By Brendan Proctor - September 23, 2019
I have just turned the last past page of this superb book and I am overwhelmed with all the emotions that the photography and words have created. It is brilliant! The first part of the book educates us with all the facts. Their true name, their frightening reduction in numbers and their uncertain future. In the second part, the behaviour of the wolves, as individuals and as a pack are brought to life with a stunning selection of photos and text, with Mana as the most truly beautiful backdrop of smoky blues, purples and greens continuing to the vast ,sun drenched expanse of Hwange in part three. Nick Dyer and Peter Blinston take us on a journey with their own lives, their passion for Africa and ultimately, their love for an incredibly endangered species, the Painted Wolves. We are treated to scenery shots of the packs through to the most incredibly sharp, close up images of the dogs. Every photo reminding us why Nick Dyer has just been selected as a finalist in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
I had the privilege of meeting Nick in Zambia in 2013 in Kafue and then South Luangwa. His passion and determination to take the very best shots of the African wildlife was evident back then when discussing his work. I have followed his blogs and photography since, and am continually astounded by his ability to capture that perfect moment and wonderful light.His description of his day and his encounters take us right back to the magic that is Mana. Nick’s descriptions are vivid and honest and read like an exciting biography, transporting us from our homes to life with the pack.
We have been incredibly fortunate to have had Peter visit Perth twice to speak at the Painted Dog Conservation fundraising events. In the book, Peter immerses us in his daily life with the wolves, in fact, he and Jealous Mpofu have dedicated over twenty years of their lives to their monitoring and survival of the wolves in Zimbabwe. In the third, and last, section of the book, Peter takes us through all the facets of his work. From long days and kilometers of monitoring, education of the local children and bush camps ( the photos of these children are priceless!) meetings with the local chief and the work with John Lemon to run the unique rehabilitation centre for Painted Dog Conservation in Hwange. Together Peter and Nick bring us a book, a true masterpiece, a huge book, that takes us on a journey into the lives of this somewhat unknown but fascinating animal that every Friend of Mana Pools should add to their collection. All profits go to the Painted Wolf Foundation.