Uganda Be Kidding Me
A Bushtracks Book Review
By Deborah Olsen
The title alone was irresistible, so when my colleague, Liz, mentioned E! personality and comedienne Chelsea Handler’s latest autobiographical book, she didn’t have to ask me twice to do a little primary research. First (spoiler alert!), Chelsea and her five friends went on safari in Southern Africa, so if you are looking for a book on Uganda, you should keep looking – there are no gorillas here. You may also want to know that her recap of Africa accounts for less than half of the book, from there she’s off to the Bahamas, Switzerland and beyond.
But her views on an African safari inject some much-needed levity into a topic generally treated with the gravitas reserved for a BBC production. Fans of Chelsea Handler will not be surprised by her irreverent approach to the African safari, nor will they be deterred by her impressions viewed mainly through the lens of glasses made rosy by perpetual Bloody Marys. Never a traditionalist, her idea of safari adds a sixth conquest to Africa’s big five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino for the uninitiated) in the shape of her ruggedly handsome South African guide Rex – the one that got away.
Amidst flashes of insight (for example, why one should not ever throw one’s underwear to baboons and hope to get it back intact) her book does, however, impart some important truths about safaris. Most importantly: the location and quality of your camp really determine your safari experience. While she and her group were thrilled with their first and third camps, they were unimpressed enough with “Camp Dumbo” that they cut their stay there short by two days, completely turned off by the inauthenticity of the experience.
At the end of her chapters on Africa, I surprised myself by reprising my own stalled plans for an African safari next summer. So, by some means still a mystery even to me, she succeeded as a travel-writer even if her methods were somewhat unorthodox.
REIMAGINING CHELSEA HANDLER'S UGANDA BE KIDDING ME SAFARI
Liking the book or not is largely a matter of personal taste. However, you may be wondering specifically where a celebrity would choose to go on safari. Replacing the ill-advised Camp Dumbo experience with more authentic elephant encounters at Abu Camp and the splendor of Victoria Falls, you could recreate Chelsea Handler’s safari experience on our Trip Builder – and then customize it to make it your own.
The Celebrity Safari
D Day 7: Abu Camp, Okavango, Botswana
Day 8: Abu Camp, Okavango, Botswana
E Day 9: Vumbura Plains, Okavango, Botswana
F Day 13: Johannesburg, South Africa (Depart)
This is a sample itinerary and the price is an estimate, used for rough planning purposes only and is subject to change. Actual prices and availability must be finalized by one of our trip planners who will contact and confirm pricing with all accommodations and operators.