Fair Game – a hidden history of the Kruger National Park

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What’s Inside?
Fair Game is the story of the hidden history and heritage of the Kruger National Park. It’s an engrossing and little-known tale filled with boisterous personalities, twists of fate, unlikely heroes, stubborn perseverance, greedy villains and (luckily) a very happy ending. So, prepare yourself for a grand historical safari as we recount the unlikely tale of an unwanted wasteland that grew into the one of the greatest game reserves in the world.

Also included: a comprehensive planning guide and 2 custom maps to help you make the most of your time in the Kruger. 

What’s It About?
The Kruger National Park is an institution. It’s South Africa’s flagship game reserve and an internationally renowned wildlife sanctuary. As such, ‘Kruger’ is well known and well loved; a shining jewel in South Africa’s tourism crown.

But this was not always the case. For much of its early history, the Kruger Park was very unpopular with hunters, farmers and politicians, and the reserve was nearly deproclaimed several times. As one critic decried, ‘But what’s the point of looking at the things?’.

Luckily, thanks to the hard work of several dedicated individuals, the Kruger not only endured but grew in size and stature to become one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in the world. More importantly, the concept of wildlife conservation – anchored by reserves such as the Kruger – has become a way of life for many nature lovers in South Africa and around the world.

Over the years, however, the true story of the Kruger’s tumultuous early years has been overlooked, abridged, or even re-written to fit in with the tone of the times. So much so that today, most visitors to this remarkable place have very little understanding of how the Kruger came to be (and just how close we came to losing it forever).

Now, ‘Fair Game’ reveals the Kruger’s hidden history, warthogs and all. From its establishment in 1898 as the humble Sabi Reserve, through the 50-year stewardship of its first warden and champion (a stubborn Scotsman named James Stevenson-Hamilton), to its re-birth as the Kruger National Park, and beyond, the story of the KNP is filled with adventure, adversity and more than a few surprises (Spoiler Alert: Paul Kruger had very little to do with it!).

Thoroughly researched and written in a breezy, informative writing style, ‘Fair Game – a hidden history of the Kruger National Park’ is designed as a good read that will enlighten KNP buffs and novices alike. This isn’t just another travel guide or game spotting book with a bit of history thrown in. It’s an engrossing and little-known historical safari, told from a modern perspective, that tells the unlikely tale of an unwanted wasteland that grew into the one of the greatest game reserves on Earth.

RRP: R275 (incl. VAT)

232 pages with two maps of the region / softcover / dimensions: 210x148mm

If you are interested in stocking the book in your store, please contact the author on davidfleminger@gmail.com.

Reviews and Interviews:

In conversation with David Batzofin – Travel and Things: 14/12/2020
Interview with David Batzofin on Radio Today: 10/06/2017
Interview with Tamara Lepine-Williams, Classic FM: 02/10/2017

Customer Reviews:

Just to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book and will pass it on to all my friends and family who love the Kruger like I do. I found the book very readable and enjoyed your humour! Also just loved hearing all the accolades given by you and others in your book to my great grandfather, Richard Kelsey Loveday.  It is so heartening to know that his hard work and total commitment are being given some recognition!

Pam M, September 2018

In the course of his research, the author dug up fascinating titbits about the park and conservation in general. But don’t go thinking that this is a musty history book. Fleminger has a conversational style and reading Fair Game is more like enjoying a lively tale around the campfire. While the first part of the book deals with the park’s history, the second part acts as a travel guide giving tourists information on camps, guided activities and more. This combination makes Fair Game a useful companion, especially for first-time visitors. Kruger aficionados may find the second half treats ground that is well covered, but the park’s ‘biography’ in part one should prove a refreshing read for all but the most expert history buffs.

Magriet Kruger (Wild Card Newsletter Review), August 2018

Can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying this book! … This is by far the most interesting account of the history of the area and surrounds that I have read… I’m definitely going to read it more than once.

Linda S, December 2017

A superb and easy to read summary of a very complex history. The book had a nice flow to it and I never felt like it was dragging at any stage, nor did it feel like it was oversimplified to a point where it would have then become simply a shortened version of the other big books written about the history and development of the park. So to sum it up… I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Andrew VG, January 2018

[5 stars] A fascinating look at the history behind the Kruger National Park. Full of surprising facts and entertaining anecdotes, this book was a lovely read from beginning to end.

Dave V, December 2017 (from kobo.com)

A very enjoyable read about the complex history of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. A fascinating tale and an enjoyable read for every South African and in fact anyone who is interested in wildlife conservation or planning a visit to the park. It’s an easily digestible and entertainingly compiled history of the park and the story of the evolution of global wildlife conservation. Nicely modernized with an up to date view encompassing a modern South African perspective and the importance of the park in the national identity and as a key tourist draw card. The second part of the book serves as a useful guide to anyone planning to visit the park, to maximize the enjoyment of your stay with up to date information and tips.

Customer Review from Amazon.com, May 2017

So interesting to read about the history of the Kruger National Park.

Brigitna L, January 2018 (from Amazon.com)

For a free preview of ‘Fair Game’, click on the image below:

10 Replies to “Fair Game – a hidden history of the Kruger National Park”

  1. I attended your talk on the KNP last Tuesday in Pta – most informative .
    So where can I buy the book , please?

      1. Hi – where are you based? There is a list of retail outlets above. Alternatively, I can courier you 2 copies – takes about 24 hours. Just click on the ‘Buy Now’ at the top of the page and follow the prompts. Thanks!

    1. Hi Eric – sorry about the delay. The print edition of the book is now available. You can order online through this site, or drop me an email with your location and I’ll tell you who’s stocking in your area. Thanks.

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