Great African Safari
The travels of Rúhíyyih Khánum in Africa, 1969-73
Here is an eyewitness account of Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum's historic three-year journey crossing the African continent from north to south and from coast to coast. Despite the passage of nearly fifty years, the story of this extraordinary adventure leaps off the page, vividly and faithfully told from the dairies of Violette Nakhjavání who accompanied Amatu'l-Bahá on these travels. They visited 34 African countries, driving a Land Rover over 36,000 miles to visit Bahá'ís in remote villages as well as capital cities and towns, and meeting people in all walks of life, from Emperors and Kings to rural farmers.
It was a journey made in fulfilment of an earlier promise - to return to Africa and visit the Bahá'ís there. But in addition to meeting and encouraging Bahá'ís far from the beaten track, Rúhíyyih Khánum represented the Bahá'í Faith in her official capacity as an ambassador from its World Centre. In her determination to ensure that government officials, academics and journalists everywhere were properly acquainted with the principles of the Faith, she met over 40,000 people, including nineteen Heads of State. She addressed over 400 gatherings in universities, schools, clubs, cities and villages.
Each evening Violette Nakhjavání recorded in her diary the events of the day, the names of people met, their questions and concerns, together with Rúhíyyih Khánum's word of explanation, advice, encouragement and comfort - as true and relevant today as they were then. It is a timeless story, of human warmth, love, dignity, humour and spiritual understanding.