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About Peter Allison
His love of animals led him to train as a safari guide in the early 1990s, and soon thereafter he was hired by southern Africa's largest operator to train all of their safari experts. Safaris he has led have been featured in magazines such as Vogue and Conde Nast Traveler (which described him as "silver tongued"). He has assisted National Geographic photographers and appeared on television shows such as Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures. For most of his safari career he has been based at a camp in Botswana called Mombo, which is situated on an oasis in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. Hunters and poachers cannot venture on the island, and tourism is limited to the small camp.
Despite having lived in a tent for more than a decade, Peter is a confident public speaker. In Sydney he presents seminars to the business community on animal behavior and its relation to competitive human behavior and power games.
Peter is also active with the Athena Foundation, a nonprofit conservation group. He is on the board of the Athena Foundation's youth program, whose mission is to inspire young people to develop their interest in conservation.
He currently divides his time between Australia, California, and Botswana. The local Batswana dubbed him "The Sexually Frustrated Elephant." The origin of this epithet is explained in the book.
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In the tradition of Bill Bryson, a new writer brings us the lively adventures and biting wit of an African safari guide. Peter Allison gives us the guide’s-eye view of living in the bush, confronting the world’s fiercest terrain of wild animals and, most challenging of all, managing herds of gaping tourists. Passionate for the animals of the Kalahari, Allison works as a top safari guide in the wildlife-rich Okavango Delta. As he serves the whims of his wealthy clients, he often has to stop the impulse to run as far away from them as he can, as these tourists are sometimes more dangerous than a pride of lions.
No one could make up these outrageous-but-true tales: the young woman who rejected the recommended safari-friendly khaki to wear a more “fashionable” hot pink ensemble; the lost tourist who happened to be drunk, half-naked, and a member of the British royal family; establishing a real friendship with the continent’s most vicious animal; the Japanese tourist who requested a repeat performance of Allison’s being charged by a lion so he could videotape it; and spending a crazy night in the wild after blowing a tire on a tour bus, revealing that Allison has as much good-natured scorn for himself.
The author’s humor is exceeded only by his love and respect for the animals, and his goal is to limit any negative exposure to humans by planning trips that are minimally invasive—unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way!
New story: People often ask safari guides about the experience that frightened them the most. In this story Peter Allison tells of the time he became aware of unseen danger, and knew that somewhere within meters of him was a hunting lioness. Peter Allison is originally from Sydney, Australia. His safaris have been featured in National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, and on television programs such as Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures. He travels frequently to speaking appearances, and splits most of his time between Botswana, Sydney, and San Francisco.
On his nineteenth birthday, Peter Allison flipped a coin. One side would take him to Africa and the other to South America, the two places he wanted to explore before he died. He recounted his time spent as a safari guide in Africa to much acclaim in Whatever You Do, Don’t Run and Don’t Look Behind You. Sixteen years later, he makes his way to Santiago, Chile, ready to seek out the continent’s best, weirdest, and wildest adventures, and to chase the elusive jaguar.
In just the first six months, Allison is bitten by a puma (several times), knocked on his head by a bad empanada, and surrounded by piranhas while rafting down a Bolivian river—all because of his unusual fear of refrigerators and of staying in any one place for too long. Ever the gifted storyteller and cultural observer, Allison makes many observations about life in humid climes, the nature of nomadism, and exactly what it is like to be nearly blasted off a mountain by the famous Patagonia wind. Allison’s self-deprecating humor is as delightful as his crazy stunts, and his love for animals—even when they bite—is infectious.