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Beyond The Secret Elephants is the continuing story of Gareth Patterson’s almost two decades of research into the secretive Knysna elephants. Significantly, however, it also reveals his startling discovery of a much more mysterious being than the elephants – a relict hominoid known to the indigenous forest people as the Otang.
Gareth had long heard about the existence of the otang from the local people but he mentioned it only briefly in The Secret Elephants, focusing instead on his rediscovery of the Knysna elephants and their survival against the odds. He was reluctant to blur the story of the elephants with his findings about the otang. That is, until now. The possible existence of relict hominoids is today gaining momentum worldwide with ongoing research into Bigfoot in North America, the Yeti in the Himalayas and the Orang Pendek in Sumatra. Eminent conservationists and scientists – among them Dr Jane Goodall, Dr George Schaller and Professor Jeff Meldrum – have publicly stated that they are open-minded about the possible existence of these cryptid beings.
In the course of his unannounced research into the otang Gareth heard many accounts – mostly spontaneous and unprompted – of otang sightings by others in the area over a number of years. These accounts, documented in the book, are astonishingly consistent both in the descriptions of the otang and in the shocked reactions of the individuals who saw them.
Gareth Patterson’s work supports the increasing realisation that humankind still has much to learn about the natural world and the mysteries it holds. The possibility that we may be sharing our world with other as yet unidentified hominoids is today being viewed as something that should not be discounted. And as humankind, we need to reassess our role and our responsibility towards all forms of life that coexist with us on planet Earth.
This exciting third book from David Bristow covers everything environmental in South Africa that you always wanted to know about.
The topics in this book include pesticides, poaching, petrol, plastics, population, pollination, pollution, pods, politics, pharmaceuticals, people, prophets, power and poop. Find out what industrially manufactured foods and large-scale farming are doing to us; how state capture has derailed our civil service and triggered sewerage spills, oil slicks and air pollution; who benefits most from health supplements; and what are the real costs of generating power and what works best – coal, nuclear, fracking, solar or wind.
You will also read about the good deeds of our eco heroes: those who bring water and hope to stricken towns; who farm regeneratively and sell us wholesome foods; who clean up other people’s messes; as well as individual superheroes who nurture their own back gardens. This book celebrates some of them. Written in the same engaging style as his previous two books in the series Stories from the Veld series (The Game Ranger, the Knife, the Lion and the Sheep and Of Hominins, Hunter-Gatherers and Heroes), this book is a journey into unravelling the environmental landscape of South Africa.
In this autobiographical account of a lifetime spent observing, researching and photographing birds, Peter Steyn shares experiences that span some 70 years.
His story starts and ends in Cape Town, South Africa, but in between we read about:
His detailed and fascinating memoir captures the author’s great enthusiasm for birds and their role in his shaping his life and experiences.
Kingdom of Daylight: Memories of a Birdwatcher is well illustrated and features more than 400 photographs taken during Peter’s lifelong journey with birds.
The Africa-wide Great Elephant Census of 2016 produced shocking fi ndings: a decimated elephant population whose numbers were continuing to plummet. Elephants are killed, on average, every 15–20 minutes – a situation that will see the fi nal demise of these intelligent, extraordinary animals in less than three decades. They are a species in crisis. This magnifi cent book offers chapters written by the most prominent people in the realm of conservation and wildlife, among them researchers, conservationists, film makers, criminologists, TV personalities and journalists. Photographs have been selected from among Africa’s best wildlife photographers, and the Foreword is provided by Prince William.
It is hoped this book will create awareness of the devastating loss of elephant lives in Africa and stem the tide of poaching and hunting; that it will inspire the delegates to CITES to make informed decisions to ensure that all loopholes in the ivory trade are closed; and that countries receiving and using ivory (both legal and poached) – primarily China, Vietnam, Laos and Japan – ban and strenuously police its trade and use within their borders, actively pursuing and arresting syndicate leaders driving the cruel poaching tsunami.
This book is also a tribute to the many people who work for the welfare of elephants, particularly those who risk their lives for wildlife each day, often for little or no pay – in particular the fi eld rangers and the anti-poaching teams; and to the many communities around Africa that have elected to work with elephants and not against them.
The Last Elephants – is the title prophetic? We hope not, but the signs are worrying.
Safari Nation opens new lines of inquiry into the study of national parks in Africa and the rest of the world.
The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s most iconic nature reserve, renowned for its rich flora and fauna. According to Dlamini, there is another side to the park, a social history neglected by scholars and popular writers alike in which blacks (meaning Africans, coloureds and Indians) occupy centre stage. Safari Nation details the ways in which black people devoted energies to conservation and to the park over the course of the twentieth century – an engagement that transcends the stock (black) figure of the labourer and the poacher.
By exploring the complex and dynamic ways in which blacks of varying class, racial, religious and social backgrounds related to the Kruger National Park, and with the help of previously unseen archival photographs, Dlamini’s narrative also sheds new light on how and why Africa’s national parks – often derided by scholars as colonial impositions – survived the end of white rule on the continent. Relying on oral histories, photographs and archival research, Safari Nation engages both with African historiography and with ongoing debates about the ‘land question’, democracy and citizenship in South Africa.
This book is a totally fresh approach to observing birds in southern Africa. It affords you the opportunity to gather previously inaccessible and indecipherable information in the form of tracks and signs left behind by our avifauna. The book explores the unique details of the spoor, or tracks, of many species of birds. This is done in multiple ways including by observing their droppings, examining their feeding behaviour as well as their general nesting structures.
It’s remarkable how tracks and signs in nature help you to enrich your knowledge of bird species, providing knowledge as straightforward as the shape of the individual nests of our various species of weaver, or the ability to recognise and understand the role of a drum-site in the life of a bearded woodpecker, or even being able to see the subtle signs of a cardinal woodpecker on the various acacia pods which host its larval food.
Louis Liebenberg has generously provided some sketches of spoor he has made for his own publications, making these clear schematics available to assist with identification. Skulls, feathers, beaks and egg shells are also occasionally encountered, and a few examples of these will be included, as they also tell a story of a bird which has passed by. This approach to southern Africa’s birdlife will add tremendously to how we experience our wonderful avifauna.
Sky Guide Africa South – 2021 is a practical resource for all astronomers, whether novice, amateur or professional. It covers the upcoming year’s planetary movements, predicted eclipses, meteor showers – any events and facets of the night sky that change annually. Star charts plot the evening sky for each season, facilitating the identification of stars and constellations. The guide contains a wealth of information about the Sun, Moon, planets, comets, meteors and bright stars, with photos, diagrams, charts and images. There’s also an excellent list of useful websites and a comprehensive glossary.
This annual publication is an invaluable guide for anyone with an interest in the night skies of southern Africa, from beginner through to professional.
Sharks are among the most persecuted animals on Earth. Nicole’s block-buster story lifts the lid on the shocking details of the trade in shark fins, and raises awareness of the plight of sharks in the 21st century.
In November 2003 a female Great White Shark was tagged near Dyer Island in South Africa. Her tag popped up in February 2004, just south of Western Australia. The shark, later to be named Nicole (after shark enthusiast Nicole Kidman), had swum an epic 11,000 km. Scientists were even more surprised when she was identified back in South Africa in August 2004 – she had covered 22,000 km in less than nine months, using pinpoint navigation both ways.
Since then, many Great Whites have been tagged and have shown a propensity for undertaking long migrations – but none has yet matched Nicole's amazing feat. This story incorporates a blend of science, actual events and real people, along with conjecture as to what might have happened on Nicole's momentous journey.
In this majestic book, new South African president Cyril Ramaphosa reveals his passion and love for cattle as he introduces us to the magnificent Ankole cattle, originating in Uganda, and now, through his intervention, flourishing in South Africa.
He reflects on the legacy bequeathed him by his father, Samuel Ramaphosa, who had to leave behind his cattle herd in Venda to find work as a migrant worker in Johannesburg. Life in the city was tough and demanding, weakening Samuel’s links with his ancestral origins and causing the loss of his herd. The love of cattle runs deep in South Africans and Cyril is doing more than restoring his father’s loss, he is resuscitating a new pride for South Africans with these remarkable cattle.
The Ankole have become the flavour de jour. A few years ago the Nguni reigned supreme, now the attention and focus is on these regal animals with their soaring horns. Cattle of the Ages is the Abundant Herds of the Ankole.
This hardcover book is designed by Gabrielle Guy and is destined to become a collector’s piece.
This is the first book dedicated to birding in South Africa’s national parks. The 19 featured national parks are grouped within the four biogeographic regions – northern, arid, frontier and Cape regions. The book offers a concise introduction and summary of birding within each park.
Pertinent and interesting facts about where to find birds, including the top 10 birds of each park and a description of general habitats, are presented in a readable fashion. Over one hundred photographs illustrate some of the special birds found in the parks. Of the 700 regularly seen terrestrial species in South Africa, at least 640 can be found in the 19 national parks, with 13 of the 15 species endemic to South Africa and another 19 of the 20 species endemic to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Bird species commonly found in each park are listed at the back of the book.
Birding In South Africa's National Parks will be a worthy addition to the bookshelves of bird enthusiasts, particularly birders and ecotourists visiting South Africa from across the world.
Four years. Seven continents. An unprecedented quest to document and preserve our last remaining wild lands.
In more than 200 striking images, acclaimed South African photographers Peter and Beverly Pickford have created an epic, unparalleled portrait of some of our planet’s most untouched places: from the heat-beaten country of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast to Alaska and the Yukon’s abundance of water, in ocean, river and lake; from the subantarctic islands’ wind-tossed shores in the south to the Arctic’s immense expanses of cracked pancake ice in the north; and the dazzling juxtaposition of desert and water in Australia’s Kimberley to the remote, frozen peaks of Tibet and Patagonia. Within these extreme landscapes, Beverly and Peter’s images illuminate and celebrate myriad forms of life: polar bears, rhinoceroses and bharal, as well as the humble lichen, are all evocatively pictured within the landscapes upon which they depend. This is a wildlife book like no other, its images aching with what words struggle to describe: the resonance of wilderness in our inner being, the power of land to transform our emotion, and our ability to transcend the immediate to become sublime.
Wild Land’s stunning images are accompanied by a fascinating text in which Peter not only vividly describes the photographers’ adventures in pursuit of wild land, but also delivers a timely message that highlights the urgent need for these lands to be preserved for the future of the planet – a future on which humankind’s very survival is dependent.
Given what we know about climate change, should we still be raising and eating cattle? And how do we weigh the cultural and economic value of cattle against their environmental impact? This engaging book brings history, science, economics and popular culture together in a timely discussion about whether current practices can be justified in a period of rapid climate change.
Journalist Gregory Mthembu-Salter first encountered South Africa’s love of cattle during his own lobola negotiations. The book traces his personal journey through kraals, rangelands and feedlots across South Africa to find out more about the national hunger for cattle. He takes a broad sweep – drawing on such diverse sources as politicians involved in land reform, history, braai-side interviews with cattle farmers and abattoir owners, conversations with his mother-in-law, and analysis of cutting-edge science.
Mthembu-Salter suggests that perhaps 'cattle can remain wanted and treasured … more as living assets, kept in modest numbers on land where crops will not thrive, whose beef is eaten rarely – and, when it is, is savoured.'
Canned lion hunting sprang to the world’s attention with the 2015 launch of the documentary, Blood Lions. This movie blew the cover off a brutal industry that has burgeoned in the last decade or so, operating largely under the radar of public concern.
In Cuddle Me Kill Me, veteran wildlife campaigner Richard Peirce reveals horrifying facts about the industry. He tells:
Well researched by Peirce with the help of an undercover agent, and illustrated with photos taken along the way, this is a disturbing and passionate plea to end commercial captive lion breeding and the repurposing of wildlife to cater for human greed.
This guide profiles 101 garden birds likely to be found in gardens across southern Africa, informing readers about what to look and listen for, and where and when. It is also an inspirational guide to creating a bird-friendly garden that is also a reservoir of biodiversity, wherever you are in the region.
With an attractive layout and multiple colour images, it offers the following:
Accompanied by superb photographs, this ground-breaking book is the first practical field guide to record the Zulu names of bird species commonly found in KwaZulu-Natal. Where one name was previously used to describe a number of birds belonging to the same genus (i.e. ukhozi for most eagles), the need existed to give species specific names.
The authors hope this book will be used to inspire a greater interest, awareness and protection of the avifaunal heritage of KwaZulu-Natal. It is vital for the heritage of all South Africans that these names are recorded and made widely available. Noleen Turner, a passionate birder and honorary research professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in collaboration with Prof Adrian Koopman and Roger Porter, led this seven-year project, together with 18 expert Zulu bird guides from various parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
The recording, derivation and crafting of these names has been a lengthy but fascinating process. Turner notes that the project has included not only the consideration of biodiversity management, but also the pursuit of social ecology, the long neglected but crucial ‘people’s’ aspect of conservation. She said when it came to Zulu names for birds, they had to fill in the gaps, and of the 550 species analysed, some were confirmation of well-known names, such as inkazwi for the fish eagle; some were selected from the most commonly known names such as inkankane for the hadeda ibis. Some names were redirected: for example, the name for the Brown-headed Kingfisher indwazela became the generic name for all kingfishers (ndwaza referring to the motionless position while waiting for prey).
Other new names were coined based on appearance, calls, behaviour and distribution such as isankawu (the bird whose call sounds like a vervet monkey) for the Southern Pochard, or umacutha derived from the Zulu word cutha (meaning to draw the body tense) as the generic name for herons, which perfectly describes the bird’s behaviour before it lunges at its prey.
After centuries of relative isolation, the Karoo – South Africa’s parched heartland – is a latecomer to the tourist industry. What was once viewed as a harsh and desolate place of limited attraction is rapidly gaining popularity with visitors who now make the Karoo their destination, keen to partake of its legendary charm, its extraordinary flora and the resurgence of wildlife that once again populates its plains.
Wild Karoo documents Mitch Reardon’s 4,000-kilometre journey of discovery through the region. The book focuses on:
Beautifully written, and illustrated with evocative photographs, this book is a must read for anyone interested in travel, wildlife and the environment.
Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story is a large-format photographic celebration of one of the continent’s most charismatic and endangered predators.
With only about 6,600 wild dogs left in Africa today, wildlife photographer Jocelin Kagan has made it her mission to bring the extraordinary lives of these often misunderstood and maligned animals into the spotlight. Her remarkable images and personal observations are supported by further insights by an array of scientific experts – their contributions reveal the fascinating behaviour and pack dynamics of these effecient hunters.
Nomadic predators whose territories range thousands of kilometres, wild dogs hunt co-operatively, preying on small herbivores. They are non-confrontational, smart and sociable, and form complex and close family bonds, as this fascinating book reveals. Now restricted to small populations and threatened by human persecution, diseases, habitat fragmentation, climate change and natural predation, these dogs will be supported by the royalties earned from the sale of this book.
Megaboere, kykNET se gewilde reeks oor suksesvolle boere in Suid-Afrika, het kykers reeds vir twee seisoene vasgenael gehou, en ’n derde een is op pad. In hierdie boek neem Wynand Dreyer, vervaardiger van die reeks, en sy produksiespan jou na die plaaseienaars op wie die kollig tot dusver in die reekse geval het.
Hy bied nie net interessante profiele oor gevestigde en opkomende boere met uitsonderlike ondernemingsgees nie; hy probeer die suksesresep ontrafel wat hedendaagse boere in staat stel om die aarde op volhoubare wyse te benut. Of jy self aan die stuur van ’n boerderyonderne¬ming staan en of jy bloot nostalgies voel oor jou voorgeslagte se geskiedenis wat op boereplase beslag gekry het, een ding is seker: jy sal verwonderd staan oor die kreatiwiteit en vernuf wat dit verg om Suid-Afrika se voedselmandjie vol te hou.
Volg vir Wynand op paaie wat lei tot die verste uithoeke van die land en ontdek die grond¬beginsels wat van boere pro-aktiewe entrepreneurs en sakemanne met visie maak.
Peter tells the story of four years of travelling, much of it in their modified Land Rover that was shipped from continent to continent, and the moments of awe at what they found as well as the disappointment with people and their governments for failing to protect their wildest parts; for failing to recognise the inherent value in wilderness.
The travelling was hard, but they brought back the images and the stories to show us the wild places and what threatens them. A story told with passion that makes you yearn for wide open spaces and wildlife without fear of humans.
Join them to visit Antarctica, Patagonia and the Andes, the Yukon and Alaska, the Arctic, the Tibetan Plateau, the Kimberly in Australia and finally the Namibian desert.
Insectopedia uncovers the fascinating and infinitely varied world of insects. It explores their intriguing behaviour and biology – from mating and breeding, metamorphosis and movement to sight, smell, hearing and their adaptations to heat and cold.
A chapter on superorganisms probes the curious phenomenon of social communities among insects; another covers the critical role that these creatures play in maintaining the fragile balance of life on our planet. The book concludes with a 60-page illustrated field guide, describing most insect orders and their main families.
Previously published as Insectlopedia of Southern Africa, this fully revised and redesigned edition includes up-to-date information throughout, an expanded ID section, and several hundred new photographs.
Elephants are arguably Africa’s most charismatic animals, and among the biggest drawcards to our game reserves. While the burgeoning game-park industry may be increasing our access to these magnificent creatures, rising human-elephant encounters are an inevitable outcome – sometimes, sadly, fatal. Such encounters could likely have been avoided had those involved understood elephant behaviour, and particularly how these intelligent animals interface with traffic through their territory.
This book describes elephant family life, from rearing of infants to establishing dominance within a herd; it unpacks regular elephant behaviour, the matriarchal system, the particular dangers of males in musth, and many other aspects of their lives. Most of all, it provides guidelines for ensuring safe and enjoyable encounters with these majestic animals.
This is an essential guide for those planning visits to reserves: aside from the interest factor, being able to read the tell-tale signs may just save lives.
The safari design aesthetic has yoked hi-tech, high-end architecture with traditional low-tech African craft and fused them in a new genre of highly original, courageous and soulful – even sexy – architecture and interiors. This is design that, while rooted in Africa, possesses an international appeal that is beginning to influence aesthetic ideas the world over.
Safari Style Africa showcases a selection of lodges where these elements of design dialogue beautifully with the environment.
Beat About The Bush is a series of remarkable books for outdoor and nature lovers. This comprehensive guide has been expanded to include not only mammals, birds and reptiles, but amphibians, invertebrates, plants, field signs and clues as well.
The information is portrayed in the same detailed yet user-friendly, question-and-answer format.
Have you ever wondered ...
• why birds often fly in formation
Interesting information on the plants these animals depend on is also included, as are the most interesting aspects of climate/weather, geology, astronomy and bush management practices.
Trevor Carnaby has been working as a professional field guide for the last 20 years. Passionate about Africa, he is actively involved in guide training and spends a great deal of time photographing Southern and East Africa’s wildlife, people and landscapes, while leading tailored, privately guided safaris through his company, Beat about the Bush Safaris.
Predictability isn’t a word you will find in any Bushveld dictionary, and the life of wildlife guardian Mario Cesare has been anything but. After years as warden of Olifants River Game Reserve, his feet are firmly planted in this magnificent slice of Big Five country to the west of the Kruger Park, where he has experienced a rich life packed full of incidents far from routine.
In Heart Of A Game Ranger, Cesare recounts some of these hair-raising, heart-breaking and heart-warming moments: a buffalo calf reunited with its pining mother, injured lions given second chances and rhinos lost, one by one, to poaching. Nestled among these tales, Cesare pays homage to the brave, dedicated and curious personalities engaged in a deadly combat on the most majestic of battlefields. Yet, while rhino poaching is by far the reserve’s biggest problem, Cesare reveals how the daily struggles of a game ranger are so much broader – and the rewards, when they come, immense.
Heart Of A Game Ranger is a story of extremes, one of fierce loyalty and devastating betrayal where spectacular days that end in exhausted satisfaction and achievement are balanced by those that leave behind only despair and frustration. Seen through his eyes and spoken from the heart, Cesare tells a deeply personal story – not only of a life lived wild, but of the joy of Africa’s incredible natural world.
66 million years ago the dinosaurs were wiped from the face of the earth. Today, Dr. Steve Brusatte, one of the leading scientists of a new generation of dinosaur hunters, armed with cutting edge technology, is piecing together the complete story of how the dinosaurs ruled the earth for 150 million years.
The world of the dinosaurs has fascinated on book and screen for decades – from early science fiction classics like The Lost World, to Godzilla terrorizing the streets of Tokyo, and the monsters of Jurassic Park. But what if we got it wrong? In The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, top dinosaur expert Brusatte, tells the real story of how dinosaurs rose to dominate the planet. Using the fossil clues that have been gathered using state of the art technology, Brusatte follows these magnificent creatures from their beginnings in the Early Triassic period, through the Jurassic period to their final days in the Cretaceous and the legacy that they left behind.
Along the way, Brusatte introduces us to modern day dinosaur hunters and gives an insight into what it’s like to be a paleontologist. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is full of thrilling accounts of some of his personal discoveries, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs, monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex, and feathered raptor dinosaurs preserved in lava from China.
At a time when Homo sapiens has existed for less than 200,000 years and we are already talking about planetary extinction, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a timely reminder of what humans can learn from the magnificent creatures who ruled the earth before us.
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