Stalked by crocodiles, charged by hippos, attacked by African killer bees, Mark Jenkins tells of the first descent of the Niger River in West Africa. ... Show synopsis Stalked by crocodiles, charged by hippos, attacked by African killer bees, Mark Jenkins tells of the first descent of the Niger River in West Africa. In 1991 author Mark Jenkins, along with three companions and an intuitive African guide, set out to find the lost source of the Niger. Smuggling in weapons for protection, the team crossed into war-torn Sierra Leone, found the fountainhead, dropped in their kayaks and set off. During their journey they passed through villages where every female child has had a clitoridectomy; stumbled upon a brotherhood of blind men living alone in the bush and danced by firelight with a hundred women. And yet To Timbuktu is far more than an adventure book, it is a story about the meaning of friendship, fear, struggle, loss and tragically, death. Interweaving the tales of his own journey with the stories of the early explorers who tried to reach Timbuktu - men of unconquerable will, vanity and perseverance who would die beheaded, speared or eaten alive - Jenkins examines the why of adventure. Why do humans risk their lives for seemingly futile goals? To Timbuktu has the answers.