Sunday, March 13, 2011


It always strikes me of the incongruity of grouping Conservation and Hunting together but of course they are related !
Having handled so many books on the lives of the great African hunters it comes as no surprise to me  that so many of them eventually became game wardens and contributed  so much to the preservation of animal life in Southern and Eastern Africa.They were very brave men and lived an often arduous life facing great dangers,.They did not have , in the earlier days, the high powered weapons equipped with telescopic sights and shooting from special vehicles but were generally on foot or at best on horseback armed with the rifles of the times !
I love the story of Harry Wolhuter the hunter who became the first game ranger in the original Kruger Park who was patrolling on horseback and  was attacked by two full grown lions,knocked of his horse by the lioness and then trapped face down by the lion who began to maul him.He managed to reach back for his hunting knife and stab the lion twice, killing it ! Amazing but true.Don't believe me ?  read his book, if you can find it ' Memoirs of a Game Ranger ' or read  Piet Meiring's  'Kruger Park Saga. '
We are fortunate that we have our wonderful   game reserves and owe so much to' Oom Paul' who battled for many years to get the priciple of conservation accepted and to all the hunters and game rangers who have made this a reality.
There is so much to learn and read about this subject. Long may we appreciate and protect it !

Friday, March 11, 2011


Do you know that we must have one of the greatest arrays of bird life in Southern Africa compared with most other countries in the world ?
To go with this we have a wonderful range of ornithological books on the subject,beautifully illustrated and with information about about their habits, locale and how to recognise the many and varied species.
We have many ornithologists to thank for this , particularly Kenneth Newman, a wonderful artist whose hundreds of illustrations have appeared in his many publications throughout the world..No trip to our many parks and reserves would be complete without one of his books or catalogues.We can thank also Ian Sinclair and also Sasol for their tremendous sponsorships.
For those who prefer the Afrikaans versions they come complete with even the birds names in Afrikaans.
There is no better way of introducing children to the wild life of Southern Africa particularly as birds are not confined by fences to their habitats !

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Having just read a book by Michael Parkinson on George Best there can be no doubt that he wins hands down !For me and many others this little Irish genius was the' best of the best' with the  football and the booze and the birds. For me ,who was priveleged to see him play in his heyday,there was no one who could touch him. Why is it that genius's attract such disasters that befell him .? He is quoted as having said of his fortune "I spent most of it on booze and birds,the rest I wasted !"
Read the book if you don't believe me !


How many of us can forget growing up with our children's books ! Some of us like to re- read them or better still introduce them to our children or grandchildren. My own personal memories include 'Biggles' by the redoubtable W E Johns,' Just William ' by Frank Richards and even Billy Bunter ! Even Enid Blyton (who lived a few streets away from me for many years) has really stood the test of time and I am frequently asked for copies of 'Black Beauty' by Anna Sewell which was banned in South Africa for  a while !In fact for me it is a stock line. Oh happy days !
Fortunately I have been able to find copies of these books for my readers just to illustrate that Africaner alone  is not all that I keep in stock Isn't nostalgia wonderful !