Chasing Lions

As the first in our travel companion book reviews we’ve looked at a fascinating travelogue come inspirational adventure – Chasing Lions by Amanda Marks

One woman’s journey in search of her inner lion

“Chasing Lions is a compelling tale of inner transformation through immersion in the natural world and being open to the rich diversity of life. Amanda’s story encourages us to live life to the full, be brave, and choose love.” Amanda Marks

Book review

As a lover of travel and adventure this book caught my eye, and as a travelogue it is fascinating… BUT it is so much more than that. 

When we are young few of us have the self-confidence or self-belief to take on the world. Adventures, especially solo ones, are what other people do. Our first proper job can easily lock us into that world and, bar the odd holiday, life can soon become about home and work – before you know it a family follows and your life’s course can become set away from adventure. 

If you want to change your life, to believe in yourself and what you are capable of, then you should read or listen (it’s also available as an audiobook) to Chasing Lions. It’s an auto-biographical travelogue, an adventure in its own right, but this adventure goes beyond, wrapping around a journey of self-discovery and a timeless love story. 

In her mid-twenties the author, Amanda Marks, had a comfortable job in marketing. One evening she went to a presentation by one of the owners of Dragoman, an overland adventure company. It unexpectedly sowed the seed to change her life.

Then when Amanda was mugged by a gang of schoolkids, she knew things had to change. She decided to go in search of her ‘inner lion’. This is the story of how she found it through becoming a truck-driving tour leader in the bohemian and male-dominated world of overland expeditions.

Over three years and 55,000 miles, Amanda faced her feelings of inadequacy on an amazing journey. If you love Africa and all it offers, this book will transport you to worlds and places you may only have dreamt of, though probably never been to or dared to go to. It will make you smile, sometimes laugh out loud. It will make you cry or at least well-up sometimes too, but also stimulate your wanderlust and fill you with wonder as the author takes on the challenges thrown at her. 

I could tell you more of the story but it’s better to let it unfold and discover her successes, failures and adventures along the way. All these are infused with a love story too but this, though delightful, isn’t the main focus, just another dimension to her own journey. 

The audio book version is read by the author herself (available on Audible). Her narration increases the connection between the listener and what she was feeling and experiencing at the time, making it much more like travelling with a friend than just a read. 

If you’re on a journey it’s a good companion book. If you want or need to change your life, if you suffer from lack of self-confidence and belief, but don’t think you can do it then this book could just be your own Dragoman lecture moment. Even if it isn’t, it’s an enjoyable read. It’s the authors second book and though not perfect, the imperfections are irrelevant and all part of its charm.


By Chris Coe

Chris is a professional photographer, and the founder of Travel Photographer of the Year. He has been working as a professional photographer since 1992, shooting both editorial and advertising photography, and has published over 50 books. He lectures on and teaches photography, mentors and is a competition judge.