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Ranger in your pocket!
on 7 September 2003
If you think that going on safari should consist of more than lazily ticking off a lion, a hippo and a zebra before heading for the barbeque, this is the book for you. It takes you deep into the bush and opens your eyes in the way that a ranger in the field might do, from explaining the breeding habits of turtles to advising what to do if charged by a lion. The writing is infused with enthusiasm, and has a lightness of touch that keeps you reading - it's therefore ideal for whetting your appetite before you go, keeping you company while you're there, and offering a nostalgic reminder when you get back.
The book is wide in scope, covering mammals, birds, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians as well as habitats, tracks and how to go about a safari. But astonishingly for a book you can slip into your pocket, it offers much more than a brief overview. Unless you are a specialist, this is all you would really need to appreciate everything you see (other than a field guide to birds, which you would need for identification purposes). Both the photography and illustrations are superb. I'm off to South Africa in a few weeks, and my copy is already dog-eared.