Right from opening the cover of the book the golden glowing pages spells out that a high quality research work complimented with breath taking photos awaits.  Even if you take off the dust cover no effort was spared – you are greeted with the same high quality images as on the dust cover – a magnificent male lion with a waving mane posing in the desert wind.

So, let us  start turning the 360 pages of the book.

It is evident that a lot of love and dedication were put into the research for this book by Philip Stander who has a lifelong interest in the lions of the Namib.  Philip literally lived in his equipped vehicle in the desert to follow the roaming desert kings.  The journey takes you through the history of the lion species (Panthera Leo).  As with Philip Stander these magnificent beasts also captured the mind of Ernest Hemingway in his memoirs.

Although a lot of research statistics are shared throughout the book it is easy to follow and understandable which contributes to the success of this high quality book.  The reader gets to know lions like Adolf and Rosh and their mates.  You learn about their identification marks, home ranges and eventually how each king came sadly to its end.   There is the amazing story of the  lion that swam across the Kunene and roamed Angola for 15 days and in the process covered 330 kilometers.

The “behind the scenes” snippets give you a glimpse on what challenging filming conditions (think dust, extreme temperatures, long hours, shivering nights, a nomadic existence in the desert) Will and Lianne Steenkamp endured, but still accomplished an outstanding job to capture the enigma of the desert lions.  Dedicating your life to capture the desert lions, it is hard not to become emotionally involved with them.  Throughout the book a special relationship, based on respect,  between man and beast is noticeable.

Today, lion tourism is an essential yet sensitive tourist activity in Northern Namibia which brings a valuable revenue to continue the ongoing research projects.  The biggest challenge to date is to find the balance between tourist activities (i.e. off road driving by people in search of the elusive lions in drive riverbeds) and giving God’s creation space to roam free.

Thank you EC Meet Up and HPH Publishing for a First Edition (2018) prize we received.  For some more outstanding publications visit HPH Publishing’s website at:  If you want to learn more about the desert lions of Namibia then head over to:

I think this is a bucket list trip as I have never seen the desert lions and wild horses of Namibia.   Time to start planning on that 2019 trip …..  Have I mentioned that I just LOVE planning trips?


  • The book is well indexed with an easy to follow layout and fascinating facts and figures
  • ISBN: 978-0-9946924-6-7
  • For a sneak peak on the content and beautiful work on Vanishing Kings, click here

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