» » THE SHADOW OF KILIMANJARO: ON FOOT ACROSS EAST AFRICA by Ridgeway, Rick ( Author ) on Sep-05-2000[ Paperback ]

Download THE SHADOW OF KILIMANJARO: ON FOOT ACROSS EAST AFRICA by Ridgeway, Rick ( Author ) on Sep-05-2000[ Paperback ] epub

by Rick Ridgeway

Book by Ridgeway, Rick
Download THE SHADOW OF KILIMANJARO: ON FOOT ACROSS EAST AFRICA by Ridgeway, Rick ( Author ) on Sep-05-2000[ Paperback ] epub
ISBN: 0747545243
ISBN13: 978-0747545248
Category: Reference
Subcategory: Writing Research & Publishing Guides
Author: Rick Ridgeway
Language: English
Publisher: Owl Publishing Company; New Ed edition (September 5, 2000)
Pages: 304 pages
ePUB size: 1829 kb
FB2 size: 1711 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 916
Other Formats: txt mbr txt mobi

Combining moments of danger with moments of profound introspection, mountaineer/explorer Ridgeway details his journey from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro through the Tsavo game reserves to Mombasa, a month-long journey on foot, which allows him to experience man's primal relationships with the environment. Traveling with an experienced guide, two members of the Kenya Park and Wildlife Service, and two sharpshooters (in case of life-threatening danger), Ridgeway follows dry riverbeds across the savanna, seeking "tactile knowledge of Africa's wildlands and wild animals."

Far more than a search for thrills, the journey offers Ridgeway an opportunity to observe breath-taking vistas and the full panoply of wildlife, from the elephant to the tiniest of birds, paying equal attention to all. Mourning the absence of once-plentiful animals from the bushlands near Kilimanjaro, and the decline of species elsewhere, Ridgeway contemplates the long-term effects of colonialism, big game hunting, poaching, traditional tribal values, climatic changes, and tourism, as well as man's seemingly innate tendency to kill certain species into extinction.

Ridgeway, long a hunter himself, is an engaging author, both observant and thoughtful. A great admirer of hunter-turned-game-park-adminstrator Bill Woodley, whose two sons from the Park and Wildlife Service are on the journey, he is aware that conservation is a crucial issue. Extolling the work of elephant researchers Cynthia Moss and Joyce Poole, the latter of whom joins the group for part of the journey, he points out that they have acquired through study a kind of knowledge not available to hunters. As he lauds the efforts of Richard Leakey and others to save both animals and their habitats, Ridgeway's sensitive and impartial treatment of conservation issues allow him to convey the "big picture" effectively and to conclude: "The central hope for Africa's large to fight fiercely not only to preserve, but even to expand, their wild habitats. Whatever happens to the beasts, happens to man." Mary Whipple
The story is of a trek, entirely on foot, from the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, east along the great watercourses that rise on the mountain and empty into the Indian Ocean. Most of the trek is through the Tsavo game parks in southeastern Kenya.
Despite some sloppy editing, the book succeeds very well on two fronts. First in giving the reader a very palpable sense of being on foot and in danger in the equatorial African wilds, where humans are prey as often as predator. The other, unexpected area of success of this book is as an introduction to the personalities (Richard Leakey, for instance) and issues involved in East African conservationism., as well as a sympathetic description of the plight of the indigenous peoples living on the periphery of the game parks whose cultures were utterly destroyed by a well-intentioned attempt to save the wildlife.
Big topics, all, and all are well presented.
The author wrestles with the conflicts that arise from the fact of human population growth and the inchoate desire to preserve. He comes back over and over to the ironic story of the game warden who hires as hunting guides the poachers he himself captured. he hints that humanity may, haltingly, be developing a more sophisticated approach to these problems, at least intellectually among a few ... but still the Somalis poach elephant with automatic weapons, and still the Indonesian forests burn.
The question remains: will a satisfactory balance be struck as a result of the extremes engaged in liberal democratic debate, of the Greens rioting at WTO conferences and clear-cutters flattening the Amazon rain forest?
However, the book is primarily about an adventure walk through Africa; it is an easy read and the material is both gripping and topical (1997).