While he was collecting material for this book, Douglas Busk was British Ambassador to Ethiopia—an appointment that gave full scope to his love of getting as far as possible off the beaten track. Fascinated by this strange and little-known island of Christianity in the heart of Africa, he travelled about it on official tours to an extent that must be rare among the Diplomatic Corps of Addis Ababa. He explored the Arussi country south-east of the capital, motored north to Lake Tana and Gondar, and led his stout-hearted convoy south, over what he temperately calls ‘vile roads’ into Kenya.
On his rare leaves, Mr Busk took himself to the mountains of East Africa, for he is an enthusiastic mountain-climber. He describes an ascent of Kilimanjaro, and two climbs in the Ruwenzori, the fabled Mountains of the Moon, where giant groundsel grows fifteen feet high. Here he added to our geographical knowledge of the region, made a first ascent, and had the privilege of naming two 16,000-ft. peaks Elizabeth and Philip.
The chapters on Ethiopia, as is only natural, are authoritative, besides being up-to-date. And the whole book is obviously written by the best kind of traveller — one who is interested not only in places but also in the people, how they live, work and play, and what they think about. The book is beautifully illustrated with the author’s own photographs in colour and black-and-white, and with drawings by his wife.