The 7 Best Coffee Table Books About Africa

Written by Gail Baker Nelson
Published: November 7, 2022
© Yulia Lakeienko/Shutterstock.com

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Most of us will never go on an African Safari. Yet, we can live vicariously through the books published by world-class photographers and glimpse the continent’s dizzying array of wildlife.

We rounded up a few of our favorite books showcasing African animals. Whether they’re encyclopedic in nature or focused solely on stunning photography, we think you’ll like them.

  1. Into Africa
  2. Into Africa
    • Award-winning photographer shares some of his most iconic images of Africa's animals
    • Great explanatory text accompanying the photos
    • Images are printed on thick, high-quality paper
    Check Amazon
  3. African Odyssey: 365 Days
  4. African Odyssey: 365 Days
    • Includes images from the seasonal migrations of three large herds across Africa
    • Lovely way to celebrate the beauty of Africa
    • Portable and lightweight
    Check Amazon
  5. Safari Style: Exceptional African Camps and Lodges
  6. Safari Style: Exceptional African Camps and Lodges
    • Readers can see Africa's best lodges and camps
    • Showcases the décor and surrounding vistas from seven different countries
    • Superb photography of African wildlife
    Check Amazon
  7. Remembering African Wild Dogs
  8. Remembering African Wild Dogs
    • The series has raised more than $1,000,000 for conservation projects
    • Over 140 pages of beautiful photographs of African wild dogs
    • Great way to support the cause of conservation
    Check Amazon
  9. African Safari: Into the Great Game Reserves
  10. African Safari: Into the Great Game Reserves
    • organized by region into chapters
    • stunning use of black-and-white photography
    • Amazing art
    Check Amazon
  11. The Family Album of Wild Africa
  12. The Family Album of Wild Africa
    • Over 450 pages full of breathtaking photos
    • A collection of rich, black-and-white photos on high-quality paper and bound into a 15-inch tall hardcover book
    • Soulful closeups of some of Africa's most iconic animals
    Check Amazon

Into Africa

In Frans Lanting’s Into Africa, the award-winning photographer shares some of his most iconic images of Africa’s animals. The images are printed in full color and printed on thick paper — displaying the raw beauty of a continent home to thousands of animal species.

Readers love the text that accompanies photographs and gives insight into them; we love that you can flip through Into Africa and find something stunning on each page. This awe-inspiring coffee table book will inspire photographers and nature lovers alike, it’s a wonderful addition to any library.

#7
Into Africa
  • Award-winning photographer shares some of his most iconic images of Africa's animals
  • Great explanatory text accompanying the photos
  • Images are printed on thick, high-quality paper
Check Amazon

South Africa

This book focuses solely on the beauty of South Africa. To those in the United States, it may look like a small country at the southern tip of the African continent, but it’s almost as big as Alaska. In South Africa, photographer Sean Fraser takes readers on a tour of the marvelous countryside, full of dramatic landscapes and breathtaking colors.

This coffee table book’s images include rocky coasts, rugged mountains, vineyards, cities, and gardens. Readers love that its photos are full color and the pages are filled with amazing photography.

African Odyssey: 365 Days

Join Anup Shah and Manoj Shah on a journey through the year in Africa in African Odyssey: 365 Days. In it, you’ll find a new photo for each day of the year.

This beautiful book includes images from the seasonal migrations of three large herds across the African landscape. We love that they included enough photos to look at a different one every day. This book, while smaller than your typical coffee table book, is a lovely way to celebrate the beauty of Africa every day.

#5
African Odyssey: 365 Days
  • Includes images from the seasonal migrations of three large herds across Africa
  • Lovely way to celebrate the beauty of Africa
  • Portable and lightweight
Check Amazon

Safari Style: Exceptional African Camps and Lodges

An African safari also needs an excellent base camp. In Safari Style: Exceptional African Camps and Lodges by Melissa Biggs Bradley and Guido Taroni, readers can see Africa’s best lodges and camps that will make your safari (fantasy or otherwise) an amazing experience.

In 352 pages, Safari Style showcases the décor and surrounding vistas from seven different countries, including Namibia and Zimbabwe. These lodges are geared towards non-hunting safaris where the only shooting you’ll do is in the photographs you take. Some locations are more traditionally-styled, while others are luxury accommodations that high-priced hotels would envy. However, they all share one commonality: their focus on allowing guests to see and experience Africa.

We love the superb photography where we can see zebras nonchalantly walking past the eco-lodge; the tranquility of the scenery is tangible. Safari Style: Exceptional African Camps and Lodges is a crowd-pleaser for all the right reasons.

#4
Safari Style: Exceptional African Camps and Lodges
  • Readers can see Africa's best lodges and camps
  • Showcases the décor and surrounding vistas from seven different countries
  • Superb photography of African wildlife
Check Amazon

Remembering African Wild Dogs

Here is a book you’ll love if you like supporting wildlife conservation. Remembering African Wild Dogs is the sixth book in a series, the proceeds of which support conservation efforts in Africa and Asia. As of 2021, over 150 photographers have contributed to the books, and the series has raised more than $1,000,000 for conservation projects.

In 144 pages of beautiful photographs, you can fall in love with African wild dogs, a critically endangered species. We love how wildlife photographers worldwide have united to support a worthy cause.

#3
Remembering African Wild Dogs
  • The series has raised more than $1,000,000 for conservation projects
  • Over 140 pages of beautiful photographs of African wild dogs
  • Great way to support the cause of conservation
Check Amazon

African Safari: Into the Great Game Reserves

What traditional black-and-white photography lacks in the instant gratification department, it makes up for in heirloom-quality art. African Safari: Into the Great Game Reserves by Peter and Beverly Pickford give you a rare glimpse into the daily life of wildlife in Africa and the adventure accompanying those on safari.

This book is organized by region into chapters that include South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia. We love the crystal-clear photos and wonderful composition. Given that the top two books on our list involve black-and-white photography, we might also be a little nostalgic. Nonetheless, the Pickfords’ stunning use of black-and-white photography is perfectly balanced with the right amount of descriptive text in African Safari: Into the Great Game Reserves.

#2
African Safari: Into the Great Game Reserves
  • organized by region into chapters
  • stunning use of black-and-white photography
  • Amazing art
Check Amazon

The Family Album of Wild Africa

The famous photographer Ansel Adams believed that capturing a perfect black-and-white photograph was more difficult than color. He was probably right. Achieving the right balance between black, white, and mid-tones is more difficult because little details get lost if the exposure is a little “off.” So, it’s rare to see a collection like our pick for the number one book with over 450 pages full of breathtaking black-and-white photos.

In The Family Album of Wild Africa, award-winning photographer Laurent Baheux collected his best images of African wildlife in rich, black-and-white print on high-quality paper and bound them into a 15-inch tall hardcover book. Baheux loves wildlife, and every photo in this book is a work of art crafted by a master photographer.

We love The Family Album of Wild Africa for the vast array of wildlife represented and the soulful closeups of some of Africa’s most iconic animals.

#1
The Family Album of Wild Africa
  • Over 450 pages full of breathtaking photos
  • A collection of rich, black-and-white photos on high-quality paper and bound into a 15-inch tall hardcover book
  • Soulful closeups of some of Africa's most iconic animals
Check Amazon
About the Author

Gail’s love for a very misunderstood group of animals, reptiles, led her to write about and draw them. She loves the natural world and it’s endless inspiration for her work. She is a freelance writer and illustrator, and her latest book, “Pebble Skins and Fast Walkers: What’s In a Name?” Is due out in early 2023.

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