Book Review

Cover: Circle of Life: Wildlife on the African Savannah by Anup and Manoj Shah. Circle of Life: Wildlife on the African Savannah

Authors: Anup and Manoj Shah

Publisher: Abrams

ISBN 0-8109-4533-9

I’m going to start by stating upfront that I think that this is an excellent book. I found the balance of informative text and superb images to be just right. It now sits at the top of my pile of African Wildlife books.

Both of the Shah brothers are well known in photographic circles for their superb rendition of African and Asian wildlife. This has been recognised over the years in various high-profile awards, including taking the coveted Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2000 prize, and a number of Highly Commended credits over the years.

This book comprises of 20 chapters covering all aspects of African wildlife behaviour, lives, interactions and habitats. Its layout is simple and effective. Each chapter starts with a short narrative that is easy to read and packed with information. Anup Shah seems to have found just the right balance between text weight and length. The narratives are followed by a selection of wonderful photographs that illustrate the respective theme.

The 200 plus photographs spread across 286 pages are displayed either in small groups, individually or across two pages. Where the whole viewing area is filled with a stunning photograph the accompanying caption can be found overleaf. The use of double-weight paper is inspired. This allows ensures quality reproduction of the photographs and also gives each page a feel of inherent worth.

Looking through this book is a thoroughly engaging experience. Reading the text whetted my appetite for the photographs that followed. Studying the photographs whetted my appetite for the next essay, and so on. I could have easily sat down and read this book from cover to cover, but that would hardly have done it justice.

Highly recommended for any lover of the African Savannah.

Circle of Life: Wildlife on the African Savannah by Anup and Manoj Shah. Sample Pages.