For the first time ever, a photographic coffee-table book celebrates South Africa’s fi nest national parks and nature reserves. South Africa’s Wildest Places by Scott Ramsay features 30 of the country’s most special protected areas, including all 19 national parks and 11 provincial reserves. This is the ultimate photographic reference for the country’s famous natural heritage, its diverse wildlife and its awe-inspiring scenery.
isbn 978-0-620-71320-7; hardcover
300 x 300mm; 400 pages, all in full colour; 3.3kg
30 chapters: each a different reserve / conservation area
more than 1,000 captioned photographs
35,000 words of illuminating text
"Being immersed in wilderness and among wild animals taught me the importance of relationships: with myself, with other people, with animals, the land and the Earth – and perhaps God. The explorer and writer Wilfred Thesiger once wrote:
“For this was the real desert where differences of race and colour, of wealth and social standing are almost meaningless; where coverings of pretence are stripped away and basic truths emerge.”
The Zulu sangoma (shaman) and author Credo Mutwa said something similar:
“We were taught by the ancient Africans that we are part of God, as a little pebble is part of a great mountain. We did not regard ourselves as superior to the animals, the trees and the fishes and the birds. We regarded ourselves as part of all these living things.”
In wild places, basic truths emerge. These basic truths are: We are all one. We are all connected. We are a tiny part of a much larger web of life. Our commonalities with each other and other living creatures far outweigh our differences. We need to pay respect to each other and to nature, on which we depend totally. We need to fall in love again with beauty and wildness and the community of life. Not just for our survival, but for our happiness.
In this book, I hope to inspire you to travel to national parks and nature reserves to experience the power of African wilderness and contribute to its conservation. Africa has immense challenges, and conservation of its natural heritage is just one of them...but arguably it holds the key to the continent’s future. The name Love Wild Africa hints at my own deep love for the continent’s wilderness and wildlife. But it’s also a call and plea to the world to prioritise the conservation – and expansion – of Africa’s last wild areas.
In 2011, I initiated and completed a project entitled Year in the Wild which lasted for three years, during which I explored more than 50 protected areas, mostly in South Africa. I write and photograph for a number of African and international magazines, newspapers and websites, including British Airways Magazine, Getaway, Wild, Africa Geographic, News24, Cape Times, Leisure Wheels and Geo Germany.
My photographs have been published around the world, and I am the recipient of the SAB Environmental Media Award and the IUCN World Parks prizes for photography.
Several of South Africa’s finest national parks and nature reserrves are world famous, but many are largely unknown and waiting to be discovered. This book is a visual celebration of the 30 most special areas and their astonishing scenery and wildlife. For almost 3 years I explored these parks, spending weeks in each photographing, interviewing rangers and researchers and gathering the stories about the nation’s conservation efforts and challenges. To me, these wild places are sacred places: inspirational symbols of the last untamed areas in a country where all was once wild and free. Their beauty and biodiversity have inspired generations and led conservationists to nurture and protect the land, oceans and animals which give South Africa and its people a unique identity.
My journey to South Africa’s national parks and nature reserves began as a dream, but now it has become my life. I fi nd myself increasingly bonded to African wilderness and wildlife. These wild places and their animals have become a part of who I am... we must not only protect Africa’s wild places at all costs, but also celebrate them for what they are: the greatest source of wonder and inspiration in a modern, materialistic world depleted of soul and spirit."