Kidnapped on Safari

Apr 15, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Going Green, Mysteryrat's Maze, Travel

by Peter Riva

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Kidnapped on Safari, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

My stories have two main characters, one familiar to Western readers as he makes nature documentaries in remote places, and the other a man of the land, a tribal elder.

In the early part of the 1980s I spent time in East Africa and got to know a tracker by the name of Mbuno. Mbuno shared stories of his life as the premier tracker for the likes of Hemingway, Bill Holden, and others. Tony Archer, the top safari outfitter also shared stories about Mbuno during The Troubles (The Mau Mau Revolt) when he and Mbuno were a team trying to prevent slaughter. Mbuno was a wonderful, kind, intelligent man, who explained his life, that of his tribe, and his father’s exploits—which went back all the way to Teddy Roosevelt’s safaris.

Peter with a giraffe

I have been lucky enough to produce a few television specials, a commercial or two, and to create a series called WildThings for Paramount TV; I produced 78 one-hour shows in the 1990s. Producing television in the bush is a unique and demanding trade and I have tried to imbue my character Pero Baltazar with the skills I learned, coupled with the skills every producer needs: to think on your feet and never admit defeat. Pero is reluctantly brave, a very normal human trait. He uses deduction and resources the way Mbuno uses bush skills and the understanding of animal nature. They complement each other in ways that, otherwise, could not result in success.

Unless you have had the honor of spending time deep in the bush, on foot, with an expert guide—whether it be in the great American southwest or East Africa or the Amazon—it is hard to understand how such experts perceive nature. They are part of their environment, not above it, not controlling it, nor holding court over creatures. They see Nature as it really is, something to be marveled at, understood (for their own safety), and operated within. They understand that any attempt to conquer Nature destroys the very environment they cherish. All my stories seek to capture that essence—usually manifest via Mbuno’s ethic and actions.

I live in New Mexico, abutting the Gila Wilderness, 3.5 million acres set aside as wilderness. To be here, to inhale unspoiled air, revel in the scenery, watch the wild animals (bears, coyote, fox, javelina, snakes, and one-third of all the migrating bird species in North America)—it’s like a meal for the senses. The difference between here and East Africa’s wild places? On foot, almost nothing, but Africa has that primordial connection to a part of your brain that you cannot escape. The senses can be overwhelmed with the beauty and majesty.

Are the events in my books real or possible? Real yes, but actual fact? No. Times, events, places are moved about. A similar coup in Tanzania was a real possibility until it was stopped in the ‘70s. Boko Haram kidnapped girls (see news events). Transporting the girls to Tanzania as a means to affect the coup? My imagination made that connection—a thread no one should see coming. Surprise! The trains, the places, the parks, the animals, are all real, researched, or experienced first-hand. Mbuno’s ability to communicate with elephants? As told by him and, in his old age (he was nearly 80 when I knew him) was no longer fully possible—only partially—but the prowess of his father to do so (which his father taught to him), always astounded me and even him. He used to explain, “You have to feel the beat of the place, of nature. Without that, they will not listen.” Mbuno was the real deal. My books seek to capture his truth.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Kidnapped On Safari, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “safari,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 25, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week!

You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Peter Riva’s professional and personal backgrounds provide ample inspiration for his writing; the author also knows the industry. He works as a literary agent with the Manhattan, New York-based International Transactions. “Reality is a strength. I am not a literary master and do not pretend to be. I’m a storyteller, sharing my experiences and knowledge for the pleasure of doing so and to give others the same pleasure I was lucky enough to experience.” Riva is married (for 47 years) to Sandra and they live in Gila, NM.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

5 Comments

  1. Such a kind posting from Kings River Life… thank you!

    I hope everyone gets to share East Africa with me.

    Reply
  2. Cool picture with the giraffe. Interesting about the link to TR.

    Count me in the drawing!

    Reply
  3. Sounds like an interesting book. Love the picture of the giraffe.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    Reply
  4. We have a winner!

    Reply

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