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 Post subject: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 12:53 pm 
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Hi, on our previous visits to Kruger we have always had very basic guides helping us identify the animals and birds we see, but there seemed to be countless birds and animals we couldn't identify.

So this time we thought we would spend a bit more and buy 2 more comprehensive books, one on each birds and animals.

I have looked though the recommendations on the book forum and we have come up with,

- Field Guide to the Animals of the Greater Kruger Park (Paperback)

- Roberts Bird Guide: Kruger National Park and Adjacent Lowveld [Vinyl Bound]

Anyone think of any books that are better, our criteria is:

Light ( cos we come from the UK), cover the majority of birds and animals, good pictures and descriptions so we will identify things!

Thank you one and all :gflower:


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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 1:17 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Merlin

The Roberts is good, I use it myself.

I also have a book on the Mammals of Kruger.
Am at work. Will check the exact details at home this evening.


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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 1:31 pm 
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Thanks Yoda, always best to take recommendations, our choices are based on what we can see on the internet!


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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 1:48 pm 
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Hi Merlin11,

Like you we fly in from the UK and therefore need to travel light. From our very first visit we have used a Newmans Birds of Southern Africa. It is almost a case of what you start with, you continue to use, albeit Newmans, Roberts etc...all equally good. However, when we were at Lake Panic last trip, a very kind lady showed us a Sasol apps which she had downloaded onto her tablet and it was brilliant. Apart from the excellent pictures and bird details, it has the actual bird song for each bird and that can be extremely helpful when you can hear something but unsure what you are looking out for. As we always take a small tablet or laptop with us to download all our photos each night, the app seemed the perfect solution for our next trip out (November) especially now my Newmans is beginning to look somewhat worse for wear.

As far as the mammals go, we use the details available in the Kruger map (we buy a new one each trip as some road details may change) and, if see something we do not know, take a photo and check with a SANP guide (in reception or on a drive). We do keep a mammal reference book at home, also a guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa to check when we sort out photos for our TRs. Perhaps there is an app for the Mammals and Reptiles also.

Hope this helps

Carolv and WildImage

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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 1:58 pm 
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Thanks Carol, you have given us food for thought!

My dad is coming with us for the first time, books are his thing, so we automatically went down this route, and still will take books for him. Just had a quick look at that app, it is expensive but will discuss it with hubby, might be worth getting that as well.


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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:11 pm 
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I will check with SO when he gets home this evening. I think he paid £23 for the app. My Newmans cost me £19.99 in 2002 but no idea what current price is..expect it would be cheaper to buy in UK as our VAT is lower than SA pay on their books. I know you fly out in September so plenty of time to check it out.

Carol

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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:28 pm 
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Almost any 'birds of southern Africa' (specifically the Sasol, Newmans and Roberts guides) and 'mammals of southern Africa' (e.g. by Struik Nature) will be fine. However, as mentioned before, these days one does not need the physical book.

Excellent apps include:
1. 'Sasol eBirds of southern Africa', which include all the information in the field guide as well as a lot of bird calls.
2. Roberts VII Multimedia Birds of southern Africa, which include drawings, photos, birds calls (a lot more comprehensive than the Sasol guide), and photos of nests and eggs.

Both are equally easy to use. And both are available on iTunes and the Android store.

There is also an app on iTunes called 'eGuide to Mammals of Southern Africa' which seems comprehensive, and is apparently based on Struik Nature's 'Field guide to mammals of southern Africa'. I haven't 'test-drived' this one yet though, so I can't comment on how good it is...

If you prefer eBooks to interactive apps, the publishing house, Struik Nature, has an app (called 'Earth and Nature' by Random House Struik) through which you can buy the electronic versions of many of the field guides that they publish, including the Sasol bird guide and the Newmans bird guide, and also 'Mammals of southern Africa', 'Trees of southern Africa', books on snakes and reptiles, etc. On iTunes, this app is only available for the iPad, not the iPhone (to make the field guides a reasonable size, I guess), but I'm not sure about the equivalent on the Android store.


Last edited by Dabchick on Tue May 20, 2014 2:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:30 pm 
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:hmz:

I think the above-mentioned ebooks that one can buy through the free 'Earth and Nature' app by Random House Struik are cheaper than the apps...but obviously, no bird calls and one has to page through the book rather than having random access to any species as one have with the birding apps


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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:43 pm 
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Thanks for all the apps info, Dabchick. May look at downloading some of the mammals and reptiles, trees and flowers also.

Carol

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http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=58977Our 2012 Trip Report
... and how I miss being back in the KNP.


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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 3:19 pm 
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I second the Roberts App for birds. Have recently downloaded it and it looks brilliant. Planning on giving it an appropriate test drive during our next visit ... IN THREE DAYS!!!

I echo the sentiments of some of the others on the mammals ... we have typically just used the Kruger guide for this over the years. Aside from the occasional small antelope, we have generally been able to get on well this way in the past.

Enjoy your visit. :o


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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 4:02 pm 
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Merlin11 wrote:

My dad is coming with us for the first time, books are his thing, so we automatically went down this route, and still will take books for him.


Me Too
These are quite comprehensive

Image

The bird book is published by Struik, they have an online shop, the mammal book I will check for you when I get home tonight and let you know the publisher :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 4:27 pm 
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The sasol app is great
Also, If you are only going to Kruger, then the Roberts for Kruger (only) is great. It reduces the number of pages to search through when you see the bird

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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 6:07 pm 
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Well what can I say, within 3 hours of asking my question I get so many really helpful replies :k

Yoda, thanks for your book recommendations, really useful, will look at the Mammals of Kruger when I have the publisher

Carolev, thanks again for the tip about using apps on the Ipad, as I said apps aren't for my dad he prefers paper but you have influenced our decision, we are taking books for dad and apps for us! Really like that the app gives us the bird song as well.

Dabchick, thanks for such a comprehensive reply, we are going with the apps you have suggested, and also adding snakes and reptiles! Also found an app whilst looking which helped us identify the stars!

SJK, thanks for your vote of the Roberts app, wow 3 days to go, how excited you must be, we have 4months to go and can't believe how quickly time is going, can't wait.

Isinkwe, thanks for going to the trouble of providing pictures of the books. You don't realise it but you have already had so much input to our trip, followed your recent trip report, I just hope we see half as much as you did!
Will look at the mammal book closer when I get the details.

PJW, thanks for the tip about a Roberts book, solely for Kruger, hadn't seen that but will now look.

It may seem overkill to go with books and apps but this will work for all 3 of us, and I know we are saying this is our last trip but who knows :hmz: During 40years of marriage hubby always wanted to go to Kruger, not my thing at all, but agreed to go once 5 years ago, this will be our 4th trip, can't get enough of it! :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 6:08 pm 
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Well what can I say, within 3 hours of asking my question I get so many really helpful replies :k

Yoda, thanks for your book recommendations, really useful, will look at the Mammals of Kruger when I have the publisher

Carolev, thanks again for the tip about using apps on the Ipad, as I said apps aren't for my dad he prefers paper but you have influenced our decision, we are taking books for dad and apps for us! Really like that the app gives us the bird song as well.

Dabchick, thanks for such a comprehensive reply, we are going with the apps you have suggested, and also adding snakes and reptiles! Also found an app whilst looking which helped us identify the stars!

SJK, thanks for your vote of the Roberts app, wow 3 days to go, how excited you must be, we have 4months to go and can't believe how quickly time is going, can't wait.

Isinkwe, thanks for going to the trouble of providing pictures of the books. You don't realise it but you have already had so much input to our trip, followed your recent trip report, I just hope we see half as much as you did!
Will look at the mammal book closer when I get the details.

PJW, thanks for the tip about a Roberts book, solely for Kruger, hadn't seen that but will now look.

It may seem overkill to go with books and apps but this will work for all 3 of us, and I know we are saying this is our last trip but who knows :hmz: During 40years of marriage hubby always wanted to go to Kruger, not my thing at all, but agreed to go once 5 years ago, this will be our 4th trip, can't get enough of it! :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: 1 animal and 1 bird book for Kruger?
Unread postPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 6:24 pm 
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Merlin11 wrote:
Will look at the mammal book closer when I get the details.


Hi Merlin11

The mammal book is published by Briza Publications , they also have an online book shop :thumbs_up:

I hope you do have a successful trip with plenty of wonderful sightings :D :D and we will all be waiting for your trip report :D

When will you be in Kruger?

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28 July - 2 August - Maroela ( armed with Amarula)
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