Both a wonderful memoir of an exotic childhood and a striking portrait of one of the world's most beguiling countries. A gem of a book.

Alexander McCall Smith

the nearest thing you will get to Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals and it is just as enchanting.

Giles Foden, Conde Nast Traveller

a fabulous read, rollicking, good-humoured... a worthy successor to The Flame Trees of Thika

Alexandra Fuller, The Globe and Mail

a quietly bravura performance... The sights, sounds and textures of Botswana tumble from her pages with unhurried ease...

Kate Colquhoun, The Daily Telegraph
 

Welcome to the official website for Twenty Chickens for a Saddle, a story that begins when six year old Robyn Scott's parents abruptly exchange the tranquil pastures of New Zealand for a converted cowshed in the wilds of Botswana. There, falling in love with the country where Robyn’s eccentric grandfather had served as pilot to Seretse Khama, Botswana’s first president, Linda and Keith Scott set off in his pioneering and unconventional footsteps. Their three small children, mostly left to amuse themselves, grow up collecting snakes, canoeing with crocodiles and breaking in horses in the veld.


This book is the account of the family’s fifteen years in Botswana, during which Linda haphazardly and single-handedly homeschools Robyn, Damien and Lulu, while Keith runs a flying doctor practice, attempting, with erratic success, to adapt to the unique demands of rural clinics and the growing burden of AIDS. The book remains throughout an uplifting, engaging and deeply affectionate portrayal of an extraordinary place and family.

Browse this site to read more about the book, as well as to view photographs read reviews, see more of Lauren Scott's illustrations, watch Robyn read an experpt from the book, and learn about Mothers for All, the AIDS orphan support organisation established with proceeds from the book.