Book Review

Serengeti: Natural Order On The African Plains by Mitsuaki Iwago. Serengeti: Natural Order On The African Plains

Author: Mitsuaki Iwago

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN 0-87701-441-8

Like many before him Mitsuaki Iwago realised that the only way to truly explore the magnificence of Africa is to spend some time there. The photographs displayed in this book are the fruits of over 18 months sustained photography.

The endless plain of the Serengeti always has a story to tell and Iwago has captured some powerful tales here. His and his family's travails have not gone unrewarded. The almost three hundred photographs show the Serengeti through the seasons and in all of its moods.

Iwago's style is one of almost low-key photography and the photographs show a grittiness that is seldom seen. He gets behind the gloss of Africa's big game and seems to show and intimacy with his subject of one who has spent a lot of time out in the field. This is a book that is meant to be savoured; there is no text (other than a short introduction) to dilute the impact of the magnificent pictures.

Some of the shots are printed across two pages, making the most of the chosen format to create an almost panoramic effect. Other pages show a block of four related photographs showing an unfolding story. This clever use of layout changes kept my interest as I looked at page after page.

This is a good book for anyone interested in this part of Africa and would be particularly useful to someone intending to visit and wants to have some idea of what to expect - or wants to travel beyond the cliché of "Wild Africa" and go on a journey of discovery.

Serengeti: Natural Order On The African Plains by Mitusaki Iwago. Sample Pages.