153 pages, colour & b/w photos
Africa's great game parks house thousands of the world's most incredible wildlife, including the elephant, rhino, zebra, and gorilla, but along with this beauty comes a desperate struggle for existence. This living legacy faces the possibility of becoming extinct because of ignorance and apathy.
In Wild Edens: Africa's Premier Game Parks and Their Wildlife, longtime conservationist and seasoned African travelerJoseph James Shomon journeys through the wild African scene, revealing its magnificence and mystique, and wonderfully describes the game parks' location, ecology, and irreplaceable wildlife.
From the summit of Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, the author surveys the marvelous Edens of East Africa, among the last Pleistocene-like concentrations of animals left in the world today. Descending, Shomon gives a firsthand account of the great sanctuaries, providing a knowledgeable escort on safari in the scrublands of Tsavo, where elephants are imperiled. He continues on to the Ark at Aberdares, where visitors can watch, under floodlights of a watchtower, rain forest animals come to feed; to the rain forests of Mount Kenya; and to the Serengeti and Mara Plains, with their great migrating herds besieged by predators and thwarted in their journeys by swollen rivers and flooded lakes.
The journey continues through the Great Rift Valley and Olduvai Gorge to Lake Manyara with its tree-climbing lions; Ngorongoro Crater; Samburu and Meru, where the rhino is threatened; the waterways of Uganda; the Mountains of the Moon; the Kalahari Desert; and the wildlife sanctuaries of South Africa, ending the tour at the Cape of Good Hope.
Shomon argues that the plethora of impersonal technology and excessive mechanization, as well as the world's focus on violence, social ills, and discord on our domestic front, consume the world's energies, leaving little interest for safeguarding and conserving Africa's wild edens.
Shomon's engaging and informative text, complemented with attractive photographs and pen-and-ink drawings, encourages those interested in Africa and its wildlife to visit the cradle of our ancestral beginnings and to take an active role in its preservation and conservation.
"A moving tribute to the major game parks of Africa, Wild Edens is also a good introduction to the wonders of one of the last great wildlife spectacles on the planet. The author, a wildlife conservationist, takes the reader on a journey through the parks of East and South Africa. Starting with Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest on the continent, Shomon visits such well-known areas as Amboseli (Kenya), the Serengeti (Tanzania), the Okavango (Botswana), and Kruger (South Africa). Filled with personal anecdotes from his many trips to the preserves, the author's descriptions [...] have an immediacy that is appealing. The author's black-and-white photographs (plus two sections of color photos) [...] further enhance the book's travelogue quality."
– Nancy Bent
"Anyone planning a trip to the game parks of Africa should enjoy Shomon's book."
– Library Journal
" [...] It is well written and suitable for young and old readers. I wish I had had this book when I journeyed in 1987 to Africa's wild Edens!"
– Science Books & Films
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Joseph James Shomon was director of American Conservation Planning Associates, Norfolk, Virginia. He received his doctorate in natural resources conservation from the University of Michigan.