Book reviews:    Prides, the lions of Moremi

book37a.jpg (30142 bytes) Title
Prides, the lions of Moremi
Chris Harvey and Pieter Kat
1 86812 778 8
1st, 2000
Southern Book Publishers, New Holland Struik
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When I read this beautiful book, it immediately brought back those memories from camping in Moremi. We woke up just before sunrise and saw two lionesses and a cub stroll by our tent. They didn't pay any attention to us and went into the bushes near our campsite to seek a place to sleep during the day. Unfortunately I didn't get this book until after our stay in Moremi, otherwise I might have been able guess who these lionesses had been.

book37b.jpg (70500 bytes)Prides is a beautiful book by scientist Pieter Kat and photographer Chris Harvey on the lion prides of the Moremi, the reserve bordering the Okavango on the right-hand side. Pieter Kat is a zoologist with a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, who has spent many years researching wildlife in Kenya and Botswana. He is now doing a long term study on lions in the Okavango region. What else would you expect when your family name is Kat? :-)   Chris Harvey is a renowned British wildlife photographer who has fallen in love with Botswana and he spent the last eight years photographing the wildlife of Moremi.

This book is different from many other books on lions. The focus is entirely one the prides of lions living in the Moremi reserve. This provides us with a deep and intimate insight in the pride structure of lions. Many thoughts and beliefs on lion prides and interaction between lions have proven to be different from previous assumptions. So this book sheds new light upon many aspects of lion life. Although the book is the result of four years of study of the lions in this particular area, much of the observations are universal. Therefore it is very interesting reading material for anyone who wants to know more about these magnificent carnivores of royal blood.


book37c.jpg (57388 bytes)So on one side this is a general book on lions and their behaviour. On the other side it is also a book on Moremi, since you can't see the lion prides separate from their habitat. So for anyone visiting this beautiful pristine spot on our planet, it will provide so much information which you won't get from a normal tourist guide. After having read this book, much will seem familiar when you actually visit Moremi. This alone makes the book a must have for anyone planning to visit Moremi or the Okavango.

The photographs in this book are absolutely high quality. Just have a look at the picture on the left of a lioness making a jump over the water pool. Wonderful. You can expect many more images of such quality that provide us with an intimate view into the daily life of these lions.

This is a book that any true admirer of this royal species will want to add to his collection. Whether it is for the interesting text or the beautiful images, or even better for both, it is worth it.

If you are going to visit the Moremi reserve or the Okavango, this book should be high on your wishing list. Reading and studying it beforehand will give so much more depth to your visit. But even if you are never going to visit Botswana, it is still a very interesting book with great photographs.  A must for the real lion fan.

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All text and images 1991 - 2011 Hans Martens