From the cover photo of stampeding wildebeest, part of The Great Migration in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, to the last photos of a Somali Ostrich and Vulturine Guinea Fowl, Dinesh Patel brings 50 years of wildlife photography to a stunning close in The Journey Within.
He spent most of his life on safari, all over Africa, hoping to take each of us along to enjoy, appreciate, and hopefully save, these beautiful African animals. With advanced Parkinson’s disease, Patel is no longer able to travel the African continent, so he decided to turn this book into a conservation effort, hoping to bring global awareness to the needs of these amazing animals.
“I am tortured by the probability that in less than a generation or two, some of these exquisite animals I have had the privilege to see will be gone,” Patel said. “This book is but a small contribution, a blade of grass on Serengeti’s vast plains, to the noble objective of conserving Earth’s natural magnificence.”
Without question, this book will inspire you. I particularly appreciated the photo index in the back of the book, identifying each animal. And I liked the fact that he presents these animals without text. The photos say it all.
I wanted to tell you about my favorite photos, but honestly, all 227 pages of photos are stunning. I recently sat with my grandsons, thumbing through the book, and they were absolutely mesmerized. And they took the book home with them!
While Patel gives credit to the governments of Kenya and Tanzania for “taking the difficult and most essential first step for protecting their wildlife: setting aside the land for their survival,” he notes that this is “only the first step. Much more is involved in an effective conservation strategy. I wish I could express some positive accounts about sustaining, protecting and conserving the habitat of the impressive amount of land set aside for wildlife in Kenya and Tanzania. Lamentably, not enough is being done and significant losses continue to be incurred due to various natural and human factors.
“Without concerted efforts to save the environment that supports the vibrant and rich natural diversity of the flora and fauna, these areas are likely to face growing risks of further erosion. Most tragically, several of the species photographed on this Journey are in danger of extinction. My sincere hope in publishing this book is to help increase awareness of that and garner wider support for conservation.”
Something to think about, as you enjoy these photos of a lifetime.
Postscript: while this is not a book by a Maine author or about Maine, I thought most Mainers would appreciate and enjoy the photos and the message.