Safari: Journey to the End

Description

120 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
$19.95
ISBN 1-55046-016-1
DDC 591.96762

Author

Year

1990

Contributor

Reviewed by Hans B. Neumann

Hans B. Neumann is a history lecturer at Scarborough College, University
of Toronto.

Review

The title of this spectacularly illustrated book does not refer to a
trip to the “end of the world,” but rather to the vast plains of
Kenya, places where grass and sky meet, places the Masai call “the
end.” This deceptively slim volume is the result of a recent two-week
safari to Kenya by Taylor, well-known in the Ontario naturalist
community, and Markou—both avid naturalists and photographers of
wildlife.

In their brief safari, they visited nearly all Kenya’s major national
parks. They returned with a remarkable harvest of brilliant color
photographs highlighting much of the abundant wildlife that inhabits
these plains. Of the larger species the average reader would know, only
the uncommon leopard eluded their cameras. The book’s high-gloss paper
enhances the quality of the photographs. Altogether the pictures create
a vivid impression of what visitors may expect to see in such places as
Amboseli or Masai Mara. In no respect does the book claim to approach
the near-definitive volume on African safaris, Fetner’s The African
Safari: The Ultimate Wildlife and Photographic Adventure.

The text is in spartan diary style; it tries not to intrude on the
photographs, which are clearly the essence of the book. The text is
informed and insightful about the many species observed.

But potential safarians should be forewarned: the photographic
opportunities afforded to the two were largely made possible by a
private vehicle and an extremely knowledgeable local driver. The usual
group tours, which use mainly minivans, would be hard put to duplicate
the quality of their photographs.

Also, not all naturalists—much less all the scientific community
dedicated to studying and preserving the diversity of life—would
necessarily agree with Taylor’s somewhat uncritical observation about
the future of Kenya’s game parks: “These areas are allowed to exist
because they bring in tourist dollars. The more people who go, the
better the chances of these precious places continuing to survive.” If
so, at what price? Sadly, though, there seems less and less room for
more-ideal alternatives.

Citation

Taylor, Dave., “Safari: Journey to the End,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/10900.