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Ron Thomson Books

Ron Thomson is a former game warden and retired national parks board director. He has had over 46 years experience in southern African wildlife management affairs including 28 years of full-time service in various national park departments and 3 years working as a professional hunter. He now writes books "to create a better informed public" - better informed, that is, about the realities of wildlife management.

African hunters and anyone else who is genuinely interested in conservation and sustainable utilisation of Africa's wild areas and wildlife must read 'Managing Our Wildlife Heritage'.

Please note, this page contains affiliate links, which means Shakari Connection receives a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Managing Our Wildlife Heritage

Managing Our Wildlife Heritage by Ron Thomson (2006). "I found myself engrossed in a work of great substance and importance. Don't let the small size of this book fool you; it is one of the best and most lucid guides to conservation and wildlife management in Africa that I have ever read. It carries a profound message for all Africans. Our critically important societal conservation priorities are: number one - the soil; number two - the plants; and number three - the animals. Don't get distracted by emotional debates about the animals - without the soil they are doomed anyway!" Dr John Ledger

A Game Warden's Report

A Game Warden's Report by Ron Thomson (2003). "There isn't anybody who loves wildlife and/or who works with wildlife, in Africa, therefore, who can afford not to have this book on their bookshelves" M C de Jager, South Africa. Currently unavailable.

The Adventures Of Shadrek: Southern Africa's Most Infamous Elephant Poacher

The Adventures Of Shadrek: Southern Africa's Most Infamous Elephant Poacher by Ron Thomson (2001) is the story of a man called Shadrek, whose elephant poaching exploits in Gonarezhou National Park are legend. Ron Thomson was the game warden in charge of the Gonarezhou Park and pursued the fascinating character called Shadrek.


Mahohboh: Elephants And Elephant Hunting In South Central Africa by Ron Thomson (1997) is arguably the definitive work on elephant hunting ever written. It explains elephant management and the role elephant hunting plays in it. There is a lot about elephant shot placement - the author explaining just how to get a bullet into an elephant's brain is a major objective. The heart and lung shots are also described and the value of shots into the spine and hip joints when wounded elephants are running away.

The Wildlife Game

The Wildlife Game by Ron Thomson (1992). The author's opening words..."If there is anything certain in this world - and in this day and age - it is that the pace of change in matters affecting wildlife is so fast that whatever is written on the subject normally becomes very rapidly out of date. This, happily, does not apply to this book. The wildlife management principles outlined in this book are applicable to wild animal populations all over the world. Furthermore, they will be just as valid in the distant millenia as they are appropriate in this last decade of the twentieth century." So this book distills years of practical experience and puts it in scientific context. This book has as much to offer the poorly-informed layman or journalist.

On Wildlife Conservation

On Wildlife "Conservation" by Ron Thomson (1986) is a very readable book (minimal scientific jargon) about the principles and practicalities of wildlife management.

God Created Man The Hunter

God Created Man The Hunter by Ron Thomson (2010) covers his life from 1955 to 1961. It describes the author's introduction to big game hunting and his leopard control work in the Matopos National Park and his elephant hunting training out of Main Camp, Hwange National Park. By 1961 he had successfully hunted 20 leopards, 18 elephants, 3 buffalo, a hippo and a lion. The book is filled with some amazing and powerful big game hunting stories. This is the first book in the 'Big Game Hunting' memoir series. Kindle Version UK Kindle Version USA

Stand Your Ground

Stand Your Ground by Ron Thomson (2011) covers his life from 1961 to 1964 and describes the author's game ranging and big game hunting adventures in and around Hwange National Park. This is the second book in the 'Big Game Hunting' memoir series. Kindle Version UK Kindle Version USA

In The Shadow Of Nyaminyami

In The Shadow Of Nyaminyami by Ron Thomson (2012) covers his life from 1964 to 1968 and is the third book in the 'Big Game Hunting' memoir series. It includes the time when Lake Kariba was filled to capacity for the first time in 1963. The lake displaced 57000 Batonka people and hundreds of thousands of wild animals which were required to find new places to live together away from the lake shore. The incidence of crop raiding by elephants and buffaloes was enormous and there were several cases of man-eating lions. It was the author’s responsibility to deal with all these conflict situations. Kindle Version US

Black Rhino

Black Rhino by Ron Thomson (2013) describes his experiences darting and capturing black rhino with Rupert Fothergill in Operation Noah. This is the fourth book in the 'Big Game Hunting' memoir series. When Fothergill was seriously gored by a rhino, the author was, at the time, the only person in the country with black rhino capture experience. He took charge of the black rhino capture operations and he continued for the following seven years. During that time he replaced the old CO2 powered capture guns with new, powerful powder-charged weapons of his own design and he perfected the use of the new drug M-99. Kindle Version US

The Sky Came Tumbling Down

The Sky Came Tumbling Down by Ron Thomson (2014) covers the last 15 years (1968 to 1983) of the author's service in the Rhodesian (and later Zimbabwean) Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management. It saw him rise from the rank of senior game ranger to the post of game warden-in-charge of the Gonarezhou National Park in 1968. This is the fifth book in the 'Big Game Hunting' memoir series. Kindle Version US

Game Rangers At War

Game Rangers At War by Ron Thomson (2014). In this book, Ron Thomson explains how Rhodesia's most experienced game rangers and their personal trackers used their hunting skills to track down and engage Zimbabwe's nationalist guerrillas during the Rhodesian Bush War. This is the sixth and final book in the 'Big Game Hunting' memoir series. Kindle Version US

Elephant Conservation: The Facts & The Fiction

Elephant Conservation: The Facts & The Fiction by Ron Thomson (2021) proves, with incontestable biological fact, that 'animal rights' propaganda - "uncontrolled and uncontrollable commercial poaching is threatening the elephant with extinction" - is a blatant lie. He also asks the question: Why would the animal rightists do such a thing? The reason is quite simple, the author states... when it is understood that the animal rights doctrine supports the biggest confidence industry the world has ever known. The animal rightist NGOs tell this lie, among many others, with great passion and emotion in order to create hype and hysteria in the minds of the public who know nothing about Africa's elephants or their management but who are concerned by the false narrative that the elephant is supposedly facing extinction.

The Spirit Of Nehanda

The Spirit Of Nehanda: A Rhodesian Game Ranger's War Story by Ron Thomson (2013) is the author's first novel - a 'faction' book (fiction based on fact). It tells the story of a Rhodesian game warden who voluntarily offered his big game hunting and tracking skills to the Rhodesian Security Forces during the Bush War. It is a human story which, because it is fictional, allowed the author to present the case for both sides of the conflict. Kindle Version UK Kindle Version USA

Kindle Only Books By Ron Thomson

Elephant Hunting: Facts & Fables

Elephant Hunting: Facts & Fables by Ron Thomson (2015). To hunt an elephant...Or NOT to hunt an elephant? That is the question! But what is the answer? This book will explain the answer.

'A Hunter's Tales...A Hunter's Trails' by Ron Thomson (2014) was a series of 8 books written especially for Kindle. They were drawn from Ron Thomson's 24 years of service as a game ranger/game warden in the Rhodesian Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management - and before. They come from the period 1955 to 1980, the final 25 years of the colonial era in Africa.

Rhodesia, the last of the European possessions in Africa to be de-colonised disappeared into the mists of time when the British colony of Southern Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980.

There were many epic tales in this series. They are likely to be the last of the truly free-range/fair-chase big game hunting stories to come out of Africa's colonial past. Many are epic hunting adventure stories - the likes of which, and the circumstances of which, can never be repeated.

In 2021 the 'A Hunter's Tales...A Hunter's Trails' series was revised and reorganised. The new series, now titled 'A Hunter's Trails And A Hunter's Tales' also contains new stories that were not published in the original series.


A Hunter's Trails And A Hunter's Tales: Buffalo by Ron Thomson (2021) discusses hunting the African buffalo. The author debunks the myth that the most dangerous animal to hunt in Africa is the wounded buffalo. That reputation must go to the unwounded buffalo that is being relentlessly pursued by a hunter. The unwounded buffalo is not hurting or incapacitated, so it is not afraid of the hunter who is trailing it - it just more and more irritated. A wounded buffalo, however, is sore and frightened - it is incapacitated by its wound and it doesn’t want a second dose of the same medicine - so it keeps on running. When big game hunters understand this truth, the way they hunt African buffalo will change forever if the buffalo they are following doesn't 'take them out' first.


A Hunter's Trails And A Hunter's Tales: Elephant by Ron Thomson (2021) is the author's personal account of hunting elephants in Africa.


A Hunter's Trails And A Hunter's Tales: Lion by Ron Thomson (2021) is a collection of tales about the author's lion hunting experiences including stock-killing lions and man-eaters. He believes that shooting a lion which comes to a bait, from a hide, is not hunting. Hunting a lion by the walk-and-stalk method is the only ethical way to sport hunt a lion. When a lion attacks a pestering hunter, it comes at him at speeds only equalled by those of a champion racehorse.


A Hunter's Trails And A Hunter's Tales: Leopard by Ron Thomson (2021) is a collection of tales about the author's leopard hunting experiences. Unlike lions when a leopard sees a hunter approaching, if it doesn’t slink away, it will lie unmoving and silent. So, when it attacks, the animal will seemingly come fast and furiously, and unexpectedly, from very close quarters. They tend to avoid conflict with the hunter but when pushed they are not averse to launching a surprise attack.


A Hunter's Trails And A Hunter's Tales: Hippopotamus by Ron Thomson (2021) includes some very interesting capture-hunts, some very unusual stories about hippo behaviour at night and the final story is about the nocturnal capture-hunt and translocation of a problem bull hippo that is too unusual for most people to believe.

Black Rhino

A Hunter's Trails And A Hunter's Tales: Black Rhino: Capture Hunting is an account of the author's seven years pioneering work capturing of black rhinos in the Zambezi Valley. The black rhino is solitary and nocturnal, so it is considerably more dangerous to approach and to dart than a white rhino. Ron Thomson and his team captured 140 of these creatures during which three of his colleagues were gored.

Blood Bath At Shapi

A Hunter's Trails And A Hunter's Tales: Blood Bath At Shapi by Ron Thomson (2021) is the true account of an extraordinary chain of events that led to an unblievable tale of survival the African bush.

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Page Updated: Oct 2021

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