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African Silences is a spellbinding and sobering journey through Africa’s ravaged wildernesses. In 1978 and again in 1986, Matthiessen travelled through Senegal, Gambia, the Ivory Coast, Zaire and the Central African Republic to examine the fate of West African wildlife. African Silences shows Matthiessen at his best, taking the reader on hair-raising flights over forest and savanna, high-speed dashes by car along dirt roads, and slow journeys by river boat and jungle track, to encounter rare and endangered animals – elephants, gorillas and rhinos amongst them – and the wildlife biologists who study and attempt to protect them.