From the Cape to Kasserine – Craig Boddington (Safari Press, 2018, 324 pages.)
Review by Ken Bailey
This is the fourth book in Craig Boddington’s series describing his African hunting adventures; he writes one every decade, but for my money this is the best yet. Boddington is without doubt the preeminent contemporary writer of African hunting tales, and reading From the Cape to Kasserine it’s easy to understand why.
To begin, his writing style is never pretentious; it’s simple, down to earth and easy-reading. You never have to work, you just sit back and enjoy. Boddington also avoids the self-worshipping so many others fall prey to. He’s typically very self-effacing, not shy about relating his blown stalks, missed shots, or his fear of snakes. In essence, he’s just like the rest of us, and that relatability is in large measure why so many enjoy his books. Boddington is also enjoying a hunting life many of us aspire to, and living vicariously through his exploits helps get us through those long winter nights.
In From the Cape to Kasserine you’ll find the usual suspects you’ve come to expect from Boddington’s books. He describes his varied hunts in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania, of course, but lesser destinations such as Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda, Tunisia, Liberia and Burkina Faso, among others, are also included. Given the breadth of the destinations, it’s little wonder that the hunts described run the gamut from aardvarks to zebra. Literally. Whether your dream animal is a huge elephant or a tiny royal antelope, there’s a story here that will pique your interest.
Boddington doesn’t focus solely on the hunt, as too many do. One of the great features of his books is that his natural interest in the history, geography and ecology of the places he visits shines through; the reader will come away from each tale a little more informed for their effort. From the Cape to Kasserine is also liberally sprinkled with wonderful photos that both support the stories while concurrently providing a little hunter’s eye candy.