What better way to spoil your dad this Father’s Day, 18 June, than with a wildlife and nature book hamper? Worth R1,300, these reads will tickle all of Dad’s wild interests. By Arnold Ras

One lucky Wild Dad stands the chance of winning five fabulous nature books, courtesy of Struik Nature: Wildlife of Southern Africa, Insectopedia, Guide to Seabirds of Southern Africa, Kingdom of Daylight: Memories of a Birdwatcher, and Field Guide to Succulents in Southern Africa. Enter below!

Wildlife of Southern Africa

Wildlife Carruthers Eng_NE 2016 HR-min

Edited by Vincent Carruthers

Featuring more than 2,000 plant and animal species, this field guide, now comprehensively updated, is simply a must. I never leave the house without mine when visiting Wild Card destinations. Animal and plant groups are colour-coded for easy reference, and full-colour illustrations make it enjoyable and fun to use. In the 2016 edition, nature lovers will now also find distribution maps, and diagnostic features appear in bold to make identification easier. The guide is also available in Afrikaans as Natuurlewe van Suider-Afrika.


Insectopedia_cover for Print-min

By Eric Holm

Intrigued and captivated by the world of insects? This stunning guide delves into the secret world of insects – their biology, weird and wacky behaviour, mating and breeding rituals, metamorphosis, and mind-blowing adaptations. There’s even a chapter focusing on superorganisms, insects’ social communities, and what role these tiny creatures play in our ecosystem. My favourite is, of course, the 60-page identification guide with colour photographs. Dr Erik Holm, an emeritus professor and former head of entomology at the University of Pretoria, did a great job. This book thoroughly deserves its spot on my top 10 list.

Guide to Seabirds of Southern Africa

Seabirds cover_for Print-min

By Peter Ryan

In a previous life, I was definitely some kind of sea creature. Probably why the different forms of life from our oceans fill my dreams. This new release (March 2017) is from the pen of Peter Ryan, director of the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town and Wild contributor. It’s the first publication focusing exclusively on seabirds. To be more exact, some 1,000 species occurring around Southern Africa’s coastline. The book boasts incredible photography that will warm any birder’s heart. For those living near the sea, buying this gem is undebatable.

Kingdom of Daylight: Memories of a Birdwatcher

Kingdom of daylight_Memories of a Birdwatcher-min

By Peter Steyn

Author Peter Steyn has studied birds for more than 70 years. Yes, SEVEN ZERO. Driven by his passion, he has travelled the globe to find out as much as possible about birds. He takes us on a personal journey all over the world, with detailed memories revealing how these feathered species have shaped his life. The book includes more than 400 photographs he took on his quests. What makes it even more appealing, is the fact that Peter is an expert bird photographer and has already published nine books. I cannot wait to get my hands on this one.

Field Guide to Succulents in Southern Africa

Field Guide to Succulents high res cover-min

By Gideon F. Smith, Neil R. Crouch, Estrela Figueiredo

To put it mildly, I’m addicted to succulents: all sizes, all colours. The more, the better. Unfortunately the size of my Cape Town apartment completely cramps my style. Why do I adore this book? Simply because it details more than 700 succulents. No wonder South Africa is home to the richest and most diverse succulent flora in the world. Especially helpful is that succulent addicts can now identify specific families, learn more about their key features, find out where species occur, and marvel at plants’ unique diagnostic features. You will be inspired to immediately transform your garden into an indigenous heaven – beautiful and waterwise.


Want to surprise Dad with this Struik Nature hamper worth R1,300? Email the answer to the question below to [email protected] (subject line: Books for Dad) before 9 July 2017. Remember to include your street and postal address, full names and contact details. Wild will randomly select the winner. The winner will be notified via email.

Question: When is Father’s Day in 2017?

Winner: Esme Jordaan

Source: Struik Nature