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  1. #1
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    Default An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    As I am planning a trip through kokoaland and Dramaraland later this year I decided to try and get a bit of reading material with regard to the area. I was advised by a good freind to try An Arid Eden. Really captivating to say the least.

    We certainly need more people like this in our day and age.

    Has anybody got any other books which might be of good reading about the areas?
    Having been there in the 70's due to army commitments it certainly has thrown a different spin on some of the things I have wondered about.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    My go to books are:
    Discovering the Secrets of
    Kaokoland and
    Damaraland by
    Johan Snyman.
    Comprehensive is not the word.

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    Life Is Like A Kudu Horn by Margaret Jacobsohn. Margie was Garth's partner up to his death. She also wrote the definitive book on the Himba, with photographs by Peter and Beverley Pickford.
    Tony Weaver
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  7. #4
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    A bit more south but a Sheltering Desert by Heno Martin during the second world War was worth reading.

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  9. #5
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    Another good read is Embers of the campfire by Loyd Wilmot. Although more about Moremi Suvuti area. He is mentioned in the Arid Eden book.

  10. #6
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    Another book is The Besieged Desert by Mitch Reardon. It is an account of a trip he did with Garth Owen Smith into Kaokoland/Damaland in the early 80's. A bit dated now but still interesting.
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  12. #7
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    If you can find a copy, "Journey Through Angola, Ovampoland (sic) & Damaraland 1895-1896: by the Swedish explorer, Peter August Moller, is fascinating. My copy was published by C Struik (forerunner of today's Struik) in 1974.
    Just checked on my bookshelf, and Margie Jacobsohn's Himba book that I mentioned earlier was also published by Struik - full title is "Himba: Nomads of Namibia" (1990 hardcover, 1998 soft cover).
    Mitch Reardon's book mentioned above was published by William Collins in 1986.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2024/02/20 at 12:21 PM.
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  14. #8
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    If you can find a copy, "Journey Through Angola, Ovampoland (sic) & Damaraland 1895-1896: by the Swedish explorer, Peter August Moller, is fascinating. My copy was published by C Struik (forerunner of today's Struik) in 1974.
    Just checked on my bookshelf, and Margie Jacobsohn's Himba book that I mentioned earlier was also published by Struik - full title is "Himba: Nomads of Namibia" (1990 hardcover, 1998 soft cover).
    Mitch Reardon's book mentioned above was published by William Collins in 1986.
    Thanks Tony,
    I am going to make an effort to get both. Garth must have been a very intresting man. His uncle Dougie Horton from the Midlands was a great freind of my Dad's. What interests me the most about his ways are his insight into knowing so early on that conservation needed to go hand in hand with the local peoples if it was to work. Pity people in charge could not have recognized many of these positive points in the 60's.

  15. #9
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    Quote Originally Posted by Khakibush View Post
    Thanks Tony,
    I am going to make an effort to get both. Garth must have been a very intresting man.
    He was one of my gurus - here's the tribute I wrote when he died.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2024/02/20 at 03:13 PM.
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  17. #10
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    Powerful stuff Tony! Love it.

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    He was one of my gurus - here's the tribute I wrote when he died.
    Thanks Tony that as Hannes stated is powerfully stuff. You are lucky to have had that interaction.

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  21. #12
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    From an entirely practical perspective the book "4x4 Routes in Kaokoland" by the late Jan H. Joubert is useful.

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  23. #13
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    Thanks Tony, An Arid Eden is also one of the classics on my bookshelf.
    Another interesting read is Skeleton Coast by John Marsh. It is an account of the rescue of the passengers and crew of the ship Dunedin Star that ran aground on the Kaokoland coast in 1942. The trials and hardships they experienced are amazing. It is remote country today, in 1942 it was incredibly remote.
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  25. #14
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanW View Post
    Thanks Tony, An Arid Eden is also one of the classics on my bookshelf.
    Another interesting read is Skeleton Coast by John Marsh. It is an account of the rescue of the passengers and crew of the ship Dunedin Star that ran aground on the Kaokoland coast in 1942. The trials and hardships they experienced are amazing. It is remote country today, in 1942 it was incredibly remote.
    Captain Naude (the pilot who flew the rescue missions) lived diagonally across the street from us in Port Alfred when I was a kid. My grandfather had a copy of the book, which I spent many hours poring over. That was probably an early trigger of my lifelong fascination and love of Namibia and the Namib desert.
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  27. #15
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Life Is Like A Kudu Horn by Margaret Jacobsohn. Margie was Garth's partner up to his death. She also wrote the definitive book on the Himba, with photographs by Peter and Beverley Pickford.
    Ditto this book - a wonderful inspiring read.

  28. #16
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    Default Re: An Arid Eden by Owen Smith

    A bit off topic, my apologies - but an ode to Owen Smith (An Arid Eden):

    I was fishing (read: gooi-ing pap) near Cape Cross Lodge (base-camp) a few years ago. Driving out, I saw a Landy with it's bonnet open at the first fishing hole closest to the lodge. Owen said he was fine and he'll keep on trying to get the Landy going. But we agreed that if he's still there when I returned to the lodge, I'll give him a tow - which subsequently happened. We somehow missed each other at dinner, but the next day he left me a signed copy of An Arid Eden at reception. It's a great read.

    What a remarkable encounter with a fascinating man.
    Last edited by Problematix; 2024/02/26 at 10:48 PM.
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