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A memoir of adventure and discovery in the Tanzanian bush.
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“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.”

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-- Samuel Johnson

Photo @keyusphotography

Synopsis Cries of the Savanna. An adventure. A journey to understanding African wildlife conservatio

Cries of the Savanna

Her first night in a Tanzanian tent began with a prowling lion’s roar. Will the savage terrors open her eyes to an unseen world?


Sue Tidwell lived in awe of Africa’s extraordinary wildlife. After years spent appreciating the animals in her imagination, the tenderhearted American hated the idea of joining her husband on a big game hunt. And getting attacked by blood-sucking tsetse flies the moment she stepped off the plane gave no hint of the mind-blowing change of perspective in her future… 


With her initial animosity turning into curiosity as they breathlessly tracked dangerous beasts, Sue formed a surprising bond with their young female, government-assigned game scout. And as she became entranced by the tales and wisdom from the Masimba Camp crew, she was humbled by the mystery of the vilified safari and the people who relied on it for survival.


Supplementing her own experiences on the elephant-rutted roads with local insights and scientific research into conservation efforts, Tidwell explores how her preconceived beliefs sluiced away under the deluge of reality. And with an evocative narrative peppered with self-deprecating humor, vivid imagery, and over ninety photos and illustrations, you’ll emerge forever changed by the truths this greenhorn found buried in a rugged and romantic landscape.


Cries of the Savanna is an unflinching and passionate memoir. If you like awe-inspiring adventures, truth revealed through laughter, and life being stranger than fiction, then you'll adore Sue Tidwell's brush with the wild.


Buy Cries of the Savanna to put boots on the ground today!


Editorial Reviews
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Editorial Reviews

"To know Africa is to love her, and also to fear for her. Sue Tidwell captures the magic of safari and the wonder of Africa's wildlife and people ...with a keen sense of understanding the problems of that troubled land. With a new and unique perspective, Cries of the Savanna is a valuable addition to the rich body of Africana." 

-- Craig Boddington, Author, Journalist, Hunter

"...Not only is Cries of the Savanna an engaging adventure story, it is a well-researched and well-written book that opens the door to a full appreciation of the present and future conservation realities of a complex and captivating continent...Even most hunters who embark on an African Safari don't realize the tremendous benefits that safari hunting imparts to the local people and animals, which is why I highly recommend this book to hunters and non-hunters alike.

-- Diana Rupp, Sports Afield, full review to be in 2022 July/August issue

"...Tidwell took me back to my first hunting trip to Africa. Her innocence and sense of discovery are powerful, making for an easy entertaining read..."

-- Dan Cabela, Executive Directorof The Cabela Family Foundation

"...Told amidst the backdrop of a riveting hunting adventure, Sue tackles the very real and relevant complexities of Africa conservation and the often brutal assaults on the hunting industry by the anti-hunting opposition. Sue's scope of understanding and research on the topics at-hand are extraordinary and her support of well-regulated hunting is endorsed by both hunting professionals and non-hunting scientists alike. Sue's aim -- to offer an enlightened apologetic in favor of hunting--to those otherwise opposed to it, hits not only the mark, but the bulls-eye."

-- The Team

"...Sue has done a masterful job of recounting her non-hunter's journey from simple acceptance to complete understanding and unwavering support of big game hunting. Moreover, she seamlessly blends that catharsis into a wonderful tale of life in the Rockies and as an observer on her husband's dream safari in Africa. She will make you laugh out loud, care you more than once and probably coax a tear or two along the way. Whatever your feelings might be about big game hunting and wildlife conservation, there's a great deal for you in these pages!"

-- Dwight Van Brunt, author of Born a Hunter

"Cries of the Savanna is a must read for hunters and non-hunters alike. If you have ever dreamed of going to Africa to hunt, Sue presents an eyes wide open perspective to what it will be like. Similarly, if you are a non-hunter, Sue dispels from a truly authentic position, some of the myths around what hunting is, and more importantly, is not."

-- Dr. Robbie Kroger, Founder Blood Origins

"...written in an engaging and first person style, Tidwell examines the hard choices implicit in any effective conservation program -- which in Africa, requires the regulated take of game by both local communities and trophy hunters. Africa has always generated fantasies, but Tidwell shows us where the realities lie..."

-- Glen Martin, author of  "Game Changer: Animal Rights and the Fate of Africa's Wildlife"

You never forget your first trip to Africa, whichever of the fifty or more countries you visit. And if you've been once, I guarantee that you'll never shake off the feeling that you need to return! In Cries of the Savannah, Sue Tidwell captures some of the confusion, frustration and sheer joy she found in her trip to the Tanzanian bush. From everyday life to global conservation issues, from the simple to the complex, the known to the new, Tidwell's book is an unflinching, and eye-opening, account of the realities of life on a continent many imagine but few ever really spend the time to get to know. 

- Dr. Adam Hart, Professor of Science Communication at University of Gloucestershire, biologist, broadcaster, author

As filmmaker working in remote Africa, I found Cries of the Savanna to be an authentic transformation of one women’s naive perspective of the necessities of life in the bush of Tanzania...It’s society’s cruel ignorance which could spell disaster for Africa’s wildlife and lead to impoverished rural communities.  For the non-outdoorsy type this is a must read. Give Tidwell’s experience a chance to open your mind.”

- TA Opre, director/cinematographer Killing the Shepherd,

"Hunting is not for everyone -- many people would not even consider looking at an animal over the barrel of a gun, let alone pulling the trigger. This is especially the case for charismatic African wildlife that are much-loved around the world. But living in the midst of large, dangerous animals is a different kind of experience to watching them on TV or viewing them from a safe safari vehicle. In-person, sometimes terrifying, experiences with these animals colours rural African views on wildlife, and is a key reason why hunting in Africa is still welcomed by many African governments. The issues are nonetheless extremely complicated and context-specific, so unless you have seen it with your own eyes, the argument for hunting animals as part of conservation may never make sense to you. In this book, Sue Tidwell recounts her experience as she saw the complexities of African conservation and the role of hunting first-hand. Like Sue, I am not a hunter, but I respect my fellow Africans and value African wildlife. If you do, too, then join Sue for an educational adventure.”"

--- Gail Thomson (formerly Potgieter), Felines Communication and Conservation

"SCI founder CJ McElroy often said the only hunters he envied were those experiencing Africa for the first time. Well, I admit I envied Sue just a little bit while I read Cries of the Savanna. Reading the story of her safari in Tanzania brought me back to my first trip to Africa many years ago, with all the awe, wonder, and curiosity of all things about the continent it inspired in me.  Sue also does a masterful job of weaving the untold story of the native people in Africa (who live shoulder to shoulder with wildlife like lions, elephants, and buffalo) and how well-regulated and sustainable hunting actually helps both wildlife conservation and the average person living there into the story of her safari. This book is interesting and highly educational and I highly recommend it to both hunters and non-hunters alike.

- John McAdams, Big Game Hunting Blog/Podcast

Check out John McAdam's List of
15 Best African Hunting Books" on his Big Game Hunting Blog (See link below)

"For those of who love the wild, unspoiled areas of Africa, and its abundant wildlife, Sue Tidwell's 'Cry of the Savanna' reaffirms well our belief that conservation hunting or the sustainable utilization of such wildlife is the only solution for its long-term survival.  I urge those who are opposed to these sentiments to read this thoroughly researched, well-written book with an open, unbiased mind. Do this, and you may be surprised when your opinion changes!"

-- Dr. Kevin Robertson, veterinarian, author, and dedicated conservationist

"...I believe Tidwell's book has and will in time bring change to the perception of the hunting oworld and for this we thank you. I really hope that all none hunters will read it cover to cover...I would like to see it as a setwork at all schools...If I am ever exposed to an Anti-hunter, this book is my weapon for recommended reading!  

-- Kyle Burelli, Wildlife and Tourism Manager, FHT Project Wildlife

Photo @johan_van_zyl_photography

"Hunting in Africa might be a favorite destination, a far-fetched dream, not on the bucket list or even problematic to some hunters. Regardless of where you fall in these categories, this book has something for everyone: adventure, appreciation of nature and universal hunting resources. All hunters should read this book, and they’ll be moved to share it with non-hunters and anti-hunters. Many decisions on African wildlife are dictated by emotional notions of wildlife. As a deeply emotional person, Sue relates to this line of thinking; formerly, she empathized with these decisions. Throughout her journey, her thinking evolved to the realization that to save these species, hunting must be a part of the picture. Her emotions haven’t gone away; they’ve only grown. ‘Cries of the Savanna’ is sure to enthrall and provide a bridge of understanding between the hunting and non-hunting communities.”--Claire Fortenberry, Hunting Life Magazine

-- Claire Fortenberry, Hunting Life Magazine

What Hunters are Saying:

- Dr. Adam Hart, Professor of Science Communication at University of Gloucestershire, biologist, broadcaster, author

Jackson Engel
Amazon 5 Star Review

“Heartfelt, hilarious, and inspiring. As someone who has grown up enjoying the splendors of the African bush firsthand I have to admit that I was skeptical of this books's ability to accurately depict both life on safari, and the realities of wildlife conservation. However, it did not take long for Tidwell to prove me wrong. Chapter after chapter, her genuine passion and intense determination to learn the truth about African conservation oozes from the pages through captivating stories, educational narratives, and intense retrospection. Even after a lifetime spent intimately engage with the topics discussed in this book, I came out of it with expanded knowledge and a renewed conviction to do my part in securing the future of African Wildlife. Whether you are a hunter, animal lover, or simply someone looking for a good adventure story, I encourage you to pick up this book and join Tidwell on a journey of discovery.

Kindle Customer
Amazon 5 Star Review

“...Tidwell presents her book in a dynamic style of fact, chew your nails excitement, exposer of myths and information, and humor...Sue is a marvelous storyteller and would present herself well on any faculty, at any her book!!!"

Nick Fasciano
Amazon 5 Star Review

“Wonderful book in every way. I’m not sure how she did it, but Tidwell managed to write a book about hunting in Africa that I would be equally comfortable recommending to my hunting buddies or to my mother. Remarkable…Hunters and non-hunters alike will find plenty to love about this one. Buy it and share it with your friends.—it’s an important book.”

“...I could identify with, chuckle and even get a bit misty eyed evoking powerful memories of my trips to Africa. Inspired, the very best I've read!"

“...I am so glad to have Sue's narrative for my grandkids, who, as they acquire reading and comprehension skills, will be reading her book alongside the 'Disney' version they will undoubtedly be exposed to in school. Well done Sue!"

Amazon 5 Star Review

I"...Absolutely riveting, edge of your seat reading...As a hunter, it is often hard to explain how hunting is in fact conservation, and an animals best chance for survival in this world...She explains it in a beautiful, terrifying, and loving way, that as a hunter I wish I could do..."

“...I say, "Move over, Mr. Raurk, Sue Tidwell has arrived!'...A damned fine hunting story...No sugar coated fairytale; a fly bitten, dust covered, foot sore, 'I've been there and seen it with my Own eyes' narrative."

Amazon 5 Star Review

“...I can feel the insect bites and visualize the African Wildlife like I'm there! Highly recommend."

“...If you can read only one book on Africa, make it this one!."

Tim Chestnut
Amazon 5 Star Review

Amazon 5 Star Review

Ken Williams
Amazon 5 Star Review

Tommy's Outdoors
Amazon 5 Star Review

More Reviews Available on Amazon Review Site

Reviews: Hunters
Reviews: Non-hunters

What Non-hunters are Saying

- Lauren R.
Amazon 5 Star Review

"Reading through Cries of the Savana brought about a surprising shift in my perspective on wildlife conservation.  As someone who has never hunted or been involved in the hunting world, my opinion on hunting was mostly informed through previous biases or international charities.  Sue Tidwell’s biographical memoir on the savanna helps bring a well-rounded understanding of the complexities surrounding big-game hunting, and why - much to my surprise - legal hunting expeditions play a massive role in ultimately protecting the species that so many of us hold dear to our hearts.  I would encourage others to read this informative and captivating book with an open mind, and to listen to the stories of Africans who know the heartbeat of the land better than anyone else."

- P. Anthony
Amazon 5 Star Review

"...As a non-hunter, I never understood a person's desire to kill the beloved African Wildlife 'for sport'...This is an exciting, informative must-read to get a full understanding of African Wildlife conservation and the benefits of safari hunting

- D. Kraus
Amazon 5 Star Review

"...this book is not merely pages filled strictly with Tidwell's passion and onpinion. As a matter of fact, she never asks her reader to agree with her stance. What she does do however is to invite the reader to consider, weigh and examine all that she has to offer in her book--nothing more."

Amazon 5 Star Review

"When I first picked up "Cries of the Savanna", I fancied myself an ‘activist’ of sorts. I was very against hunting, ESPECIALLY in Africa. I heard all sorts of tales about terrible cruelty, and I even knew someone who had a "trophy room" of animals he had poached. It completely disgusted me. With a bit of a chip on my shoulder, I cracked open "Cries of the Savanna" with a sneer on my lips and judgement all prepared to flow. What I wasn't prepared for, was how Sue Tidwell would take me on an emotional roller coaster, or the education I would receive. Not only did Sue make me laugh, and at times cry, with her memories of her youth, and her adventures in Africa, she educated me on the people and animals that live there. I honestly hadn't considered Africa's people, or how living with the animals we admire and almost revere would affect them. As a bonus, I learned about animals I thought I knew, and some I hadn't even heard of. I found myself holding my breath right along with her as the days passed and adventures came in all kinds of ways. Sue didn't take the fluffy 5 star Africa tour, no no! She was out in the middle of nowhere, hot, sweaty, scared, and I found my opinions changing as hers did. What moved me the most, is that Sue is an everyday person. She laughs, cries, and loves fiercely. Africa changed her life, and by doing so, changed mine as well. EVERYONE should give this book a read, whether you agree with her philosophies or not. It was not just an eye opener for me, I think it could very well change how the world views Africa, and her people.

Amazon 5 Star Review

"I absolutely loved reading Cries of the Savanna by Sue Tidwell. Not only is her writing full of laugh-out-loud and sincere moments, but she also fills her chapters with well-researched and thought-provoking pieces of truth. Tidwell recounts her time spent on a remote, Tanzanian hunting trip through amusing anecdotes and a determination to discover the untold secrets of the far corners of Africa. As a non-hunter and animal lover, I was apprehensive about reading a book centered around hunting and its benefits. However, I was pleasantly surprised at Tidwell’s incredible sense of empathy, depth, and truthfulness. This book highlights the importance of saving Africa’s wildlife and explains how legalized and well-regulated hunting plays a critical role in doing so. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a passion for wildlife conservation, especially the intricate, awe-inspiring, and sacred wildlife of the African bush."

- Marilyn
Amazon 5 Star Review

"...Closing the book awakened my should and left me thirsting for more. I liked this book, I liked it a lot!"

"...I could not wait to crawl into bed at night so I could go to Africa. I love how I learned about conservation & hunting plus all the funny stories. I now have a different outlook when I see animals mounted on the walls. I think most hunters are honoring the animal...."

- Kindle Customer
Amazon 5 Star Review

More Reviews Available on Amazon Review Site

Read Chapter One

A lion barely visible in the dark of night.

The African


Chapter 1

An umbrella acacia tree.

Photo @keyursphotography

Map of Africa with African safari adventure location pinpointed.

"Umphh.  Umphh.  My eyes blinked open in alarm and confusion as the unfamiliar sound pierced thnight air, instantly forming a knot in my gut."  


Author BIO

Sue Tidwell is a multi-award-winning author, owing to her adventurous spirit and thirst to explore wild places.  That passion took her to the Tanzanian bush where she was infected with an extreme case of African fever, a condition that grips a person’s heart like a vice and never lets go. Tidwell, in her debut title Cries of the Savanna, is determined to light that fire in the heart of her readers as well. Her adventure memoir has been honored with a Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal, the Professional Outdoor Media Association’s Pinnacle Award, The Wildlife Society’s Conservation Education award and was a Kindle Book Award semi-finalist. When not at the keyboard, Sue can be found pining for Africa, atop a paddleboard, enjoying her grandchildren’s antics, or engaged in the latest outdoor excursion with her husband Rick.

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