A Guide to the Birds of East Africa – Nicholas Drayson

Mr Malik is a gentleman, living in Nairobi and attending the local Tuesday morning bird walk where he has secretly fallen in love with the leader Rose Mbikwa. Having constructed a plan to win her heart, he is thwarted by an old school rival who is everything Malik is not: a salesman and womaniser who joins the bird walk to flirt with the leader.

As gentlemen and members of the Asadi Club it is agreed that to prevent upset for the lady by being approached by both men, whoever wins a challenge to see the most birds possible in a week will have the first opportunity to approach her, and that the loser will stand aside until after this has happened. This is a rather sexist premise for a book, but if this can be overlooked it is a fun light read.

What follows is an adventure through Kenya, with the honourable Malik having many hurdles placed in his way whilst his rival enjoys the chance to bird-watch on the best of Kenya’s nature reserves. There is also a chance to discuss corruption in Kenyan politics and what is truly important to people as well as charming illustrations of birds between the chapters.

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