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Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales Of A Botswana Safari Guide
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Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales Of A Botswana Safari Guide

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  6,000 Ratings  ·  668 Reviews
Whatever You Do, Don't Run is a hilarious collection of true tales from top Âsafari guide Peter Allison. In a place where the wrong behavior could get you eaten, Allison has survived face-to-face encounters with big cats, angry Âelephants, and the world's most unpredictable animals-herds of untamed tourists and foolhardy guides whose outrageous antics sometimes make them e
Paperback, 246 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Lyons Press (first published 2007)
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Petra X smoke fish no cigar
Final review: this is very light reading with plenty of interesting facts, amusing incidents and annoying guests, including randy Royals. It would make a very good tv series starring the author who is extremely handsome and very cack-handed, if not accident prone. (He specialises in wrecking safari vehicles). There is some depth, especially about lions, but the author despite his deep interest in animals in the wild doesn't convey much. This could be that the editor wanted a light, easy-reading ...more
This book is about Peter Allison and his time in Africa as a safari guide. I don't know what I expected when I picked up this book, but I felt slightly disappointed when I finished reading. Not to say that I didn't enjoy it, because I did, but something just felt lacking.

There was quite a bit of humor throughout the book, which I enjoyed, in addition to animal encounters.
May 30, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it
Peter Allison isn't the world's best writer, but he's got a talent that's perhaps even better for a book of this kind: he's a great storyteller. These true stories from his 10+ year career as an African safari guide dishes up plenty of armchair excitement along with a good dollop of Allison's wry wit and self-deprecation over his triumphs and failures of the job.

Loses one star for me over an excess of "potty humor" and swearing, but still an entertaining read, and one that makes me want to cram
Jan 20, 2008 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: animal lovers
I loved this book. I thought it was funny and very educational. It was very well written, truly catching each moment.

The author, Peter Allison, left Australia at 19 to backpack through Africa. What started as a one year vacation turned into 7 years of guiding safaris.

The book is written in chapters that each relate a different event that happened. Many of the events involved large beasts found on the African outback. There were some funny stories, as well as some serious stories. Each one left
Sep 08, 2016 Hana rated it really liked it
This is the kind of book I would love to illustrate with update pictures and talk about with friends but those features seem to have disappeared from Goodreads. For lovers of Africa and nature this collection of stories from Allison's years as a young and dangerously innocent safari guide is great fun, filled with humor and insights.
I loved this collection of tales from a young Australian man who worked in Botswana as a safari guide for several years. I enjoyed the stories of close shaves with large animals - elephants, hippos, lions and buffalo, the stories of problems guiding in the safari park, the stories of camp life and so on. There were things I laughed out loud at, and things which made me groan (the chapter entitled "The Great Mouse Plague" was the worst for this...), and things which made me gasp, hold my breath a ...more
The book had me in fits of laughter most of the time. An excellent holiday read! It's a constant battle between instinct and common sense and Peter Allison makes fun of everyone, of himself the most, which is so refreshing and delightful. I really enjoyed it. The reader will also learn a few valuable lessons from nature.
Sonja Arlow
"Whatever you do don’t RUN – FOOD RUNS!!”

This is a funny little in-between book and with the many references to Botswana, South Africa and the bush this will appeal to all South African’s and lovers of our wildlife.

19-Year-old Peter Allison came to South Africa in 1994 as a pit stop only to arrange for finances after an unfortunate robbery in Malawi, and never left.

In the same vein as Don't Tell Mum I Work on the Rigs, She Thinks I'm a Piano Player in a Whorehouse it had me laughing most of th
Mar 04, 2011 Linda rated it it was amazing
I bought this book because I plan to get to the Okavango Delta in Botswana with its immense diversity in wildlife. After reading Australian Peter Allison’s African safari-guide tales, I’m aware of dangers I’d not considered, but remain undaunted. Being hopelessly lost in a maze of shape shifting canals and stepping on the back of an alligator while pulling your flimsy boat through shallow waters can be avoided, but it does make an exciting tale. However, being dive-bombed by malaria-carrying mos ...more
Ich wollte eigentlich in diesem Sommer Tierschutzprojekte in Botswana und Namibia besuchen. Leider habe ich mit der Planung etwas spät angefangen, so dass es dann schlussendlich doch nicht geklappt hat.
Um mich ein wenig darüber hinwegzutrösten, bin ich mit diesem kleinen Büchlein auf mentale Safari gegangen.

So ganz konnte es den Urlaub leider nicht ersetzen aber dafür war es auch ein ganzes Stück günstiger.

"Whatever you do, don’t run" ist kein biografischer Roman, sondern vielmehr eine Ankedoten
Jun 16, 2010 Tammy rated it it was amazing
I have to give this book 5 stars because of my personal connection with the author. Don't get me wrong. I would not rate it 5 stars JUST for 6 degrees of is a really funny and entertaining book. I have a unique perspective from this book that I will probably never have with any other book in my lifetime. I was very engaged with the characters because I actually KNEW many of them from my work in Botswana. The writing is very witty and the stories sparked so many memories of my tra ...more
Alyce (At Home With Books)
Jan 22, 2010 Alyce (At Home With Books) rated it it was amazing
Peter Allison's stories about being a safari guide in Africa are pure entertainment. Whatever You Do, Don't Run is filled with fun-to-read stories ranging from idiotic things that tourists do, to dangerous face-to-face encounters with lions.

He has a knack for relating the humorous happenings around camp, including being overrun by mice and a college-like party atmosphere when the guides are off duty. He is also honest about the less glamorous aspects of the job, yet manages to still make them so
Cute anecdotes about the author's time as a safari guide in the Okavango Delta. Nice way to spend some time, but would have enjoyed it more if it had an actual narrative. The author is not much of a writer, but he is a good story teller; would be fantastic stories to tell - and hear! - around a campfire.
Feb 05, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable, interesting read. Filled with great stories, humor and adventure. I've already got his next book coming my way!
Jamie Collins
Sep 07, 2016 Jamie Collins rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, animals
An nice collection of stories from an Australian man who worked as a safari guide in Botswana in the 1990’s. I enjoyed the book, although somehow it doesn’t seem like these could be the very best stories from a veteran safari guide. Maybe he already sold his top ten somewhere else, and this is his second set? It’s a rather random assortment.

As much as I like animal stories, I don’t especially want to go on safari myself. If I ever did, though, I hope I’d behave better than the guests who complai
Elizabeth A
Dec 30, 2015 Elizabeth A rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, essays, 2015, non-fiction
This is a collection of essays about the author's time as a Botswana Safari Guide. To say these are essays is a bit of stretch. Each piece is about a page or two long, and while there are really funny anecdotes, it started to get a bit repetitive and rather too fluffy for my tastes. We started reading this one aloud this summer, and after about the first five to seven vignettes or so, lost interest in picking it back up again. So onto the DNF pile it goes.
Apr 25, 2009 Hulananni rated it it was amazing
Having visited Botswana while living in South Africa I was entranced by this book. Brought back memories of visiting safari camps and some of the more comical things that can happen while on safari.
Jun 27, 2009 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
Entertaining stories about safari life, especially if you are planning on going on safari yourself. Especially liked the tale of the Honey Badger...
Gemma Searle
Jun 18, 2016 Gemma Searle rated it it was amazing
Loved this book it made me wish I was back among wild animals
Whatever You Do, Don't Run is a delightful collection of short stories by Safari Guide Peter Allison. I came across this book on a Goodreads list of best travel books and was instantly intrigued. I love travelogues. I love stories about Africa. This book promised to be full of exotic adventure and humor, and it certainly delivered!

I was surprised how often I found myself laughing out loud. Sometimes just a few chuckles and other times full rolling laughs, but there was much laughter. The collec
Cait S
Mar 08, 2015 Cait S rated it it was amazing
You know That Guy at parties or reunions or wherever that somehow has the perfect story for making people stop feeling awkward? And slowly everyone in the room just gravitates towards That Guy because it doesn't actually matter what he's saying, it's how he's saying it? He makes the dumbest, most every day things sound hilarious and the impressive things even more grandly impressive than they had been before and everyone is totally enthralled because storytelling is an art that not many people c ...more
Posted to my Livejournal in March 2008, saved here for posterity:

Peter Allison took what was to be a year-long vacation in Africa when he was 19 or so, but he loved being there so much he ended up staying, becoming first a safari guide, then a safari camp manager, a guide training manager, and head guide coordinator. Eventually, after many years, he retired as a guide and explored other opportunities around the globe, but has occasionally returned to lead safaris because he missed the animals an
Sep 20, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Katie by: Colleen
I really enjoyed Whatever You Do, Don't Run, by Peter Allison. This book was recommended to me by an avid reader friend, Colleen. Like her, I am fascinated by travel, culture, and a well written non-fiction book. (They tend to let me down, honestly).

As I read about Allison's adventures as a safari guide in Botswana I thought a few things:

First, he is a fantastic, fluid storyteller. I never felt like the pace dragged, and by using a combination of humor, passion, and knowledge, he kept me engaged
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
Sep 01, 2014 Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, animals
One of my book club reads. I loved this book. The author is amazing. He does things that I would loved to have done when I was young. Just get up and go do what you always wanted or try to at any rate.

I have never wanted to live in Africa but I have always wanted to visit. I could never last living there being a guide. Not with my fear of malaria etc. And of course they got malaria a few times. But the amazing wildlife they got to share their lives with is a dream!

There are some sad things and
Feb 08, 2010 AJ rated it liked it
This book was a collection of stories by an Australian-born safari guide mainly in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. I really enjoyed most of the stories. I wish I could give this book 3.5 stars. I did not rate it higher because sometimes it seemed like the author was bragging more about his exploits that should not have been bragged about - intruding upon animals, ruining safari equipment, nearly getting himself killed on numerous occasions. However, it was still very entertaining and some of the ...more
Nathan Eaton
Dec 03, 2014 Nathan Eaton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: outdoors, funny, animals, 2014
This book was exactly what I expected it to be - which is exactly what I wanted it to be.

Peter Allison has spent his adult-life as a safari guide, and given us all great stories and laughs. It's amazing the vast amount of wildlife that can live in such relatively small areas of Africa. His encounters with hippos, lions, elephants, cheetahs, leopards, and buffalo can be thrilling and hilarious.

I always enjoy a book that makes me wish I were there as well. Through the adventures, there are so many
Jan 31, 2009 Dana rated it liked it
Shelves: africa-related
This is a collection of tales that might be told around a campfire. Some, especially toward the beginning can be disappointingly short. But the writing is honest and by the end you feel like you know Allison as a person. I don't know why people like Bill Bryson. I find him to be whiny. Peter Allison NEVER takes a whiny tone, even when he's relaying being lost, eaten by mosquitoes or facing death by devour from one of the Big Five. For more bush stories by those who aren't native, I'd recommend R ...more
Jul 30, 2008 Princess rated it it was amazing
Peter Allison is passionate about African wildlife. His stories are funny and his writing style is warm. I absolutely loved this book. I don't tend to read non-fiction but I got sucked in by the title and once I read the back I was hooked!

Allison has his book set up in chapters relating to different experiences he had while guiding safaris, mostly in Botswana. I was somewhat familiar with the landscape after reading many #1 Ladies' Detective Agency books. To give you an idea of the stories, here
Sep 17, 2015 MAP rated it really liked it
Very funny book written by an Australian man who left for South Africa on vacation and ended up as a safari guide for several years. Anyone who's ever been on safari will relate (my favorite story involved one of Peter's American tourists misinterpreting his accent and calling him "Pater," purely because my father did the exact same thing when I was a teenager -- he misunderstood our South African guide Doug's accent and called him "Doik" for two days before my mother and I finally clued him in. ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Snehil rated it it was amazing
A very entertaining book. The book is written by an experienced safari guide in Botswana. He compiled his experiences as short essay. The book keeps getting better every chapter. Many reviewers have reviewed it as extremely funny but I did not find it that funny. Or may be my expectations for comedy were high having read such reviews. But for me the real highlights of the book were the wildlife and their behavior. Some observations about people from different cultures visiting these jungles, wer ...more
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Peter Allison is an Australian writer whose books have focused on his time as an African safari guide, as well as his time in South America. He grew up in Sydney but at the age of 16 won a scholarship for study in Japan.[1] At 19 he travelled to Africa and became a guide for the Classic Safari Company.

He currently lives in Cape Town with his wife Pru, and their pet dog Mombo, where he works for Wi
More about Peter Allison...

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“Like every other guide or wildlife lover who is eventually eaten or trampled, I felt that I had a bond with this herd that would make me safe with them. I wanted to try my luck again.” 3 likes
“This tree, though, had not been fed on, so it was apparent that the culprit was a bull (elephant) who was filled with testosterone but no outlet for it, so he pushed over trees. It's a great release for a bull and a way of showing his strength after a female has rejected him. If human males had the same ability, global deforestation would be complete by now.” 3 likes
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