He did not return to Morocco for another twenty-nine years, travelling instead through more than forty countries on the modern map, covering seventy-five thousand miles and getting as far north as the Volga, as far east as China and as far south as Tanzania. He wrote of his travels, and comes across as a superb ethnographer, biographer, anecdotal historian and occasional botanist and gastronome. With this edition by Mackintosh-Smith, Battuta's Travels takes its place alongside other indestructible masterpieces of the travel-writing genre.
Tim Mackintosh-Smith has lived in San'a -- the Yemeni capital -- for the last twenty years. His acclaimed Travels with a Tangerine: A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah won him a Thomas Cook Daily Telegraph Travel Book Award.