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The Wilderness Family: At Home with Africa's Wildlife

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,196 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Everyone warned Kobie Krüger that being the wife of a game warden at a remote ranger station in South Africa's largest national park would be an arduous move. The heat was unbearable, malaria would be a constant danger, her husband would have to be away for long stretches, there were no schools or nearby doctors for their three daughters, and of course the area teemed with ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Ballantine Books (first published 2001)
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Average rating 4.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,196 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love this book with all my heart. <3
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: naturalists, animal lovers, cat lovers, young people
(See our Further Reading section at the bottom of the review for more books like this!)

It’s rare for a memoir about a family living a truly unique lifestyle to be so genuine in its telling and so accessible to readers who have never lived, and may not have ever visited or even imagined living, in one of the world’s most famous wildlife parks. But Kobie Krüger does a skillful job of creating a warm and vibrant depiction of the reality of the South African Lowveld in her family’s memoir The Wilder
Kimberly Fleming
Apr 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, nonfiction
The personal story of the wife of a park ranger in Kruger National Park in South Africa. This is actually two books that were combined and edited down into one for the American audience. Its virtually impossible to find the two original books; Mahlangeni & All Things Wild and Wonderful. If you can find them, read those instead- I feel they edited out too much in this book and added unnecessary information. Why do companies feel the need to dumb down books for the American audience? I hate that! ...more
Kathleen McRae
Sep 01, 2012 rated it liked it
this was a simply written book by a lady who lived the events and recorded them as she felt about them at the time..Kobie Kruger and her husband Kobus were assigned to Mahlangeni ranger station in 1980 when Kobus became a park ranger in South Africa's Kruger National Park.The book is written almost as a diary recording of their days and it is interesting that even as recently as the 1980's the stereotyping of the female as being less capable.This book is about spirit and ingenuity and relying on ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Annoyingly light book. Too light style of writing for this story.
Sep 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Kobie and her husband Kobus spent seventeen years as game rangers in Kruger National Park. This recounts a number of their experiences during most of those years. Initially, they were at the remote Mahlangeni Post for eleven years. The transition to the more populated southern post at Crocodile Bridge had its challenges. Later they were posted at Pretorious Kop. Their three daughters grew up in the park living alongside the wildlife and learning how to interact. The second half of the book focu ...more
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The lady I roomed with when I was on safari in Kenya brought along a copy of this to loan to me. I was a little put out having one more thing to pack in my already-too-heavy duffle while on safari, but when I got home and finally gave this book a shot...I then understood why she wanted me to read it.

I am infinitely fascinated with all things African. This book is about a park ranger in Kruger National Game Park in eastern South Africa. It's told from the perspective of his wife. The things a par
J.D. Estrada
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Some books you like, some you don't, and some you read and you know that they will have a special place in your soul. The Wilderness Family is one of those books that will have a place in my most cherished heart bookshelf.

Kobie Krüger is the wife of a game ranger in Africa, and the richness of her storytelling is second to none. As far as quotableness, I'd have to think of Terry Pratchett to find someone more quotable, and that's definitely saying something.

Coming from an Island, one of the grea
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. Kobie Kruger's stories are filled with humour, and made me laugh quite a bit while reading. It's a pity that this book isn't more popular or well known, because it's a brilliant read. It's one of those must-read books about African fauna.

Life within a national park, in the middle of nowhere, kilometres from civilisation has it's ups and downs. She described the ups beautifully. She described the downs with a huge sprinkling of humour. Oh, there's a snake in my garden? No p
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
My brother has been in Africa a couple of times and I love hearing and reading stories about Africa. It's such a mysterious and beautiful continent and I was really excited about reading this book. While reading the book, I actually felt like being in the wilderness myself. I wished I had their life, being surrounded by the beauty of all the wildlife every single day. Especially when they adopted Leo the lion. How great is it to raise a lion cub and prepare him for the life outside. After readin ...more
Oct 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was the last book I completed in 2012 and what a delight it was! Kobie Kruger brilliantly and warmly narrates her adventures living in the African bush with her game warden husband and three daughters. The writing and pacing is flawless and it is full of amazing stories (I especially loved all of the animal encounters tales). The stories she shares will alternately make you laugh, cry, hang on to the pages for dear life, and make you want to just give Kobie a big hug. I really, really liked ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books....enjoyable read.
Excellent memoir of a South African game warden family. You'll laugh and cry and long for an African experience like Kruger's. Five stars not because it's great literature but because I honestly loved sitting down to read this book! ...more
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ian
Recommended to Valerie by: Free Copy
Shelves: for-the-boys, africa
Sometimes it is better not to worry about the generator. Also don't get bitten by lions. ...more
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read so far - transports one directly onto the doorstep of the African bush. Reading this book is almost like living in Africa for a while. ...more
Jazzy Lemon
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful, exceptional life - full of love and wild animals. Thank you for sharing Kobie!
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gifted this book to myself on Christmas 2017 and started reading before the calendar changed it's page. It's about the long seventeen years spent by the author, wife of a Game Ranger in Kruger national park, in remote locations of the Park. With the company of her own family of three young daughters and her husband who has to out in the jungle for most of the time in a day, dogs and horses and a huge family of wild animals, with no newspaper, no telephone, not even a shop in the vicinity, one ...more
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
"If all the beasts were gone from the earth, man would die from great loneliness of spirit."
Chief Seathl, 1855
If you are an animal lover, you will be delighted by the story of Kobie Kruger, her husband (the park ranger), and their three daughters and the years they spent at a ranger station in Kruger National Park in Africa. Kobie Kruger describes the remote landscape teeming with wild animals. Kobie is an accepting and easy going mom who calmly accepts living with numerous bats flying around t
Joe Rodeck
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
You can't help but like Kobie Kruger as she shares her ranger experiences in Africa. It's always about the animals, not how great she and her family are. There are occasional shocks, doses of humor, and literary flair. I mostly like the zoology: the difference between a black rhino and a white rhino, don't get caught between a hippo and the river . . . . Very good at sharing the total experience, she delves into the hardships (malaria, injuries) not just the pleasantry.
As with any diary/journa
Larissa Mazelin
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Kobie married a game ranger, so life was always going to be 'wild'. The Kruger Park in South Africa is huge, and a natural environment to the full diversity of friendly and less friendly creatures. A rustling noise in the bedroom of her first day in her game park home, was a snake in the bedside drawer! And from this, every day seems an adventure.
Kobie is a great writer, and the main theme in the later sections of the book is her raising and bonding with a lion. Which is then near-impossible to
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the setting and I think Kobie did an amazing job of sharing through words the beauty of the South African savanna. I also loved that her writing was very witty and she talked about animals as if they were communicating directly to her. I found it entertaining and often found myself laughing as I was reading. I now want to be the foster mother to genets, lions, warthogs, bantam chicks, and all manner of other African wildlife. If she had written another boo ...more
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
What an adventure into a life that is so very different from my own.... amazing stories - I don't always deal so well with the true circle of life so some of the stories were hard to read.... but overall I learned about animals I didn't know existed, learned more about animals I did know about, and marveled at the family's capability to remain calm and handle most situations with intelligence -- and the confidence this instilled in their girls -- wish their had been more photos! ...more
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book with all my heart. I first read it when I was 12 and since then I have read it 3 more times and it is still as wonderful and funny and exciting as it was the first time around. It captures the life of both a family and a lion and all the adventures they encounter in the huge national park. It is just perfect and always make me feel good. ♡
dawn fee
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Favorite!

I thoroughly enjoyed this captivating book, I didn't want it to end, and so appreciate how the author shared her experiences , her love for her family, the animals she shared her life with, her sincere respect, concern and appreciation for the wilderness and its wildlife. She also has a wonderful sense of humor. All in all a very touching memoir.

Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I left my heart at Mahlangeni too, and with Kobie's family. Cried many times while reading this book. I love this book so much! When I was done reading, I was a mess. I died a little inside and found myself missing Leo so much. ...more
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable read! At first glance I thought this thick book would be hard to finish. But, no I loved it and found myself endeared to the family and their adventures. I read the 381 pages surprisingly fast and found myself sad to reach the end!
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Kobie Kruger writes in a very straight forward style with humor and a deep love of animals and nature. I highly recommend this book.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Easy to read. Although there is an overall arc to the story. It is definitely bits and pieces each chapter. A fun read for those that enjoy the wildlife reserve genre.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book several times! I love the animals and the people in this true story. I've bought copies for other people as well. ...more
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