In 1975, Breyten Breytenbach, a young Afrikaner poet, painter, and ANC activist in exile, made a secret visit to his native South Africa. He was arrested, charged with treason, and imprisoned for seven years. Much has changed since those days: Nelson Mandela has been released, apartheid is on its way out, F. W. de Klerk has set in motion multiracial rule, and Breytenbach, the young rebel, has become one of his country's most respected figures, an insider-outsider with a unique view of South Africa and Africa as a whole. In rich, vivid, evocative prose Breytenbach captures Africa: primitive huts alongside modern airports; the constant migrations of peoples; the ethereal beauty of the land. We travel with him from town to town, from Kwamandlangampisi and Houtenbeck to Goshen and Atlantis. We hear jazz in Capetown and hippopotami oomphing in pools, we see cardboard slums for blacks and exquisite white suburbs - cool houses with luxuriant gardens behind security walls topped with broken glass. We read of principals chased from classrooms by their students, and police confiscating cameras; we pass paw-paw trees, avocado orchards, and the blackened ruins of schools and huts; we learn ancient fables and folk superstitions, and always reflect on politics. This is a poet's experience of Africa, at once unsparing and elegiac.