Nov 17, 2021 | Book Reviews, Memoirs


by Iain Macdonald

An absorbing memoir that spans decades, Ulendo is also a historical record of walking safaris in Zambia, and Tanzania.  The author’s first safari was at the age of 4 years old, when fine dining was eating baked beans off a tin plate around the camp fire.  Packed full of people and places, this book takes the reader back to the days of Iain Macdonald’s forbearers, their experiences, wars and winning the Victoria Cross, indicating how his adventurous spirit was passed down through generations.  Born in Zambia, schooled in Zimbabwe and Johannesburg, his love of the bush developed from a very young age.

After working with the legendary Norman Carr, who instigated walking safaris in the South Luangwa Valley, Zambia,  Macdonald moved up to the North Luangwa to build his own camp. Photographs show how lodges were built when you relied on porters, reeds and thatch and loos looked out onto the wilderness. A time in the vast Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania came next.

Alongside sketches of flora and fauna, there are some amazing photographs dating back to the cover of the London Gazette in1857, a letter written from the Klondike in1898, the Japanese invading Tientsin, China in 1939, and coloured photos of wildlife and the lovely scenery of Africa. ‘Ulendo: Where Vultures Fly’ closes with tips for safari guides, not in point style, but from genuine experiences.  There is something for everyone in this fascinating memoir. 

ISBN Published by Iain Macdonald, ISBN: 978-1-77920-889-7 (paperback) ISBN: 978-1-77920-890-3 (ebook)