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Cry of the Kalahari Paperback – October 15, 1992


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Cry of the Kalahari + The Eye of the Elephant: An Epic Adventure in the African Wilderness
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (October 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395647800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395647806
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

MARK and DELIA OWENS are the authors of "Cry of the Kalahari", an international bestseller and winner of the Burroughs Medal, and "The Eye of the Elephant".

MARK and DELIA OWENS are the authors of "Cry of the Kalahari", an international bestseller and winner of the Burroughs Medal, and "The Eye of the Elephant".

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Customer Reviews

Love this book, read it years ago and had to find it again to re-read it.
Shannon G. Gilleese
It always draws me into an incredible place and the amazing lives and work of Mark and Delia Owens - in the Kalahari Desert - a true wilderness.
Mary Fussell
It is a story about love of nature, love of animals, and the author couples love for each other.
J. Campbell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Joseph McCauley on April 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Of the many books I've read about wildlife, this one sticks in my mind as one of the best, even though it's been several years since I first read it. Some books like George Schaller's "The Serengeti Lion" have more sceintific bent and therefore keep a 'professional distance' from the animals, while others such as those by Joy Adamson and Gareth Patterson become very personal with the animals and lose much of their objectivity. But Mark and Delia Owens find a happy medium between the two extremes, one where we learn a lot about the lions, brown hyenas and other animals they study in the Kalahari desert, but also come to know some of the individuals among these animals as friends.
We also get a taste of life in the Kalahari desert in the middle of Botswana, some of the hardships and life-threatening situations encountered by the Owenses. And we share the issues and concerns they tried to raise in the governments and landowners of the territories where they spent seven years living and studying animals.
At various times this book made me smile. It made me mad. It made me sad. It made me laugh. And it made me wish I could spend a few years of my life studying and living among wildlife as they did.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book has been out for many years, but I just finally got around to reading it. It holds a well-deserved place on the shelf of classic nature writing. Like this book's sequel, Eye of the Elephant (which I read several years ago), the Owens have written an incredible account of their experiences studying wildlife in Africa. Cry of the Kalahari is the story of their seven years in the Kalahari desert, living among the lions, hyenas, jackals, and myriad of other creatures that share this doomed habitat. The Owens' dedication and hard work are truly amazing and their insights into the lives of these animals are fascinating. As the authors write in their foreward to the book, it is not intended to be a authoritative scientific account of the Kalahari ecosystem, but a layman's introduction to the animals of this unique place on earth. For readers who enjoy nature writing, this should be on one's list of must-read books
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Purdon on July 25, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was absolutely fantastic. I laughed, I cried, and I felt like I was living in the Kalahari along with the authors and their wild friends. When I finished the book, I logged onto Amazon to see if the Owens' had written any more books on Africa. Couldn't find any, but I promise if they write any more, I will buy the hardback! Enjoy this wonderful book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
I took this book with me on my own exploration into this great desert and was inspired by the book's wonderful decriptions and insights.
Now, I simply re-read the book everytime I need to visit Africa in my mind. For those people who wish to explore and experience (non-tourist) Africa this is a great place to start.
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35 of 47 people found the following review helpful By LionLady on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is not a new book; I read it years ago and enjoyed it. I would have given it 5 stars then. But when I re-read it last year, I realized it belongs alongside the Timothy Treadwell books/films and the Ian Hamilton (elephants) documentaries/books, about people endangering the very animals they love through relentlessly habituating them to people and pestering them to the point where Hamilton and the Owens', at least, are lucky to have escaped with a whole skin. This whole trend toward getting as close as possible to large dangerous animals is so detrimental to the animals themselves that it infuriates me.

The Owens' lions, used to people letting them roam around camp and sit down among them, and anthropomorphized with cute names like Muffin, were clearly going to get into trouble the first time they met other, less starry-eyed people in the Kalahari or in the villages and towns surrounding it. The Owens did them a real disservice.

That being said, and if you can ignore that aspect of it, this remains an interesting read - the camplife and the desert landscape are fascinating, and I believe that, at the time the authors carried out their project, the dangers of habituation, etc., were still not fully understood...
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an incredibly well written book for animal lovers, nature lovers, and environmentalists, and if you aren't any of the above, you will be. It shows how individual animals each have their own personality: shy, funny, mischievous, affectionate, docile. It proves how mankind is willing to sacrifice animals' lives and environment for the sake of money, be it diamond mining, hunting, cattle grazing, or whatever suits the wallet. Their should be more people who realize and are willing to try to do something about it, like Mark and Delia Owens.
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48 of 67 people found the following review helpful By S. Shewmake on August 13, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mark and Delia Owens do an excellent job in telling a story but their work is not accepted by international conservation thinkers. They try to defend wildlife at all costs which eventually leads to resentment of villagers towards wildlife and thus no incentive to protect it.
Thr Owenses are no longer allowed into the democratic country of Botswana. And I don't blame Botswana. I was offended at how they portrayed the Tswana (the dominant ethnic group of Botswana) as nothing but a threat to wildlife. Cry of the Kalahari gives the impression that the Tswana and the bushmen of the Kalahari have no right to use the resources of their land and should be dislocated elsewhere.
Their discription of the wildebeast fencing problem in inaccurate. They were not the first to report it as they claimed and in fact they never did a formal study of the fencing problem before they screamed out to the international community for help. Turns out fences help wildlife as well as hurt is by keeping cattle out of protected zones and thus free buffalo, wildebeasts and others from having to compete with them.
The Owenses do an excellent job describing wildlife and tell a captivating story but they take a step backwards in trying to conserve the animals they love. By giving the impression that all cattle, all people and all development is evil they propogate the myths of Africa that many more enlightened Botswana park service officials have been trying to dispell.
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