African Steam Safari

A series of books focusing on the dark continent. Back in the 1970’s after steam had vanished from Australian government tracks, many Aussies headed to Africa, where steam action was still abundant and there was great pride in the iron horse. The three volumes in this series provide in depth coverage of all of the countries with steam action from 1970 on. Africa was a wild, untamed land back then, with some superb scenery and giant locomotives.

African Steam Safari Vol 1
Asmara to Albert Falls

African Steam Safari Vol 2
Kisumu to the Great Karoo

African Steam Safari Vol 3
Luxor to Sir Lowry’s Pass

African Steam Safari Vol 1-3
The complete set

About The Series

Alan Williams fell in love with the steam trains in South Africa. So much so that he decided, under the banner of the ARE, to create some books to record the photography of Aussies who lived there back in the 1970’s and beyond. I was one of them. We had a great time, and came back with plenty of adventures and some of our best steam photos of all time. Now you can have access to many of these photos through the African Steam Safari series, to which many of us have given photos and time to support the Association of Railway Enthusiasts.

Back in the 1960s, mail trains spread out from Sydney in all directions carrying sleeping passengers and newspapers to all parts of the state. A huge workforce was enlisted to ensure they arrived on time, and clean and maintain the iron horses and their charges, and make sure the mail and newspapers got to their destinations.



After the descent into diesels and loss of glamour of Australian Railways, Southern Africa shone as a well run machine with polished engines and crew dedicated to their craft. Recapture those time in the African Steam Safari series.

What’s inside


Volume 1

Natal South Africa, South African Industrial Lines, Swaziland and Eritrea


Volume 2

East Africa, Rosmead – Lootsberg Pass region of South Africa, Angola and the mighty South African Bethlehem and Kroonstad to Beaufort West


Volume 3

Egypt, Ghana, Sudan, Zaire, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and the Garden Route


Complete Set

Combines the photographic excellence of John Allerton, John Gaydon, Graham Hind, Malcolm Holdsworth, Robert Kingsford Smith, Greg Triplett, Mike Tyak & others.

Sample Text

Following a successful 6 week steam safariof South Africa in April/May 1975, Englishman Michael Grainger and I decided we would see if we could get into Angola and Mozambique before those counries were abandoned by the Portuguese. Greg Triplett had just been to Angola, and told tales of seeing lots of soldiers and guns, so it was little wonder that we were refused a visa for that country. Mozambique was a different story, as fighting had subsided and the FRELIMO were now in charge fo security.

Note: the rest of this article follows my adventures in Mozambique which most agree is an incredible tale. John Gaydon


Pages Each

Each volume contains our pick of the best photographs available for the region. Together we have taken thousands of photos, and here we present only the best, vetted by author Alan Williams from the ARE.

More NSW Steam Action

Upcoming book!

Magnificent steam train photos covering lines North South and West of Sydney as well as industrials. A great addition to our earlier trilogy of “Northern Exposures”, “Lenses South” and “Shooting The West”.

$5  discount on books.

Use code “superheat” at checkout and receive a $5 discount for every book ordered. Fill in the form below to get future offers from us.