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Animals of the Masai Mara by Adam Scott Kennedy and Vicki Kennedy

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Book cover

Animals of the Masai Mara ŠAdam Scott Kennedy and Vicki Kennedy


Animals of the Masia Mara by Adam Scott Kennedy and Vicki Kennedy | 153 pages | Princeton University Press | Paperback | 2012 | ISBN: 978-0-691-15601-9 |


Many of us have dreamed of visiting the Masai Mara and going on an African Safari, for photographers that is often more true, we can imagine taking stunning photographs of the big 5 but outside those iconic animals what other creatures would we be seeing or photographing? When I had the opportunity to review Wild Guides Animals of the Masai Mara by Adam Scott Kennedy and Vicki Kennedy I thought it would be a great idea (there has been a bit of an anglocentric bias to my wildlife guides reviews of late).


What?s in the book


As you would expect from a wildlife watchers point of view the book is jam packed with information squarely based on the animals you may see in the local area, covering both mammals and reptiles giving details of identification (especially when accompanied with some stunning photographs), habitat, where to find them, what they eat and even their gestation periods (in some cases there are also details of where the name originates).However, more than that, you also get the details of the names of the animals in the local language (useful to help find the unusual possibly).


Beyond the species there are also sections on the area itself with details of the geography, maps and top sites, and a wonderful section on the great migrations, a spectacle that many people visit the area in the hope of seeing.


Style


Adam Scott and Vicki Kennedy have written the book in a friendly style, the identification (called recognition in this book) sections are short and to the point (relying on the photographs to help identify the animals), but it is the accompanying text that really helps this books appeal. Some species have a more writing than others, but then species like the big 5 do garner more attention than say the striped ground squirrel so I guess this is understandable.


While much of the text is written by Vicki and Adam Kennedy , as well as the majority of the wonderful photographs (of which there are over 140), there are inserts from local guides spotted around the book which add to the interest in reading, it kind of takes away the formal feeling of an ID guide.


As an Identification guide


As a photographer I enjoy photographic ID guides for their aesthetic appeal. As a wildlife watcher I prefer my bird books to be drawings (I find where subtleties are involved a drawing can show them better), but other wildlife (mammals, butterflies, insects etc) I quite like photographic guides as they offer more realistic colours. In this case I think the photographs work well, and really help to guide you in your identification efforts. The writing about the recognition could be more in depth, but with animals in the Masai appearing to be quite easy to separate perhaps this is not so important.


Conclusion


Full of stunning photographs, with some interesting text to accompany the useful descriptions I think overall this book will aid anyone interested in watching (or in the case of us photographers, photographing) the animals of the Masai Mara.


Available from Wildguides/Princeton University Press - Animals of the Masai Mara


Ashley Beolens


Created: 14th Jan 2013