Book Reviews

Book Review: Hypertravel.

The author started travelling at a very young age. He first travelled to South America, then to teh Caribbean, followed by long trips to the Mediterranean, which led to another in Scandinavia, Turkey and to the Horn Africa and Southern Europe, which was followed by eleven Middle Eastern countries (Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Qatar, Dubai, Muscat, and Iran).

Later he decided to visit the eastern coast of South Africa and Madagascar. This trip was followed with another to Russia, Baltic countries (Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia), the United Kingdom and Ghana.

Finally, he travelled to the South pacific to complete his planned journeys.

There are now 192/194 (depending who is counting) sovereign jurisdictions in the world, and the author, an inveterate backpacker, is planning to visit the majority of them, even though sometimes he spends only a few hours in a country.

The book is more about travelling itself, planning, obtaining visas for different countries, crossing borders, computer use and Internet access in different locations.

Paul Theroux, one of the best travel writers of the USA, treasures border crossings, the ones one has to walk from one country to another savouring the quality of being a pedestrian, stepping over the theoretical line that is shown on maps.

Usually a frontier is a river, but it can also be a sudden alteration of topography.

Hardie Karges has crossed many borders many with ease and no formalities, others more difficult. To cross some borders he had to pay for an “instant visa” in US $, and for yet others he even had to interview and pay a lot. He elaborates on all these and more.

The book reveals how the visa concept has become revenue stream for many poor countries.

These are explanations alone are worth the cost of the book.


Hypertravel is an essential reading for modern backpackers and young people travelling on limited budgets.

The writing is fluid, and unique with unexpected twists and turns, and outcomes.

There are many lessons to be learned about how some third world front office clerks honour reservations or what is promised and delivered.

More importantly, Hardie Karges clearly explains how in some countries the staff in hotels, or hostels crudely rips off travellers, and/or by charging tourists far higher prices than advertised prices.

He also emphasises overland bus travelling. It is mostly less expensive than flying where possible and practical, offers possibilities to meet locals, but certainly less comfortable mostly due to bight travel and cumbersome border crossings.

The book reveals much detail about travelling to the neglected, behaviour of people in different countries and how they treat foreigners.

Buy this book and read it carefully if you are not an organized travel fan. You will be grateful and will benefit greatly during your travels.

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