The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony


The Elephant WhispererTitle: The Elephant Whisperer
Author: Lawrence Anthony
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: BiographiesConservationInspirationNon-fiction
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Pan Books
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: If he was shaking, it was with anger – not an overdose of electrons.

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When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of ‘rogue’ wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd’s last chance of survival – dangerous and unpredictable, they would be killed if Anthony wouldn’t take them in.

As Anthony risked his life to create a bond with the troubled elephants and persuade them to stay on his reserve, he came to realise what a special family they were, from the wise matriarch nana, who guided the herd, to her warrior sister Frankie, always ready to see off any threat, and their children who fought so hard to survive.

With unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, this is an enthralling look that will appeal to animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.


No matter how many times I read this book, I will still be in awe. Inspired. And wishing that I could return to South Africa. I actually originally bought this (and read it) on the way back to Australia from Johannesburg. And it was glorious. Impossible to put down, and one of the most inspiring conservation stories that I have ever read. Reading it the second time, well, my response really hasn’t changed in the slightest…

Lawrence Anthony is both an engaging storyteller and passionate conservationist. His maverick approach to problem solving and incredible gumption mean that you are on the edge of your seat the entire time you read of his exploits. And the fact that his life and exploits feature an amazing herd of elephants, and some incredibly picturesque scenery. After all, Africa has some of the most iconic animals in the world, and it is impossible not to imagine yourself going on game rides right alongside Anthony and his staff.

I love no-hold way in which this story is told. There is no sugar coating the difficulties of life in the bush and the horrors which it can entail. Nature takes its course, and rather than trying to redirect the ebbs and flows of life, Anthony partakes in all of its mystery. It reminds me why I love being out in the bush and just enjoying what our countryside has to offer, even if my countryside has far smaller animals than his…

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Image source: Amazon

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