Leopard in the Afternoon: An African Tenting Safari
Publisher: Univ of Toronto Press
Our classification: Travel writing
Leopard in the Afternoon is a captivating story of a journey through some of Africa’s most spectacular haunts; and it is the most unusual story of how one of Canada’s most successful financiers, disillusioned with the world of business, found that a tenting safari became also a journey of discovery that would change his life irrevocably.
The journey took the form of a quest for that most dangerous, most threatened of the African cats – the leopard. Beautiful, mysterious, savage and reclusive, the leopard came to dominate the author’s thoughts and imagination. His drive to find the elusive creature led him deep into the Serengeti.
Christopher Ondaatje captures the power of Africa in his photographs as well as in the journal that he kept daily – from the grandeur of Mount Kilimanjaro to the breathtaking vistas of the Ngorongoro Crater, to the endless savannah plains of the Serengeti with its amazing variety of wildlife. The journey was enlivened by startling encounters with mating lions, night-marauding hyenas, and poisonous scorpions – and spiced with the risks the author took to obtain his photographs.
Leopard in the Afternoon is also touched with poignancy and regret for a vanishing wilderness – a world threatened with extinction. The book is a celebration and a lament – celebration of a fascinating and formidable environment; lament for the increasing fragility of its future.