Book Review | Soul of a Lion

Title: Soul of a Lion: One Woman’s Quest to Rescue Africa’s Wildlife Refugees

Author: Barbara Bennett

My Review:

This is a book from National Geographic. A biography of Marieta van der Merwe and her family, her struggles as a child growing up in Namibia. From cattle farmers to wildlife conservationists, Marieta and her husband, Nick, formed the Harnas Wildlife Foundation.

A dedicated animal lover, Marieta and her family will not turn away any animal that needs a home. Injured, sick and orphaned, from baboons and lions, hyenas and meerkats, predators and prey alike are welcome at Harnas with open arms. Sam, a lion at Harnas, was infected with “AIDS” by accident at a clinic. Bjoertjie, a baboon, has epilepsy and Downs Syndrome. Most of the orphaned animals that go to Harnas, end up there because a farmer has shot and killed their parents. Only noticing afterwards that they have a baby with them. In the case of baboons, some babies are taken from the dead bodies of their mothers. African life is anything but easy, but the van der Merwe’s have overcome many tragedies and obstacles along the way.

The Harnas Wildlife Foundation now welcomes volunteers to their preserve. People who pay to stay and work on site. You can go there and feed lions, play with baboons, care for hyenas, sleep with cheetahs and work until you’re too tired to stand. I can’t imagine the life these people live, but I’m deeply moved by their willingness to give their lives to save these creatures when so many people see them as nuisances on their land. A portion of the proceeds from this book will benefit Harnas Wildlife Foundation. If you love animals and want to help in the preservation of African species, buy this book! You won’t regret it. You might even find yourself planning a vacation in Africa.

*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*


Myla is a life-long resident of Nova Scotia, Canada. She is married with two sons. A self-described bookworm, her hobbies also include knitting, painting, photography and music.

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