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Protea Boekhuis

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Archive for the ‘Angola’ Category

Wildlife at War in Angola examines the post-colonial tragedy of one of Africa’s most biologically diverse countries

Wildlife at War in Angola: The Rise and Fall of an African Eden describes in fascinating detail the wildlife, wild places and wild personalities that occupied Angola’s conservation landscape through four decades of war and a decade of peace.

Intrigues, assassinations, corruption, greed and incompetence ‒ during the colonial era, through the horrific war and most especially throughout the crony-capitalist kleptocracy of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos ‒ have resulted in the extinction of most of its formerly abundant wildlife populations and the decay and erosion of a once endless Eden.

This is the first book to integrate the political, economic and environmental threads that account for the post-colonial tragedy of one of Africa’s most biologically diverse countries. A corrupt government has robbed the country of its vast oil and diamond wealth, of its environmental health, of its morality and of its soul. It was not always so.

Brian J. Huntley was appointed ecologist to Angola’s National Parks in 1971. But the vast open spaces, peaceful stillness and tropical luxuriance that he found during the four years they spent exploring and developing the country’s wildlife reserves was not to last. The powder keg of anger against centuries of colonial exploitation ‒ of slavery, of forced labour and of an abusive system of penal settlement ‒ could not be contained. Bloody nationalist uprisings led to the abandonment of Angola by Portugal and the transition from random guerrilla skirmishes with a colonial army into a brutal civil war that cost over one million lives. Despite its scarred history, the author believes the country can still rebuild its national parks and save much of its wildlife and wilderness. But this can only happen if the current ageing autocracy makes space for a new generation of Angolan conservationists.

Brian J. Huntley is an internationally respected conservationist with over 50 years of field research and management experience in many African countries and sub-Antarctic islands. He has initiated and led to successful conclusion several major inter-disciplinary cooperative research and institutional development projects from the Cape to the Congo. Following retirement in 2009 as CEO of the South African National Biodiversity Institute, he is currently engaged as an independent consultant on conservation research and implementation projects in many African countries and for various United Nations agencies.

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Nicol Stassen Brings Us The Reminiscences of William Chapman

The reminiscences of William ChapmanAt age 60, William Chapman began writing down his memoirs and this book contains his engaging and enjoyable diary entries of life in southern Africa in the late nineteenth century.

Chapman grew up in Cape Town but was determined to go to Damaraland, being bent on following the life his father had led. He succumbed to the call of freedom and his ambition to become a big game hunter. He desired to see the hunting fields, the forests, the game, and everything he had read of in books of travel.

He left Table Bay in 1874 for Walvis Bay and started his adventures from there. He tells of his life as a trader who was also active in hunting, transport riding, road building, cattle farming, agriculture, gold prospecting, and as an agent for the supply of wagons.

Chapman’s narrations of his journeys, travels and encounters are fascinating – a true window on to a different period. Through his diaries, edited and annotated with extensive research by Nicol Stassen, we are we are taken vividly back to the past.

The book is divided as follows:

1. The story of his life (called “Reminiscences concerning the life of William James Bushnell Chapman”) until 1902, written at his home Mont Verdun or Sandula, Mombolo, Angola and dated 22nd March 1918, his sixtieth birthday anniversary.

2. His reminiscences from 1903 to 1916.

3. An account of the entry of the Trek-Boers into Angola and of their sojourn during the forty-eight years they struggled in that country under Portuguese rule, which he was still writing in 1932.

About the Author/Editor

Dr Nicol Stassen is the managing director of Protea Boekhuis. He has a BA degree in languages, a masters degree in chemical engineering and a doctorate in history.

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