Book Review: The Selous in Africa – A Long Way From Anywhere by Robert J. Ross
December 2015, Volume 13-6

Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest hunting area. UNESCO added this great wilderness area to the World Heritage List in 1982. Recently it was, however, particularly hard hit by elephant poaching and has been declared a World Heritage Site in Danger.

Vol13_6_art14Despite its importance there is only one book about the reserve available (Wild Heart of Africa, Rowland Ward 2009). This book, written by 20 Selous experts, and edited by CIC member Rolf D. Baldus, has been complemented now by a coffee table book by American photographer Robert Ross. Ross’ work features nearly 400 photographs of the Selous. Not only the large mega-fauna typically seen in a photographic book on African wildlife, but it captures the fantastic smaller creatures, birds, insects, and dramatic landscapes in many breathtaking images.

Original essays by Selous experts Rolf D. Baldus and Walter Jubber on the reserve’s history and ecology are complimented by generous excerpts from Sand Rivers, Peter Matthiessen’s beautifully written book about a fascinating Selous foot safari. But the story of the Selous Game Reserve is best experienced through Ross’ outstanding photography. The images have been selected from over 100,000 photographs shot over four years. The Selous in Africa – A Long Way From Anywhere will be an excellent addition to your library!

Michael “Nick” Nichols, photographer, conservationist, and editor-at-large for National Geographic commented Ross’ book as follows: “The Selous is one of the largest wild areas left on earth. Robert J. Ross is a dedicated conservationist and tenacious photographer. Just the combination needed to bring this wilderness to the light. Rob’s book appears at a critical time when the attention it brings is most needed.”

The Selous in Africa – A Long Way From Anywhere by Robert J. Ross. Officina Libraria. 276 pages; hardcover; standard edition US$65.00; limited edition US$300 ISBN: 978-88-97737-64-3 – available from

Authors: African Indaba Editors