Top critical review
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Useful but a bit of a lightweight
on 10 April 2010
This provides an outline of of wildlife in East Africa, mainly covering birds and mammals (150 pages and 70 pages respectively out of 250 in all), with a few pages each (just a token gesture, really) on trees, reptiles, insects and flowers. Nothing on fishes or marine life (useful if you're visiting Zanzibar). Useful to have a book that covers everything in a single volume, but in addition to the drawbacks noted by other reviewers, I'm not convinced of the photo approach for identification. For instance, most of the species have just one photo, in some (particularly of birds) the light has somewhat washed-out the colours, and there are several photos where it looks like the photographer just gave up: the photo of the African Palm Swift is over-enlarged to the extent that graininess masks all the detail, and the Black Heron is preening, completely hiding its breast, neck and head! For birds, this is not even in the same league as "Birds of East Africa" (Helm Field Guides) by Terry Stevenson, which uses artwork for identification much more effectively (and, it must be said, much more attractively). Nevertheless for a single-volume easily-pocketable guide to what is presumably the most common wildlife you'll encounter on safari, it "does what is says on the tin". If it were comprehensive it would weigh kilos and need a wheel on each corner to move it.