Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ivory, Apes & Peacocks: Animals, Adventure and Discovery in the Wild Places of Africa” as Want to Read:
Ivory, Apes & Peacocks: Animals, Adventure and Discovery in the Wild Places of Africa
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ivory, Apes & Peacocks: Animals, Adventure and Discovery in the Wild Places of Africa

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Alan Root is one of the great wildlife pioneers. He began his career making films for the TV series "Survival," which started wildlife film-making as we know it, and is responsible for numerous groundbreaking documentaries and natural history discoveries -- from being the first person to film hippos and crocodiles underwater and the wildebeest migrating to observing that h ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 6th 2012 by Chatto Windus
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ivory, Apes & Peacocks, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ivory, Apes & Peacocks

Community Reviews

Showing 1-58
Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  154 ratings  ·  21 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Ivory, Apes & Peacocks: Animals, Adventure and Discovery in the Wild Places of Africa
Sam Ingram
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book about the life of conservationist Alan Root. Seriously unbelievable in parts as his lust for filming wildlife gets him into some terrifying scrapes including getting mauled by hippos, leopards and gorillas. It also has quite tragic bits as close friends and partners die or are murdered by poachers and there are plenty of tragedies within Africa's conservation efforts. However overall this book is filled with wonder and spectacular wildlife, and the amazing illustrations also mer ...more
Robert Waldron
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What really emerges for me in this book, is how many things Alan Root pioneered in wildlife film-making.
Today, we see other film-makers hailed for pioneering work, and on closer examination, often find that, darn, Alan Root did it first.
The book is a rip roaring adventure of his escapes and escapades as a wildlife film-maker, and is tempered by the sheer passion for his subject.
A good read even for those who are more armchair wildlife enthusiasts, as a gentle backstory also
covers Alan's persona
...more
Vishnu Vardhan
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well written book. Very interesting how he interacts with so many other naturalists in the early stages of their careers (Schaller, Attenborough, Fossey, etc) who later go on to become legends in their own rights.
Rudi Bezuidenhoudt
Bittersweet
Erin
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The best part about reading travel memoirs or books about new places is the ever-expanding bucket list that is sure to follow. That’s also the worst part. While still living in Thailand (found this book in my new apartment), I may not even have seen all of Asia yet, but now Alan Root’s book has been dying to get to Africa as soon as possible!

I’ve always found it intriguing, the stories of British ex-pats moving to Africa following the World Wars, especially as the leadership began to change and
...more
Aaron
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember watching Alan Root's ground breaking nature documentaries as a child on ITV's Survival and it was those that got me hooked on the fauna of Africa. The go-to-man for animals before David Attenborough took over, Root changed the tradition of macho white men molesting animals (the Steve Irwin camp) for thrills and developed the ecological narrative we see in today's programs. This book is an autobiography detailing a career spent filming some of Africa's most fascinating creatures, his b ...more
Courtney Williams
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book: Ivory, Apes & Peacocks: Animals, Adventure and Discovery in the Wild Places of Africa

The author: Alan Root, British nature filmmaker

The subject: Root's life growing up in Africa and later working there as a pioneering nature filmmaker.

Why I chose it: I am interested in natural history and saw it in the library while browsing.

The rating: Four out of five stars

What I thought of it: This is the sort of book that makes you want to immediately drop everything and go on an adventure. Well, I
...more
Jeannette
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
To read this book gives you a free ride on the shoulders of a photographer who is more than a voyeur looking at animals, he looks into animals and films their lives in a most intimate, compassionate, ecological way. Alan Root cares passionately about animals in their proper settings, the wilds that he traverses with great respect, aplomb, adventure and skill. The stories he tells of his travels and sites, the films, the people, the condensed hours, weeks, months, years he spends trying to get th ...more
Caroline Taggart
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must for anyone with the remotest interest in wildlife and wildlife film-making. Alan Root is the man who, according to David Attenborough, ‘almost single-handedly…made wildlife films grow up’. He worked in the Serengeti with pioneering conservationists Bernhard and Michael Grzimek; he made films for Armand and Michaela Denis; he knew Joy and George Adamson and Dian Fossey; and if none of that interests you, he’s been bitten in the backside by a leopard and in the leg by a hippo, nearly lost a ...more
Delta Willis
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is my second read of Alan Root's book, a nice inscribed copy given me at his home in Kenya last month. It is fascinating to revisit the Serengeti Shall Not Die episode with Professor and Michael Gzrimek, his early days as a filmmaker, and his first meeting with Joan Thorpe who became his partner on so many excellent documentaries.
The book is helping me craft my memoirs; just about the luckiest job ever was being publicist for these fantastic films, which drew me to East Africa.
Here is my t
...more
Gordon MacLellan
interesting but not thrilling. This was one of those books that I enjoyed in an "this is entertaining but not wildly so" sort of way. There is nothing wrong with it: reasonably written and an interetsings tory but it jsut didn't grip me: I felt that I never really engaged with the author. Despite the adventures he's been through, I experienced no tension....sorry. I would have like to have liked it more! Root's connection with central and eastern Africa is very clear and he evokes the landscapes ...more
Jason Peters
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book by one of the greatest wildlife film-makers that ever was. A must read for anyone interested in wildlife film but also a fascinating read for anyone interested in East Africa, conservation and adventure, with a sprinkling of celebrity as Alan appears to have connections to all who have visited the region over the past fifty years or so... Well written and often humorous but peppered with accounts of sad and moving happenings... Read it people!
Sharon
Feb 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really fantastic read, I had not heard of Alan Root before reading this book and I can see that he was quite a important person in the scheme of wildlife filming in Africa.
Sad about the break down of his first marriage, and the breaking down of law and order in parts of Africa. Sad to see things go backwards instead of progressing forward for everyone's good.
...more
Marie Knock
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book. As a wildlife photographer I cannot believe Alan Root was unknown to me until my hubby bought me this book for Xmas. He's lived a turbulent and at parts envious life. he's not my ideal husband by any means, but for anyone interested in wildlife photography it's a must read! ...more
Amelia caflisch
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully written book that takes you away to the far off corners of the world. Alan Root takes us into a wild world that is slowly disappearing with the increase of human impacts. A must-read for any nature lover who wishes to be taken back to the real world
Mark
Jan 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Very interesting. I enjoyed the stories. Don't think it will win any awards. ...more
Frangipani Marigold
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Made me realize just how much work goes into filming wildlife programs. Have been an Alan Root fan ever since I saw his film showing hornbills nesting. Incredible.
Fern
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Loved this book, such tales of being in the Bush. Desperately want to see the films he made now.
Pam
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
BG.
Jim Allan
rated it really liked it
May 17, 2020
Rebecca
rated it really liked it
Oct 25, 2013
Camilla Smith
rated it it was amazing
Oct 12, 2014
Michael Duncan Turner
rated it it was amazing
Oct 21, 2013
David Solzbacher
rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2017
Caitlin Fairclough
rated it really liked it
Nov 10, 2020
Linda L
rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2017
Middlethought
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2017
Gus Akerhielm
rated it it was amazing
Apr 21, 2014
Stuart
rated it liked it
Sep 15, 2013
Meredith
marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2012
Hardeep
marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2012
Carly
marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2012
Lauren
marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2012
Linda
marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2012
Catie
marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2012
Kate
marked it as to-read
Sep 27, 2012
Tasha-Lynn
marked it as to-read
Oct 07, 2012
Neats
added it
Nov 12, 2012
Mark
marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2012
Sharon
marked it as to-read
Nov 29, 2012
Morgan
marked it as to-read
Dec 06, 2012
Ruth
marked it as to-read
Dec 06, 2012
Marcele
marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2012
Gautam Varma
marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2012
Pang
marked it as to-read
Dec 13, 2012
Jason
marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2012
Tiffany
marked it as to-read
Dec 20, 2012
Andrea
marked it as to-read
Dec 22, 2012
Barbara
marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2012
Mike
marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2012
Adam Tongue
marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2012
Andrea
marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2012
Jacob Reeves
marked it as to-read
Jan 08, 2013
Amy Meyers
marked it as to-read
Jan 10, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Completely incorrect title... 3 169 Sep 04, 2012 08:14AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Untimely Death in Africa
  • The Monk of Mokha
  • Ghosts
  • The Day of the Triffids
  • Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown
  • Quicksand
  • How to Walk a Puma: And Other Things I Learned While Stumbling through South America
  • Smacked
  • The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
  • The Long Hard Road Out of Hell
  • Eugene de Kock: Sluipmoordenaar van die staat
  • Into the Gray Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores the Border Between Life and Death
  • Byleveld: Dossier of a Serial Sleuth
  • The Native Commissioner
  • Southern Mail; Night Flight
  • The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
  • The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World
  • Travels with My Aunt
See similar books…
0 followers
Alan Root is a filmmaker, naturalist and adventurer. He lives with his wife and children in Kenya.

News & Interviews

What will you do when it's your turn to pick your book club's next read? Well, this is what you won't do: panic. Why not? Because we've dug...
98 likes · 20 comments