"Until the African people learn to write, the ignorant will continue to tell their story" ~ Gareth Bok Davey

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stop Throwing Stones - the book

Stop Throwing Stones is a book that details Gareth 'Bok' Davey's solo motorbike journey through Africa. It is a fascinating description of Africa: its land, its people and its history. It also describes a journey of self-discovery and his own internal struggle to understand the continent of his birth.

In 2010, Gareth 'Bok' Davey crossed Africa with his trusty motorbike, a KTM990 Adventure (Big Ken). The idea was to head from South Africa through east Africa and on to Egypt. The route was made up as he went along and the aim was to try and see as many interesting people and places as possible. Bok set off from Johannesburg in March 2010 and arrived in Cairo four months later. A journey he will never forget.

"Whether it was encounters with the Kikuyu people of Kenya or strolling through the wondrous pyramids of Giza, the experiences endured. The lands I visited mixed natural beauty with the harshest living conditions that Africans, through the centuries, have managed to endure. If they can endure this, they can endure anything. I experienced the beauty of the Mozambican coastline, the mouth-dropping setting of Lake Malawi, the open plains of the Serengeti, the majestic Kilimanjaro, the abundant Kenyan wildlife, the thunderous source of the Nile, the solitude of the ‘Road to Hell’, the dramatic Ethiopian highlands, the unrelenting heat of the Sahara, the life-giving Nile Valley and the overwhelming chaos of Cairo. Every location along the way provided its own challenges and held a unique reward that is embedded forever in my heart."

Stop Throwing Stones is a fascinating insight into Africa, its history and its people. It is bound in hard-cover, is over 250 pages long and has hundreds of photos of the journey. A must read for all African tourists.


  1. Bok, I followed your blog every step of the way!! and it was a wonderful read. the way you write left me feeling inspired, longing to take the journey thru Africa for myself. With 2 small children that is not a realistic goal for now. Thank you for taking me along on your journey thru your beautifully descriptive words. I felt like i was right there with you! I am so looking forward to reading your book, and seeing all the amazing photos. Tam

  2. I'm delighted that you have written this book because I have to confess that I was addicted to each and every page you posted on your blog. The truly remarkable way you told your story with all the vivid descriptions portraying beauty, humour, harships and emotions and everything else you encountered on this long and arduous journey - not just the one across this continent but also the one you took within yourself; and coming to terms with reality, not the way others may want you to see it but the way it actually is, really impressed me. You are a talented writer G. Is this just the beginning...I look forward to future editions!

  3. Hi Bok,
    I have just finished reading your book. I just could not put it down. Funnily enough, before I even got into the book, I looked at the title and knew there was a greater meaning to the book, because in your blogs you had mentioned the stone throwing incidents in Ethiopia, but yes the amazing thing about life is when you throw stones you generally get them thrown back at you.
    Your journey was an incredible one, the friends, the adventures, being humbled by the generosity of the pump house attendant and his three sons who had nothing but gave everything, your time alone camping on that rock overlooking the Nile, looking up into the stars and heavens and wishing you could go and visit Mom, your heroic trip ”Road to Hell” and that sense of achievement after completing it under very arduous conditions, the beauty of Lake Malawi and meeting up with your great mates Kobles and Bonky, never mind the Jam Boys and Mel and all the others you met.
    I believe your most outstanding success was this small paragraph you wrote which is huge. You said:

    “This has not only been a journey through Africa, but it has also been a journey deep into my soul. I left expecting to only discover Africa but have returned having also discovered myself. I have become my own best friend.”

    I have always said if you want to know who God is, just look at what he has given us and take that all in, whether it is the clouds of an African thunderstorm, the chorus of bird singing, sitting on a mountain looking out at the sea, or lake or river, the smell of a flower, the laughter of a child and I can carry on and on, and when I look at the beautiful strong, bold photograph of the cover of your book being sunrise on Mt Sinai where various religions believe their prophet came from then “why do we throw stones at each other”. You have found yourself and what a beautiful African adventure like yours to accomplish that. The wonderful memories will be with you forever and although I was not with you, I thank you for letting me come on this incredible journey with you, through your blog and now this book.

  4. I have just read this book titled "Stop Throwing Stones". The story describes a remarkable and fascinating journey on his motorcycle "Big Ken" from South Africa to Egypt - it is an adventure packed full of interesting information about his encounters along the way and all the different people and cultures! Amusing and at times quite scary - some lovely pictures too! Makes me want to pack my bags and head off right away. I genuinely enjoyed the book and think it is a must read for any would be traveller or backpackers wanting to travel through the Eastern part of Africa - lots of useful current information.

  5. I have just finished reading your book “Attacking Africa: a man and his motorbike”
    I would just like to compliment you on the presentation of this book and your reasons for undertaking your journey.
    I am not African (70+ years of being an Aussie and living on the eastern side) but I thoroughly enjoyed your adventure. I have a friend who was born in Zimbabwe
    and I have become passionate about knowing more about Africa.
    I admire your desire to encourage the world to see Africa in a more positive light.
    Well done!

    Kind regards
    Colleen Schneider.

  6. Hi Gareth;

    Just wanted to send a note to thank you for the excellent read. I haven't sat down and read a book since school- no I am not joking. I have had a knee op and am at home at the moment. I picked up your book this morning and have just finished it! Really good read!!

    I found myself searching the net this afternoon for similar adventures in Western Australia- I found none and...wondered even if a ride north to south did exist...would it be anything like the adventure you have had. I can't see that it could.

    Nice one mate- i found it inspiring. I have decided that "at least" my next break as soon as my knee heals will be a cycle on the munda biddi trail (Perth to Albany)- an adventure that i have been talking about but that hasn't gained any momentum.

    A really great read- I think it will be very successful.


  7. Howzit Bok,

    What a triumph bru – you must be lank proud of this adventure and the book to cap it off. There can be only one question now – what’s next?

    Cheers, Leon

  8. Gareth,
    Many thanks for the book. I am really impressed with the final product.
    An outstanding effort which surpassed my expectations.
    Your book shows that it is all out there to be visited.
    One has to make up your mind, get off your rear-end and do it
    Just as you did.
    Well done!
    Uncle Rob and Auntie Pat.

    PS Who is in charge of marketing in RSA?
    I expect to see the book in the travel section at Exclusive Books in Cresta.
    ( A definite seller!)

  9. Howzit Bokkie,

    Yissy but that’s good hey!
    I ordered a copy today…. Looking forward to reading it!

    Your quote: “Until the African people learn to write, the ignorant will continue to tell their story” captured me like a cannon would capture a high-mega-pixel picture.


    Chat soon,

  10. Hello Bok,

    Nice book, does it come with crayons?

    Very well done, I look forward to reading it soon. I followed your blog during the trip and your travels were inspiring!

    Good luck with the sales.


  11. Can't wait to read it! You write in exactly the same (screamingly funny) droll way that you talk.

  12. Hey buddy good to hear from you!! A bloody book aye? Surely there isn't a publishing house that was actually willing to print your ramblings?? Boy they'll give anyone a voice aye!

    Sounds great though mate, congratulations on getting it published, I read through your blog every now and then throughout the duration of your ride, so I'll definitely be purchasing a copy to put on the coffee table.

    Now when is the famous Author coming to do a book tour in oz aye? :) otherwise I may have to finally get over to your homeland for a visit one of these days....

    Hope all is well otherwise mate and that you are happy, healthy and smiling!


  13. Hi Gareth.

    I have just completed an amazing trip through Africa, from Gauteng to Cairo on the back of your Big Ken, through the pages of your book..... Stop Throwing Stones.
    An amazing trip and an amazing book. Congratulations on the trip, and equally deserved are congratulations on the very well written book. Both huge undertakings.

    I'll drop you a line in the next few days about our (my 64 year old wife and me, 67 years old - just the two of us alone) overland trip from Cape Town to East Africa including Rwanda, return, in a Toyota Hilux Double cab bakkie, mostly sleeping in our roof top tent, but with a few nights in hotel beds (Nairobi & Kigali), 3,5 months, 20 000kms. Included white river rafting at Jinja and climbing Kili, and seeing chimps in Uganda, visiting Zanzibar, Lake Malawi, Zimbabwe Ruins, etc etc

    Your Aunt, Liz McKewan (spelling?) lent me your book and I have just, literally just, finished, in just over a week. Thoroughly enjoyed the book.

    One word for your trip - "amazing".

    I'll send you some pics to remind you of some of the places in Africa you and I went to.

    Past my bedtime so I'll write again.

    Andrew Langley
    Lakeside, Cape Town

  14. Hello Gareth (or should I call you Bok?) I hope this email finds you well. Come to think of it I hope this email finds you!

    I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed reading Stop Throwing Stones - yes I know it must be 4 years since I bought it but for some reason it got put to one side and only resurfaced a couple of weeks ago. And once I picked it up I couldn't put it down.

    Its really good

    Entertained me and certainly educated me about Africa and what an adventure?! I can see its self published but its very professionally done. I think it could be a hit in those big bookshops in Perth - or perhaps it already is?

    Like all good authors you leave the reader wanting to know more - What happened to big Ken? Whats you next adventure? And why didn't you count the number of cans of beer you got through in the statistics at the back of the book?

    Seriously though - well done not just on the book but the adventure

    Les Halford