Page Loading ...
Layout Table~~~~12547~12547~~
Hunting, wildlife & animal stories~Rhodesia / Zimbabwe~~~12547~12548~Hunting wildlife (Rhodesia/Zimbabwe). Rhodesia and Zimbabwe life in general books. Includes popluar books covering %27Rhodesia is Super%27 years%3A A Guiding Son - John Osborne,~
A Guiding Son - John Osborne~John Osborne has the remarkable gift of being able to see the funny side of most situations. In simple, easy style, he has recounted personal experiences in the African bushveld which captivates, entertains and instructs the reader of a passing era when animals roamed in great herds and concession areas offered proud trophies. This book is hilarious. African hunting stories don't come much better than some of those recounted in this book. Some of them will bring tears of laughter to your eye, some goose pimples to your skin, and a chill to your spine. It deserves to be required reading for all who have experienced the excitement of an African Hunting safari, and it will be enjoyed by many who just like a good read or who appreciate extraordinary characters.
ISBN 0797428291. 2004. Softback, 196 pages.~~A Guiding Son|ISBN 0797428291|~12547~12571~~
A Ranging Son - John Osborne~John Osborne has the remarkable gift of being able to see the funny side of most situations. In simple, easy style, he has recounted personal experiences in the African bushveld which captivates, entertains and instructs the reader of a passing era when animals roamed in great herds and concession. This is an amusing and entertaining story of a man filled with zest for life which drove him to face all challenges with aggression, determination and humour. Coaxed by a boyhood dream to be involved with wildlife, he followed his heart and the trail set before him by joining the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management. Stationed at Chipinda Pools in the State Land of the Gona-re-Zhou and employed to assist with Tsetse Operations which required him to shoot elephant and buffalo, he quickly recognized the potential and jewel-like quality of the area. Thus began his battle with poachers, vagabonds and interlopers, and the strewn pieces of a large jigsaw puzzle, a picture took shape. Assisted by the elephants, he was instrumental in creating Rhodesia's second biggest Game Reserve, the Gona-re-Zhou (Place of elephants). John Osborne tells his story with wit and appreciation having been in the right place at the right time!
ISBN 0797430075. 2005. Softback 327 pages.~Review by Ant Williams - African Hunter Magazine

I first met John Osborne around a campfirein Zimbabwe's Lowveld. I had just madehis son's acquaintance, who later wouldbecome a close friend, and the African Huntermagazine was in its infancy.Alarge man withbear hands, his presence was imposing in theflickering firelight. We were actually fishing...visiting a new camp recently built on the banksof a most picturesque dam. As the vista ofthe Milky Way smudged the African night, ahyena called somewhere in the night. Thesetting could not have been more perfect forour little "tea" party.

The night had been full of stories, hunting,fishing, war, National Parks... all places Johnhad been. His repertoire seemed endless, andit appeared that very little of his life had reallybeen serious. Astory teller of note, we rolledwith mirth as he regaled us. How I longed topublish this sort of material. The AfricanHunter magazine could do with such material,but from hard experience I knew that fewfireside storytellers are capable of committingtheir experiences to paper. This encounterthough would be different, and although itwould take almost a decade, John Osbornewould write not one, but three books.

I had the privilege of seeing these in raw form,his thoughts and writing style developing ashe found a suitable format to portray hisvarious life experiences. I saw manymanuscripts... so know how much writingand work went into the first of these to bepublished. A Guiding Son is a self publishedwork of some 200 pages incorporating 30pictures and a few colour diagrams, presentedin a soft cover for the African market and ahard cover with dust jacket for theinternational reader.

The stories are everything I remember frommy first meeting with John, and the closefriendship Colin (his son) and I have developedover the years. It will have you crying withlaughter, awed at his (and his family's)fortitude, his understanding of Africa and itspeople, and his ability to capture all that isunique about hunting the Dark Continent...stories of which make up a good measure ofthe pages. It is simply a collection of shortstories woven in the fabric of Africa and if Iwas to level one criticism at it, that would bethat not nearly enough emphasis has beenplaced on the many black and whitephotographs... many of them of outstandingquality and intriguing in their subject matter.

There is probably no better way to reviewthis book, other than to give you a snippet ofJohn's experiences. What follows is a storywhich covers the whole spectrum of life...from regret to pain, sympathy and humour.It is just one of many similar experiences.The stage is set when a "wannabe" big gamehunter arrives with plans to shoot his buffalowith a handgun. Recovering froma drink problem, he hopes for John'sintervention in this dangerous pursuit, and away out of his obligation... which in the endis not forthcoming (an error in judgement Johnadmits). The safari degenerates into a drunkenparty with John being accused of all sorts.One night, the somewhat pickled hunteremerges from his lodge to join John and co-hunter Bruce at the fireside. John writes:-

"Terry consumed nothing but alcohol forseven days, and then one evening staggeredunexpectedly into the lodge, to join Bruceand I in front of a huge log fire. The sight wasfrightening, alarming and virtually beyondbelief. We were open mouthed and speechlessas we stared at him in abject horror. He hadlost so much weight; his dentures no longerfitted his depressed cheeks, so he'd removedthem. His receding jet-black hairline andwidow's peak looked more pronounced thanever. His already unhealthy looking sallowcomplexion, was exaggerated in the flickeringfirelight and his glass eye, which not onlywept, but had turned around in its socket,made the half squinting image truly scary.

"Shit! Wehad just met the devil himself! Bruceand I stood motionless staring in total disbeliefat this ghastly looking character, whostaggered into our midst as though he hadcome straight from the set of a horror movie.With a loud grunting sigh he slumped wearilyinto one of the over stuffed armchairs. As heslumped into its depths, his back to front, ill-fitting glass eye popped out and bouncedacross the hemp mat!

"There was a long deathly hush as we bothheld our breath. Bruce looked at me. Ishrugged, raised one eyebrow and lookedback. This sort of phenomenon was notmentioned in any of the guiding manuals wehad ever read, of that there was no doubt.Bruce slowly gathered his composure andoutwardly took control of the situation in achivalrous and casual fashion, much as thoughhe dealt with such events on aregular basis. I knewBruce well enough to knowthat inwardly he wasappalled and exasperated,but like a true gentleman, heshowed no sign of his disdainand casually with the toe ofhis well-worn hunting boot,gently rolled the eye back toTerry's feet.

"Again there was silence. I waitedin anticipation, half expecting towitness the miracle of Brucepicking the eye up and ramming itback into its owner's gaping socket.Instead, and quite luckily I thought,Terry lent down, found the eye andmanaged to get it back into placewithout outside assistance. Bruce, witha disapproving scowl on his facemuttered something quite rude aboutTerry's lineage, which I think describedsome sexual activity that involved beinghermaphroditic, before retrieving his scotchfrom the mantle shelf and tossing its contentsdown his gullet. It wasn't like Bruce to gulpScotch, so I knew it was not the appropriatetime for any comment or jibe. It seemed hewas on the edge of total despair, with a verygood chance of loosing it. Hold your tongueJR, I thought, or there could be a horribledisruption to the evening's supping, whichcould make matters a lot worse. I was justbeginning to think things had returned to somesort of normality, when Terry's eye poppedout for a second time, rolled off his lap andthis time lodged in the coir mat not far fromhis feet. He groped around the mat on all fourssearching like a foraging hog, before locatingthe staring sphere wedged between the strandsof the coarse matting. Terry seemed extremelypleased with his achievement, but obviouslyknew that there was little chance of the orbremaining in place, so with a total lack ofregard for the grizzly sight he offered, droppedthe glass eye into his top pocket. Hell, theimage was truly horrific: His very blood-shotnormal eye was rolling around in searchingconfusion, while the other socket closelyresembling the exit wound of a gut-shot impala.The poor guy was in a bad way. We were inthe midst of a horror story, with the lights onand nowhere to hide.

"After a few more days of his intoxicatingliquid diet, we finally had to call in our trustySawbones, Doctor Saunders, as Terry was, inhis own words, Feeling reeeel bad. The goodDoc filled him up with vitamin shots and onthe side, suggested we should ship him outA.S.A:P. as he was fast heading towards atotal wheels-up".

A Guiding Son
is an easy read, which wouldbe a worthy companion on any safari... orwalk down memory lane back in the trophyroom.~A Ranging Son|ISBN 0797430075|~12547~12570~~
A Wild Life: Adventures of an Accidental Conservationist in Africa - Dick Pitman~Also titled as 'A Wild Life: 25 Years in Animal Conservation in Africa'.
'An endless carpet of leafless mopane woodlands unrolled beneath us as we flew. Then the Zambezi came into view: a broad ribbon of wind-ruffled water, over a mile wide. The great river divided and reunited as it flowed past long, grassy islands speckled with herds of buffalo, impala, and elephants in ones and twos...' Tales from the bush mingle with poignant descriptions of the African landscape in this memoir of a British man who emigrated to Rhodesia in 1977 with a passion for wildlife and wilderness. Pitman, founder of the Zambezi Society, a conservation nonprofit working to save animals in Zimbabwe, did not mean to become a champion of wildlife when he first came to the country, however he proved to be of the right stuff, and as he did battle with developers, poachers, and those heedless to the disappearance of animals, he found the job was not about himself as much as it was about the cause. When eco-tourism seemed to be a lucrative, if not a good idea, he even set about taming the wildest critters of all, those being a wide range of self-centered, environmentally oblivious and often downright down·right crazy tourists. As the Zambezi Valley was threatened by development, Pitman began working among the elephants in Matusadona National Park, relocating cheetahs, tracking black rhinos, and introducing tourists to the wilds of southern Africa. Inspired by the splendours and drama of wild Africa, "A Wild Life" is a light-hearted account of a quarter-century in conservation. Written with wit and charisma, it gives intelligent insights into a perennially important subject - saving the animals of Africa.
ISBN 9781840245714. April 2007, reprinted 2008. Paperback 19.4 x 13 x 2.6 cm. 320 pages.~~A Wild Life|ISBN 9781840245714|~12547~12561~~
All the Way Home: Stories from an African Wildlife Sanctuary - Bookey Peek~All the Way Home: Stories from an African Wildlife Sanctuary tells the story of Stone Hills, a wildlife sanctuary and safari lodge in the north-western Matobo Hills of Zimbabwe.

'.. You're crazy... she'll take over and shove us out. I can just see
this place in winter: no carpets, acres of wet newspaper underfoot,
family huddled under blankets while the pig hogs the fire...'

Richard and Bookey Peek hadn't planned on adopting a warthog, any more than one would plan a tidal wave or a tornado, but at Stone Hills, natural disasters have a way of happening when you least expect them. Through Zimbabwe's darkest days, Stone Hills has become a world in itself. A place where you might share your shower with an owl or your bed with a baby squirrel, where crocodiles are named after unpopular guests and a rather special warthog named Poombi relinquishes her place on the sofa to return to the wild - much to her indignation. Engaging and delightful, this book is the intensely moving story of a wildlife sanctuary and is a testament to one family's passion for Africa's wildlife.
ISBN-13: 978-1904435693. Feb 2007. Paperback, 19.3 x 13 x 2.8 cm. 352 pages.

See follow-up book below on this page 'Wild Honey: More Stories from an African Wildlife Sanctuary'~"This isn't just an enchanting story, it is a celebration of what makesAfrica such a unique continent." - Jonathan Scott (author of The Elephant Diaries)

"A wonderful story of love transcending human bonds." - Pretoria News

"Wonderful, heart-warming, drive-you-crazy characters ....will stealyou heart." - Up Front

"An inspirational woman." - ABC Conversation Hour with Richard Fidler

"This is an evocative book that captures, with great warmth and intimacy, the unique beauty of Africa." - Sydney Morning Herald - Spectrum

"More than anything, All the Way Home is about a passion for animals and for the unique continent that is Africa, set against highly volatile times." - Weekend Australian

"An exhilarating story of a family's wildlife sanctuary in the heart of Zimbabwe's majestic Matobo Hills. Richard and Bookey Peek's passion for Africa's wildlife comes alive with personal stories about sharing their home with warthogs, owls and crocodiles." - The Age

"Bookey Peek's writing will enchant those who know and love Africa and those who have only dreamed of visiting. It is beautifully evocative of the people, the animals and the harsh landscape that make the continent so wonderful." - The Independent Weekly

"More than an exotic fauna story." - The Courier Mail

"Bookey Peek has written a funny, exhilarating, enjoyable thoughtful book. If you love animals, you'll absolutely adore the book." - ABC Radio 702 with Richard Glover

"Even though Zimbabwe is in the news these days for all the wrong reasons, the Peeks' passion for the country is evident throughout this vibrant account of life at the sanctuary." - Sydney Morning Herald

"Bookey...infects the reader with her enthusiasm for nearly every a charming and readable memoir. " - Adelaide Review

"Writing with easy, unaffected skill, Peek also speaks of the landscape, of assorted animals and insects, history and politics; all that has given her such a profound connection with Africa." - The Adelaide Advertiser

"Every animal book needs its star. In Born Free it was Elsa the lioness. Here, it is Poombi the warthog. Think Babe without the looks, but with heaps of personality and attitude...The Peeks love and respect Zimbabwe, despite its current political an social chaos. For the animal-mad, of most ages." - Sunday Age

"When the media is so often full of awful news about Zimbabwe, to find a book which presents the landscape and wildlife of that country in vivid and moving prose is a double delight. This book IS a delight, whether you are the type to share your bed with 'wild' animals or not, and provides a view of the 'essential' Africa, something which is fast disappearing." - Waikato Times

"The book weaves its magic tale of the bush, the animals, the struggles of life and the love of the area all around what seems to be an insignificant creature to begin with, with the reader discovering, and rediscovering, that nothing is insignificant and that the essential nature of the land and its people are still the same...The author focuses in on what is good and beautiful about the place she has chosen to live." - Rhodesians Worldwide magazine

"It is a wonderful book...And what a story she has to tell. Of giraffes and zebras, of owls and eagles, of bringing up a baby kingfisher fallen from the nest; of house fires, and mamba-bite panics, and poisonings, and political anxieties; of staff lunatic and loyal and of guests and clients who range from the loveable to the ludicrous." - The Times (London)

"Out of Africa - professional safari guide Bookey Peek shares her moving story about caring for orphaned and injured animals on a wildlife sanctuary in a remote part of Zimbabwe." - Notebook

Review extracted from Times Online - Matthew Parris 24/03/07

A daughter of Africa

Bookey Peek writes enchantingly of eagles and owls, meerkats and mambas. But for our correspondent , she remains the tomboy girlfriend of his childhood.

EVERY LITTLE BOY NEEDS A best friend. For two years, from 1958 to 1959, mine was a flaxen-haired, short-cropped tomboy of a little girl called Bookey Scammell. We were both about 8. Her father was a scion of the lorry manufacturers of the same name. Her mother was a ravishing Dane who (it was whispered) had once been a top model. And their only daughter Bookey was, for me, the girl next door.

We lived in Denham Close, in a green and hilly suburb of what was then Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. The Scammells had a swimming pool (we didn't); the Scammells gave sophisticated parties, drank gin and tonic and went to the races at nearby Borrowdale Racecourse (we didn't). We had a Humber Hawk (they had a Ford Zephyr). She went to a private school (I didn't).

But Bookey and I scorned the clinking glasses, the crooning romantic songs on the wireless and the whole world of smart grown-ups. We climbed trees (and fell out of them). We searched for deadly green mamba snakes in the banana trees in our garden (and found one). We rode bicycles, madly, everywhere (and fell off). We climbed into the top cupboard in my parents' bedroom and made death-defying leaps on to their big double bed.

We searched for the meerkats that lived in the elephant grass near our house (and never saw them). We made Grand National jumps on our scorched and yellowing lawn and pretended to be buffalos and zebras, snorting, whinnying and jumping over them. And we tended to a cage of white mice, my beloved pets.

I didn't know that her father was in financial trouble. I did suspect I was crazier about her than she was about me, but we both swore we would be best friends forever. Neither of us knew that I was going to be gay, that Ian Smith and African nationalism were soon to tear apart our world of pale blue skies, the yellow-brown winter veld, blazing mauve jacaranda trees, granite kopjies, smiling servants and endless sunshine; or that soon Rhodesia would be called Zimbabwe.

I was taken once to Cecil Rhodes's grave in the indescribably beautiful Matopos hills, and supposed the wilderness that his tomb surveyed would be his and our inheritance forever. I think we both thought that.Then one day she went away. Her father was to try a new occupation as a hotelier in the Vumba Mountains. Bookey was tiring of me by then, anyway. She had discovered horses, as girls do. I never thought I would see her again.

She writes little, in All The Way Home,of what came next in her life. It seems she spent time as a young woman in London, where she discovered that she didn't want to work in an office (I could have told her that). She travelled the world. And then, in her mid-thirties, she returned to Africa to live. She married an old flame, Richard Peek, an African wildlife expert and fanatic working in the Zimbabwean National Parks Department, and together they realised a dream.

Except that it has been an occasional nightmare as well as a dream, and Bookey is sick of people telling her in a patronising way (I could have warned anyone never to patronise Bookey) how marvellous it must be to have realised her dream. About 15 years ago they bought Stone Hills, 6,500 acres of wild land in the Matopos (now Matobo) hills, fenced it with 15 miles of six-wire game-proof fencing, built a thatched lodge for visitors, and opened their own, private reserve.

This book is really the story of that adventure. It is a wonderful book. I never knew Bookey could write. Perhaps she couldn't then, but she can now - lyrically, funnily, passionately, rudely, spellbindingly. And what a story she has to tell. Of giraffes and zebras, of owls and eagles, of bringing up a baby kingfisher fallen from the nest; of house fires, and mamba-bite panics, and poisonings, and political anxieties; of staff lunatic and loyal and of guests and clients who range from the loveable to the ludicrous.

Through it all - the thread on which she strings these beads - is the story of Poombi the orphan wart-hog, brought up as one of the family (her little son David nestled with him in his hole) and finally released into the wild. Bookey tells how David, whose only world has been animals and animal experts, proffers a biscuit he had never tasted before (a Romany Cream) to a guest: "Try one of these; it's a new species of biscuit."

There is something here of Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals, but through the hilarity Bookey never hides her commitment to the natural world, and her heart-stopping love of Africa. In a moving sequel to his Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa, Peter Godwin's latest memoir When a Crocodile Eats the Sun describes how Africa can scare and horrify you, then "choke you with affection". Bookey's story does just this. It deserves to be a big success.

How I hope that she and her husband will be able to stay. How vividly that girl I haven't seen for half a century leaps from these pages: cheeky, earnest, clever, impatient, impertinent - even her hair looks the same. She says she doesn't remember why she was nicknamed "Bookey" - but I do.

At the end of the Acknowledgements she writes: "None of this would have happened without Rich, my one true love and my dearest friend and companion." Silly, I know, but I winced when I read that. Good luck, Bookey, the girl who liked spiders, my tomboy girlfriend when we were 8.

Some tidbits about Bookey & Richard Peek

With so many leaving or being 'thrown out' of Zimbabwe, All the Way Home stands as atestament to one family's passion for Africa's wildlife and their courageous conviction thatnothing can change the essential nature of the land and its people. As Bookey explains,"At first we found the insecurity intolerable, but in a sense it's been good for us - we'velearned to live more intensely, and to cherish each moment in this magical place."

The Peeks have stayed on despite a visit in 2007 from one of Robert Mugabe'ssenators who informed the Peeks that she now owned 43% of Stone Hills.

Bookey works with Australian volunteers (most recently from Werribee Open Range Zoo) whocome to her sanctuary and educate the local teachers and students about wildlife.

She was the winner of the prestigious Africa Geographic Travel Writer of the Year competition in 2003.

She has co-authored a book on cheetahs for school children in the region.

She has completed / published the sequel - 'Wild Honey' (also available on this website).

Richard Peek spent fourteen years in the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management as a game ranger and then as an ecologist. He later became curator of mammals at the National Museum of Natural History.~All the Way Home|ISBN-13 9781904435693|~12547~12559~~
Blood Sweat and Lions - David Lemon~By the author of Never Quite a Soldier: A Rhodesian Policeman's War 1971-1982 - also available on this website. (under Rhodesia - Military History)
Adventure, pain, fear - and moments of pure magic: these are the ingredients of one of David Lemon's many ventures in Africa. In October 2006, overweight, unfit and by his own admission far too old (actually 61!), he set out to walk 1200 kilometres through the wild Zambezi Valley, from Kariba Heights to Binga, ignoring dire warnings about the dangers of such a venture. Exciting, poignant and fast paced, his story will bring hope and encouragement to anyone with adventure in their soul. Lemon has few equals when it comes to writing about life in the African bush.
ISBN-13 978-1906210663. Feb 2008. Paperback 280 pages.

See David's latest publication 'Two Wheels and a Tokoloshe' - listed under Rhodesians Abroad
and Hobo Rows Kariba below on this page.~~Blood Sweat and Lions|ISBN-13 9781906210663|~12547~12550~~
Don't Die in the Bundu - Col. D. H. Grainger~Written by a colonel in the Rhodesian Army, the book was originally intended as a concise book on bushcraft set out in simple terms, for members of the Rhodesian Forces.
Extract from book's Foreward by The Rt Hon Sir Hugh Beadle....
"Don't Die in the Bundu" is a handbook of survival techniques which are based on many years' experience of men who have lived - and some who have died - in the bush. Above all, it is based on common sense. .... Men still get lost - and hurt - in the bush in this Twentieth Century. "Don't Die in the Bundu" has been written primarily for the soldier, the airman and the policeman, whose duties often take them into the bush. The book is aimed at sup­plementing the knowledge they acquire in their basic training and specialised exercises, but this book will also prove of great value to all those whose work, hobbies or recreation take them into the bush - the land surveyors, the contractors, the members of the National Park staff and the hunters. Organisa­tions such as Outward Bound and youth organisations such as the Boy Scouts, whose members often spend much of their time in the bush, will also find much of interest in its pages. .....
ISBN 0869780565 . First printed in 1965, and reprinted in several editions up to 1984. Softback. 172 pages. Size:17.5 x 11.5 cms. Black and white illustrations of edible plants & setting of traps, and beautiful colour photos of snakes (taken from another book - "Poisonous Snakes of Southern Africa")

Publication status: Out of Print. Few good new & second hand copies available. Submit form below to request further information / indicate interest / reserve a copy. (Enter code DDIB in 4th box).
First & Surname Full E-mail address Your message, delivery country Item Code  

NB - After clicking on the 'I am interested' button. the webpage should report that the request has been succesfully sent. If it does not, please email us directly instead. Thank you. ~~~12547~12624~~
From Rhodesia To Mugabe's Zimbabwe: Chronicles of a Game Ranger - Nick Tredger~Nick Tredger, after an 18 month national service stint in the Rhodesian Army, joined the Dept of National Parks and Wildlife in 1978 as a cadet-ranger. His first station was the remote Chizarira National Park on the shores of Lake Kariba, where amongst the isolated rugged mountains and gorges, he and a handful of brave young rangers working in siege conditions, fought both for their country and for the preservation of the wilderness around them.Subsequently, he worked his way through the ranks in arguably the greatest wildlife refuges in the world - Wankie (Hwange) - then, after Zimbabwean independence: Zambezi Valley and finally as Warden of the breathtakingly beautiful Mana Pools National Park at the age of 24.In the uncertainty of post-election Zimbabwe , when democracy and law and order was fast receding, he suffered the loss of his best friend, brutally murdered by Mugabe's North Korean-trained 5th Brigade and endured adversity, political interference and the omnipresent threat of incarceration by the Mugabe regime. In 1984 he decided he'd had enough and resigned from the Department and moved to South Africa.
ISBN 978-1-919854-37-3, May 2009. Softback 242 X 168mm. 320 pages, colour photos and map.
~~From Rhodesia To Mugabe%27s Zimbabwe|X ISBN 9781919854373|From Rhodesia To Mugabe%27s Zimbabwe|ISBN 9781919854373|~12547~12644~wildlife~
Hobo - David Lemon~Formerly titled 'Hobo Rows Kariba'
Author of Blood Sweat and Lions (listed above on this page), Two Wheels and a Tokoloshe, and Never Quite a Soldier: A Rhodesian Policeman's War.
The author liked the blurb on this one...... 'He had heard that no-one had ever rowed the lake before,' it said. 'So he set out to write his name into the history books.' He didn't. It was merely something he wanted to do, so off he went. It was pretty hairy at the time, but he survived and as he approached my dotage, it was nice to look back upon - particularly as it is unlikely that anyone else will ever do it. He set off from Kariba Dam in a 10ft dingy, rowed past Mlibizi on the upper reaches of Kariba and then back again, covering over 1000km in 63 days. He hit the rocks during his first storm, loosing most of his food supply and was 'shipwrecked' twice again later on in the journey. He encountered many wild animals on the way, and even got bitten on the foot by a night adder whilst on Ruzi Island.
Nov 2009. Reprint. Softback~Author of Blood Sweat and Lions (listed above on this page), Two Wheels and a Tokoloshe, and Never Quite a Soldier: A Rhodesian Policeman's War.The author liked the blurb on this one. 'He had heard that no-one had ever rowed the lake before,' it said. 'So he set out to write his name into the history books.'He didn't. It was merely something he wanted to do, so off he went. It was pretty hairy at the time, but he survived and as he approached my dotage, it was nice to look back upon - particularly as it is unlikely that anyone else will ever do it. He set off from Kariba Dam in a 10ft dingy, rowed past Mlibizi on the upper reaches of Kariba and then back again, covering over 1000km in 63 days. He hit the rocks during his first storm, loosing most of his food supply and was 'shipwrecked' twice again later on in the journey. He encountered many wild animals on the way, and even got bitten on the foot by a night adder whilst on Ruzi Island.~Hobo|9495|~12547~12671~~
Imire - The Life and Times of Norman Travers - As told to Cathy Buckle~A lion in the garden and a crocodile in the swimming pool; an otter called Potter that started life in the master bedroom and a hippo called Maggie that lived in the dam and snacked on half a loaf of bread and a bottle of beer. These are just some of the stories in a book about Norman Travers. Norman Travers was a visionary conservationist and an enduring optimist. Through two wars he displayed great courage and leadership and was awarded an MC for bravery. Passionate about wildlife, Norman demonstrated that maize and tobacco farming could be practised side by side with game animals. Hand rearing lions, elephants and leopards, Norman and Gill Travers built up Imire Game Park at a time when the country was ravaged by war. When black rhinos were being decimated by poaching, Norman introduced them to Imire, reared the calves and released them back into the wild, winning a Wildlife Oscar for his efforts. This is a humorous account of a remarkable man who loved life and his family, loved animals and above all loved his country.
Nov 2010. Softback, 13cm x 20 cms. 200 pages. Full colour throughout: approx 90 photographs - colour, sepia, and black / white; approx 20 sketches. With Foreward by Lady Mary Soames.

NOTE: 14/11/10 - Sadly Norman Travers passed away 7 months ago, and Gill Travers, after a 19 year battle with Parkinson's disease, passed away this past week. Both were buried side by side in the grounds of Imire.

Dispatching from +/- mid Jan 2011~~Imire|ISBN 97819042879708|~12547~13415~~
In the Shadow of a Baobab - John Osborne~Legend has it that anyone who takes refuge in the shadow of a baobab is likely to be hooked by Africa and reclassified as a little bit mad. John Osborne has dedicated this book to the many bush happy people who have rested in its shade and been enslaved by the curious fascination of Africa, its ways, and its people. Just as the mighty baobab stands out, colourful in its twisted glory, a monument of interest and intrigue in the African bush, so do the lives of the eccentric misfits and nonconformists, who, unlike the many 'no face' people of this world, are remembered and seldom forgotten. Seeing the funny side of life, John Osborne has recorded, with his easy entertaining style, encounters with the odd, unconventional and outright bizarre. He masterfully captures the humour, drama, tension, tragedy, intrigue, excitement and fear of Africa.'
ISBN13 9780797435209. 2007. Softback 360 pages~~In the Shadow of a Baobab|ISBN13 9780797435209|~12547~12572~~
Innocent Victims: Rescuing the Stranded Animals of Zimbabwe's Farm Invasions - Catherine Buckle~In December 2002, Meryl Harrison, and her colleague Addmore, moved a large audience to tears at the BBC Animal Awards Ceremony, having been flown over from her native Zimbabwe to receive their Special Award. There she told her tale of the rescue of countless animals caught up in five years of the Zimbabwean land invasions, as farmers and families were forced from their homes to make way for Mugabe's 'war veterans'. Many had to leave their animals behind, and it was Meryl's mission on behalf of the under-funded ZNSPCA to go into these destroyed farmsteads to rescue countless domestic animals and wounded livestock. Nandi, pictured on the book-jacket of this heart-warming account of her animal rescues, is just one of the many ordinary pet dogs she managed to save. The bravery of Meryl and her small team, as they overcame huge obstacles to find and return these traumatised pets to their loving owners, has earned her world-renown. But she didn't do it for any human praise she did it for the animals, the innocent victims of human folly.
ISBN-13: 978-1906122072, March 2009. Hardcover, 234 x 156 mm. 360 pages, 8 pages B/W photos.~Published: March 2009
ISBN: 978 1 906122 07 2
Format: 234 x 156 mm
Binding: Hardback
No. of pages: 352, 8 page b&w plate section
Foreword by David Shepherd, O.B,E. , M.B.E.

The Book
Innocent Victims is the story of how Meryl Harrison rescued thousands of animals stranded on invaded farms during Zimbabwe's land re-distribution. Meryl's mission was not about people or human rights but about animals and their welfare and there was no room for race, politics or prejudice.

Meryl, in her sixties and with a heart condition, always traveled with one or two young SPCA Inspectors and together they faced mobs of men who were often drugged or drunk and almost always armed with weapons ranging from sticks and stones to guns, knives and whips. Meryl drove thousands of kilometers to remote and abandoned farms; she and her colleagues went into "no-go areas" and faced war veterans, secret police, army and youth militia; they dismantled road barricades and went to places which even the Police said were dangerous and unsafe.

Meryl soon built up a reputation which preceded her - she never took sides and had only come for the animals. Cows which had been hamstrung and axed, donkeys and a race horse burned alive; dogs shackled and abandoned - if there was even the remotest chance that she could help them, treat them or rescue them, Meryl never said no! There wasn't an animal too big, small, slippery or furry for Meryl and she rescued cats, dogs and goldfish. She and her team caught pigs, sheep, cows, goats and chickens. They saved horses and ponies, duikers and sable antelope and intervened on behalf of lions, hippos and ostriches.

In 2002 Meryl and her colleague Addmore received international recognition for their extraordinary work and were jointly awarded the BBC Special Award for Outstanding Work in Animal Welfare. Just days later they were back at work on the dirt roads in remote areas of Zimbabwe. Meryl saw at first hand the environmental impact of Zimbabwe's land redistribution: poaching, de-forestation and massive burning.

All of the stories in Innocent Victims are the original first hand accounts taken from Meryl's personal diaries. Some of the rescues are gruesome and heartbreaking but others tell of great courage, ingenuity and joyous reunions. All tell of the extraordinary dedication and deep passion shown by one woman for the lives of many thousands of animals. Innocent Victims is the story of an unsung and reluctant hero in Zimbabwe's darkest of times.

Meryl Harrison has won international recognition for her courageous work and some of her awards include:
2002 - RSPCA (UK) Overseas Gallantry Award
2002 Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club (UK) Special Presentation for Recognition of Work in Rescuing Animals in Distress
2002 - BBC Special Award for Outstanding Work in Animal Welfare (Together with Addmore Chinhembe)
2003 - Rotary Foundation of Rotary International - Harare Club - Paul Harris Fellow
2003 - International Fund for Animal Welfare/Animal Talk - Action Award
2004 - St Anne's Diocesan College Old Girls Guild (South Africa) - St Anne Award for Dedicated Service Above & Beyond the Call of Duty
2005 - The Zimbabwe Kennel Club - Lifetime Achievement Award
2006 - Rotary Foundation of Rotary International -Borrowdale Brook Club - Paul Harris Fellowship

The Author
Catherine Buckle was born in 1957 in Harare, Zimbabwe. She trained as a social worker at the University of Zimbabwe and graduated with a diploma in Social Work in 1979. She later trained as a Librarian and worked as the School Librarian and Head Counsellor at an Harare girls senior school. Catherine was the Estate Manager of a small conservation education game park the Mukuvis Woodlands just outside Harare for 9 years, where she was involved in raising baby elephants, crocodiles and general game and conservation management. In her spare time she is a writer and has four novels in print in Zimbabwe, two for children and two for teenagers. Since 2000 she has had two non-fiction books published on the crisis in Zimbabwe: African Tears, the Zimbabwe Land Invasions and Beyond Tears, Zimbabwe's Tragedy (Both available on this website). Catherine currently writes a weekly column for a UK daily newspaper under a pseudonym for her own protection. She also writes a weekly letter from Zimbabwe about events there. This letter is used by a number of media outlets radio, newspaper and web sites, in South Africa, the UK, Canada and Australia. The letter is also published on her own website and read every week on a UK-based radio station SW Radio Africa. Catherine is divorced and has a 16-year-old son.~Innocent Victims|ISBN-13 9781906122072|~12547~12486~~
Shadows in an African Twilight - Kevin Thomas~Game Ranger, Special Force Soldier, Professional Hunter and Personal Security Officer -This is a collection of fascinating stories about a life of adventure spread across nearly four decades in Africa and culminating in Iraq. Many of the stories are not for the squeamish and tell of the aberrant behaviour of man-eating lions and killer crocodiles, stories of courageous Rhodesian game rangers who while fighting to preserve the wildlife of a beautiful country were also fighting against brutal terrorist forces. The author relates some of his experiences as a pseudo counter-terrorist operator in the elite Selous Scouts during the Rhodesian War and explains the cloud of suspicions cast over him that eventually led to his sudden forced departure from his beloved unit. He also covers many of his experiences as a professional hunter in the exciting world of African safari. Having also served in the previous South African era "black homeland" of Ciskei he offers an often humorous insight into life during the wayward period. This exciting book of high adventure ends with a discerning look into what it is like to work in war-torn Iraq in the specialized field of Security Escort Teams.
ISBN 978-0-620-39727-8. Nov 2008. Soft cover, 240mm x 170mm. 705 pages. Numerous black and white photos.
NB - Book is heavy - 1kg+, hence above average postage

NOTE: 28/09/11 - Autographed copies out of stock. Expect to receive more in early December. Order now to reserve your copy.~New Voices Publishing
Nov 2008
ISBN 978-0-620-39727-8
Soft cover, 240mm x 170mm
705 pages (1.2kg packed)
Numerous black and white photos

About the Author:

Kevin Thomas was born in Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia, in 1950. He grew up in the remote Sabi Valley where the wild environs would have an indelible effect on the rest of his life.

Upon leaving school he joined the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management where he served as a game ranger for close to six years, some of which were spent in the Zambezi Valley.

During this time he met his wife, Brenda, and due to the escalating bush war, and following a short-lived safari venture, decided to join the regular Rhodesian Army. As fate would have it, he ended up as one of the founder members of the Rhodesian Army's Selous Scouts, a formidable counter-insurgency unit.

When his career as a young soldier came to a controversial end he again took up the pastime of professional hunting and wildlife management in South Africa and Zimbabwe. More recently he worked in Iraq for two years as a Security Escort Team project leader. This is his first book.

Kevin is an accomplished hunting writer and for more than a decade now, has been a regular feature writer for African Hunter magazine. His hunting articles have also appeared in Successful Hunter.

"... When the vessel upended, the hippo burst onto the surface
and as I toppled backwards into the river, my last glimpse was
of Tjoi falling onto the hippo's exposed head, I then disappeared
beneath the surface...."

Extracts from the book: Foreward

In developing this Foreword, I asked the author, Kevin Thomas, if there were any particularly outstanding details of his life experiences that should be highlighted. He replied modestly, that he really could not think of any! I have known Kevin for some twenty years and have consistently regarded him as the embodiment of what many of we, his readers, define as the ideal modern man of action. When we attempt to step into someone else's shoes, we often find that the shoes only partially fit. A few of us may have shared some of his multitude of hair-raising experiences with a variety of dangerous game and also during conflict. To have encountered much of what he has, and survived, is fortunate indeed. The fact that he has survived to tell so many exciting tales is little short of a miracle for him and an enjoyable treat for us. His many years as a National Parks game ranger, professional hunter, outfitter, guide and soldier in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), makes him highly qualified to describe life and death in the bush. In 1968, at age 17 he was selected by the Rhodesian Government for one of the few highly contested positions of cadet game ranger, which put him on the track for the many exciting years to come. But that was only the beginning.

Kevin's roots are deeply embedded in the sands of Africa, and date back to 1820, when his British forebears became early settlers in South Africa's Eastern Cape colony. However, like many others, his family moved on and in time settled in the old Rhodesia, where his fascination with the outdoors, wildlife and hunting became firmly entrenched. Growing up in Rhodesia provided him with the experience that only the 'Old Africa' could provide. He, along with many others, saw this gradually disappear with the introduction of fences, settlements and game ranches. The days of spontaneously loading a truck with food, gasoline, spare tyres, tents, along with other necessities for safari, and then hunting wherever the hunting looked good, are now long gone. Most of us have been forced to accept that hunting changes along with everything else in life.

In endorsing a book of this nature, it would be tempting to concentrate solely on Kevin's outstanding hunting skills but that would be selling him short. I would not be doing Kevin's multifarious talents full justice if I failed to mention his life-long long interest in wildlife management and conservation, irrespective of whether the subject is big-game, birds, fish, butterflies or dung-beetles.

His varied gifts as writer, artist and craftsman prove his versatility, a feature that has made him such an interesting friend and delightful company over the long period I have known him.

The concept of 'Hunter-Warrior', which many big game hunters often apply to themselves, is one, which fits the author particularly well. Witnessing the end of the colourful colonial era was a sorrow in itself but Kevin stepped forward, manfully, as did many other young Rhodesians to defend a way of life they could not save. From the initial 100 candidates in early 1974, he was one of about fifteen selected for the famed Rhodesian Selous Scouts, admittedly one of the finest guerrilla Special Operations' Forces ever established in any war. He remained in the regular Rhodesian Army until just before the 'Winds of Change' blowing across Africa brought that conflict to an end.

Whenever and wherever veterans gather, exchanging 'War Stories' is par for the course, but Kevin's war efforts did not end on that one adventure alone. After the invasion of Iraq by American and British forces, Kevin volunteered his services as a civilian Private Security Officer and was assigned to Baghdad in January 2004, where he soon became the Erinys Security Manager of the International Relief Development program and was later made Erinys Sector Manager in Basra. After two years in Iraq, he returned to South Africa, physically and spiritually intact.

Kevin once informed me that he could think of no highlights in his life, but I reckon I could write a text on each adventure alone! As you read Kevin's vivid, firsthand account of his exciting adventures, you will find yourselves empathising with the 'Hunter-Warrior' and may realise, for the first time, just how many unsung heroes there have been among our unique brotherhood of hunters and soldiers. We owe them all our respect and regret their gradual passing.

John H. Brandt. Captain (ret) Alamosa, Co. November 2006~Select book||Shadows in an African Twilight|X ISBN 9780620397278|Shadows in an African Twilight - Autographed|X ISBN 9780620397278 Auto|~12547~13130~~
Tatenda: Reminiscences of the Zimbabwe Bush - Anne Moore~The author who had served a life time career as a National Parks Warden in various Zimbabwe National Parks for several years, has written a series of interesting short stories reminiscencing of her experiences in visiting the parks. It will appeal to all those who have lived in, visited, or who are interested in Africa. The wildlife and wilderness in Africa will always inspire those who love nature.The book also includes colour photographs of places, people and wildlife.
ISBN 978-1-9062-55-15-2. 2008. Softcover, 86 pages.

Contributions from the sale of this book will go towards the well-being of 'Tatenda' - an orphaned black rhino calf, in Imire Safari Ranch in Zimbabwe.
(This publication should not be confused with another recent publication of the same name by a different author)~Anne Moore (nee Timson), was born in 1932 in southern England, and spent most of her childhood days in Kent during the 1939-45 second world war. A scholarship to a dancing academy saw the start of a short career in dancing. All this seemed to be an unlikely beginning to what was later to become her future life's work based on African wildlife.This all began when she met and married Rhodesian-born Robin and in 1954 accompanied him to a new life in Africa, where he introduced her to the wildlife and wild areas that were so much apart of his heritage. Much of Robin and Anne's early-married life was spent in the (then) Sabi Valley of Rhodesia where a love of the bush and its wildlife developed in Anne.The following years, during which they had three children, saw them moving to suburbia in order to further Robin's career and to raise their young family. Then, in 1968, Anne commenced working for the Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management that set her course for the following 24 years, during which time the country's name changed to Zimbabwe. This career and what developed as her life's passion, peaked in 1990 when Anne was named Zimbabwe's Tourism Personality of the Year and, in 1992, when she was nominated for that country's Communicator of the Year. She retired from Parks in late 1992 to take up a contract for similar work in Botswana. In 2004, Anne and Robin moved to Western Australia to be near their children and their families.

ISBN 978-1-9062-55-15-2. 2008. Softcover, 86 pages.~Tatenda|ISBN 9781906255152|~12547~12551~~
The Last Safari: A Season of Discovery in Zimbabwe - Bruce VanBuskirk~This is the true story of an American hunter, Bruce VanBuskirk, who spent the 2001 season living a dream, working on safari in Zimbabwe. Full of fascinating characters, adventure and excitement, it also deals truthfully with the hard lessons learned about the future of hunting in Africa. This is a day by day description of the events, places and people who make the safari industry work in Zimbabwe. You'll travel the bush with the author, getting to know the professional hunters and clients, company employees, local villagers, and learn just how much work it takes to run a safari operation in a third world country. Fuel shortages, poaching, war vets seizing property, broken rifles, snakes, charging elephants, and wounded buffalo were all in a day's work. This is a rare look at the behind the scenes efforts to make a client's dreams come true. This deluxe paperback features non stop action, observations on the current political situation in Zimbabwe, as well as the stories of citizens forced to deal with the realities of life in Africa.
ISBN-13 9781420887709, Paperback~Authorhouse, 2007
ISBN-13 9781420887709, Paperback

About the Author
Born in the mid 1950's, the author learned to hunt at an early age at the family farm in southern Michigan. He received his first gun, a gift from his grandfather, at the age of 11. It was a single shot 16 gauge which was used to wreak havoc on the game bird population for many years, until finances allowed for more expensive and sophisticated shotguns.

After college the author entered the field of law enforcement, serving as a police officer for eight years in southern Michigan, after which he moved to Indianapolis to further his career on a larger Department. He joined the SWAT Team in 1989, serving first as a sniper, then as Sniper Coordinator.

The author served as the SWAT Team commander for the last two years of his tenure, retiring from the Team in 1999. His Law Enforcement career ended in 2001, and shortly afterwards he left for Africa, his fourth safari.

The author's hunting career began at about the age of three, when his grandfather convinced him to tie a carrot onto a string and attempt to catch rabbits at the family farm. He learned to bird and deer hunt in the farmland of southern Michigan, and as he got older he traveled to western states to hunt mule deer and antelope, as well as moose and bear in Canada. He made his first safari in 1994, hunting in South Africa just before the election of Nelson Mandela to the office of President of South Africa.

The author currently manufactures motorcycle accessories under the business name Howlingdog, and enjoys hunting and camping in the mountains of Arizona when he can find some free time.


Kalsiga, the river camp, was to become my favorite place in all Africa. Located deep inside the concession, it was a place where one always kept his rifle handy, and offered constant contact with game as well as isolation from anything resembling modern man.

The camp was located at roughly the far east end of the same escarpment on which Main Camp had been built. Getting to the camp involved driving over 26 kilometers of a most brutal road, and every single trip was an exercise in self abuse.

The road meandered across the top of the escarpment for about 20 kilometers and then headed down the far side towards a small delta formed in the Ume River, The normal routine was to stop and pick up a Game Scout at the beginning of the Kalsiga road, as government regulations require one be with the hunting party at all times. The Game Scouts were employed by the Tribal Council, and lived in a small compound of block buildings just off the main tar road.

After traveling for many kilometers through alternating thick bush and relatively open areas, during which deep sand would require 4 wheel drive to pass, the road basically ended and a trail of sorts wound down the rocky side of the escarpment. At the terminus of the road proper was a breathtaking view of the river valley below. First gear was the only way to travel the next portion, and the going was slow and brutal on man and machine alike as the trail was navigated.

Once down off the escarpment the road reappeared and became fairly smooth and level, winding through an area of sparse jess until within about two kilometers of the river. At that point the vegetation appeared as a wall of green with a jungle like appearance, thick and heavy. Just before camp the road dropped steeply and there was always a significant drop in temperature as the level of the river was reached.

I first saw this place three years earlier, and it had been a mere fly camp at the time, with a couple of large surplus military style tents and the kitchen, but nothing more... I took elephant from here, and once spent a long cold night in a pit dug into the riverbed calling hyenas. As the moon finally rose high enough to illuminate the bait my PH realized it was gone. We left the pit to investigate and discovered a lion had taken the zebra quarter out from under our noses.

Now Kalsiga was a permanent installation. Situated along the riverbank under a high canopy of Acacia Albida trees, 4 chalets had been built, all on stilts to protect them when the river flooded during the rainy season. Each chalet stood about two meters off the ground, and consisted of a reed wall about 1 meter high covered with a thatch roof. The floor had been made by laying sheet metal roofing material down on top of the stilts and covering it with about 2 inches of cement. It made for a very solid, smooth floor that was easy to sweep. On the back side of the chalet was a shower area that had a separate entrance, allowing the waiter to fill the shower without disturbing the client's privacy.

A communal dining chalet had been built closer to the river bank, also raised on stilts, and it could comfortable seat a dozen or so. There had also been a bar and concrete fire pit closer to the river, but the floods from the previous rainy season had removed about 50 feet of the river bank and wiped out these structures.

Off to one side of the compound, separated by a reed wall, was the kitchen, which was built of concrete block and covered with a tin metal roof. .......~The Last Safari|ISBN-13 9781420887709|~12547~12552~~
Trunk Calls - Bill Taylor~This is Bill Taylor's second book, the first being Wet Breams. It contains short stories which follow Bill's life through the ever changing social and political landscape that is Africa. This book has more humorous stories and Bill shares a few stories about life in the bush. " .... We are going to creep up to the bull 'elephant' . . . In an instant the bull had spun around, and came up the bank . . . I jumped towards the bull and threw my hat at him . . . Then 'he' came like a freight train. ...."
ISBN 0797427228. 2003. Softback 208 pages

"Fascinating historical events, so clearly painted, bringing tears of warmth and laughter. His love and passion for the African continent and it's people is very evident in his writing."Bekezela Ndlovu - Beks Safaris

"If you missed Bill's first book 'Wet Breams', you can't afford to miss this one. Bill has once again brought his childhood and present actions to life and laughter, baring his very soul."Shelley Craven - Publisher
~~Trunk Calls|ISBN 0797427228|~12547~12574~~
West of the Moon: A Game Ranger at War - Ron Selley~A sweeping canvas that evokes a bygone era of the 1940s' colonial Natal through to the cruel intensity of the 'Bush War' that ravaged Rhodesia in the 1970s. In two distinct parts - the author's earlier years - an idyllic childhood spent roaming and hunting among the empty, rolling hills of northern Zululand; of the inaccessible St Lucia waterway; of building railway bridges into the wild interior, ..... to the sweaty cantinas and backstreets of Lourenço Marques - of a time that slipped away …The 2nd part recounts the author's move north across the Limpopo where his love of adventure, hunting and the bushveld lead him to Rhodesia. He becomes a game ranger, dealing with 'problem animals' in the farming areas and the escalating terrorist war in the Gona re Zhou National Park in the beleaguered south-eastern Lowveld of the country......
"Of the more modern tragedy of colonial Africa, we read a 'hands on' account of the last ignominy of nationalist African political urges against defenceless wild animals." - Gordon Cundill. Author of 'A Hunter's Africa' and 'Some Lions I Have Met'.
ISBN 9781920143329. March 2009. Softback. 284 pages, 234 x 153mm / 6 x 9

(Southern Africa customers - if ordering just this book, please select cheapest P&P in CheckOut - book will be dispatched normally from within SA, within 2 weeks.
~30 Degrees Publishing
ISBN 9781920143329
234 x 153mm / 6 x 9
284 pages
200 b/w photos, 4 maps

The Book
From colonial northern Zululand to guerrilla warfare in the Gona re Zhou of Rhodesia-a vast panorama of southern Africa

West of the Moon - A Game Ranger at War is a sweeping canvas that evokes a bygone era of the 1940s' colonial Natal through to the cruel intensity of the 'Bush War' that ravaged Rhodesia in the 1970s. The book is in two distinct parts - Part 1 chronicles the author's earlier years - an idyllic childhood spent roaming and hunting among the empty, rolling hills of northern Zululand; of the inaccessible St Lucia waterway; the nostalgia of yellow fever trees; of building railway bridges into the wild interior; of colonial scallywags and native witchcraft; of sugar estates and poaching; of shipwrecks and the sweaty cantinas and backstreets of Lourenço Marques - a time that slipped away.

Part 2 recounts the author's move north across the Limpopo where his love of adventure, hunting and the bushveld lead him to Rhodesia. He becomes a game ranger, dealing with 'problem animals' in the farming areas and the escalating terrorist war in the Gona re Zhou National Park in the beleaguered south-eastern Lowveld of the country. Trying to care for an environment and the animals that depend upon it, while the people around commit barbaric acts in the name of political ideology, brutally awakens the author to the reality of the disintegration of an organized colonial subcontinent.

The Author
Ron Selley was born in 1947 and grew up in Zululand, South Africa. In the wilds of northern Natal, he started hunting at the age of eight and operated a boat on Lake St Lucia, his 'home turf', at the age of ten. He became fluent in Zulu, Afrikaans and French. In 1975, with his thirst for adventure and an overriding love of the bush, he moved to Rhodesia, where he joined the Department of National Parks & Wildlife as a game ranger, operating in the Lomagundi, the Zambezi Valley and the Gona re Zhou during the height of the Rhodesian Bush War. He returned to South Africa in 1979, hunted professionally for a period and joined KwaZulu Nature Conservation, in charge of the Kosi Lake system and Northern Beach areas. He now lives Lambert's Bay on the west coast of South Africa, running a variety of businesses-boat-charter, ship painting and cleaning services. He enjoys black-powder hunting, is an avid collector of World War II trucks and tanks, owns two Rolls Royces, which are in daily use, and is the station commander of National Sea Rescue Station 24A.~West of the Moon|X ISBN 9781920143329|~12547~12553~~
Wet Breams - Bill Taylor~This is Bill Taylor's first book. It contains short stories which follow Bill's early years growing up in a small village in Africa and his adolescent transition from rural African life to his university experiences in America. This book has it all! You will be in tears, mystified, laughing and in the end left wondering how, why and if it could all be true. (Bream is a common species of fish found in Africa)
ISBN 0797423583. 2002. Softback 216 pages.~~Wet Breams|ISBN 0797423583|~12547~12573~~
Wild Honey: More Stories from an African Wildlife Sanctuary - Bookey Peek~More Stories from an African Wildlife Sanctuary. The engaging and intensely moving story of a wildlife sanctuary in Matopo Hills in the heart of Zimbabwe. With a touching mixture of humour and pathos, Bookey picks up again the story of Poombi, the warthog who featured so strongly in the 1st book 'All the Way Home', and introduces us to Badge, the utterly charming honey badger who took over her home and family. It also offers an insight into the compromises, heartbreaks and drama that are the ingredients of living in Zimbabwe today.
ISBN 9781906251208. Mar 2009. Paperback 0 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm. 352 pages.

See 1st book above on this webpage - All the Way Home: More Stories from an African Wildlife Sanctuary~While the rest of the world looks on in disbelief, life in Zimbabwe lurches on one way or the other. In Wild Honey Bookey shares the daily life of her family and their park rangers as they rescue and care for a wide variety of animals, confront poachers, fight bush fires and deal with the horrors of elections, inflation, land grabs and disease.

Troubles aside, the real stars of Bookey's story are "Poombi" the warthog and "Badge" the honey badger.

Since All the Way Home, Poombi has relinquished her place on the family sofa and been reintegrated into the wild. She's produced numerous generations of offspring, all of whom like to pop into the sanctuary and cause a little havoc.

Badge is the new orphan on the block. Honey badgers are described by Robert Ruark as 'the meanest animal in the world' but this delightful little monster steals Richard and Bookey's hearts the moment he's delivered to them in a smelly little shoe box. Much to her son David's bemusement, Badge is moved into his own bedroom and in David's opinion raised with as much love and a lot less discipline than he was given!

About the Author
Bookey Peek enjoyed an idyllic childhood in Zimbabwe's Bvumba mountains and then spent ten years travelling the world. She qualified as a lawyer in Australia but was only too happy to leave the corporate world and return to life in the Zimbabwean bush when she met and married childhood sweet heart Richard Peek.

"A little piece of Zimbabwe captured attention of Yorketown Area School Students, as well as members and supporters of the Friends of the Yorketown Community Library, with the recent visit of author Bookey Peek... She entertained students and adults with stories and photographs of her life in the African bush, and the trials of running a sanctuary in Zimbabwe. "
- Yorke Peninsula Country Times, Australia

"I just want to quote one of your sentences...where you say "It is impossible to raise a warthog and not fall in love with her but, like most wild animals, once they grow up you can't share your house with them." There's some great truisms in life and that one's certainly right up there!...Gee it's been great seeing you again after 3 years. I can't wait for your next book to come out so you can come back for another chat. It's been so great to have you here. Thank you so much."
- Richard Fidler, "Conversation Hour", 612 ABC Brisbane & 702 ABC Sydney

"Africa comes to Yorketown Library...The Peeks are some of the last people still hanging on to their wildlife sanctuary, Stone Hills Game Sanctuary, in a country lurching from one crisis to another."
- Yorke Peninsula Country Times

" us an insider's view of the local African landscape, abundant wildlife and colourful visitors...Peek's fascinating stories are not driven by narrative but jump from animal adventure to guesthouse misadventure amid the fragility of life in her wild corner of this sad and volatile country."
- The Weekend Australian

"A couple of years ago we spoke to a lady named Bookey Peek who had written a really entertaining book titled "All the Way Home". Those who read that book will be delighted I'm sure to learn that she's followed it up with a book titled "Wild Honey". Another captivating collection of tales from the Motobo Hills...I think it is even better than the first one which I thought was a fascinating read.."
- Steve Gordon, radio 6PR and 96FM Perth

"Phillip, I enjoy your program immensely on a regular basis. I especially enjoyed your chat with Bookey Peek, what a thoroughly delightful person. To have such a wonderful outlook on life amidst all the turmoil in Zimbabwe is truly inspirational. I thought I had it tough but Bookey brings a smile to my face just thinking of her, thank you very much for introducing her to me and other gladies. I can't wait to read her books, they are on the way!"
- Jim Picone, Listener to Radio National with Phillip Adams

"Wonderful to hear your chat with Bookey Peek yesterday, and for me a welcome flashback from my Sydney studio. I grew up in Bulawayo, spending many a happy holiday in the Matopos, and then going to school not far away. The extraordinary natural attraction of the hills was rivalled by the San rock art, as you spoke about."
- Simon Barlow, Listener to Radio National with Phillip Adams

"Listener, this book is not simply recommended. It is madated! It is compulsory for you to go out and buy at least 3 copies so Bookey can keep doing her great work."
- Phillip Adams, 'Late Night Live', Radio National

"Don't mess with this honey monster! How one couple's adopted badger showed them who was boss..."

"If you're one of those people who don't believe animals have feelings, go somewhere else. This book is not for you. If, however, you're interested in the colourful, courageous and inspiring story of one family living in a quiet corner of Zimbabwe, this is touching, moving stuff. Ostensibly a book about raising a honey badger, one of Africa's most ferocious little animals, "Wild Honey" is about so much more than that. Most noticeably, it is about how a love of wildlife can make you rise above the terrible story that is modern-day Zimbabwe...quite simply, a gem."
- HealthSmart magazine

"News media reports of life in Zimbabwe show devastation, despair and country in economic ruins. But there is often a silver lining in the greyest clouds...and author Bookey Peek writes of her daily life on an African Wildlife Sanctuary in Zimbabwe in two books, first in "All the way home", now the follow up, "Wild Honey: More stories from an African Wildlife sanctuary". "
- Peter Godfrey, Radio Adelaide

"A bit like Gerald Durrell...It's an amazing life..."
- Carole Whitelock, ABC 891

Extract from the book

That smells revolting.' It was October 2004 and I could hear a woman's voice in Mike 'Brom' Bromwich's office as I climbed the stairs to his taxidermy studio. 'Well, if you don't like it, why not give it to the Peeks? Last time I was out there, they had a warthog on the sofa and God knows what else at large in their house.'

I put my head around the door. 'Ah, Bookey,' said Brom. 'I was just trying to persuade Judith to give you their honey badger.' But Judith was already shaking her head. 'I'd be happy to get rid of it tomorrow, but for some reason Jack likes the little stinker and won't let me. I've told him, though, if it destroys anything in my house, I'm going to stick a .22 up its backside.'

The honey badger's mother had been carrying her baby in her mouth when a visiting hunter decided that she would make an interesting addition to his trophy room - which is how safari operators Judith and Jack had come upon the orphaned cub. I told Judith that if they changed their minds, we'd love to have him. We had been taking in vulnerable animals at Stone Hills, the sanctuary we set up as a sideline to our safari guide business, for years. Three weeks later he was ours.

But what was I letting myself in for? Described by safari author Robert Ruark as 'the meanest animal in the world', the honey badger is reputed to attack big game - even buffalo - by biting the groin and genitals, leaving the animal to bleed to death. Or so popular wisdom has it in Africa.

There was a babble of excited voices coming from Brom's office the day we picked him up and my first thought was that the badger had amputated someone's fingers through the bars of the cage. 'Ah, sweet!' said one female voice. 'Now let me hold him,' demanded another.

We found a crush of adoring women gathered around a small cardboard box containing a black-and-white creature around the size of a Jack Russell puppy. He was whimpering while one of the women tickled his head.

Suffering from diarrhoea and still unable to walk, the tiny badger - barely a month old - had had trouble feeding and was weak.

The cardboard box lay by my side of the bed for that first night and many nights thereafter, the badger curled up on a nest of soft towels covering a hot-water bottle, with a blanket draped over the top for darkness and warmth.

For night feeds there were sterilised bottles, milk formula, flasks of boiling water, baby food, vitamin and mineral supplements. When the cub stirred and squeaked I put my hands under the blanket and lifted his warm little body out of the box.

first he lay prone like a bit of flotsam washed up on a beach, and then with a mighty effort he paddled forward a few inches. On the third day he managed to get to his feet, where he swayed back and forth before falling flat on his face.

Honey badgers are formally attired - pure black below with woolly legs and a short tail, and a pale-grey mantle above, rimmed with pure white. Rather like a skunk, they can spray a stream of foul-smelling liquid when threatened but it's his unpredictable temperament, powerful jaws and sharp teeth that have earned him his spine-chilling reputation.

I was sitting in the shade with the baby Badger dozing on my lap a few days after he had arrived. 'Ruthie!' I called, spotting our cook. 'Could you sit with him while I go inside? He's very nervous if he's left on his own.'

Moments later, I heard an escalating roar as though someone had fired up a Harley Davidson in the backyard. Badger, who could barely stand, was up on trembling legs quivering with fury. Eyes popping, pink mouth wide open, tail up and bristling like a toilet brush, he bawled his rage inches away from a grey-faced Ruthie. And there was an appalling smell around him as his scent glands kicked in for the first time.

I squatted down next to him and very gingerly put out my hand. Only when it was right by his nose did the roars begin to subside into growls and finally into pathetic squeaks. Then, suddenly, Baby Badger was with us again, collapsed and shuddering in my arms.

'Honey badgers don't like surprises,' I read later that day. Never again did we approach him without first calling his name and then slowly putting a reassuring hand to his nose.

For the first week or so, I carted Badge around in a portable dog box but we then adapted our spare room for him, laying a green tarpaulin on the floor, with his box in one corner and a few toys scattered about.

He settled in to his nursery well and life with baby Badge soon fell into a pattern. I'd get his evening meal of chicken or wildebeest ready in advance, put it down on his bedroom floor and open the veranda door, calling, 'Supper!', which galvanised him into motion.

The daily routines were simple in his infancy. I'd wake him by singing, 'Good morning! Good morning!' at the door, very softly, wait for him to finish his three yawns and three stretches, then go in and cuddle him for a while before giving him his bottle.

And at night, after the Teddy Bears' Picnic and a few prayers I'd tuck him up in his blankets and creep out. Every day we saw changes as the helpless little blob began to wake up and grow into his reputation.

I had read that sometimes honey badgers could fly into 'fury moods of an unusually intense blind ferocity', but never once did our cub show signs of moodiness or unpredictability.

He was the most amenable little fellow, provided we followed the code of the badgers. Never surprise me, never, try to take something away from me, especially food, and what is yours becomes mine the minute I steal it from you. And if you try to challenge me I will bite you.

When he was still very tiny Grant Neilson paid us a visit. As Bulawayo's foremost animal rescue man, Grant knew how to behave. He sat down cross-legged and waited for Badge to come to him. And after much sniffing and a few false starts, our cub wobbled over and climbed on to his lap. Grant stroked his back. 'Hard to believe all those nasty stories about them, isn't it?' he said. Suddenly, Badger stiffened and began to growl.

Grant whipped his hands away and looked down, horrified, at the bristling little beast now straddling the most vulnerable part of his anatomy. Earlier, I had laughingly repeated the fantastical stories of badgers ripping into the scrotum of animals as large as buffalo, and even of humans who had supposedly crossed them. How ridiculous!

'Grant, what do you have in your pocket?' I asked. 'C-c-car keys,' he said trembling, 'and, um, a packet of cigarettes. He's standing on them. They're in the pouch in front of my tracksuit.' 'He's after the fags, must be the smell. Right, as quick as you can, pull them out and stand up.'

Unwinding himself with the speed of a Chinese acrobat, Grant deposited a snarling Badger on the floor and hurled the keys and cigarettes over the half-door of the bedroom. And, almost immediately, Badge forgot what all the fuss was about and clambered back into my lap for a cuddle.

A badger's strength of will and absolute determination to get what he wants (and keep it) can be likened to a two-year-old child at a sweet counter. Ankle-biters, the Australians call them.

A few months later, Badge really did become an ankle-biter. Every morning he'd be waiting for us on the other side of the door with his mouth open in readiness to attach himself to your shoe or, worse, to your Achilles tendon, into which he would sink his sharp little teeth. Once you were on the ground, he would wrap all four legs tightly around your arm and start to chew away on your funny-bone.

Dislodging him was like trying to unwrap an octopus - as soon as you prised one leg off, another one would grab hold of you. 'Don't let him dominate you!' we were warned at the beginning. 'If he tries, pin his head on the ground with your finger and growl.' Somehow, I couldn't imagine it was going to be quite that easy. ~Wild Honey|ISBN 9781906251208|~12547~12555~~
Menu Page | Toolbar Page |
Frameset Page | Index Page | Table of Contents
EROL - Electronic Retail Online E-commerce shopping cart software