Wow - The White Nile, by Alan Moorehead is One. Long. Book. My brain is not what it used to be. But I adore Africa, and am interested in the early days of what we (people from colonizing nations) did to the culture, environments, and economies of the area. Many of our effects are still being over-come.
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"Bagamoyo means 'Lay down the burden of your heart, and it is a beautiful place with a line of rustling coconut palms on the shore and beyond them, at the right season, one of the loveliest sights in Africa: the flamboyant trees that spread like chestnuts and blaze with the brightest shades of scarlet, flame and orange."
You can't beat that -- for truth or beauty or explanation.