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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
For over two decades Two Oceans has been the pre-eminent book to which scientists, students, divers and beachcombers turn to identify and learn about marine life, from sponges to whales and seaweeds to dune forests.
In this exuberantly colourful, fully revised fourth edition, over 2 000 species are now covered, names and other details have been updated to refl ect the latest taxonomy and many new photographs have been added.
Here’s another batch of David Muirhead’s unrespectable creatures, following his successful earlier volume of hilarious animal accounts (The Bedside Ark ). It offers a wealth of accurate information on each of the profiled creatures, while revealing their softer sides and the near-human frailties from which they suffer – and temptations for which they fall. Delightful, humorous pen-and-ink sketches accompany many of the stories.
Muirhead’s mix of humour, mythology, anecdotal tales and folklore builds quirky and captivating portraits of each animal, and makes for a lighthearted, funny – as well as illuminating – read.
This new anthology, offering something different from the standard collection of animal CVs, will appeal to anyone interested in humorous writing and the natural world, no matter their age (from teen to adult) or level of knowledge.
Seabirds hold a special place in the hearts of birders, not least because of the challenge of getting to grips with a group of birds that is largely inaccessible, and living in an often hostile habitat. Guide to Seabirds of Southern Africa is the first book focusing exclusively on the nearly 1,000 birds that occur around the southern African coastline and adjacent Southern Ocean.
This book is primarily an identification guide, but the author also includes information about these birds’ fascinating biology and behaviour. The text is richly supported with photographs, as well as distribution maps for all the birds. A detailed introduction covers, among other topics, seabird origins, havens, feeding, breeding and conservation, as well as how best to watch and photograph these enigmatic birds.
Guide to Seabirds of Southern Africa is an authoritative, first-of-its-kind, essential, volume for birders’ libraries.
In this book, Adrian Koopman describes the complex relationship between birds, the Zulu language and Zulu culture. A number of chapters look at the underlying meaning of bird names, and here we will find that the Zulu name of the Goliath Heron means ‘what gives birth to baby crocodiles’, the dikkop (umbangaqhwa) means ‘what causes frost’, and the African Hoopoe is a party-goer who wears a colourful blanket.
The book goes further than just Zulu names, exploring the underlying meanings of bird names from other South African languages and languages from Central and East Africa. Here we find birds with names that translate as ‘cool-porridge’, ‘kiss-banana-flower’ and ‘waiter-at-the-end-of-the furrow’.
A focus on Zulu traditional oral literature details the roles birds have played in Zulu praise poetry (including the praise poems of certain birds themselves) and in proverbs, riddles and children’s games. Also considered is traditional bird lore, examining the role played by various species as omens and portents, as indicators of bad luck and evil, as forecasters of rain and storm, and as harbingers of the seasons. Here we see that the Bateleur Eagle (ingqungqulu) is linked to war, the Southern Ground Hornbill (insingizi) to thunder and heavy rain, the Red-chested Cuckoo (uphezukokhono) to the start of the ploughing season, and the Jacobin Cuckoo (inkanku) to the start of summer.
Zulu Bird Names and Bird Lore discusses the Zulu Bird Name Project, a series of Zulu bird name workshops held between 2013 and 2017 with Zulu-speaking bird guides designed to confirm (or otherwise) all previously recorded Zulu names for birds, while at the same time devising new names for those without previously recorded names. The result has been a list of species-specific names for all birds in the Zulu-speaking region. Finally, the book turns to the role such new bird names can play in conservation education and in avi-tourism.
This book intensively covers a never-before-explored aspect of Southern African nature and is an essential new addition to the library of every nature lover. It was researched and written over the last four and a half years to open a door to a little known micro-world that exists all around us. Invertebrates – which include commonly seen creatures such as butterflies, spiders, beetles, worms and scorpions – are everywhere. The signs of their day-to-day activities are all around us if we know where to look.
The life cycles and behaviours of many animals are discussed, with a special focus on interactions between mammals and invertebrates – a fascinating subject in itself.
While working on this book, Lee Gutteridge spent many hours in the field with expert entomologists and arachnologists, many of whom commented that; even though they had spent a lifetime in the field, this experience, of invertebrate tracking, had changed the way that they see the invertebrate world.
With funding received from the Oppenheimer family, 250 copies will be donated to indigenous trackers, whose knowledge Lee appreciates and respects.
With a foreword by Sir David Attenborough, breathtakingly beautiful still photography, specially commissioned maps and graphics, and compelling text expanding on the remarkable TV stories and giving the reader a depth of information that is impossible on screen, this companion to the groundbreaking NETFLIX series presents a whole new view of the place we call home.
Featuring some of the world's rarest creatures and previously unseen parts of the Earth—from deep oceans to remote forests to ice caps—Our Planet takes nature-lovers deep into the science of our natural world. Revealing the most amazing sights on Earth in unprecedented ways, alongside stories of the ways humans are affecting the world’s ecosystems—from the wildebeest migrations in Africa to the penguin colonies of Antarctica—this book captures in one concise narrative a fundamental message:
What we do in the next twenty years will determine the future of not just the natural world but humanity itself. If we don't act now to protect and preserve our planet, the beauty we're lucky enough to witness on these pages will have disappeared...
An African safari is arguably one of the most alluring and easily understood dreams of our time. Just the thought of an African safari evokes thoughts of adventure, a journey through nature's greatest spectacle, a glimpse of the earth before man.
African Safari is an exploration of all that the word safari encompasses, from journeys on horseback and dugout canoes, the quiet drifting of a balloon and the tension of waiting on foot to the smell of dung, soil and the rain. African Safari is an intimate odyssey through the great wilderness of Africa and an eye on its wild denizens, spiced with the echoes of a romantic history.
African Safari is divided into eight chapters:
This book showcases the very best of the photography as judged in the Sustainable Seas Trust 2013/14 competition. The extraordinary, prize-winning photographs are accompanied by illuminating essays from leading scientists, sports people and others whose lives are intimately connected with the seas.
It also serves as a call to create a South African network of Hope Spots, which are special, people-orientated marine conservation areas.
The hope is that, with the close involvement of the communities that live near and depend on the seas, we can safeguard our natural resources.
This remarkable collection of birding stories, written by some of our most intrepid bird observers, will convert a new generation of South African ornithologists and watchers of wilderness. Birds and their names sing from the pages; owls, Shoebills, sandgrouse, Hooded Pittas, Rhinoceros Hornbills, Brown Kiwis, Rock Doves, Cape Eagle Owls, Greater Flameback woodpeckers, Inaccessible Island Rail, Superb and Beautiful Sunbird, Violet Turaco and the African Crowned Eagle. Contributors include: David Allan, Mark D. Anderson, Mark Brown, Callan Cohen, Susie Cunningham, W. Richard J. Dean, Morne du Plessis, Vernon RL Head, Alan Kemp, David Letsoalo, Rob Little, John Maytham, Adam Riley, Peter Ryan, Claire Spottiswoode, Peter Steyn, Peter Sullivan, Warwick Tarboton, Mel Tripp and Ross Wanless. All author royalties will be donated to the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology to support ongoing ornithological research.
This guide to the parks and reserves of East Africa provides a valuable overview of some 58 protected areas across East Africa. The book is divided into the four East African countries Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda – and, for each park, provides essential background on geology and landscape, climate, vegetation and wildlife, capturing the essence of what each area offers. It also covers the brief history of each park.
Other features include:
This must-have guide to East Africa’s protected areas will prove indispensable to local and international visitors to the region and to all nature enthusiasts.
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