"In many ways the fortunes of this man mirror the dealings of Great Britain with its colony of Sierra Leone: from abhorrent bestiality to philanthropic humanity."

Often, knowledge is gained from study and experience from travel. Readers are the fortunate beneficiary of both in this informative memoir. Author Berryman recounts his travels to West Africa as a university student in the mid-1960s, but he doesn't stop with a chronicle alone. He also provides historical background that enriches his tale with both illumination and perspective.

The Apapa of the title is the name of the ship that carried him and his five fellow students (all undergraduates with a specialization in African history) from England to The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Nigeria. Their voyage is interspersed with long games of Monopoly and vigorous tennis matches frequently interrupted by the contemplation of the very real differences between their accommodations and that of the deck passengers guarding their few possessions with nothing but a tarpaulin as shelter.

Having arrived at his destination, Berryman goes into extensive detail regarding his stint at Ibadan University, the oldest in Nigeria. While he covers courses, schedules, and various academicians he came in contact with, it is his run-ins with an agama lizard on his path and a black mamba in the library that interject moments of both humor and humanity. Beyond his studies, Berryman describes his travels by bus, train, lorry, and more. His narrative is full of detailed descriptions of fascinating places such as the Walled City of Zaria, the Niger Bridge, and Ganviê, where gondoliers ply their trade in the lagoon settlement. Photographs, maps, a reference guide, and an index add to the reader's appreciation of Berryman's journeys. Perhaps though, it is this author's obvious regard for the people he met and the kindness he continually experienced that leaves the most lasting impression of the endlessly intriguing continent of Africa.

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