An Arid Eden by Garth Owen-Smith is a very interesting personal account of conservation in the Kaokoveld area of Namibia in Africa. Once a verdant, lush area which abounded in wildlife, this beautiful Eden became a sparse, arid area on the brink of becoming a desert because of poor use of the land by people of the early twentieth century of the former South African regime, which raped the land with disregard for its natural inhabitants of people and animals. In a unique experiment by determined people who cared enough to nurture this land back to its natural, thriving green potential and save the wildlife habitation before it was too late, the Kaokoveld gradually became one of the conservation successes of the century. Garth visited there in 1967 and became inspired to help make it what it used to be. He worked with the local and NGO's who realized the old ways of using the land preserved it so they returned to helping nature through the old African ways. Now animals are carefully guarded against poaching as their herds rebuild from near extinction, especially the black rhinos. It is a success story that should be studied, but the book is a very enjoyable read as Garth's memoirs of four decades of loving work by amazing people. A terrific read for anyone interested in saving our wonderful planet.
-- Bonnie Neely, Real Travel Adventures, March 2012