There used to be more books written about Africa back when this vast continent was still being 'discovered'. The colonial era, for all its faults, yielded a large number of memorable books written by settlers, explorers, hunters and adventurers – many have been forgotten and some have become collectable.
Some dramatic titles, such as Three Years in Savage Africa or Savage Sudan, reflect the white man's preconceptions about African life, but these books still appeal to collectors and history buffs. Hunting was a major theme for many authors, who travelled to Africa, marveled at the animals and then gunned them down. Books about big game were eventually replaced by photography books where the camera did the shooting. Next up were the early conservation books outlining the animals and their habitats that were under threat. The turmoil of colonialism - including the repression of native culture, the ivory trade and slavery - can also be found in long out-of-print literary accounts.
Books inspired by Africa's fauna generated many beautiful bindings and intricate cover designs. Elephants, lions, zebras and leopards were frequently used by publishers to decorate books from the past 150 years. These dramatic covers alone would force any bibliophile to pick one of these books.