The Man With The Black Dog: A true modern-day Jock of the Bushveld


The Man With The Black Dog
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The Man With The Black Dog: A true modern-day Jock of the Bushveld

Mario Cesare

ISBN 9781868423934

Mario Cesare wrote about his life as a game ranger in his memoir Man-eaters, Mambas and Marula Madness. Through these stories his readers have come to know and love, Shilo, a dog in a million and the love of Mario’s life.

Though Mario is a game ranger and conservationist, this is not just another “40 years as a game ranger” type of book. It is the story of an adventurous life - spanning both pre- and post-1994 Southern Africa – which is interwoven with the tale of an intense, loving 14-year relationship between himself and his dog Shilo.

This relationship between man and dog was clearly meant to be from the day Mario first took the tiny newborn pup into his hands. It has lasted through innumerable adventures of duck-hunt and killer crocodile, wounded buffalo, lion, leopard and poacher.

The Man with the Black Dog is permeated by the same love and empathy that made Jock of the Bushveld such a classic and it is also, of course, a very South African story. Never before has the story of a man and his dog revealed so much of the flavour of life in such an exquisite wild location and, though over a century has passed since the transport wagons carved their trails to and from Delagoa Bay, the scent evoked of dust and rain remains the same and the grey ghosts of kudu and elephant still melt into the bush.

Mario Cesare’s career has taken him, and Shilo, from Timbavati and Mala Mala to Olifants River and beyond – and he delights in sharing his good fortune. His latest task is developing and nurturing the Olifants River Game Reserve as the fences of the Greater Kruger National Park area fall, undoing generations of damage.




The Author

Mario CesareMario Cesares career has taken him from Timbavati and Mala Mala to Olifants River. His memoir, Man-eaters, Mambas and Marula Madness provides a wealth of lessons on conservation as well as stories of life in the bush as it is enjoyed only by those fortunate enough to live on a Big Five reserve.

More recently he has written The Man with the Black Dog, a touching story of a man and his faithful canine companion. With a naturalist’s eye for detail as well as the bigger picture of managing a fragile ecosystem through years of drought and plenty, Mario Cesare brings a storyteller’s delight – and a dash of Italian passion – to sharing his world.






Reviews, News & Interviews:

A delightful, stirring read … an enthralling insight into real life on a game reserve. -Michelle Magwood