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A young Ian Player fought in World War II before he began his career in conservation. He left home at the age of 17.


“Wilderness is for me salvation…You are not human if you aren’t changed by the wilderness.” – Ian Player

Children of the Sea

  I read the other day of a porpoise that had died from eating garbage.  The death of those porpoises or dolphin as they are also called was on my mind for days.  It somehow epitomized the whole story of the tragedy of litter and pollution. Hardly a day passes without reading about oil spills, […]

Reno, now more than just a quickie divorce centre

  I was in Reno, Nevada a few weeks ago and spent a day walking about the city. It was bitterly cold and windy and dark clouds threatened to bring more snow to the surrounding hills which were already covered in deep glistening drifts. In the main street flashing garish signs advertised gambling casinos and […]

Red Poppies in the Shellholes

  With the south wind blowing, rain splattering against windows and the sea a dirty chocolate colour, I rummaged in the cottage bookcase for something to read. I selected “The Road Back” by Erich Maria Remarque, “Journey’s End” by Sheriff and Bartlett, and “The Last Enemy” by Richard Hillary. The books were old, had the […]

Nature covers the scars of heroic battle

  One of the most famous of the 7 000 islands constituting the Republic of the Philippines is Corregidor. It lies at the entrance to the bay of Manila and gets its name which means “corrector” or “to correct” from the Spaniards who ruled the country for 400 years. In 1898 the Americans defeated the […]

Reading the Sand

  Magqubu shifted his rifle to a more comfortable position, squatted and studied the sands. The mass of foot prints, lines, depressions, wet patches and dung meant nothing to those on the trail, but to Magqubu they told many stories. He pointed to a small pile of brown white feathers and picked up one that […]

Scourge of the Poacher

  Game departments and farmers spend enormous sums of money to keep poaching under control. This problem is present wherever game occurs. One of the cruellest types of poaching is snaring. I have seen animals lying in a twisted heap, their eyes bulging, slowly choking to death. A bullet put them out of their misery […]

The Prince of the Bushveld

  It was overcast and a strong south wind howled through the bush over the krantzes, and along the river. We’d been walking since early morning and not seen a single animal. Suddenly old Magqubu stopped the trail party and pointed at a big tortoise moving cumbersomely through the grass under an acacia tree. “Now […]