Cries of the Savanna: An adventure. A journey to understanding African wildlife conservation.

An epic Big Game Hunting Safari.

A reluctant sidekick.

A journey to understanding African Wildlife conservation.

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.

-- Samuel Johnson

Photo @keyusphotography

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

Cries of the Savanna

An adventure. An awakening.
A journey to understanding African wildlife conservation.

To be sure, Cries of the Savanna is a story about big game hunting in Africa. Readers will slink warily through the long grass in the wake of Cape buffalo, pursue wild game in meticulous games of follow-the-leader, and lie terror-stricken as the cries of lions and hyenas fill the tent with dread. Yet, the adventure is much more than a hunting safari, it is a story of Africa – as well as its people and wildlife. 

As a non-hunter enchanted by African wildlife, Sue Tidwell never expected to be accompanying her husband on a three-week big game hunting safari in remote Tanzania. Like many Americans, she had romantic notions about African wildlife and a naïve view of how wildlife conservation worked on the Dark Continent. Over the course of her African adventure, that all changed.

Africa is a wondrous and intriguing land but it is also harsh and unforgiving -- for both animals and humans alike. Tidwell’s boots-on-the-ground experiences and relationships with the people of Masimba Camp exposed her to realities that she had never considered. Those truths and her love for the people and wildlife of Africa lit a fire in her gut, fueling a passion to share her journey with the world.

Readers will experience a riveting hunting adventure through the eyes of a greenhorn encountering Africa’s charm and peril for the first time. They will come to know the people of Masimba Camp, while learning about lions, leopards, elephants, hyenas, Cape buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, and many other species. Loaded with humor, emotion, thought-provoking pieces of truth, and 90 pictures and illustrations – Tidwell’s African adventure will bring these people and animals to life, offering a glimpse of a continent that many imagine but few ever really get to know.

Whether an animal lover, conservationist, wanderer, adventurer, or human rights advocate, her unexpected journey will arm readers with the awareness necessary to support rural Africans while conserving Africa’s spectacular wildlife. Only then will the beastly cries of the savanna remain a part of the wild. 

BUY NOW! Travel to the wilds of Tanzania. Discover not only the beastly cries of the savanna but the cries for the world to awaken.

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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

Photo @johan_van_zyl_photography


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 Owen 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


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."

"...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

- Marilyn
Amazon 5 Star Review

More Reviews Available on Amazon Review Site

A lion barely visible in the dark of night.

The African


Chapter 1

An umbrella acacia tree.

Photo @keyursphotography

Map of Africa with Tanzania pinpointed.

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


Author BIO

Writing has always been a hobby for Sue Tidwell. As an outdoorsy venturesome type, she always enjoyed sharing her adventures, and misadventures, with friends and family but had never pursued publishing her work.  A life-altering trip to a remote encampment deep in the Tanzanian bush, however, changed all that.  Her excursion--and the awakening that evolved from it--compelled her to write her first book so that others, too, could join her in the journey.   

Sue lives in rural Idaho with her husband, Rick, who somehow still tolerates her endless musings, faraway trances, and hours camped at the keyboard—all while lost in the wilds of Africa.  

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