My rating: 3 of 5 stars
More entertaining and poignant stories from author Brian Connell! Living up to its name, Elephants Are People Too: More Tales from the African bush adds more depth and detail to the charming people and places introduced in Msomi and Me, the first in the series. Its theme is again on Nokuthula, the “Place of Peace,” and its anecdotes are focused on the experiences with elephants that the author has had as well as lessons learned while managing Nokuthula. These poignant glimpses into elephant behavior, the relationships between wildlife and their habitats, and the coexistence of humans and wildlife are made bold by Connell’s warm and familiar prose.
But EAPT isn’t just about elephants or how incredible they are. It’s also not about elephant conservation. It is interspersed with stories about other fascinating African species as well, such as the elusive African wild dogs (also known as painted wolves), black rhino, dung beetles, lions, and the familiar cheetah Khankhanya who Connell rescued and raised from a cub. Familiar faces abound! There are also backyard science projects, hare-brained schemes, practical jokes, and other tales typical of life on a game reserve yet told in an affable and entertaining way that only Brian Connell can achieve!
Readers who enjoyed Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s Love, Life, and Elephants and Francoise Malby-Anthony’s An Elephant in My Kitchen might scratch their heads at the topics and style of story-telling in EAPT. EAPT is a different kind of memoir and told from the perspective of a for-profit game reserve operator opening his eyes — and yours — to the nuances of life on a slice of South African heaven. It may appeal to a different group of people, but still has heart-warming and amazing stories of the African bush that any reader can enjoy.
Readers seeking other fun and fascinating reads that will be hard to put down will enjoy Jennifer Ackerman‘s The Genius of Birds and also The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think. These popular-science books examine many fascinating bird species and relate the stories of scientific research and studies on the brilliant ways that birds adapt, communicate, learn, socialize, and behave.
Readers who enjoyed Elephants Are People Too will love and cherish Kobie Krüger‘s The Wilderness Family: At Home with Africa’s Wildlife. It is a warm and vibrant depiction of the reality of the South African Lowveld as experienced by her game warden husband and their family living inside the world famous Kruger National Park in South Africa. Like Elephants Are People Too, The Wilderness Family combines a special, uniquely African sense of freedom in the wild with humorous and heartfelt anecdotes that will take the reader on a true journey through South Africa.