limpid. There is a great deal of background information about the peoples of East Africa, as well as the author's experiences during travel in the area. This book has been re-issued by Penguin, and is highly recommended. Of the books recommended here, this is perhaps the one you should read if you read only one. However, it is so good that you will probably feel forced to visit east Africa, and then you will want to read a lot more.

There are several books which describe the life of Maasai people from the inside. 'The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior: An Autobiography' by Tepelit Ole Saitoti is somewhat dated, being over 20 years old, but is still worthwhile.

'Facing the Lion' by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton is the story of a Maasai life for younger readers.