Ep 244 – Sue Tidwell: Cries of the Savanna


Sue Tidwell, author of Cries of the Savanna, embarks on a riveting journey with Sam on The Wild Initiative to share her profound love for hunting and conservation in the heart of Africa. Sue’s story unfolds against the backdrop of a childhood in a hunting family, but her personal hunting adventures didn’t kick off until she met her husband in the untamed wilderness of Alaska.

Yet, it was a trip to Tanzania, Africa, driven by her husband’s dream, where Sue’s perspective on hunting underwent a transformative shift. Initially resistant to targeting specific African species, Sue’s real-life encounter with Africa and its unique hunting landscape profoundly changed her outlook. In this episode, she passionately articulates why hunting and trophy fees play a pivotal role in supporting African communities and conservation efforts.

As Sue guides us through her adventure, we are introduced to the remarkable individuals she encounters, including a 23-year-old female game scout, Lilian Mremi. These encounters provide invaluable lessons and forge deep connections that underscore the interconnectedness of hunting, conservation, and the people of Africa.

The discussion delves into the heart of Sue’s book, Cries of the Savanna, a work that masterfully blends engaging stories with compelling facts to emphasize the pivotal role of well-managed hunting in preserving habitats and wildlife. Sue passionately underscores the need for an emotional connection to convey the importance of hunting in conservation. Cries of the Savanna encapsulates this emotional journey, inviting readers to fall in love with Africa and become advocates for its unique hunting heritage.

The episode’s narrative continues with the challenges of hunting in Africa, including quests for buffalo, zebra, and guinea fowl, including a thrilling narrative about her husband’s Cape Buffalo “Dagga Boy” hunt. Sue offers vivid insights into the tactics and nuances of African hunting, illustrating the thrill and difficulty of tracking elusive game across the savanna. Sue also touches on the cost of hunting in Africa, providing valuable perspectives on budgeting and the temptation to pursue additional game once on the continent. She shares experiences of forming deep bonds with locals, encountering venomous snakes, and the importance of secure, zippered tents to keep out unwelcome wildlife.

The conversation takes an inspiring turn as Sue highlights the multifaceted benefits of hunting camps in Tanzania, where jobs are created, wildlife is protected, and poaching is deterred. These camps play a pivotal role in fostering coexistence between communities and wildlife, ultimately safeguarding precious habitats.

Throughout the episode, Sue underscores the importance of understanding the significance of hunting in Africa. She emphasizes the need to respect local rules and regulations and the scarcity of meat in the daily diets of African communities. Sue’s account of her African experiences provides a profound contrast to the convenience of obtaining meat in North America. As Sue aptly puts it, “No meat goes to waste in Africa.”

In this episode, Sue’s compelling narrative paints a vivid picture of Africa’s wild heart, the essential role of hunting in its conservation, and the profound connection between people and the land. Join us on this remarkable journey and discover why Cries of the Savanna is a must-read for anyone curious about the wild world of hunting and conservation in Africa.

Guest Info

Sue Tidwell

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