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Travels Into the Interior of Africa

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  222 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A combination of two journeys, Scotsman Mungo Park's story of his first trip in 1795 as a 24-year old, and again in 1805, provided Europeans with their first reliable description of the interior of the continent. The first trip was full of an endearing vulnerability and the heroic generosity of a fit young man, while the second was one of Conradian tragedy, murder, and may ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 15th 2004 by Eland (first published 1808)
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Journey of a young Englishman into a part of Africa previously not explored by Europeans. This book allows the reader to re-live Parks journey in a place that will never exist again. Park took this trip and published his journal for the Royal Explorers Society in London (need to check the name). Because of this we now have an accurate veiw of the how highly developed and well functioning societies were in Africa during the 1700-1800's.
In addition to this book's historical significance, it is an
Read this because it is the basis for TC boyle´s "Water Music". Read them both!
Aug 07, 2013 Tony rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: travel
TRAVELS IN THE INTERIOR OF AFRICA. (1799). Mungo Park. ****.
This is, without a doubt, the best narrative of exploration that I have ever read that had Africa as its subject. Mungo Park was a Scotsman from Selkirk who had studied at university in the medical arts. He took up a challenge when he was offered the job of exploring certain areas of West Africa that were, at that time, relatively unknown. His goal was to characterize and plot the territories around the Gambia and Niger rivers. During t
"Travels in The Interior of Africa" Mongo Park 1799. Many early explorers of Africa blasted their way through the continent with superior fire power. In contrast Mongo Park, a twenty three year old physician, brazenly chooses to travel solo, relying on his charm and wit to explore the interior of West Africa. Park's travel log of exploration is filled with humorous anecdotes, yet the reader is left incredulous that he has somehow managed to survive. He is robbed, beaten and held hostage. At one ...more
Mungo Park was 24 when he set out in 1795 to follow the Gambia River inland and then through the interior to the River Niger, through then unknown regions of West Africa. The Scottish Park, educated as a botanist and a surgeon, traveled alone or with a few local guides, which was unusual in and of itself. More striking was his clear-sighted view of the societies he encountered and his lack of prejudice. In this respect he reminded me of another favorite West African explorer, Mary Kingsley. Park ...more
There had to be something different about the Victorian explorers that made them leave the relative safety of their homeland to venture into territories that were not well known. Mungo Park was one of the most intrepid of these men and this journal of his exploration into Africa is outstanding. His descriptions of the flora and fauna are minimal, but intriguing. His exactness in detailing the names of the towns and cities along the way, the rulers of those areas, and the tribute demands of those ...more
Markus Bollinger
It was T.C.Boyle`s Watermusic that brought me to Parks book about his adventures in Africa. It was funny to read the "originale" Version from Park and to find out what Boyle "did to it". I love both books and the Storys from Park are realy breath-taking. Great book. Read it now.......
This is an account of travels by one of the first Europeans in West Africa starting in 1795, and is remarkably readable even today, useful for anyone who is traveling in the region or working there. Park's observations are detailed and mostly balanced so he is a good reporter. A couple of items we know better about now (he thought the Africans backward because they had not domesticated elephants like the Indians, but African elephants do not domesticate), but overall it is a good neutral telling ...more
Ann Milliman
A much more accessible and readable book than I thought it would be. Extremely interesting history of African exploration.
Simply a great travel book. Park shows what makes a truly great traveller as he overcomes imprisonment, the perils of nature and regular loss of property at the hands of unscrupulous natives in order to go on with the task at hand; namely the exploration of western Africa and the Niger river.
In spite of his of-the-time views on slavery he comes across as a kindly soul and in turn is met with great acts of kindness by the local population. There are also moments of humour whether intentionsal or
Mungo Park's fascinating "Travels in the Interior District of Africa" tells the story of his meanderings around West Africa. His goal was to find the Niger River, which he does with enormous difficulty. Traveling alone or with a single guide, Park is robbed of most of his possessions, trying to avoid getting caught up between warring tribes and is kept prisoner by the Moors. Much of the book focuses on slavery. While it is certainly told from a colonialist perspective, the book is filled with in ...more
I studied this 19th century travelogue at university and was worried it would be dry and dull. I needn't have worried. This is a fantastic early travel piece, really giving a good sense of what it was like to wander around Africa during this period.

Mungo is a likeable and reliable narrator and his adventures often remarkable as well as education and enlightening. Although the story has an ultimately tragic conclusion, for the most part this is a life-affirming read.
Feb 21, 2008 James rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to James by: Garon Wheeler
Mungo is a kind, humble, forgiving and tolerant man. This is not what you expect of an English explorer of Africa. He had all his stuff stolen early on and spent most of his exploration wandering from town to town begging food and lodging fromt the inhabitants to whom he often voices his profound gratitude. He is also nice to his horse. Go Mungo!
Ian Sergeant
200 years later and the narrative style is still engaging. It is now as revealing about European attitudes and culture at the time as it is about those of West Africa. Mungo is open minded and ingenious in his survival. It is hard to believe his account is nonfiction.
Kathryn Siuniak
An interesting, well written travel diary that is surprisingly easy to read given the date. There are a few turns in the plot to keep it interesting, as well as early European explorer commentary on the cultures they were being introduced to.
Evert Eliasson
Folio Society edition.
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The Life and Travels of Mungo Park; With the Account of His Death from the Journal of Isaaco, the Substance of the Later Discoveries Relative to His L Travels in the Interior of Africa - Volume 1 Travels in the Interior of Africa - Volume 02 The African Exploration Anthology: The Personal Accounts of the Victorian Explorers of Africa The Journal of a Mission to the Interior of Africa,1805

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