Book Review: Underdogs by Neil Aldridge

Gerry van der Walt All Authors Leave a Comment

Looking around social media platforms like Facebook you will, especially recently see a lot of images of the African Wild Dog.

It would be very easy to assume that there wonderfully enigmatic animals are thriving and easy to see when you head out into the wild places of Africa.

The reality is unfortunately a very different story and in his new book, Underdogs, Neil Aldridge shares his images, facts and the plight of this critical endangered species.

Underdogs by Neil Aldridge

“Underdogs paints a stark picture and every page tells of a species that is desperately hanging on to existence.  Yet, through his research and experience of the conservation industry, Neil tells us why tourism, technology, the media, scientific research and collaboration between conservation bodies all offer hope for the African Wild Dog.”

Having personally been involved in the Madikwe Game Reserve, which is known for it’s population of Wild Dogs, I have a soft spot for these amazing animals so I was very keen to get my hands on a copy of Neils’ book.

As a photographer I can appreciate not only the beauty of the images but also the dedication and time spent in the field in order to capture all the different images in the book.

More than that, and this is what makes this book stand apart from the rest is the stories, the information and the amount of details that Neil shares with regards to where the Wild Dog finds itself in the continuous battle between tourism and conservation.

Underdogs by Neil Aldridge

 “Wild dogs roam over huge distances and radio tracking is needed to keep up with packs outside of the denning season. Sometimes they move so far that climbing a hill to get a better signal is the only option.”

I have had the privilege of being involved in numerous conservation activities in which we collard Wild Dogs and by doing so, and working with ecologists and other conservation entities, gained a much deeper understanding and appreciation for what it will take to save the African Wild Dog from extinction.

In Neil’s book you will be able follow the complete Wild Dog story, learn more about their behavior and see what it’s going to take to make sure that they will be hunting the grass plains of Africa for many years to come.

Underdogs by Neil Aldridge

Underdogs by Neil Aldridge

Even though many bookstores are closing as people choose to go digital I still have a thing for a good coffee table book.

Due to it’s fantastic imagery this book will not only be a great addition to your coffee table collection but will also educate through Neil’s writing and heartfelt story-telling.

As I paged through the book it was great to see, and it is quite evident, that Neil was not just focused on photographing the Dogs but about telling the entire conservation story.

Underdogs by Neil Aldridge

Underdogs by Neil Aldridge

“With acute senses, a lightweight body, unrivaled stamina and power in numbers, the African Wild Dog is one of Africa’s most successful hunters.   But these remarkable characteristics saw the African Wild Dog fare badly with the arrival of big game hunters in Africa in the late 19th century.  This charismatic carnivore has been an underdog in it’s fight to find it’s place in a developing continent ever since.  Here, Neil Aldridge celebrates what is special about the African Wild Dog and explores the efforts being made to secure it’s future in South African and beyond.”

Get Your Copy Now

With Christmas around the corner this book will make an amazing gift for anybody who is keen on nature, photography and conservation.  It is in a word – stunning!

If you are in South Africa you can order a copy from Kalahari by clicking here.

International readers can order a copy from Amazon by clicking here.

Underdogs by Neil Aldridge

For more information on Neil or to view more of his work you can check out the links below:

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Whether you get this book for the great images or because it tells the conservation story of an African icon – it’s most definitely worth it!

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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