The RHAPTA KEY – An ALEX HUNT Archaeological Adventure Thriller


Book #1 in the Alex Hunt Adventure Thrillers series

Riddle solving artifact hunting, courage and danger are at the core of this page-turner that will have you experience Africa from your favorite armchair like never before!


Jam-packed, fast-paced action with real-life historical facts

When Alex Hunt’s mother tragically dies during her lifelong quest to find Africa’s ancient lost city of Rhapta, Alex develops Agoraphobia –an unnatural fear of specific places and situations.  She vows to never go on another archaeological expedition again.

So when her father, Professor Charles Hunt, Head of Archaeology at a prestigious British University mysteriously disappears several years later, she is forced out of hiding to find him.

With nothing to lose, battling her worse fears and with the mighty University behind her, she travels to Tanzania, Africa in search of her missing father.

Tasked to accompany her, the inexperienced Sam Quinn joins her on an action-packed adventure through the treacherous African jungle. Faced with an abundance of danger, fear, and heartache they come face to face with sabotage, crime and betrayal that will test their inner strength and will to survive. 

Will she find her father and the infamous lost city of Rhapta or will she die at the hands of the natives who believes the vanished city is best kept undiscovered?

Awarded the Readers’ Favorite Five Star Seal

See what my readers have to say.

Fast paced and exciting!  I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a exciting read. The story is full of sabotage. The Rhapta Key truly has something for every reader.  – Amazon review

“I thought I knew what to expect but I was way off!  Urcelia has proven her versatility as an author that’s for sure. Think Tomb Raider meets Indiana Jones with a few added twists.
I enjoyed the the storyline , the adventure , the culture and the history.  I laughed , I cried , I cheered and feared!
A five- star read I’d recommend.” – Amazon review



Based on the true legend of Rhapta
About 2000 years ago, Rhapta was speculated to be the first real metropolis of Africa. The lost city was substantially known for its abundant produce of tortoiseshell and metal weapons amongst traders.
Rhapta soon became one of the wealthiest ancient civilizations in the world and was mentioned in the Greco-Egyptian writer, Claudius Ptolemy’s book “Geography.”
The fact that he captured his findings in his writings proves that they knew of the city’s existence as far back as 50AD.
But approximately 1600 years ago, at the peak of its existence, the entire city suspiciously disappeared.
The city vanished without any trace and with it took bounds of artifacts and architectural insights.
For years, archaeologists, scholars, and divers have been baffled by Rhapta’s disappearance.
The exact location is not known. However, it is believed to have been somewhere off the coast of Tanzania, near Mafia island.

My inspiration for writing this novel came from the fact that I was born and raised in South Africa.  How could I not write about this beautiful continent after  having been on several African safaris? 

Set in Tanzania, Africa.  For more info about this country, please click here

The Lost City of Rhapta is a true myth upon which this novel was based.  To read more about Rhapta, click here