Spirit of the Wilderness

Paul Dutton

An autobiographical account of a career in conservation.
Publication date:
December 2017
Publisher :
30 Degrees South Publishers
Illustration :
50 colour & 93 b/w photos, illustrations, map
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9780994656155

Dimensions : 234 X 153 cm


• Conservationists, lovers of Nature and wildlife
• Readers of memoirs

This is an autobiographical account of a career in conservation and of an abiding love affair with Spirit of the Wilderness, a Piper Super Cub, two-seater, light aircraft. It tells of a partnership between man and machine, which proved invaluable in countless campaigns to support and conserve wildlife and wilderness areas in southern Africa.

A chance encounter in 1953 with the late Dr Ian Player, South Africa's greatest name in conservation led to a career in that field which still continues after nearly sixty years. There are detailed and absorbing accounts of stewardship during the 1960s and 1970s of some of South Africa's best loved and most beautiful reserves; Lake St Lucia, iMfolozi, Ndumo, and later the Gorongosa National Park, Zinave and the Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique. There are tales of hair-raising episodes and some serious mishaps at the wheel of Spirit of the Wilderness, and on the ground, the author records what he was privileged to learn from the knowledge, experience and wisdom of indigenous game guards and local communities in South Africa and Mozambique.

We encounter a huge diversity of flora and fauna, both terrestrial and marine, some of it now perilously endangered, and also a remarkable cast of fellow eminent conservationists, filmmakers, writers, sangomas, soldiers and bandits from two wars in Mozambique, and we are introduced to that country's then president Samora Machel, with whom Paul came to have an intriguingly cordial relationship.