Program 512: Shakespeare in South Sudan; Africa 54; Normandy

Release Date: 01-27-2018


We check in with author and long-distance walker Francis Tapon after his five-year journey to all 54 countries in Africa. And we hear how a widespread love of Shakespeare played a key role in shaping Africa's newest nation, South Sudan. Plus, tour guides from France offer tips for exploring the countryside of Normandy, including the monuments to WWII battles fought there.


  • Literature professor Edward Wilson-Lee, author of "Shakespeare in Swahililand" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Travel writer and filmmaker Francis Tapon
  • French tour guides Antoine Bonfils, Virginie Moré, Patrick Vidal

Additional Info

  • Edward Wilson-Lee was raised in Kenya, teaches literature at Cambridge, and is the author of "Shakespeare in Swahililand." 
  • A video promo for the South Sudan Shakespeare Company's production of "Cymbeline" in Juba, from the start of the new nation in 2011. 
  • Francis Tapon posts blog messages and videos from his adventures at
  • Francis spoke with Rick on Travel with Rick Steves in 2013, as he prepared to start his Africa 54 journey on program #314. We also checked in with Francis in the middle of his trip, while he was in Tanzania. It's on the first show of 2015, program #390.
  • Rick's online guide to the highlights of Normandy.  
  • The American Cemetery in Normandy is operated by the American Battle Monuments  Commission as a tribute to the fallen troops from D-Day.
  • The Mont Saint-Michel Abbey is operated by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux.
  • The scars of the Second World War in Normandy are still evident at the church caller Keith visited at Angoville-Au-Plain.

Program Extras

More about Normandy - Listeners share what they love about Normandy, including why you should not overlook the coastal city of Cherbourg. (runs 1:56)