on 30 March 2012
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.
on 3 April 2015
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.
on 4 April 2012
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.
on 11 November 2015
Daphne and David Sheldrick devoted themselves to the care of wild elephants in Kenya for over 25 years. This book tells of how Daphne and David met, how Daphne become immersed in David's work, and how after David's death, Daphne continues to work to save the lives of wild elephants.
This book took me to Africa. The descriptions of the surroundings, animals and their behaviours made me feel like I was there watching everything as it happened.
The battles against the ivory trade were (and still are) difficult to face. Some scenes contained graphic descriptions of the consequences of this vile trade and they are difficult to read.
The passion, commitment and love shown by Daphne and David to the animals of Kenya is boundless, as was their love for each other. Daphne continues to run the Sheldrick Foundation today.
This is a beautifully written book that made me feel the full spectrum of emotions.
An amazing read. Recommended.
on 17 November 2015
This book is one of the most amazing personal and moving memoirs of living amongst wildlife that I have ever read.
We learn how Daphne Sheldrick (and her husband David) committed themselves to caring for hundreds of orphaned elephants during their lifetime, and how they subsequently set up the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust - which is now headed by their daughter, and continues to this day as one of the biggest wildlife trusts in the world.
It is funny, sad and vividly described as we learn of Daphne's trails and tribulations in her life - but mainly her pure love and dedication to the endangered animals in her care.
The more that you read, the more you wonder why elephants don't rule the world! God forbid that without the tireless commitment of these people, and others like them, that elephants could be extinct in 20 years time.
on 27 September 2015
This beautiful book simply shines with love. Love for Africa. Love for the numerous animal orphans which need Daphne's care. And love for her family, especially her teacher, husband and soulmate David.
Her autobiography encompasses the recent history of Kenya, it's independence from British rule and the ensuing effect on the wildlife. The decimation of the elephant and rhino population of Africa is well known but this is a personal view of the tragedy of poaching in Tsavo and surrounding areas. Daphne and her team pick up the pieces: traumatised baby elephants which require much psychological as well as physical care if they are to survive and grow to adulthood.
One moment hilarious (ostriches on parade - there's a photo!), the next heartbreaking, this book will make you laugh and cry. Buy it.
on 14 September 2015
After a lifetime of saving African animals, Sheldrick finally turns the spotlight on herself and shows us her old-fashioned White settler, hopelessly romantic, utterly decent, true to her own calling, beautifully maternal self. The account is like poring over grandma's photo albums, except it includes hundreds of wild animals in your family. She gives a full autobiography, but also offers an inside story of what it took to found, defend, operate and expand Kenya's game park system. Where poachers have often made those parks into war zones for animals, Sheldrick has appointed herself chief nurse in the war to save them. She's worth reading, worth supporting, and I'm sure her foundation will keep growing when she's gone.
on 27 February 2012
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. After divorce, Bill married Ruth Hales. Daphne married David at 11 am on 20.10.1960 in Mombasa, becoming Daphne Sheldrick. Their honeymoon was in LAKE MANYARA, Tanzania. Then a big orphan group started getting collected at their home in Tsavo. On 1.7.1963, Angela Mara(pip) was born in Nairobi. More orphans arrived including ELEANOR the elephant at their VOI orphanage. Then David started having cramps between his shoulders and was diagnosed to have angina. Sadly for David and Daphne, they were moved to Nairobi National Park. David had more episodes of chest pain and on 13.6 1977 at 11 pm, collapsed, was rushed to Nairobi Hospital, but passed away. The Karen church was packed and David was laid to rest in the Langata Cemetary. He was 57 years old.
Daphne had a new house built inside the Nairobi National Park and she soon started collecting her orphans, including elephants and this started the DSWT Orphanage(open every day to public- 11 am to 12 noon), that you see today in Nairobi. Then in 1987, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust(DSWT) was formed. With trial and error, Daphne had formulated the milk which the elephants thrived on. In 1989, Daphne was awarded the MBE and in 1996, she became Dame Daphne (DBE). Out of 200 elephants rescued, 100 are now living in the wild. Angela now runs the Trust. Dame Daphne not only narrates her family story in this book, but also the history of Kenya and its wildlife. She keeps you interested in all the 321 pages. This book is written simply and beautifully. Having visited Kenya many times, we were lucky that Dame Daphne allowed us to have our photo taken with her at the DSWT Orphanage in 2005 and as foster parents of the elephants, we visited the baby elephants in Nairobi and Voi. The Trust does wonderful work at Nairobi, Voi and Ethumba in Tsavo and helps Kenya Wildlife Service(KWS) and many school children and of course the animals.
Other books by Dame Daphne are:-
(1) The Orphans of Tsavo, 1966
(2) Tsavo Story(Animal Kingdom), 1973
(3) An Elephant Called Eleanor, 1981
(4) My Four Footed Family, 1979
Some of the films on Dame Daphne and the Orphanage are:-
(1) Orphans of Tsavo(Sierra Club Series), VHS 1988
(2) Bloody Ivory, DVD 1979
(3) Orphans of Tsavo(Endangered World), VHS 1997
(4) Elephant Diaries 1, DVD 2007
(5) Elephant Diaries 2, DVD 2009
(6) Protector of Giants, DVD 2010
(7) Born to be Wild, DVD 2012
Having born in Kenya, I enjoyed reading this wonderful book.
Read and ENJOY.
on 3 November 2015
This book is wonderful, Africa comes to life within it's pages. I would love to see this book as part of the school curriculum, to teach our young adults about the world beyond their own families and species. It's heart warming, it made me smile and it also made me cry, read it for yourselves, and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't ever buy anything made from ivory, even if you are told it's antique, the chances are that it isn't, but even if it is by buying it you are adding to the value of ivory and supporting the trade.