The best books on African animals, mysticism, ancestral communication and the wild heart of Africa

Roy Aronson Author Of The Curse of the Ancestors, with Jamie James
By Roy Aronson

Who am I?

I am a veterinarian who has worked extensively with African Wildlife in the heart of the African bush. I have also met African Sangoma’s, witch doctors. I have made a study of African mysticism and Ancestral communications and have participated in African mystic rituals, including the cleansing ritual called smudging or burning of herbs and utilizing the smoke for spiritual cleansing. In my books, I fuse my knowledge of African wildlife, African customs and rituals, and my innate ability to tell a good story and have brought forth the Jamie James series. They are quintessential African Adventures taking place in the heart of the African bush.


I wrote...

The Curse of the Ancestors, with Jamie James

By Roy Aronson,

Book cover of The Curse of the Ancestors, with Jamie James

What is my book about?

Jamie James is 15. His parents have been divorced since he was five and he has not heard from his father since the divorce. Suddenly he receives a communication from him, beseeching him to come and visit because their lives are in danger. His father lives in Nelspruit, the wildlife capital of Southern Africa. He travels there and discovers that there is a death curse on his family and his father, who turns fifty in a few weeks is about to die. Jamie undergoes a mystical transformation to lift the curse. Can Jamie and his friends lift the curse in time to save his father. Join them in a race against time to change the fate of his family that is two hundred years in the making?

The books I picked & why

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The Sunbird

By Wilbur Smith,

Book cover of The Sunbird

Why this book?

The Sunbird was Wilber Smith’s first book. It was one of the first books on Wild African Adventure that I read and has kindled in me a lifelong passion for Africa, African animals, and the love of wildlife. It was a reason that I became a veterinarian and that I wanted to work with African Wildlife. It is a mix of contemporary and historic African Fiction. It is memorable because it is a wonderful story that I would want to share around the fire in a camp somewhere in the heart of the African bush. I would want Wilbur Smith to tell me the story as we sit around the fire. It evokes all that is magical and wonderful about Africa, the continent I love and live on. The book taught me that the story is paramount. Not the skill of the author as a literary giant. I want to be able to tell stories around the fire, as Wilbur Smith was able to do. It made me proud to be an African.

The Sunbird

By Wilbur Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sunbird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A photograph and a curse are the only clues Dr Ben Kazin has before he stumbles on the archaeological discovery. Beneath the red cliffs of Botswanaland a civilization has remained buried for millennia. But the magic of uncovering a lost culture is interrupted by the violence of terrorists, love, intrigue and the secrets of centuries.

Game - Ranger

By Hannes Kloppers,

Book cover of Game - Ranger

Why this book?

This is the true story of a game ranger who worked with African Wildlife in the early part of the history of the Kruger National Park. It is a well-written account of a bygone error where the heroic deeds of one man could make a difference. I loved this book because it evoked in me a sense of the dramatic history of the Southern African Game Reserves and the struggle to attain recognition during the early days when animals were a resource only to be hunted. There were a few brave men who recognized the value of conservation and preservation of wildlife, leading to the wildlife game reserve industry as we know it today. If not for the efforts of these few brave souls our world today would be a poorer place.

Game - Ranger

By Hannes Kloppers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Game - Ranger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


All Creatures Great and Small: The Warm and Joyful Memoirs of the World's Most Beloved Animal Doctor

By James Herriot,

Book cover of All Creatures Great and Small: The Warm and Joyful Memoirs of the World's Most Beloved Animal Doctor

Why this book?

How can one be a veterinarian and not recommend at least one of James Herriot’s books? He inspired a generation of veterinarians and I venture to say that many a new graduate still dips into the magic residing in the pages that he wrote.

Whilst my life and livelihood are in Africa, my formative years were spent reading about his adventures in the Yorkshire dales, treating all creatures, great and small. This inspired me to become a vet. Initially, I wanted to emulate my boyhood hero and I went into private practice as he had done.

I was fortunate enough to get a lot of wildlife experience and then to round it all off, I started writing as well. Maybe not as accomplished a writer as he was, nevertheless, I am able, I think, to tell a good story, albeit about my adventures in wildlife.

Thank you, James Herriot for inspiring me to become a vet and inspiring me to write about my adventures. Without you, my life would have been very different. Everyone should read at least one of his books. And he has written many.

All Creatures Great and Small: The Warm and Joyful Memoirs of the World's Most Beloved Animal Doctor

By James Herriot,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked All Creatures Great and Small as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Th Scramble for Africa: The White Man's Conquest of the African Continent from 1876 to 1912

By Thomas Pakenham,

Book cover of Th Scramble for Africa: The White Man's Conquest of the African Continent from 1876 to 1912

Why this book?

The Scramble for Africa: The White Man's Conquest of the African Continent from 1876 to 1912 is a comprehensive history of the colonization of African territory by European powers between 1876 to 1912 known as the Scramble for Africa.

I am an African. I was born and raised in Africa. When I read about the horrors of the colonization of the continent I live on, I simply could not believe what I was reading. It took a lot more reading and research before I fully understood the implications and impact of this colonization. This led me to understand the place of wildlife in the early history of colonization and the evolution of a wildlife ethic.

Colonial powers viewed Africa as their sole domain for domination of its people and exploitation of its resources for the benefit of the colonial power and no benefit at all to the colony. Humans and resources were mercilessly exploited. In this melee where human life was totally expendable, how could there be a place for conservation? Animals were shot for their trophy value, their hides, and their body parts. No respect was paid to them and their lives. It is only once colonial powers were shed that indigenous people viewed African wildlife as a resource to be conserved.

Reading this book gave me an understanding of how conservation ethics grew out of the ashes of an Africa burned to a cinder by colonial powers. Indigenous man makes a small fire and stands close. Colonial man makes a large fire and stands far.

Th Scramble for Africa: The White Man's Conquest of the African Continent from 1876 to 1912

By Thomas Pakenham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Th Scramble for Africa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The extraordinary race for African territory that began in the 1880's and swept the political masters of Europe off their feet.

Out of Africa

By Isak Dinesen,

Book cover of Out of Africa

Why this book?

Out of Africa is a memoir by the Danish author Karen Blixen. The book, first published in 1937, recounts events of the seventeen years when Blixen made her home in Kenya, then called British East Africa. The book is a lyrical meditation on Blixen's life on her coffee plantation, as well as a tribute to some of the people who touched her life there. It provides a vivid snapshot of African colonial life in the last decades of the British Empire. It is a dramatic canvass of African wildlife clashing with British colonial attitudes where animals come second. Yet there is the drama of a British Hunter who recognizes the value of wildlife surviving and thriving. It evokes an early conservation ethic that I applaud

Out of Africa

By Isak Dinesen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Out of Africa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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