Don’t Run, Whatever You Do is the story of the adventures and mis-adventures of an accidental safari guide. It is also an important piece of advice he was given when he started work on a game reserve. Any wildlife you encounter in Africa can run faster than you, from cheetahs and elephants to the obese, ungainly hippopotamus.
Peter Allison went backpacking in Africa at the age of nineteen. Circumstances took him to a game reserve where he was given a job running the camp bar. Over time he progressed to being a safari guide, a job for which he had no qualifications other than having a love of wildlife. Don’t Run, Whatever You Do takes us to some of the game reserves where he worked. It tells of encounters with lions, elephants and buffalo. It also tells of problems with game reserve guests and local wildlife, including with an unlikely animal – a plague of mice!
Allison writes with humour and obvious love and respect for the African wildlife. He is often self-deprecating, happy to admit the mistakes he made. You sense that he is always amazed at his good fortune in landing what is, for him, a dream job. Some of the photographs at the end of the book made me wish that I’d had his sense of adventure when I was nineteen years old. Perhaps I could have been a safari guide on a game reserve. Then again, probably not.
Please note: the picture above is the back of the paperback version of this book. I uploaded the image from Amazon, so it’s their mistake, not mine!