How to Walk a Puma

And Other Things I Learned While Stumbling Through South America


Book Description

On his nineteenth birthday, Peter Allison flipped a coin. One side would take him to Africa and the other to South America, the two places he wanted to explore before he died. He recounted his time spent as a safari guide in Africa to much acclaim in Whatever You Do, Don’t Run and Don’t Look Behind You. Sixteen years later, he makes his way to Santiago, Chile, ready to seek out the continent’s best, weirdest, and wildest adventures, and to chase the elusive jaguar.


In just the first six months, Allison is bitten by a puma (several times), knocked on his head by a bad empanada, and surrounded by piranhas while rafting down a Bolivian river—all because of his unusual fear of refrigerators and of staying in any one place for too long. Ever the gifted storyteller and cultural observer, Allison makes many observations about life in humid climes, the nature of nomadism, and exactly what it is like to be nearly blasted off a mountain by the famous Patagonia wind. Allison’s self-deprecating humor is as delightful as his crazy stunts, and his love for animals—even when they bite—is infectious.

About Allison, Peter

Peter Allison was born in Sydney, Australia, but at the age of 19 moved to Africa because he wanted to see some of that continent's wildlife. He stayed almost ten years, working his way from barman to safari guide, finally becoming the head guide and guide trainer for Wilderness Safaris, the largest safari operator in Southern Africa. Peter has guided National Geographic photographers and his safaris have appeared in Conde Nast Traveler and Real Travel magazines. He has made appearances on Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures and Fox and Friends, and currently has a wildlife show of his own in development with Digital Ranch Media, and Emmy-award-winning company. Currently, Peter is not based in any one place, but can usually be found in a South American jungle or African savannah.