Immersed in West Africa

Non-Fiction - Travel
155 Pages
Reviewed on 04/23/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Today l am a traveller and a writer. I wasn't always! In my exciting adult life l have been a partner in Deloitte accounting firm, a Minister in the Government of Bermuda and a realtor. But most of all l wanted to be a traveller. I retired at 60 and have been a solo traveller since. I go on the road for eight weeks, home for eight and then back again.
When l retired l had been to 44 countries but in the last five years l have been to 46 spending between one week and six weeks in each. It has been some journey!
My first book,Immersed in West Africa, tells the tale of eight adventure filled weeks in five West African countries. Since then l have been to an additional 18 countries.
But l am not always traveling. When relaxing l enjoy a good book, for me that means something that is historical or biographical. I would love to read other genres but there are enough in my area to keep me reading. Of course, my love for travel means l always have a few travel books on the go as preparation for my next trip. I do a lot of researching before l head out. I am looking to find those things that tourists either don’t do or don’t know about. Then with what little time l have left l am a sports fan- cricket and football being my games. So little time to be bored!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Immersed in West Africa is a non-fiction travel book written by Terry Lister. From his earliest days, travel was in the author’s blood. Both his mom and dad were seasoned travelers, and, while he was born on a small island, Bermuda, Lister’s imagination was captured by the early geography primers he was exposed to in school. He was especially moved by the stories about Africa, the place where his ancestors hailed from. His decision to go to Toronto to attend university and subsequent sense of wonder and excitement as he gazed down at the world passing underneath his plane sharpened his determination to become a traveler.

And while he traveled during his years as an accountant and a realtor, he decided, after retirement, that the time had come for him to pursue the career that had long fired his imagination -- he would become a traveler. During a three year period, he went to every country in Central and South America save one. In 2017 he began his journeys to Africa, completing his seventh trip in December 2019. A vast continent, Lister quickly realized that he could only do justice to one part of Africa for his first visit there. He decided to focus on Western Africa, the road less traveled by tourists and tourism. Lister’s trip turned out to be everything he had hoped for and much more.

Immersed in West Africa is a dream to read. Along the way, the reader experiences vicariously the author’s experiences traveling throughout West Africa. Lister is the consummate guide for this journey. His stories and anecdotes are fresh and original, and the photography which appears throughout the book is stunning. Each picture is perfectly exposed and lit, revealing the beauty, culture, and history of the places he visited. As I settled in to read this most impressive travelogue, I was impressed by how much fun reading it actually was. Lister’s writing style is fluent and conversational, and his stories are endlessly entertaining. Whether you’re an armchair adventurer or someone seriously considering a trip to Africa, Lister’s guide is a perfect place to start your journey. Immersed in West Africa is most highly recommended.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Most people will never travel to West Africa, so Terry Lister brings it to you in Immersed in West Africa. The author visits five territories and gives the reader a rundown of what to expect. The rich history of West Africa is fascinating. Slavery played a major part in its dark past as many places were used to funnel the slaves that were sold and shipped to the Western world. The beautiful wildlife and nature sites inspired Terry to experience their exceptional splendor, though petting crocodiles wasn’t as appealing. The people live at a slower pace and accept change as a way of life. Their drive and work ethic are inspiring as many live in extreme poverty.
I found Immersed in West Africa fascinating. Terry Lister brings the Dark Continent to life with his vivid descriptions and wonderful photographs. I loved how Terry described the people and tidbits about this part of Africa. The author keeps his experiences real as he tells about his traveling events, the cost of crossing borders, and the language barrier he faced. I researched more about as Terry shed light on the places that interested him. Overall, it took me much longer to read this travel guide than I had expected. I hung on every word, studied the maps, and pored over the photos. I mourned the crumbling architecture, walking through the markets, and gliding across the rivers. Since the author has become a world traveler, I am looking forward to discovering new worlds and enticing places with him.

K.C. Finn

Immersed in West Africa: My Solo Journey Across Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea, and Guinea Bissau is a work of non-fiction in the travel writing, memoir, and slice of life sub-genres, and was penned by author Terry Lister. An author with a true sense of adventure, we join Terry on an extraordinary journey that covers the countries in its subtitle, through which he made his way as a bold solo traveler. Untangling some of the myths and falsehoods about West Africa along the way, our author explains the rich culture, diverse people, natural beauty, and all the ups and downs of an authentic and exciting travel experience.

Author Terry Lister writes with charm to deliver this delightful and exploratory book. Travel writing fans will be sure to love the high levels of authentic detail that Lister puts into his craft, and I loved the fact that the work was really about the country and its effect on the traveler, how intellect, wisdom, and personal growth can come about through traveling. Lister’s authorial voice borrows beautiful descriptive techniques from fiction writing to make every setting come alive for the audience, yet the narrative is casual and amusing as if you are being told these amazing stories by a friend. The narrative skill around the people whom Lister meets is also a triumph, bringing colorful characters to life with warmth and heart. Overall, I would certainly recommend Immersed in West Africa: My Solo Journey Across Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea and Guinea Bissau for any travel writing fan to be immersed in.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Immersed in West Africa, a travelogue by Terry Lister, recounts his solo journey in the West African countries. Starting from Senegal, he traverses Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Guinea Conakry. In an unconventional approach to traveling, he includes many unusual attractions in his itinerary along with the popular tourist destinations. Not only does Lister describe the natural beauty of each place but also incorporates historical details. He makes notes of the people, their livelihood, eating habits, and rituals. He often includes hilarious incidents he encountered during the journey. Numerous photographs enhance the narrative, featuring major historical landmarks, French buildings, thatched cottages, cascading waterfalls, and sandy beaches.

Instead of bombarding the reader with high-flying descriptions, Lister adopts a simplistic language. This, along with the modest photographs, makes the accounts heartfelt. Never opting for political correctness, he recounts the events with absolute transparency. Lister praises where praise is due, commending the use of solar panels or boreholes, for example. Yet he never hesitates to point out the corruption prevalent at the borders. Immersed in West Africa touches our hearts with its unique charm. We laugh when the passenger cars inevitably break down or when the local people blatantly demand exorbitant sums. We marvel at the sights of the wondrous waterfalls or the majestic crocodiles at a sanctuary. We shiver at the uncomfortable history of slavery that still seems to linger in places. The book thus depicts an authentic picture of the West African countries, and most importantly, of the people there.

Joan Sommns

I thoroughly enjoyed readying this book on African culture and the people of Africa It is well written and put together. I highly recommend it to everyone. Happy reading.

Dale Butler

I enjoyed the book . Adventurous is indeed the word because he was on his own and not part of a "safe" tour . How he could endure some of the things that happened to him was beyond me. As a younger person no problem but at that age I would want safety and guarantees. He put all of that on the side and kept on going. I would prefer to be home watching all of those adventures on the TV.

Linda King

Terry has done it again! In his book "Immersed in West Africa", he gives you a taste of what to expect travelling through Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea & Guinea Bissau.
His honest and forthright depiction of the destinations is highly refreshing with a bit of humour thrown in.
The comments about "Terry being loaded" cracked me up! 5 stars