First Impression Friday: “Cry of the Kalahari” by Mark & Delia Owens

Welcome back to First Impression Friday! This week, we’re going with something non-fiction, Cry of the Kalahari. All the credit for this one belongs to my boyfriend, Steven. He described it as “these crazy scientists go out to the Kalahari desert by themselves and end up living with the lions and other animals.” He explained that when he first read it as a 10-year-old, it had seemed like just a fun adventure. However, when he re-read it when he was an adult, it was, “These people are insane.” And, after starting this book, I think I’m agreeing with his second impression.

From GoodReads:

This is the story of the Owens’ travel and life in the Kalahari Desert. Here they met and studied unique animals and were confronted with danger from drought, fire, storms, and the animals they loved. This best-selling book is for both travelers and animal lovers.

Image result for cry of the kalahariWell, that’s not very descriptive, is it? This book is so much more than just a travel diary. It’s real life, and when reading it several times I had to put it down and just think, These guys aren’t that much older than I am.

When Delia & Mark met, they were graduate students. They discovered a passion for endangered African animals. This passion culminated in them getting married, auctioning every single thing they owned, and taking the $6,000 they got from that to buy plane tickets to South Africa, where they then settled into the Kalahari Desert (actually, Deception Valley) with no idea of whether they would get research funding or not. You can’t get much bolder than that.

So far, the book has been spectacular, and I find myself wishing that my lunch break was just a little longer so I could finish just a little more. I’m expecting this to be a wonderful book. It was published in the early 1980s (the book takes place from 1972-1980), and I’m sure that the Kalahari has deteriorated even more since the Owens started their research.

Apparently, Delia just wrote her first novel, and I’m excited to maybe get to that in a bit.

And as always, keep reading.


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