The Birder’s Guide to Africa

The Birder’s Guide to Africa
Michael Mills. Photographs by Tasso Leventis
Publisher:  Go-away Birding
2018
1st edition published:  2017
Softback
Page Count:  544
ISBN Number:  9780620717250
£
34.95

This is an ambitious book which sets out to present a 'comprehensive and detailed summary of bird watching in the African region.' This is a tall order, but this book really is packed with information.

The first of three parts contains the Country Accounts, which provide plenty of detail of species to see, places to visit and, perhaps most usefully, practical travel tips; there is also a novel ranking system to help you decide which country you really should visit next! This is followed by the Family Accounts, where the author extols the challenge of trying to see every bird family, and gives a summary of each avian family in Africa. This middle section contains the majority of the book’s photos which are, really without exception, excellent to outstanding in quality; they even found some nice-looking cisticolas! The third section contains Species Accounts for each of 2,792 species; each is inevitably short but forms a good summary of range and status and, for many species, suggests good sites where the species can be found.

In summary, this is not a field guide and, by itself, is not sufficient for detailed planning of a trip to Africa. However, it is an inspiring and high-quality compendium of information that looks hard to beat as a celebration of the amazing birds of this fascinating continent. Highly recommended.

Copies of the books can be ordered in the UK directly from the publisher by emailing goawaybirding [at] gmail.com (subject: Book%20order%20enquiry%20from%20BTO%20review)

Andy Musgrove