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What to buy?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Pernille

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:42 PM

I am looking to buy some books before my safarin in South Africa in June. I have been looking at the following:

Richard Estes The Safari Companion and maybe The Behavior Guide to African Mammals. Should I get both or it The Safari Comapnion enough?

Vincent Carruthers The wildlife of Southern Africa. It seems there are two editions, is one better than the other?

My son (aged 11) is interested in "Tracks and Signs" and scorpions, snakes, spiders etc are there any good book for him to read?


Pernille

#2 Game Warden

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:20 PM

Hi Pernille, let me guide you to Richard Estes's interview here on Safaritalk. :)

"Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you." - African proverb.

 

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#3 melequus

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:14 AM

Yes, indeed, go with Richard Estes! I am really enjoying my Safari Companion for my trip to S. Africa (Kruger) in June and then on to parks in Bots, ZIm and Zambia. When in June will you be in S. Africa?
Regards,
Mel
I don't believe in the concept of hell, but if I did I would think of it as filled with people who were cruel to animals.

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#4 Jochen

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:29 AM

To answer your question; I think for mammals the Estes guide is enough.
But why not take a bird guide as well?

#5 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:19 AM

if you want good background information about animals get THE BEHAVIOUR GUIDE

it explains a whole lot more than the SAFARI COMPANION which explains specific behaviours but not a whole lot more

A worthwhile addition is M Emmett and S Pattrick GAME RANGER IN YOUR BACKPACK ALL IN ONE INTEPERATIVE GUIDE TO THE LOWVELD published by briza books of south africa available internationally online from amazon uk etc

for a good selection of animals, birds, trees etc it has pages with small photograps and written text in small blocks explaining important things directly relating to the image , it is good enough to be included in the ecotraing guide course in sth africa.

it includes somethings which are not in the behaviour guide has a good section on termite mounds which have a key role in the landscape

also includes reptiles

TRACKS AND SIGNS is a good book hs about one page per animal with line drawings of their footprints and photos droppings
  • Tom Kellie and ellenhighwater like this

Wild Africa is in my blood. All life is sacred and interconnected. for the animals are fellow nations caught in the splendor and trevail of the earth.


#6 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:20 AM

GAME RANGER IN BACKPACK is well recommended for younger and older people
  • ellenhighwater likes this

Wild Africa is in my blood. All life is sacred and interconnected. for the animals are fellow nations caught in the splendor and trevail of the earth.


#7 Pernille

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:59 PM

Thank you all, I will get the Safari companion, maybe later I will get The Behavior Guide

GAME RANGER IN YOUR BACKPACK ALL IN ONE INTEPERATIVE GUIDE TO THE LOWVELD

also includes reptiles


Do you think there is enough about reptiles or will we need another book on reptiles, spiders and scorpions?

Regarding a bird book I have thought about it and to me it seems people recommend either Sasol or Newman. Both have just (well Newman 2 years ago) come out in new editons, is one fare better than the other or are the about the same?

Pernille

Edit: @melequus we will arrive on the 19th and depart on the 26th of June. My husband will participate in the Big Five Marathon http://www.big-five-marathon.com/

Edited by Pernille, 18 April 2012 - 04:01 PM.


#8 dawhitworth

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:42 PM

To answer your question; I think for mammals the Estes guide is enough.
But why not take a bird guide as well?


Can anyone recommend a good birding book specific to Botswana please?

David
Cheers,
David

#9 Pangolin

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:14 AM

I don't think you need a book specific to Bots. I've always been happy with my Newman's guide to birds of Southern Africa.
One pangolin to rule them all......

#10 dawhitworth

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:02 PM

I don't think you need a book specific to Bots. I've always been happy with my Newman's guide to birds of Southern Africa.


Many thanks. I've just added it to my Amazon shopping cart!
Cheers,
David

#11 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:56 AM

GAME RANGER IN BACKPACK

350 pages

small phots with related text nearby

very good and up to date mentiones things not found in r estes eg hollow bones in elephant skull ,toe arrangement on feet, impala metarsal glands

good sections on mammals,birds,plants ,insects,tracks

trees a whole lot more detailed that a field guide eg medicinal uses, umberala torn trees limit growth of rival plants by chemical which do allow anything but grass in the immediate area

you specifically mentioned reptiles the book has about 20 pages with some general informationn and individual enteries on a number of different sorts of snakes,tortoises.lizards,snakes and frogs

it is overall a very good book, you might like to get iy first look and it and decide if you want to look at a seperate reptile book.

RICHARD ESTES


THE SAFARI COMPANION explains specific behaviours likely to be seen with the more popular safari animals it is quiet good but not comprehensive.

THE BEHAVIOUR GUIDE is a very good general reference book covering nearly all the african land mammals.

guides regard it as the bible of animal behaviour and ecology

it is written for an intelligent lay audience who do not have university science degrees

it has very good introductions on animal groups like ungulates and carnivores

going through the book before you visit africa and whilst there you will be understand a whole lot of things and get more out of your trip.

Wild Africa is in my blood. All life is sacred and interconnected. for the animals are fellow nations caught in the splendor and trevail of the earth.


#12 Pernille

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 05:39 PM

Thank you very much COSMIC RHINO, I will get Game Ranger in Backpack and Safari Companion. Look at them and then see if I think I will need any more.

Pernille

#13 kittykat23uk

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:01 PM

I've been very happy with my Sasol guide to southern african bird. But can anyone recommend good field guides for Madagascar?
If an experience is amazing enough to be "once in a lifetime," I want to do it every year.
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#14 inyathi

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:32 PM

If you like Sasol then I would think your best bet is

My Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands: Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues, Seychelles and the Comoros

By Ian Sinclair & Olivier Langrand

Assuming you can get a copy, I'm not sure if it's available at the moment. I haven't been to Madagascar yet but I have looked at this book before and it looks like it should be a good book but then the only other option seems to be a photographic guide which I'm not a fan of and anyway it's currently out of print.

#15 kittykat23uk

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:12 AM

Thanks! That looks perfect! :D
If an experience is amazing enough to be "once in a lifetime," I want to do it every year.
Alex: "Whoa! Hold up there a second, fuzzbucket. You mean like, uh, the live in a mud hut wipe yourself with a leaf type wild?"
King Julian: “Who wipes?”

#16 JohnR

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:34 AM

I went to a wild bird expo at the London Wetlands in Barnes on Friday which is still there until the end of today (Sunday).

There is a bookstall with a big selection of African bird books covering everywhere from the Horn of Africa to the Cape.

On the downside, many are out in new editions, thicker and heavier than ever. It's difficult to contemplate getting more than one if you plan to have it with you for reference.
What pays stays.
 

#17 Tom Kellie

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 07:02 AM

A worthwhile addition is M Emmett and S Pattrick GAME RANGER IN YOUR BACKPACK ALL IN ONE INTEPERATIVE GUIDE TO THE LOWVELD published by briza books of south africa available internationally online from amazon uk etc

for a good selection of animals, birds, trees etc it has pages with small photograps and written text in small blocks explaining important things directly relating to the image , it is good enough to be included in the ecotraing guide course in sth africa.

it includes somethings which are not in the behaviour guide has a good section on termite mounds which have a key role in the landscape

also includes reptiles

 

~ @COSMIC RHINO

 

As a direct result of having read your recommendation, above, I sought and purchased ‘Game Ranger in Your Backpack’ in Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo Airport while waiting for a delayed flight to Hong Kong.

 

I fully concur with what you've written. It's a valuable book for an amateur like me, with meaningful information and fine photography.

 

Thank you so much for recommending it!

 

Tom K.







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