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Kazimierz Nowak
Kazimierz Nowak in profile.jpg
Born (1897-01-11)January 11, 1897
Stryj, Austrian Poland (now in Ukraine)
Died October 13, 1937(1937-10-13) (aged 40)
Nationality Polish
Occupation traveler, correspondent, reporter and photographer

Kazimierz Nowak (January 11, 1897 in Stryj – October 13, 1937 in Poznań) was a Polish traveler, correspondent, reporter and photographer.


Born in Stryj, Nowak lived in Poznań following World War I. From 1931 to 1936, he traveled alone, by bicycle, on foot, on horse, by boat and on camel across Africa, covering a distance of 40,000 km from Libya to Cape Agulhas, South Africa and back to Algeria. He died in Poznań from pneumonia as a consequence of emaciation of the body due to travel, malaria, and leg surgery. Photographs from his African travel were published in Poland in 1962 in the album Przez Czarny Ląd (Across the Black Land). The book was edited by Nowak's daughter Elżbieta Nowak-Gliszewska and photographs were selected after consultation with professors Jan Czekanowski and Jerzy Loth. Kazimierz Nowak's accounts of the travel were first published jointly only as late as 2000, in a book entitled Rowerem i pieszo przez Czarny Ląd (Across the Dark Continent). The Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuściński said in 2006 that it "is an utterly exceptional book", and added that:

Its content and the personality of the writer account for its compelling nature. As such, it should command greater attention and wider recognition. This incredible story unfailingly features in my lectures, discussions and commentaries on international affairs. I ardently hope that it will take place among the classics of Polish reportage.

National Geographic Traveler (Polish edition) wrote that "Kazimierz Nowak is without a doubt a master of travel reportage". On 25 November 2006, in the Hall of Poznań Main Railway Station where Nowak began and ended his travel, Ryszard Kapuściński unveiled a commemorative plaque dedicated to Nowak.

Kazimierz Nowak Memorial-003
Monument in Poznań dedicated to Kazimierz and his trip across Africa

The 7th extended Polish edition of the book was published in 2013. The book was translated into Hungarian language in 2014 (Kerékpárral és gyalog a fekete földrészen át) and into English in 2017 (Across The Dark Continent. Bicycle Diaries from Africa 1931–1936).

In 2011 Jacek Y. Łuczak wrote Nowak's biography Polska Kazimierza Nowaka. Przewodnik rowerzysty (Kazimierz Nowak's Poland. A Cyclist's Guidebook). The book describes places in Poland Nowak visited during his 4 bicycle travels in the years 1925–1930 (1925–1926: around Europe; 1927–1928: Europe and North Africa; 1928: around Poland; 1930: Southern Poland and Western Europe).

In 2014 the first volume of Nowak's letters from African travel to his wife was published in Poland as Kochana Maryś! Listy z Afryki. The second volume was published in 2015 and third in 2016. The last volume is expected to be published in 2017.

Kazimierz Nowak's bicycle 2
Kazimierz Nowak crossing a desert in Africa, c. 1931–36

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Kazimierz Nowak para niños

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