** FILE** Two pygmy elephants cross the road in Taliwas forest on Malaysia's Sabah state on Borneo Island in this July 21, 2005 file photo. Borneo's pygmy elephants may be descendants of an extinct Javan elephant race, saved by chance by an 18th century ruler, according to a new study released Thursday, April 17, 2008. The study suggests that a small number of opposite-sex elephants can produce a thriving progeny of thousands if left undisturbed on an island, giving fresh hope to conservationists trying to protect nearly extinct species of large mammals. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)
TOPEKA LIBRARY -- On Safari with Gary K Clarke is not just another travelogue; it’s a personal expression of his feelings and involvement with Africa and its various dimensions over nearly four decades. For all of his life, Gary K. Clarke has had a mystical affinity with Africa–animals, people, geography, exploration with an emphasis on Africa wildlife and its various dimensions over nearly four decades. DISCOVER the most important thing to take on a safari… the answer will surprise you!
This Thursday, July 7th, Gary will answer this question: “What is the most important thing to take on Safari?” and promises the answer will surprise you. You will SEE a real elephant tooth, HEAR Animal sounds of Africa, TOUCH a unicorn walking stick, and COMPARE a rhino horn with a hippo tooth and an elephant tusk. Each audience member will be give a 20-inch piece of purple yarn, and you will learn what to do with it Thursday night!
For a quarter of a century Gary has explored Africa from Kilimanjaro to the Kalahari, from Timbuktu to Zanzibar. In the course of these journeys he has sought the intrinsic qualities of this great continent, its indispensable essence. He has discovered that the soul of Africa lies not in a particular geographical location, but within the richness and diversity of experiences.
On Safari more than 110 times, Gary Clarke has slept under the stars in the Kalahari Desert, canoed the Zambezi River, camped on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, and trekked gorillas in the Virunga Mountains. His travels have taken him to the inner depths of the Okavango Delta in Botswana; the desolate shores of Lake Turkana in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya; the remote and isolated Skeleton Coast in Namibia; the source of the Nile; and across the Great Rift Valley. In 1989 he celebrated his 50th birthday by climbing Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
A student of Africana, Gary conveys a true feeling for the land, the animals and the culture of this diverse and complex continent. Much of this passion is captured in his book I’d Rather Be on Safari. Gary’s philosophy while on Safari embraces Africa as the classroom with the animals and people as the teaching aides. His role is to serve as interpreter. Since 1974 Gary has led hundreds of people on Safari ranging in age from teens to octogenarians. He is the owner of Cowabunga Safaris.
And fans, by the way.. Gary recently did an interview on the library’s podcast “HUSH” telling a story: A New Gnu Tail from Gary K. Clarke, telling a tale about the African Gnu, the sturdy African antelope pronounced “noo” but not “ganoo.” Hear Gary’s gnu story at http://www.tscpl.org/library-stories/hush-a-podcast-from-your-library-episode-8/. You may also learn more about the Gnus, Weather and Sports—read Gary K. Clarke’s book: HEY MISTER—YOUR ALLIGATOR’S LOOSE!