Awe-inspiring new photography book reveals the majesty of Africa

From an adorable shot of a lioness and her cub to a picture of a UFO cloud looming over Mount Kilimanjaro: Awe-inspiring new photo travel book reveals the majesty of Africa

  • Africa by Anne-Marie Bissada offers ‘a pictorial exploration of this great and varied continent in all its majesty’
  • The author says: ‘It’s a continent alive with various cultures, languages, rituals, landscapes and colour’ 
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Want to explore Africa but not sure where to start? Turn to the pages of this stunning new book for inspiration.

Africa, written by Anne-Marie Bissada and published by Amber Books, takes you on an eye-opening journey through the continent, showcasing ‘a diversity of culture and landscape rarely seen elsewhere’.

Its pages are lavishly illustrated with 180 stunning colour photographs, offering ‘a pictorial exploration of this great and varied continent in all its majesty’.

Among the striking photographs to appear in the tome, there’s a heartwarming shot of a tender moment between a lioness and her cub  in South Africa, a dramatic image of a ‘UFO’ cloud over towering Mount Kilimanjaro and a powerful picture of wildebeest thundering across Kenya’s Mara River.

In the introduction to the book, Bissada writes: ‘There is so much more to Africa than the usual images portrayed in everyday media.

‘It’s a continent alive with various cultures, languages, rituals, landscapes and colour… No matter where you are, the blend of modern and past traditions is alive – this is Africa.’ Scroll down to see 21 pictures that bring this tome to life…

LIONESS AND HER CUB, KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH AFRICA: Bissada notes that Kruger National Park is home to a ‘large African lion population’, revealing: ‘Lions prey mostly on large animals such as zebra and wildebeest. The hunting is usually left to the lioness of the pride’

AVENUE OF THE BAOBABS, MADAGASCAR: ‘The baobab trees lining this dirt road in western Madagascar are up to 2,800 years old,’ the author writes. Also known as ‘Alley of the Baobabs’, it is ‘a striking visual reminder of the once dense tropical forests in Madagascar’, she adds

MANGROVE FOREST, SINE-SALOUM DELTA, JOAL-FADIOUTH, SENEGAL: This aerial view of a mangrove forest in the Sine-Saloum Delta shows the point ‘where the rivers converge as they flow into the Atlantic Ocean’, the book explains. It notes: ‘Due to the slow waterflow, the delta remains salty, which makes it a prime habitat for mangroves’

CHOUARA TANNERY, FES, MOROCCO: This tannery is ‘one of the largest and oldest’ tanneries in the old city of Fes that continues to operate in the same traditional way that it did when it was founded, Bissada reveals. She adds: ‘Although its exact age is unknown, it has remained an integral part of the city’s economy’

GREAT ZIMBABWE RUINS, ZIMBABWE: This picture shows a section of the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, a city that was ‘built between the 11th and 15th centuries and was home to cattle-herding people’, the book reveals. It notes that it’s the ‘largest collection of ruins in sub-Saharan Africa’

LAKE NYASA: The author says: ‘Nyasa is one of the Great African Lakes. It lies within Mozambique and Tanzania but mainly in Malawi.’ It’s pictured above from the shores of Malawi’s Kande Beach. The lake is ‘home to more species of fish than any other lake in the world’, the book reveals. The author adds: ‘Nile crocodiles, hippos, monkeys and African fish eagles are found in and around the lake’

LAMU OLD TOWN WATERFRONT, LAMU ISLAND, KENYA: ‘Unlike other Swahili settlements in the area that have been abandoned, Lamu has continuously been inhabited for over 700 years,’ the book says. ‘In the 14th century, a port was built on the island by Arab traders, which allowed the island to prosper during the East African slave trade.’ Influences from Arabia, Persia, India and Europe have ‘created a distinct culture’ over the centuries 

CAMEL CARAVAN, SAHARA DESERT: ‘The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world,’ Bissada writes. This stunning image shows camels passing through the desert’s barren landscape, which is home to the Berber – an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa. Bissada continues: ‘The domestication of camels in the third century allowed the Berber to move easily across the desert, but regular trade routes developed under the spread of Islam in the seventh and eighth centuries’ 

FISHING DHOWS, LAMU ISLAND, KENYA: ‘Once the largest traditional boats of the Indian Ocean, these wooden sailboats were used to transport exotic spices and goods between East Africa, Asia and the Arabian Peninsula,’ Bissada writes

WILDEBEEST CROSSING THE MARA RIVER, MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE, KENYA: The author reveals: ‘Every year at the start of the rainy season, over a million wildebeest make the dangerous crossing from Tanzania to the Masai Mara in search of grazing and water’  

LAKE NAIVASHA, KENYA: Bissada writes that ‘pelicans and numerous other bird species’ live beside the freshwater Lake Naivasha, which is situated outside Naivasha town in Kenya’s Nakuru County. She continues: ‘The name Naivasha comes from the Masai word “Naii’posha” meaning “rough waters” due to the sudden storms that can occur’ 

MUIZZ STREET, CAIRO, EGYPT: ‘Along this 1km- (0.6-mile) long street in old Fatimid Cairo, one can find great medieval architectural treasures from the Islamic era,’ according to Bissada. She adds that the street has been converted into ‘an open-air museum’ following ‘extensive government renovations’ and a ban on cars

STREET MARKET, ABIDJAN, COTE D’IVOIRE: The author says that all over Cote d’Ivoire’s capital city of Abidjan, ‘there are busy open-air markets selling seasonal fruits and vegetables such as cassava, a root vegetable used to make the popular side dish attieke’

AFRICAN PENGUINS, BOULDERS PENGUIN COLONY, CAPE TOWN: The book reveals that Cape Town’s Boulders Beach ‘has become famous for its thriving colony of African penguins’. It says: ‘In 1982, just two breeding pairs were brought in and, since then, the colony has grown to about 2,200’

SAINT GEORGE CHURCH, LALIBELA, ETHIOPIA: Saint George Church is one of 11 rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, a town in northern Ethiopia. ‘Saint George – known locally as Bete Gyorgis – is considered the most iconic due to its cross shape,’ Bissada writes, adding: ‘It dates from the early 12th or 13th century. The churches were built by Lalibela, King of Ethiopia, to create a “new Jerusalem”‘

CAPE TOWN HARBOUR, SOUTH AFRICA: The author says that the above harbour ‘lies in the shadow of Table Mountain’ – the flat-topped mountain pictured behind it. She adds: ‘Cape Town sits at nearly the most southern tip of Africa’  

AERIAL VIEW OF GOREE, SENEGAL: The aerial image above shows the small island and former slave fortress of Goree, as Bissada explains. She continues: ‘One of the oldest sites of European settlement on the African coast, Goree was the largest slave-trading centre from the 15th to 19th century. It was the final stop for slaves before they were transported over to the Americas’

PANORAMA OF THE NILE FROM CAIRO TOWER, EGYPT: At sunset, the River Nile is often ‘dotted’ with traditional sailing boats called feluccas – as seen in this picture taken from Cairo Tower – the author notes. ‘One of Cairo’s more modern monuments, the Cairo Tower was once the tallest free-standing structure in Egypt when built in 1971,’ she says, adding: ‘Located on the island of Zamalek, it offers the best view of the Nile looking south to Garden City and Rhoda Island’

JEMAA EL-FNAA, MARRAKESH, MOROCCO: Located in the old medina of Marrakesh, the square of Jemaa el-Fnaa, pictured above, is ‘a gathering place for tourists and locals alike’, says the author. She says: ‘During the day, it’s packed with fresh orange juice sellers and snake charmers, and at night, food stalls and tents go up and the air fills with the aroma of spices and cooking’

MOUNT KILIMANJARO, TANZANIA: ‘Of the seven summits in the world, Kilimanjaro is considered to be the easiest for climbing, but many people don’t make it to the top due to altitude sickness,’ the author says, adding: ‘Although it’s a dormant volcano, it could erupt again. The last eruption was 360,000 years ago.’ The mountain is pictured here garlanded with a magnificent ‘UFO’ cloud

SUEZ CANAL, EGYPT: The book reveals: ‘This artificial waterway was built in 1869 to connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and to allow for quick travel between Europe and Asia. Attempts by the pharaohs to construct such a canal were never realized.’ The tome adds: ‘In 2014, the government expanded one section [of the canal] to expedite travel time’

All images taken from the book Africa by Anne-Marie Bissada (ISBN978-1-83886-283-1) published by Amber Books Ltd and available from bookshops and online booksellers (RRP £24.99 / $29.99 / CAN$38.99)

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