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Secrets of the Savanna: Twenty-three Years in the African Wilderness Unraveling the Mysteries of Elephants and People
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Secrets of the Savanna: Twenty-three Years in the African Wilderness Unraveling the Mysteries of Elephants and People

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  137 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In this riveting real-life adventure, Mark and Delia Owens tell the dramatic story of their last years in Africa, fighting to save elephants, villagers, and -- in the end -- themselves. The award-winning zoologists and pioneering conservationists describe their work in the remote and ruggedly beautiful Luangwa Valley, in northeastern Zambia. There they studied the mysterie ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 17th 2007 by Mariner Books (first published May 24th 2006)
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Dylan

This is the third book by Mark and Delia Owens. The first two were phenomenal. The first, Cry of the Kalahari, features the couple going into the Botswana desert and setting up camp for years to study the animals, mostly lions. The place is so desolate, not even the native bushmen live there. It's a crazy idea they have, and you love them for it and what they endure. The second book, The Eye of the Elephant, is not nearly as well known, but is their most compelling book. Every single incident, p
...more
Sue
After Mark & Delia Owens published "Cry of the Kalahari" they wanted to return to Africa. Prohibited from returning to Botswana, they went to Zambia where they remained for many years studying the elephants and working to establish programs to stifle the excessive poaching. This book is actually the second of the books on their years in Zambia, "Eye of the Elephant" being the first.
Reading this one before "Eye", I was disappointed. Part of what I enjoyed so much about "Cry" was the account
...more
Julia
Mark and Delia Owens have spent a lot of time in Zambia, living their life as those people that we are often jealous of who take breathtaking pictures with binoculars and some soft looking animal in the background. Or not soft, but still intriguing, like elephants.

Secrets of the Savanna is about their experience in Africa trying to save the elephants that are being poached on for their tusks. There is a lot more to the story then the elephants, such as the villagers, the politics of the area, a
...more
AJ
This book was really great. I learned a lot about elephants, about Zambia, and about the struggles of animal conservation in Africa. The passion of the two authors is incredible. Their writing style was really interesting, and many times made me feel as if I were in Zambia with them.

I highly recommend reading this book, even if you aren't into Africa or animal conservation. It's about a lot more than that. There are many anecdotes and similarities described between a broken and decimated elephan
...more
Pat Hardy
Amazing commitment to the people and animals in Zambia and their ability to shift in their next careers. Outstanding model of preparing the people you are helping to take over your work.
Chris Bartholomew
A good book. The true story of Mark and Delia Owens and their work in the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. Over the course of 20 years they turned back the tide of poaching in the area returning a viable elephant population along with the rise of quite a number of other African species. Using microloans to give the local tribes a better alternative to thrive outside of poaching. Similar to their Cry of the Kalahari which I read years ago.
Anne
Non-fiction adventure... interesting book for the wild-animal lover. This is a straightforward and engaging account of a couple's experience in the African savanna, as they try to save endangered elephants and work for wildlife conservation. They have fascinating encounters with lions, baboons and other wild animals, as well as poachers and some government officials profiting from poaching. Fortunately, the couple has enough positive experiences with honest government officials and villagers to ...more
Kali
This book by Delia and Mark Owens focuses more on what the Owens couple is doing for the people of Zambia then the animals in the area. The Owens are focusing on changing the attitudes of the residents of the area so that there is a long lasting cease fire on the areas elephant population. The elephant population in the area is dangerously close to extiction due to illegal ivory poaching. The book sheds light on how the Owens were able to accomplish their goal, as well as the forces that wish to ...more
mandy
I can't get enough of these niche history/science books! But this one was not quite exciting as Secre Life of Lobsters. The Owens tell the story of their time spent working in the Luwanga Reserve where they create program that put poachers to work in order to save the bush animals. Interesting - and though I love elephants and the mysteries surrounding them and their current situation as they face more violent encounters with humans - I didn't love this book.
Victoria
This was a rather bittersweet book. It was full of some beautiful - and utterly shocking - moments, but also parts that were quite sad and downright horrific. It was, all in all, a good book. I am sort of surprised that the focus was more on the people, and less on the actual animals. It was more of a memoir about this couple than the book on nature that I expected. Still, it had some fascinating moments in it.
Mrs.Chris Wilson
An exhilarating read that leaves you hopefully and depressed all at once. It sends you across the ocean and into the heart of Africa where you feel like you're experiencing everything with the authors. Great read!
Suanne
Scientists with the souls of poets who can write well. Who love what they are doing. Love the land and its animal inhabitants. What more can you ask for?
Dana King
Learning about elephants and Zambia was well worth some melodramatic writing. I found it a little over-sentimental but the stories were great.
Travis
"Nice followup to Eye of the Elephant -- finishes up the story."
Marsha
Nov 20, 2010 Marsha marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
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