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Adventures Near and Afar

Best Books about Elephants and Birds

Authors are asked to list their favorite books around topics and themes they are passionate about and why they recommend each book. Here is my co-author James Currie's list of Best Books About Elephants and Birds!

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Best Books about Obsession with African Wildlife and Adventure

Authors are asked to list their favorite books around topics and themes they are passionate about and why they recommend each book. Here is my list of the Best Books about Obsession with African Wildlife and Adventure!

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"... one of the best books to read during lockdown" - CurrenTriggers Featured Review

My book "WHEN EAGLES ROAR" is the featured review on the news website CurrenTriggers in India. The reviewer Namta Gupta states that "While 'When Eagles Roar' is amazing, what is simply breathtaking are the bits of the Author's own thoughts which allow the reader to ask thought-provoking questions." Namta notes that controversial topics like AIDS, apartheid, and big-game hunting can pose difficult questions, and concludes "If that is something that one can overcome, then this is one of the best books to read in lockdown."


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Botswana San Bushman Provide Connections to the Past

Photo Credit: Bonnie J. Fladung

The plane from Johannesburg to Maun Botswana carried a full load of people, all dressed in shades of khaki. The conversation onboard was full of banter among the tourists, with the seasoned travelers in wrinkled garb giving advice to the newbies in freshly purchased shirts and safari hats.  Their groups were traveling northeast, to the camps in the Kalahari to view wildlife. These great game destinations comprise more than 17% of the country and our group would eventually end up there. But first we would take the less traveled route and head west, deep into bushman country.


"We will travel to a remote San Bushmen village (which few tourists see) and spend two nights interacting with the villagers, learning about their customs, daily lives, and the challenges of living in the harsh Kalahari Desert."  - Grasstracks Safaris brochure


Yes, indeed. We piled into a bus for the bouncy 6 hour journey to our camp deep in the bush in the far west of Botswana near Xai Xai, and discovered just how remote the village was. This was our first night camping in the bush, and we arrived to find the tents set up and tea awaiting us. In a few hours, we would meet the Bushmen who inhabit this land, whose ancestors lived a nomadic lifestyle that few westerners can imagine. Read More 

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I've been anthologized in "Deep Travel: Souvenirs From the Inner Journey"

My short story-poem "Six Scribbles on Birch Bark" is included in the newly released anthology "Deep Travel: Souvenirs From the Inner Journey." Christina and Anna from Deep Travel have led writers from the Himalayan peaks of Nepal to the Saharan sands of Morocco, from the jungles of Mexico to the gitano caves in Spain. My personal experience in Morocco with Deep Travel took me to Meknes and Marrakesh (two of the Imperial Cities of Morocco) and to the Roman ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO World Heritage site near the sacred city of Moulay Idriss. I experienced Morocco from an insider's perspective: traveling by train, bus, taxi, foot and donkey; the daily adventures to ruins, farms, and wineries; the evening social gatherings with local food and stimulating conversation; meeting poets, photographers, writers, artists and chefs!

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NH Literary Award Finalist for Outstanding Work of Children’s Literature

Illustration Credit: Margo Gabrielle Damian

The New Hampshire Writers' Project board of trustees announced that the The Elephant's Euphonium has been selected as a finalist in the 2019 New Hampshire Literary Awards in the Children's Picture Book category.


Thank you to the NHWP for selecting a book that brings attention to the plight of elephants and the ongoing problem with poaching, especially the large tuskers who are critically endangered due to the illegal demand for ivory.

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Death By Leopard: A Long Night Under the Black Moon

I heard something brush against the outside tent flap, then soft breathing, like heavy sighs. Just a few inches from my sleepy head, an animal lay down. Fear gripped me and I started to panic-breathe.  The only thing that separated me from danger was a few millimeters of canvas secured by zippers.


I was luxury camping in Africa, which meant I had a canvas outhouse area attached to my tent. It housed a long drop toilet and a bucket shower, and was fastened together by Velcro so the staff could service it. I accessed it through the zippered door on the back of my tent. The creature had snuck in through an opening in the Velcro, and decided to spend the night on the mat near the zipper. Near my head.  Read More 

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Vote for Readers’ Choice Awards

Illustration Credit: Margo Gabrielle Damian

So honored! My book "The Elephant's Euphonium" has been nominated for a Readers' Choice Awards.


Vote now for "The Elephant's Euphonium" in the Children's Picture book category.

The NHWP Literary Awards are being announced at an event on Saturday, October 5 from 4 to 6 pm at St. Anselm College. It is now up to readers to cast their vote for the 2019 Readers' Choice Awards once in each category.


Thank you!

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Realm of the Ancestors

Photo Credit: Bonnie J. Fladung

Deep in the northwest corner of Botswana lie the Mountain of the Gods. Tsodilo Hills rise from the dusty sand and the eye is drawn to the multitude of colors reflecting from the craggy cliffs. As we approach from the east, the largest mountain called Male Hill is directly in front of us.


We have a day to explore the hills, lead by our guide Lopang. His ancestry is part river bushman, and his great grandfather accompanied Lauren van der Post here on his historic visit. Now he is guiding us along Rhino Path, where we can see the distinctive red paintings, some faded and some still vibrant. What is most striking is the accuracy of the drawings, there are no signs of erasures or sketch lines. The "paint" the ancients used was composed of sand and minerals combined with blood and urine. Somehow, they were able to perfect the ideal formula that would adhere to the rock for centuries.


Hiking along the Rhino Path, the first panel we see is a collage of animals - giraffe, eland, kudu, jackal, wild dog and zebra. Amidst the animals is a shamanic circle used in a ritual ceremony. Continuing along, we pass the famous van der Post panel.


The day is spent hiking, driving through deep sand and climbing rocks. Scrambling up into a sacred cave, Lopang asks us to imagine the ceremonies that have taken place there through the centuries. We are truly in the "Realm of the Ancestors."

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Bushman Time

Photo Credit: Bonnie J. Fladung

We are deep in the bush in the far west of Botswana near the village of Xai Xai, on bushman time. We are here to learn how the original inhabitants of the Kalahari survive in this hot dry area.


The bushmen know where to dig for tubers. Like dousers searching for water, they read the signs of the vegetation. Disappearing down a hole to search for porcupine, a meat prized for its fatty content, one lithe bushman comes up with hands empty but smiling. They are a happy people.


The bushmen sit in a semi circle facing us, as the elder begins his story in their expressive click language. He tells of going off on a hunt with his friend, when they come upon the fresh carcass of a kudu. Little did they know there was a lion nearby.


The lion attack was swift, and the bushman shows the scar where the flesh is missing. He only survived because his friend was with him. Deep in the desert, it is good to have friends.

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