Book Review: Asia’s Greatest Wildlife Sanctuaries by Fanny Lai & Bjorn Olesen

Long ago in what my kids call the olden days – but I still call the1990s – my two most treasured books were a guide to the national parks of North America, and another on the national parks of South and South East Asia. I would read repeatedly about each and every park and plan trips in my head.

Fanny Lai’s and Bjorn Olesen’s new book, Asia’s Greatest Wildlife Sanctuaries, brings those memories flooding back. Indeed if I had had a copy of this back in the olden days I might have become even more of a mammalwatching junkie.

The book is built on 20 years of wildlife travel and over 300 pages of Bjorn’s spectacular photographs from 27 nature reserves and national parks across 14 countries spanning the massive diversity of Asian ecosystems. From China, Japan and South Korea in the North; through Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in the Southeast; and Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sir Lanka in the South.

Flat-headed Cat, Kinabatangan River, Borneo

There is also a page or two of information on each reserve. Not enough to plan a trip perhaps but certainly enough to get inspired and have a sense of what might be possible. After which naturally you would visit the trip reports on this website I hope!

The book focuses on mammals and birds, and all the proceeds go to Bird Life International to fund their conservation work (some of which I am sure benefits mammals too).

For any mammalwatching friends and family out there: this would make a great present for that mammalwatcher you are lucky – oh so very lucky – to have in your life. It will also keep them quiet for a bit or even get them out of the house, not that you would want that …. I’ve already been inspired to visit a few places I had not considered before.

Avalilable from all leading online bookstores.

Waigeo Spotted Cuscus, Waigeo Island, Rajah Ampat,, Indonesia.

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Jon Hall

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