Book review: Wild Weekends - Place to go, things to do


Words: Sarah Kobal

If you are adventurous like myself (and easily bored), and always on the look-out for new and exciting things to do, then you’ve got to get yourself a copy of Wild Weekends - Place to Go, Things to Do, by Claire Keeton and Marianne Schwankhart, and co-published by Bookstorm and Pan Macmillan. This book includes a total of 30 weekend destinations, by province, with descriptions of the adventurous activities that one can do in each place. Contact details are also included, making planning a breeze.

Introductions to books are always boring in my opinion, but after reading Claire and Marianne's introduction, I felt inspired and it reinforced my belief that your dreams can come true, which is what happened in Keeton and Schwankhart's case. This book is a compilation of their incredible experiences and includes useful and relevant information, such as what issues one may come across, the general pricing, and anything else that is worth a mention. Keeton’s writing is well executed and the beautiful photographs taken by Schwankhart had me itching to go to every place and do every activity in the book!

The book is divided into two sections: weekends and activities. Decide where you want to go and they’ll tell you what adventures are waiting for you, or decide what activity you want to do and they’ll tell you the best weekend destinations to head for.

On page 9 of Wild Weekends, there is a bold title that says, 'How to use this book', which includes a description of the two sections and who wrote the different parts of the book. There is also a general pricing guide, with six colour-coded categories, for the activities and places to stay. This is especially useful when budgeting for your adventure. On the opposite page is a map of southern Africa, with a key naming all the places that are included in this book.

There’s also a table of contents on the first page of each chapter, with icons denoting what activities are available in that area. The numbers on the table of contents correspond with the numbered places on the map and chapters. The chapter title and province are mentioned next to every page number too, in case anyone doesn't know where the areas are. What’s really great about this is that you quickly scan through each table to see if there is anything of interest to you.

Even with so much information in Wild Weekends, I found this book to be very organised and methodical. Everything that you need to know, such as what the icons mean, where all the places are on the map, and how to use this book, is included in the first few pages of the book. So, it's easy to refer back to if you need to job your memory or clarify anything that may seem confusing.

The only criticism I have is that because the book covers all the provinces, it is not as in-depth as I would like it to be. The reason why I say this is that as a Joburger, I would like to get more ideas of things to do in Gauteng on the weekends, especially when I don't have a big budget to drive to the different provinces. It would be awesome if there was a series of these books; with a book dedicated to each province in southern Africa. But in saying this, the places mentioned in this book are definitely worth saving up for and trying out!


Title: Wild Weekends - Place to Go, Things to Do
Author: Claire Keeton & Marianne Schwankhart
Release date: August 2013
Size: 200 x144mm
Format: Soft cover, 208 pages
ISBN: 978-1-920434-48-9
Price: R220.00


Answer this easy question and you could win one of two amazing Wild Weekends books, co-published by Bookstorm and Pan Macmillan.

How many weekend destinations does the book feature?

Email your answer to . The competition closes at midnight on Wednesday, 28 August 2013, and the winner will be drawn from all correct entries. DO IT NOW's competition rules apply.