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An African Love Story: Love, Life and Elephants Hardcover – 1 Mar 2012

168 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; First Edition edition (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670919721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670919727
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.2 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Africa has never been more vividly described...I read it straight through and it nearly broke my heart...her warnings about the decline of wildlife should be heeded the world over (Joanna Lumley )

Wonderfully candid (Charlotte Kemp Daily Mail )

Compulsively readable...the more you hear about elephants from her, the more you wonder why they don't rule the world (Kathryn Hughes Mail on Sunday )

An enchanting memoir...Baby birds, antelopes, elephants, rhinos and a civet cat all pass through Sheldrick's life (Helen Brown Telegraph )

Absorbing, moving...paints a vivid picture of an extraordinary life in the bush that will delight everyone (BBC Wildlife Magazine )

Moving and magical...a fascinating story...touching, funny and written with warmth and compassion (Lancashire Evening Post )

About the Author

Daphne Sheldrick has spent her entire life in Kenya. For over 25 years, she and her husband, David, the famous founder of the the giant Tsavo National Park, raised and rehabilitated back into the wild orphans of misfortune from many different wild species. These included elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, zebra, eland, kudu, impala, warthogs and many other smaller animals. She has two daughters, both of whom have spent their lives helping her. In 2002 she received the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006 she was made Dame Commander of the British Empire by the Queen, the first Knighthood to be awarded in Kenya since the country received Independence in 1963.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By EmilyPD on 30 Mar. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having fallen in love with Africa 2 years on a trip to Tanzania, I was some what shy from reading another persons love story with the continent as thoughts of possible doubt would crept into my mind. But after reading this book I not only have fallen in love with Africa more, but now also Daphne herself. She is a beautiful writer and has a magnificent style, which I can only be jealous of.
The book could be mistaken for an epic novel with a life full of authors dreams and thoughts, but instead it is one of the most stunning and interesting biographic stories I have had the pleasure of reading.

5 stars!
10/10
100%
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Grainne on 4 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ever since reading and falling in love with 'The Orphan's of Tsavo' a few years ago I have periodically typed in Daphne Sheldrick's name and it was with immense joy that I recently saw 'An African Love Story' appear as a result of my searh. This book traces the life of Dame Daphne from her formative years on her parent's farm right through to the incredible work being carried on today at the orphanage for wildlife that she and her family still run. Not only do you come away from this book with a deepened appreciation for elephants, rhinos, mongoose, zebras and many, many more amazing creatures, you also feel like you've been immersed in the evolving history of Kenya from colonial times to independence and all the turbulent changes and adjustments encountered along the way. Dame Daphne writes with a passion that knows no bounds and there is a feeling of utter honesty throughout, and all the love, joy and heartbreak that accompanies such unbridled integrity of expression. The stories of the orphans Eleanor, Huppety, Wiffle, Schmetty to name but a few will leave you unable to put down this truly beautiful book. You get a real sense that Dame Daphne's life was, and still is, shaped immeasurably by her deep love for her husband David. Rarely does a book encompass so much - from a true love story, to the devastation wreaked by poaching, to the splendour of the Kenyan wilderness to the moving story of each and every orphan told in the book. The quote at the start of chapter 8 is 'Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty' (Einstein). Daphne Sheldrick's compassionate and enthralling book goes a long way to help achieve this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kay Fender on 3 April 2015
Format: Paperback
I am an avid reader but no book has ever affected me like Daphne Sheldrick's African Love Story, it will stay in my thoughts forever and since reading it I have been keenly involved in campaigning against the ivory trade.
It's a beautifully written story, sometimes very amusing and funny and other times very moving and sad; it made me want to visit Kenya, to work with elephants, to meet Daphne and the team at Tsavo which isn't going to happen of course but that's how it made me feel. As an animal lover, I loved Daphne's descriptions of their exotic pets and the various elephants, rhino's etc which came into their care, I have to say though, (and I really don't want to put you off), no book ever made me cry so much.
I can't recommend this book more, please read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tessa Blissett on 22 May 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I was given my Kindle two years ago, I asked for this to be added to my 'booklist' , simply because I love elephants and admired the work of the orphanage that I'd read about. I didn't actually read the story until two months ago, prior to my visit to the orphanage. Consequently I had an additional interest in reading it and was not disappointed by its background information and the incredible efforts of Daphne Sheldrick, her family and staff.
For the record, I would advise any traveller to Nairobi to visit the orphanage to see the delightful orphans - and the patient keepers!
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75 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Dr S S Nagi (NYROBE) TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Feb. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was first published in 2012, has 321 pages, 20 colour pictures, 57 B/W photos and 2 large maps of Kenya and Tsavo East. The book is divided into 16 chapters and is dedicated to David Sheldrick and other pioneer wardens of Kenya National Parks, the wilderness, Dame Daphne's family and her 4 grandchildren. The book starts in 1907, when Daphne's grand parents left South Africa and sailed to MOMBASA, Kenya with their livestock. From here on the Uganda Railways to NAIROBI and they checked into Norfolk Hotel. The wagon train took them 4 months to get to Narok, later to move near Lake Naivasha. After the 1st World War, Bryan(Dame Daphne's father) moved to South Africa. Here he met Marjorie Webb. On return, Bryan had started a farm at GIL GIL. They got married in 1930 and had 4 children, Peter, Sheila, Daphne(june 1934) and Betty(1938).
Always an animal lover from childhood, Daphne adopted a baby Bushbuck-Bushy, at the age of 4. Aged 6, she was sent to boarding school at NAKURU. At 13, she joined Kenya Girls High school in Nairobi. At 15, she fell in love with Bill(Frank William Woodley), assistant warden at Nairobi National Park. At 17, she got engaged to Bill and they got married on 27.6.1953 in Naivasha. Their honeymoon was spent in England and Scotland. Bill was transfered to Tsavo East NP to work under David Sheldrick. On 26.1.1955, their daughter Jill(Gillian Sala Ellen) was born. At Tsavo, they had to stay with David Sheldrick(David and Diana had separated and she had taken their 2 children with her). Daphne started loving Tsavo and worked at the HQ office. After 6 years together, Daphne and Bill drifted apart and Daphne felt attracted towards David.
Daphne loved watching the elephants. On 13.6.1959, David was honoured with MBE from the Queen.
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