Africa,  Reviews

Field Guide to National Parks and Game Reserves – an excellent book

Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi

Authors: Chris and Mathilde Stuart

Number of pages: 320

Year published: 2022

Published by: Struik Nature


ISBN: 978-1-77584-720-5

Chris and Mathilde Stuart are prolific authors of guides to African wildlife and wild places. Their latest book is guide to the National Parks and Game Reserves of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi. This publication follows the same format as their “Field Guide to National Parks & Game Reserves of East Africa” which was published in 2018.

What about Angola and Mozambique?

The book includes articles on 50 reserves in what they call “Africa’s middle belt.” Angola and Mozambique are not included for reasons that are explained in the book. The many parks and reserve in South Africa have been covered in numerous other publications.

What does Stuarts’ Field Guide to National Parks & Game Reserves cover?

As with the East African edition this book covers each place in detail with sections covering climate, history, and vegetation before getting into the accounts of the animals to be found. The sections on mammals tend to be longer than those on the birds but there is plenty of information to give birders an idea of what they can look for.

The book has tons of colour photos and includes maps showing the location of each reserves. Various useful information is provided in highlighted boxes throughout. The photos are generally small but are attractive and add a lot of interest to the articles.

In summary

For birders, and other wildlife enthusiasts, in South Africa this book gives you plenty of information to plan a road trip to visit these national parks and game reserves. Most of them are within a day or two’s drive from Johannesburg.

For those who live further afield one will find that there are plenty of professionally run safaris that operate in these countries. If you are planning on joining an organised safari then I strongly suggest that you organise a group of fellow birders and book the whole safari so that you can focus your attention on the birds, while also enjoying the other attractions.

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