Read a good book lately?

I’m always looking for a good book.  At the moment I’m reading South African, Julian Radymeyer’s “Killing For Profit“, a sinister tale of greed, corruption and ruthless criminals in the game of rhino poaching and rhino horn trade.  And some friends recently gave me a copy of  Mandy Retzlaff’s “One Hundred and Four Horses“, which really has me hooked – it’s written by a woman who lived through Robert Mugabe’s land invasions in Zimbabwe and her family’s amazing efforts to keep their horses alive during these harrowing years.  I’m always open to suggestions about what makes good reading, especially if it involves Africa and wildlife, so add your favourite books in the comments section below!

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Planet Elephant – a story of family, love and the global wildlife trade” was placed on the Australian government’s Top Fifty Books You Can’t Put Down this year, which means it gets a cute little sticker on its cover.  Let me know if you think the sticker is true to its word!  The list also features one of my favourite authors, Tony Park’s book “Dark Heart”, so if you’re looking for a good read it’s definitely worth checking this list out.  If you’re struggling to buy “Planet Elephant” or any of my other books, don’t forget to ask your local bookseller to order them in, try ordering it through Booktopia, or you can get signed copies here through my website.  And you can read a free copy of the prologue and first chapter here online thanks to my publisher, Pan Macmillan Australia.


Could the recent tragic terrorist attack by Al Shabaab in Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Centre be linked to elephant poaching for ivory?  It’s not as crazy an idea as it seems.  Blogger, Christ Tacket, writes in an article for Treehugger just out, that there are an increasing number of studies suggesting that terrorist organisations are being funded by illegal ivory from poached African elephants.  Check out the story here.  No wonder the US government is stepping up its efforts to stop the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn.  The illegal wildlife trade, a multi-billion dollar industry, is now a national security risk.

Ivory carvings on sale in Bangkok markets (T. Matson, September 2012)

Ivory carvings on sale in Bangkok markets (T. Matson, September 2012)
















Melbourne friends, don’t forget to join up and march for elephants along with people from 14 other cities around the world on 4th October.  This is part of the iworry campaign linked to Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s Trust in Kenya. All the details are on the iworry website. If you don’t live in Melbourne or can’t make it, you can also sign up to iworry’s digital march on their website.

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About the Author
Dr Tammie Matson is a zoologist, author and director of Matson & Ridley Safaris.
  1. Tammie

    Thanks for these great African book suggestions! The only one I’ve read of these so far is Daphne Sheldrick’s memoir, which I really loved. Joyce Poole’s memoir is also brilliant if you love African conservation books. I’d love to check out your collection M’Lis Flynn!

  2. Christine McLaren

    Just finished Under the Baobab Tree by Jane Chidgey. I lovely, easy read reminding me of all the things i love about Africa/wildlife and some of the challenges faced when living there.

  3. Lulu

    I am currently reading “An African Love Story” by Daphne Sheldrick. It’s a memoir of life in Kenya mid twentieth century. It’s fabulous!

  4. M'Lis Flynn

    Hi Tammie

    I am not a big fiction reader – but I couldnt put Cutting for Stone down. Set in Ethiopia from the 50’s onwards it is a beautifully written book! Check it out. I reckon I would have the BEST african books collection in Queensland – maybe even Aussie haha – i have over 200 with an Africa theme – most non fiction.. I am now reading Elephant Dance for the 2nd time after returning from a couple of years working in Tanzania as both a lodge manager and for an american study abroad school on wildlife management. I need a fix of Africa b3ecause I have only been home 1 month but already in withdrawal. Anyway check out Cutting for Stone if you have not already read it.

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