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Sand Rivers Hardcover – Apr 1981

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Viking Press; First Edition edition (April 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670616966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670616961
  • Product Dimensions: 50.8 x 50.8 x 50.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,037,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr S. S. Nagi TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was first published in 1981, has 210 pages, 11 chapters, 60 colour photos and endpaper maps of Selous Game Reserve. PETER MATTHIESSEN and HUGO-VAN-LAWICK join on safari in 1979 into SELOUS GR (established in 1922) in Southern Tanzania. Sand River is their beautiful account of a remarkable trip into this quintessential East African wilderness. Here in the glinting sand rivers and miombo woodlands, they see the African animals and birds and take a foot safari into its road-less interior. In August 1979, Matthiessen takes a flight from South London to Dar-es-Salaam for 4 weeks safari to Selous GR (the largest wilderness game sanctuary), 22,000sq miles and 4 times larger than Serengeti NP.
In a small plane, they landed at KINGUPIRA, east end of Selous. Brian Nicholson (bwana Niki) ex-game warden was also present. Their camp with green tents was in Kingupira forest for the 17 black and white people. The kitchen Mpesi steps on a blacked throated spitting cobra, who raised his hood, was disposed with a panga. He would wear the green rubber wellingtons for the remainder of the safari. Here the lions had no manes, the giraffe only existed north of the RUFIJI river, the cheetah stalk like leopards and the ostrich and dik-dik are absent.
Hugo used his blue Land Rover for photographing, covered with green net mesh and twined with branches - like a 'mobile bush'. After few days, they moved their camp 70 miles to MADABA, near Nandanga mountain, where CJP Ionides is buried. This was real Africa. However, the road tracks were bad and there were signs of poaching. Tsetse flies were biting 'like fire'. The Rufiji is the largest river in Africa. It and other rivers had shining waters and white sands.
Their next camp was at MKANGIRA on LUWEGU river.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I. Ogden on 20 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Probably most hard-to-find of Matthiessen's Africa travel stories. Excellent detailed account of safari through part of Selous game reserve, guided by ex-warden; a must for serious lovers of Africa and its fast-dinishing wildlife. Really quite poignant, in respect of the comparison between Selous in the warden's day, and the time of the Matthiessen treck, but still gives us a glimpse of the kind of fantastic, extended wilderness experience many of us would love to have, but few - if any - of us would be able to make.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H Page on 27 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was delighted to find that I was able to get hold of a copy of this book as a friend of mine and her father are featured in it. However, I was disappointed that it did not have a dust cover - the picture suggested that it would as it showed a picture of elephants crossing a river. The actual book was a creamy white colour without the dust cover.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A poignant excursion into one of earth's last wild places 22 July 1999
By Charles L Fremont - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Peter Mattheissen ("The Tree Where Man was born," "At Play in the Fields of the Lord," "The Snow Leopard") takes the reader on a safari into the Selous, the grandest piece of truly wild real estate left in Africa. Along for the ride in western Tanzania is the last great warden of this famous park, a direct descendant, in a way, of Frederick Cortenay Selous himself, for whom the park is named. Matthiessen is low key, unpretentious, straightforward and fresh in his descriptions. Yet, as the safari moves deeper and deeper into the bush, one wonders, as one found in Matthiessen's classic "The Snow Leopard", whether we're really going to see any big animals after all. And whether or not Matthiessen and the crusty old game warden are going to resolve their apprehensions about each other. Suffice it to say that at no level is this fine book a disappointment, including the excellent photography of Hugo Van Lawick, who accompanied the private safari, driving his own Land Rover down from the Serengeti. If you ever thought you might like to take a walk in Africa, the old Africa, this is your book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A clear shimmering portrait of old Africa 2 April 2007
By Brian Allen - Published on
Format: Paperback
Matthiessen writes of this wilderness as clearly as Van Lawick photographs it. The crack of the dry grass,the intense heat,the startling beauty of the birds,the fleeting glimpse of wary wildlife as well as the personalities of all from the game wardens to the porters are beautifully described in scholarly detail.

This book is a trip into the last savannah wilderness in Africa and thanks to Matthiessen's talent as a writer as well as his knowledge and ability to find the richest detail from those he interviews you benefit as if you too had traveled with him. This book was hard to put down as the author reveals the history and founding of the Selous Game Preserve. The Selous is captured and preserved well within the pages. This book will make you hope that it is preserved well in Tanzania and that all those that have struggled for it will have succeeded.
1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Foot safari 27 Feb. 2009
By Calochortus - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was expecting more of a biological and geographical account than a rather mundane travel book. What we have is a description of animals and people as the safari progresses, interspersed with impressions of the porters and others on the trip. And some historical background, often relating to dangerous animals in Africa, and the depredations of poachers. Occasional tidbits of biology are thrown in, but this is not like a John McPhee book on the area at all. I found it only mildly interesting. The photographs are by a famous and experienced photographer, and I suppose in their day they were excellent, and probably much better if we could see them as proper scans at high definition. But as prints they leave a lot to be desired. The resolution is not good, nor are the colors for the most part. They seem grainy and insufficiently saturated. So, the book is a disappointment.
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