Latest Book


My new book, “Jackie the Penguin Goes on Safari: A Story of One Little Penguin who Wanted to Meet the Wild Animals of Africa,” was recently released and is available on Amazon:

Jackie the Penguin Goes on Safari: A Story of One Little Penguin who Wanted to Meet the Wild Animals of Africa

This is a story of a small South African penguin called Jackie who had a dream of visiting wild animals of Africa and learning about their appearances, behaviors, and characters. However, being a bird who could not fly, Jackie was terrified to meet the big, scary, and possibly dangerous inhabitants of the African savannah. So, his wish remained just a dream. But one day, Jackie’s life changed when he met and instantly became friends with two world travelers, Irene and Alex, who were on their way to an African safari.

In this book, filled with bright color pictures and vivid descriptions of African wildlife, kids will learn how relying on true friends helped Jackie to overcome his fears and anxieties and realize the dream of his life.

“Suburbanites on Safari” is available in Kindle and Paperback formats at Amazon.

Suburbanites on Safari: True Stories About My First Encounter with African Wild Animals

What this book is about

Table of Contents

Four friends, all big-city dwellers, embark on their first African safari. An internationally published travel writer and her husband, an award-winning travel photographer, are joined by their life-long friends on a journey to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Previously, their exploration of over 60 countries took them to big cities and historical monuments around the globe. But this trip is different. 

Traveling around Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls, they crisscross the bush and meet African wildlife in its natural habitat. Which predators, grass eaters, branch nibblers, and birds of prey did they find? What did the animals do in the presence of people? How did it feel to be only a few feet away from a pride of lions devouring their kill, a herd of suspicious elephants, an intimidating Cape buffalo, or an unpredictable rhinoceros? 

In an easy to read, conversational style, the author, Alex Shaland, delivers a fair mix of wildlife photography, animal and bird factual data, and practical information. Shaland shares his experiences as a first-time safari explorer and sprinkles the narrative with a good dose of humor and personal stories. If a trip to Africa is in your plans, this entertaining and informative book, jam-packed with photos of animals and birds, will help you make the first step on the way to your dream. If you are interested in wildlife, nature, and animal protection, the story will enrich your knowledge of the animal kingdom. At the very least, it is just fun to read.


Introduction, Sort Of

So Many Places to Go, So Little Time

Why Kruger National Park?

The Importance of Being Inside the Automobile as Opposed to Being Outside of It, or the Kruger Automobile Mystery

Driving Safari Choices at a Glance

Choosing the Best Safari Lodge or “Look, No Fence!”

Africa, Here We Come

Just Don’t Dangle Your Feet

The Importance of a Good Company

Walking Safari Rules You Do Not Want to Break

Exploring the Animal Kingdom on Foot

Zimbabwe Safari Walk with Only Three Bullets to Spare

Nobody Likes Hyenas

The Big Five

The Elephant Trap

Elephant’s Little Cousin

The Black Death

White Rhino or Black Rhino, Just Stay out of Their Way

Breakfast with Lions

The Leopard That Was Not There

Not So Fast, Cheetah

The Hippopotamus That Could Not Swim

It Is Hard Not to Stick Your Neck Out When You Are a Giraffe

Antelopes and Zebras

The Wildebeest Would Not Win a Beauty Contest

The Impala, African Champion of the High Jump

The Greater Kudu’s Horns Are the Envy of the Entire 
Antelope Community

The Zebra Wears Its Striped Suit with Style

The Warthog Is Not Just Your Average Wild Pig

Meeting Vervet Monkeys and Baboons

A Few Words About Birds

Hooked on Safari

Suggested Reading

About the Author, Me

“An amazing real life perspective on African safari that has been delightfully shared. Funny and witty. Footsteps well worth following.”

Philip Coetzee, South Africa, Advanced Nature Guide, author of Birds for Beginners.

See what readers say about Suburbanites on Safari

Contact Us

Send Alex Shaland an email with any questions.

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