Sahara by Michael Palin

Published September 13, 2021

Sahara by Michael Palin

Book info

  • Title Sahara
  • Author Michael Palin
  • Year 2002
  • Genre Travel

Michael Palin's epic voyages have seen him circumnavigate the globe, travel from the North to the South Pole and circle the countries of the Pacific Ocean, but this was perhaps the greatest challenge yet: to cross the vast and merciless Sahara desert. As the journey unfolds, the Sahara reveals not the emptiness of endless sand dunes, but a huge and diverse range of cultures and landscapes and a long history of commerce and conquest stretching from the time of the ancient Egyptians to the oil-rich Islamic republics of today. On his way, he encounters dangers such as camel stew, being run over by the Paris-Dakar rally and Dakar nightlife, as well as returning to the original spot where THE LIFE OF BRIAN was filmed.


Palin’s journey this time takes some sandy footsteps through the world’s most famous desert. It’s an interesting premise and visits some fascinating places - not all steeped in sand, obviously, but quite a lot of them featuring soaring temperatures and desperate poverty.

This book also chronicles how the journey took place at the same time as 9/11 was happening on the other side of the world. The juxtaposition of being so far from home, having to get information in dribs and drabs, whilst continuing a journey amongst those fighting to survive in difficult conditions, well, it just added an extra layer to the already fascinating trip.

Rating: 5 / 5

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