Book review: ‘A Single Swallow’ by Horatio Clare

Following the migration from South Africa to South Wales.

A Single Swallow

Despite its avian title, A Single Swallow is not about birds, but is a travel book. Author Horatio Clare sets out to follow the swallow’s northward migration route from South Africa to his native South Wales. He does so by way of Namibia, Zambia, Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Algeria, Morocco, Gibraltar, Spain, France, and England.

Clare keeps an eye out for, and sees, swallows throughout his journey, but the book is primarily about what it’s like to travel through modern Africa, interacting with locals and fellow travellers. As someone who has never been to Africa, I found it a fascinating read. Clare is also very good (and honest) writing about himself. He comes across as a likeable, somewhat chaotic character, who trusts to luck far more that I would be comfortable with. Which makes him (and not me) a highly entertaining travel writer.

Recommended.

Note: I will receive a small referral fee if you buy this book via one of the above links.

By Richard Carter

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Website · Facebook · Twitter · Newsletter · Book

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On the Moor

This is a lovely book. I really enjoyed it—partly, I suspect, because I have a similar sense of humour to that of the author and also because I am generally curious about life. [...] The author is good at explanations. I like that. Eclectic—that’s what this book is. And rambling—in a good way (after all, these are walks). I liked it. I hope Richard Carter is writing another volume of his thoughts. I’ll buy it.
Mark Avery, author and former director of conservation at the RSPB, Sunday Book Review

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