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Publication date: 6 Jun 2017

Publisher: Blackbird Digital Books

Language: English

I’ve just been on a wonderful safari trip to Kenya! At least that’s how it felt. I haven’t of course, I’ve only read about it in Safari Ants, Baggy Pants and Elephants but it did feel as though I were really taking part in this dream holiday in Africa.

Susie Kelly has a wonderful way with words and descriptions and a fantastic sense of humour so I knew that this new book of hers would be a good read. I’ve been a huge fan of her books for years. (Susie was the first author I ever wrote to and much to my surprise she kindly replied. This was in the days before social media) Usually her books are about travelling around France, or her life in France, but this one is the second book in her Kenya series. The first one was about her childhood in Kenya I Wish I Could Say I’m Sorry. This book which can be read as a standalone, is about her return to her beloved land via an old childhood friend of hers, the awesome Vivien who now runs Safari Tours called As You Like it (Safaris) Ltd. Incidentally Vivien sounds like such a fascinating character that she surely deserves to have a book written about her at the very least – except don’t ever play Scrabble with her!

Vivien invites Susie and her husband Terry on the Safari trip that covered seventeen days, including stays in five of Kenya’s greatest wildlife reserves and two of its most exclusive clubs.
Susie discovers early in the journey to Kenya that she’s forgotten to pack a bra or makeup which leads to some embarrassment later on as described throughout parts of the book. There are also some tricky too-large trouser moments (hence the Baggy Pants in the title) that made me snort with laughter. 
For me though, what made this book very special indeed were the wonderful descriptions of all the African wildlife on and around the wildlife reserves as observed by Susie and from knowledge gained from the various expert guides who escorted them throughout the trip. The guides are all dedicated conservationists, committed to the welfare of all wildlife

As a lover of all wildlife this was a trip that I could only ever dream about, but this book more than satisfied my curiosity and thirst for knowledge about African wildlife.

“There were zebra and topi among them, but the vast bulk was a sea of murmuring wildebeeste. They formed small groups, clusters that broke apart and merged with others like a flock of birds, and sometimes lines of two abreast, heads nodding as they plodded purposefully following pathways worn in the grass, swirling around in all directions as if they didn’t know whether they were coming or going”

At some point I’m going to have to read this lovely book all over again and go on safari to Kenya once more.

At the back of the book are links to a Facebook page and an online album of the photos taken by Susie and her husband. https://www.facebook.com/SafariAnts

To Purchase on Amazon
Thank you to the author and Stephanie Zia of Blackbird Digital Books for my ARC that I chose to review.

About The Author

“There are a handful of authors who achieve that elusive trick of making you laugh out loud. For me it’s James Herriot, Bill Bryson and Susie Kelly.” French Entrée Magazine

A book to inspire” Good Housekeeping Magazine

Born a Londoner, Susie Kelly spent most of the first 25 years of her life in Kenya. She now lives in south-west France with her husband and assorted animals. She believes that her explosive temper is a legacy from her Irish-American grandfather, but has no idea who to blame for her incompetence as a housewife. Still, she’s very kind to animals, small children and elderly people. Susie particularly enjoys exploring the road less travelled, discovering the lives and events of lesser-known places.


Susie has a rapidly growing fan base. All 5 of her popular travel books have dominated Amazon’s UK paid French Travel Bestsellers, achieving the straight flush #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5. Her remarkable memoir I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry reached #35 in the US Top 100; in 2016 her story of running holiday gites in France Swallows & Robins: The Laughs & Tears Of A Holiday Home Owner reached #9 in the Australian Amazon Top 100 and was a non-fiction finalist in The People’s Book Prize. Prior to publishing with Blackbird, Susie was with Transworld who sold over 50,000 of her titles in the UK. Some of those are rights-reverted and are now available to readers worldwide for the first time. 25% of Susie’s royalties from The Valley of Heaven and Hell are shared equally between Cancer Research and Tower Hill Stables Sanctuary in Essex.


Susie Kelly is the patron of the Charroux Literary Festival. Come and meet Susie in beautiful rural France, the 2nd Festival will be over the weekend of 24-26 August 2017.

Keep up to date with Susie’s home life in the idyllic French countryside at www.nodamnblog.wordpress.com

Chat with Susie on Twitter


Follow Susie’s Facebook Fan page



NEW! Safari Ants, Baggy Pants and Elephants

Out now on Amazon

Over the summer of 2015 Susie Kelly returned to Kenya as a Writer In Residence on a safari trip. She revisited many new places as well as scenes from her bestselling memoir of growing up in Kenya. 

 I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry

 Best Foot Forward – A 500 Mile Walk Through Hidden France

Travels With Tinkerbelle – 6,000 Miles Around France In A Mechanical Wreck

The Valley Of Heaven And Hell – Cycling In The Shadow Of Marie-Antoinette

Swallows & Robins – The Laughs & Tears Of A Holiday Home Owner 

The Susie Kelly Boxed Set – 4 of the above full-length Susie Kelly titles

Bon Voyage! A Susie Kelly Sampler 

The Lazy Cook 1: Quick & Easy Meatless Meals

The Lazy Cook 2: Quick & Easy Sweet Treats 


Published Elsewhere:

Two Steps Backward – The Misadventures of An Englishwoman Abroad (Transworld/Bantam 2004 Paperback UK Only)