The Elephants of Thula Thula

St. Martin’s. Apr. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250284259. $29.99. MEMOIR
Conservationist Malby-Anthony (An Elephant in My Kitchen) shares what it’s like to operate Thula Thula, a game reserve in South Africa that’s open to tourists. She lovingly describes the preserve’s elephants and rhinos and their distinct personalities. The author includes stories about Thula Thula’s monkeys, giraffes, cheetahs, hippos, and venomous snakes as well. The author’s many dogs are also mentioned in some of the tales. Malby-Anthony writes of her challenges, such as protecting the rhinos and elephants from often heavily armed poachers; COVID, which shut down tourism and vital income; the unrest that occurred in South Africa in 2021; and the frustrating permit application processes that nearly led to the reduction of Malby-Anthony’s elephant herd. Influxes of funds at crucial moments, however, and the addition of land parcels to the reserve arrived just in time. Readers interested in conservation, African wildlife, and the joys and sorrows of running a wildlife sanctuary will relish this title.
VERDICT Malby-Anthony brings Thula Thula and its inhabitants--humans and animals--to the forefront in this beautifully descriptive work that demonstrates the importance of protecting wildlife and their natural habitats while sharing their space with tourists.
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