White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris

White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris

Herne, Brian

1999

Reviews

From the Dustjacket

"Brian Herne provides invaluable documentation of a period that might otherwise have been consigned to oblivion, and does so with great style, high drama and skillful storytelling." - Raleigh News and Observer

East Africa affects our imagination like few other places: the sight of a charging rhino goes directly to the heart; the limitless landscape of bony highlands, desert, and mountain is, as Isak Dinesen wrote, of "unequalled nobility." White Hunters is the story of seventy years of African adventure, danger, and romance. It re-creates the legendary big-game safaris led by Selous and Bell and the daring ventures of early hunters into unexplored territories, and brings to life such romantic figures as Cape-to-Cairo Grogan, who walked four thousand miles for the love of a woman, and Dinesen's dashing lover, Denys Finch Hatton. Witnesses to the richest wildlife spectacle on the earth, these hunters were the first conservationists. Hard-drinking, infatuated with risk, and careless in love, their exploits inspired Hemingway's stories and movies with dark Gable and Gregory Peck.

Evoking the world of big-game hunting before poaching and politics intervened, White Hunters is a grand, sweeping adventure story featuring incredible places, animals, and people.

"A rich portrait of a magnificent landscape, its animal inhabitants and some of its most reckless human interlopers."- Publishers Weekly

Book ID 623

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 044a
Extract Date: 1907

A three-month safari to German East

Another American equally enchanted by Africa was a millionaire Ohio banker, Kenyon Painter, who hired Bronson's hunter, George Outram, and Arusha hunter Ray Ulyate for a three-month safari to German East in 1907. Painter's first safari led to an astonishing collection of wildlife and bird specimens. Between 1907 and his death in 1940, Painter made thirty-one extended hunting safaris. Although little known today. Painter was one of the first to exploit business opportunities in German East on a grand scale, far greater than most pioneer hunter clients in British territory.

Extract ID: 3804

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 044b
Extract Date: 1910-11

Third safari

Painter returned on his third safari in 1910-1911, but this time he brought his young bride, petite New Yorker Maud (nee Wyeth). At Nairobi, Roosevelt's safari, which had been headed by R. J. Cunninghame, had just returned from Sudan, and the Painters purchased much of Roosevelt's outfit. Teddy, who was a personal friend, had given Painter his leather writing case fitted with glass shades and candles, and even a pair of his massive knee-high safari boots, which tipped the scales at a staggering 4 pounds 11 ounces each. Kenyon and Maud's honeymoon safari was led by unknown Arusha white hunters named Twigg and Smith.

(One of the Smith brothers was killed in action by General Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck's Schutztruppe at the Battle of Longido Hill in 1915. Hamilton Twigg died of blackwater fever at Kondo Irangi 1916 during the British advance on von Lettow's positions.)

Extract ID: 3805

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 045
Extract Date: 1911

The tiny frontier town of Arusha

The Painters were as intrigued by Smith's beautiful coffee estate as they were with the tiny frontier town of Arusha. Unlike downtown Nairobi's flat-as-a-pancake landscape, Arusha was beautifully sited at the southern base of Mount Kilimanjaro's sister mountain, Meru, amid rolling green foothills. Towering above Arusha township is the 14,979-foot cone of Mount Meru's extinct volcano, which is more reminiscent of an Alpine landscape than of tropical Africa, for sometimes the peak is dusted with snow. Three swift, gin clear mountain streams flow through the perennially green, well wooded settlement, which had originally grown up around a German fort or boma (Swahili for cattle corral). The well-fortified boma was garrisoned with a platoon of soldiers and staffed by a handful of German civil administrators and police. (The fort's stone-rag, or uncut stone, structure endured and remained in use as a police station, jail, and administrative offices until 1965, when it became a museum.)

Extract ID: 3806

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 046a
Extract Date: 1907

Arusha in 1907

When Kenyon Painter had first arrived at Arusha by ox wagon and mules back in 1907, the town boasted one tiny hotel, known by the name of its Jewish owner. Bloom's. Bloom's was nothing more than a whitewashed, mud-brick building with a roof of corrugated iron sheeting. It had a dozen bedrooms, a chintzy lounge, and a bar cum dining room overlooking a fast snow melt stream called the Themi River. Sunburned German settlers routinely gathered for schnapps and songs on the verandah. The few British residents slouched in for pink gins much as they did in the more sumptuous surroundings of the Norfolk in Nairobi.

Adjacent to the hotel was John Mulholland's Store, which dealt in everything from rhino horn and ivory tusks to trophies of every sort, along with the best groceries in town. He also sold rifles, pistols, likker, vegetables and tinned goods, tents, bedding, mosquito nets, pots and pans, saddles and tack. Arusha was made up of a few modest dwellings, a telegraph office, a couple of rickety Indian-owned mud dukas with false storefronts, a German blacksmith, livery stables, and half a dozen shops owned by Germans, Greeks, and South Africans trading in farm implements, seed beans, cattle, and goatskins. In the town lived several hundred Africans, mostly members of the Wa-Arush, a mixture of intermarried Masai and Meru tribesmen who were sedentary subsistence agriculturalists growing bananas, corn, and cassava. Surrounding the town were German-developed small holdings carved out of nothing and growing everything from cereals to cherries, apples, citrus, coffee, cocoa, vanilla, and rubber.

Extract ID: 3807

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 046b
Extract Date: 1912~

Fourth Safari

Kenyon and Maud Painter could not wait for their fourth safari, led this time by George Outram. Painter shot a Roosevelt's sable in the Shimba hills south of Mombasa. His trophy was the last Roosevelt's sable legally shot, for game ranger Blayney Percival made the species "Royal" or protected game.

During his safari with Outram, Painter wounded a lion with a shot in the neck. The enraged animal promptly charged Painter's gunbearer, who fired at it but missed. The gunbearer's bullet struck the wooden fore-end of Painter's .350 Mauser rifle; otherwise Painter would have been killed. Cool-headed Outram shot the lion through the brain as it savaged the gunbearer. The experience did nothing except further spur Painter's fascination with lion. Several days later he shot a magnificent old black-maned specimen on the Ardie Plains, a few miles from town.

Extract ID: 3808

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 046c
Extract Date: 1913~

Safari with Thompson and Noadi

On his next trip to Africa Painter hired two little-known Arusha hunters by the names of Thompson and Noadi.

Extract ID: 3809

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 122a footnote
Extract Date: 1927

Tanganyika Guides

Philip Percival and Bror Blixen were for a time in a partnership. Blixen's branch of the firm was Tanganyika Guides; Percival's, African Guides, based in Kenya. The partnership was managed by J. M. Manley.

Extract ID: 3810

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 122b
Extract Date: 1927

Hunting near the Crater

In 1927 Dick Cooper engaged Blixen for a three-month safari. Blixen was on hand to meet his client on the docks at Mombasa, and the safari was soon making its journey inland.

. . . . .

Blixen subsequently took Cooper into Tanganyika to hunt in the area surrounding Ngorongoro crater. In 1927 there were still no roads in the region, which teemed with an assortment of wildlife. Bror had engaged porters at Nganika Springs, northeast of the crater, and the safari had trekked up the steep slopes to the forested rim at eight thousand feet, then down the other side to the floor of the crater at six thousand feet.

Blixen had obtained permission to camp in the crater so that Cooper could obtain exotic wildlife films. Before the war two German brothers named Siedentopf had lived on the crater floor and killed thousands of wildebeest in order to can the tongues, which were carted out on the backs of porters all the way to Arusha.

One of the brothers, Adolf, wound up dead with a Masai spear through the abdomen. Arusha white hunter George W. Hurst was subsequently granted a 99-year lease on the crater.

When Hurst was later killed by an elephant, the lease passed to an Englishman [sic: he was Scottish] named Sir Charles Ross, manufacturer of the Ross bolt-action rifle, and its advanced .280 Ross cartridge (.280 nitro). Ross had first visited the crater on a foot safari during which numbers of rhino, lion, and other game were shot, but once he acquired a proprietary interest, his attitude changed, and he took measures to reduce hunting and protect the animals, many of which were migratory.

Extract ID: 3811

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 123
Extract Date: 1928

£800 a year to live on a Tanganyika farm and plant coffee

Following their hunt [in 1927], Dick Cooper obtained an isolated parcel of virgin bushland at Magara, just south of Lake Manyara, where so many expatriates were then eagerly seeking a precarious foothold in Tanganyika. After Bror married his second wife, Cockie Birkbeck, Dick Cooper knew the couple were so broke they had no place to go, even though Bror was certainly among the highest-paid white hunters in Africa. When Dick Cooper offered his congratulations to Bror and Cockie on their marriage, saying to her, "I hope you'll be very happy," her reply had been, "So do I, but it may be difficult without a penny to our names". His response was to offer Blixen and his new wife the handsome sum of £800 a year to live on his Tanganyika farm and plant coffee. Blixen was not ungrateful. Years later he wrote of Dick Cooper, "After nearly ten years of hardships endured together and many bottles of whiskey shared, I dare to affirm that we are the best friends in the world."

Extract ID: 3812

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 124
Extract Date: 1928

Life at Singu Estates

According to Romulus Kleen, who worked for Blixen at Cooper's Singu Estates, near Magara, "It was a hard life. Before they could begin to farm they had to clear the bush and build a shack in which to live. Their only water supply was from their corrugated tin roof. In the rainy season, though, they had so much water that they were often marooned for weeks at a time. Still, Cockie recalls these years as the happiest of her life.'"" The primitive nature of Singu Estates drew the attention of the Prince of Wales when he hunted with Blixen in 1928. During the safari the prince took Bror aside and said reproachfully, "I say, Blixen, you really oughtn't to let your wife live in a tumbledown place like this."

Bror continued to hunt professionally from time to time while working on Cooper's coffee estate. But storm clouds soon formed over Bror and Cockie's happy marriage with the arrival of a tall, leggy Swedish beauty named Eva Dickson, a blonde with a mannequin's face and figure who mysteriously turned up at Singu Estates in her own car. Eva apparently arrived already fixated on the world-famous hunter. The parting of Cockie and Bror's ways came about soon afterward, and Eva moved in with Bror.

At first it was generally thought Bror Blixen had married his stunning blonde live-in companion. Blix, however, confided to his friend Romulus Kleen at Singu Estates, "If it amuses her to call herself Baroness, let her do so." Unfortunately, Eva, who had been eavesdropping at the door, heard Blix's quiet confidence and came storming into the room accusing Blix of not being able to keep a secret and of breaking his word.

Extract ID: 3813

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 125
Extract Date: 1934

Drowning in Lake Manyara

Dick Cooper, who had become close to Ernest Hemingway in Cuba, was one of Hemingway's hosts during the writer's safari with Philip Percival in 1934. Hemingway joined Blix and his partner, Percival, and their client Alfred Vanderbilt on a billfishing trip to Malindi, a small resort town on the northern Kenya coast. Hemingway caught a sailfish weighing almost one hundred pounds.

Ernest Hemingway's twenty-four-year-old mistress, Jane Mason, wanted to see Africa for herself, and she engaged Bror Blixen for her own safari in Tanganyika. During the trip she bagged a number of trophies, including Blixen's benefactor, the easygoing Colonel Dick Cooper, who was captivated by the tall, blue-eyed blonde. Dick Cooper came to a sorry end after his affair with Jane Mason, and ended up drowning in Lake Manyara, close to his Singu Estates.

Extract ID: 3814

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 158a
Extract Date: 1926

Ionides, known as Iodine in Africa

Several white hunters became famous wardens, and one of the most respected of these became the savior of the largest game reserve in the world, C. J. P. Ionides, whose Greek surname (pronounced eye-ou-eedees] belied a British upbringing. As a youth in England he had been enthralled when reading the hunting exploits of Frederick Courtney Selous. After army service in India, Ionides, known as Iodine in Africa, wangled a transfer to the 6th Battalion of the King's African Rifles. In 1926 he was posted to the British administrative capital of Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika. At the time Dar es Salaam was a small, humid seaport boasting a British club, a couple of hotels, the best of which was the New Africa, along with half a dozen shady bars. Seeing no future in peacetime soldiering, Iodine resigned from the army to become a fulltime ivory hunter.

. . . . . . .

At Dar Iodine ran into a white hunter named Ken McDougall, who talked Iodine into becoming a professional white hunter. Iodine writes:

I was immediately attracted by his diabolically criminal-looking face. He was drunk and had embarked upon a diatribe directed against his erstwhile trusted house servant, who apparently had deserted him the night before. McDougall's favorite African mistress was due to produce what he believed was his child. The baby arrived and McDougall had taken one look at it to realize why the trusted servant had left in such a hurry.

Aware McDougall was a hopeless drunk, Ionides still went into partnership with him in a safari venture based at the up-country town of Arusha, in the belief that outside of towns McDougall "was a very fine hunter, besides being a good naturalist." But booze also made McDougall fighting drunk, a trait that hardly sat well with safari clients. Inevitably the partnership ended.

Extract ID: 3815

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 158b
Extract Date: 1933~

Joining the Game Department

Iodine’s old army friend, Jock Minnery, had became game ranger at Arusha, and another of his friends, Monty Moore, was warden of the Serengeti. Iodine badly wanted to join the Game Department, something that was not easy to do in those days. "Coming from an admitted poacher," Iodine wrote, "this may sound like an American gangster saying that what he really wanted to do was be a cop. But I had primarily gone into professional poaching to gain experience in hunting as well as to be able to survive as a hunter. Having learnt all the tricks I would be invaluable to the department, as indefatigable in the pursuit of poachers as I had been in the pursuit of poaching. Only a slight mental readjustment was required, of outlook and intention."

Extract ID: 3816

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 158c
Extract Date: 1933

Ionides becames an assistant game ranger

With the help of his friends Ionides became an assistant game ranger in 1933, beginning with the slim salary of £40 per month. During the 1930s the Tanganyika Game Department had just six European game rangers headed by chief game warden Philip Teare, and 120 African game scouts. This tiny staff was supposed to control all matters concerning wild game in Tanganyika Territory, which consisted of 362,688 square miles. As a new recruit Ionides was sent to Kilwa, a small but ancient coastal port 180 miles south of Dar es Salaam.

Extract ID: 3817

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 201
Extract Date: 1950's

The Tanganyika Hunters

The former colony of German East Africa was renamed Tanganyika Territory after the First World War, in 1918. Tanganyika held some of the greatest concentrations of big game in Africa, and Arusha became an important center for safaris. The town, situated near Mount Kilimanjaro on the northern plains, was much smaller in area and population than Nairobi, but there were certain similarities. Both were colorful towns. Both were located in the cool highland regions of their respective countries, and both were known for their fun-loving citizenry.

Not far from Arusha were vast wheat- and grain-farming areas on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain. While Nairobi rapidly grew into a large cosmopolitan city, Arusha remained a small hunting and farming community but with the same Wild West flavor as its Kenya counterpart. While the settlers around Nairobi were primarily of English descent, Arusha had more of an international flavor. Even at its zenith of prosperity in the late 1950s, Arusha was never a large town, having a total population of less than 8,000, including about 1,000 white settlers of all nationalities, many of them not actually resident in the immediate township, but on outlying ranches.

While Kenya had its Masai Mara, Tanganyika held the Serengeti. While Kenya had its famed deserts in the Northern Frontier, Tanganyika had Ngorongoro Crater, one of the wonders of the world, as well as Lake Manyara, which was also alive with big game. In addition Tanganyika had the largest game reserve in the world, the Selous.

Extract ID: 3818

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 202a
Extract Date: 1907

Kenyon Painter invests in Arusha

After German East Africa became Tanganyika, one of its most significant investors was Kenyon Painter, an Ohio entrepreneur who first came to Arusha on a safari in 1907. He bought 11,000 acres of land outside the town and developed the region's premier coffee estate. He gave the town its first post office, built a church, a hospital, and then an advanced coffee research center at a place called Tengeru, sixteen miles from Arusha. Painter invested eleven million dollars in and around Arusha. His single storey New Arusha Hotel was one of the regions's most noted landmarks, and was headquarters for the Tanganyika Tours and Safaris Company.

Extract ID: 3428

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 202b
Extract Date: 1957

Tanganyika Tours and Safaris Ltd

Stan Lawrence-Brown, Dave Lunan's former partner, had set up shop at Arusha in 1957. Lawrence-Brown Safaris (Tanganyika) Ltd.'s main competitor was Russell Bowker Douglas, who owned Tanganyika Tours and Safaris Ltd.

Among hunters Russell's firm was affectionately known as Tanganyika Whores and Shauris Ltd. {shauri is Swahili for "ruckus" or "problem"). The firm's letterhead proudly announced, "By Appointment to H.R.H. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands." Prince Bernhard, or P.B - as he is popularly known in the hunting fraternity, went on four hunting safaris with Douglas. Russell recalled, "P.B. was one of the finest sportsmen I ever met. He liked to take photographs, and would only shoot if an outstanding trophy was found. He actually shoots very little, but he loves safaris!"

Russell was a well-liked fixture in the Tanganyika hunting community. He was as much at home with royalty as he was with rednecks. Russell's firm was staffed with a fine team of young professionals.

[T.T. & S. Ltd.’s hunters: Bob Foster (for a time}, John Fletcher, Anton Allen, Nicky Blunt, Pat Hemingway, Jackie Carlyon, Neil Millar, David Williams, Don Rundgren, Mike Dove. and Chris "Tiger" Lyon.]

Extract ID: 3820

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 203a
Extract Date: 1960?

Lake Manyara Hotel

Russell [Douglas] built a major tourist destination with construction of the Lake Manyara Hotel, which has a marvelous view overlooking the Great Rift Valley.

Extract ID: 3821

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 203b
Extract Date: 1960

Safari office

In Arusha, Russell's safari office was in the lobby of the New Arusha Hotel. In those days, in front of the hotel there was a sign:

THIS SPOT IS EXACTLY HALF WAY BETWEEN THE CAPE AND CAIRO AND THE EXACT CENTER OF KENYA, UGANDA, AND TANGANYIKA

Extract ID: 3822

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 203c
Extract Date: 1960


Russell's partner, George Dove, sported an enormous waxed mustache as his trademark. Dove was a pleasant, hardworking man with his heart in the right place. George, and his son Mike, built two important tourist lodges, Kimba camp at Ngorongoro Crater, and Ndutu Lodge on the southern border of the Serengeti national park.

Footnote: After Tanzania's independence there were a number of deportations of whites from the country. Because of this uncertainty George and his family settled in Australia.

Extract ID: 3823

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 203d
Extract Date: 1962

Jackie Carlyon

One of Russell's hunters was Jackie Carlyon, who hailed from Cornwall, England. He was a nephew of fiery soldier Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen. Carlyon, who had private means, came to Africa as a mining engineer, but got a job stooging for a license with George Dove and Russell Douglas. Carlyon was one of the most likeable of men, and one of the few "gun nuts" in the hunting community. He constantly experimented with heavy-caliber weapons, and was an acknowledged ballistics expert. He was also an outstanding shot with heavy rifles, despite his rather puny stature. In 1962 Carlyon's promising career was snuffed out in a car crash, when he was killed with his gunbearer driving from Arusha to Nairobi.

Extract ID: 3824

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 204a
Extract Date: 1960~

Stan Lawrence-Brown had his office in the Safari Hotel

Stan Lawrence-Brown had his office in the Safari Hotel one hundred yards up the street from his rival, Russell Douglas. The Safari Hotel was newer, and probably fancier than the New Arusha, but it did not have the trout river frontage, lovely grounds, or the Old World charm of its rival. The Safari was a four-story rectangular box built of stone and concrete, and in its time the interior was comfortably appointed with lofty rooms. Even today, while the Safari has sunk into obscurity with the advent of newer hotels, one cannot help but notice that this large hotel has all its plumbing on the exterior of the structure, a result of an oversight by the contractors, who had forgotten to include plumbing. The hotel was owned by two aristocratic English sisters, Gladys and Margot Rydon. Both women owned prosperous coffee estates. Gladys lived in a magnificent mansion overlooking a mysterious crater lake called Duluti, seven miles east of Arusha. Margot's son, David, was killed by a buffalo near Arusha in 1964.

Extract ID: 3862

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 204b
Extract Date: 1960~

The Safari Hotel

The Safari Hotel was masterfully managed for the Rydons by a pale-skinned Englishman named Ben Benbow. Benbow was a professional hotelier down to his manicured fingertips and slicked-down hair. He was the only man in Arusha who always wore a suit and tie. Among his dusty, khaki-clad safari clientele, he stood out like a catwalk mannequin in the lturi forest. Rotund, jovial, and present when guests registered, day or night, Benbow was on a first-name basis with every white hunter as well as with celebrity actors such as Robert Taylor, John Wayne, and Hardy Kruger. The walls around the huge copper bat at the Safari were decorated with framed and signed photographs of white hunters with their clients and trophies.

Extract ID: 3826

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 204c
Extract Date: 1957

Stan Lawrence-Brown's lieutenants

Stan Lawrence-Brown wasted no time in recruiting lieutenants. He had brought with him from Kenya a young and talented hunter named David Ommanney . Ommanney had worked for both Stan and Dave Lunan during their partnership, having begun his apprenticeship with them in 1952. At Arusha Jacky Hamman came on board, followed in 1957 by hunters George Six, Derrick Dunn, Brian Herne, Nick Swan, and, in 1960 a very good Kenya hunter, Mike Hissey, and Stan's brother, Geoff. On a casual basis Stan hired Douglas Collins, Lars Figgenshou, and, for a time, Greg Hemingway (youngest son of Ernest). Greg's older brother, Patrick Hemingway, was a hunter with Russell's Whores and Shauris, just down the road.

Lawrence-Brown also employed casual hunters and "stooges" Arthur Squiers, Bob Robertson, Royce Buckle, Bruno Crone, Jon Hall, and store manager Dave Turner-Dauncey.

Extract ID: 3827

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 207
Extract Date: 1952

David Ommanney

Stan Lawrence-Brown had many fine professional hunters associated with his firm in Arusha, but perhaps the best all-around hunter was David Ommanney. Dave was born in Jalgaon, India, in 1931, the son of a British policeman in the Indian Colonial Civil Service who settled his family in Nanyuki, Kenya. As a schoolboy Dave had been befriended by the famous tiger hunter from India, Jim Corbett, then in retirement at the small town of Nyeri in the foothills of the Aberdare Mountains. Corbett's influence helped prompt Ommanney to become a white hunter.

"There were only three safari outfitting organizations operating in Nairobi at the beginning of the fifties," Dave recalled. "Safariland, Ker and Downey, and Lawrence-Brown and Lunan."

Dave started with a visit to Safariland. The manager, Wally King, was not encouraging. Dave made his way to Ker and Downey's office where he met Donald Ker. Ker took one look at Ommanney and said, "Ker and Downey would never employ anyone who wore shorts! - In 1952 Ommanney was hired by Lawrence-Brown and Lunan Safaris as a "stooge."

There was hardly any money, and Stan worked him to the bone. But Ommanney does not resent the hardships, the brutal training, and long hours. He stuck out his stooging job with teeth gritted, although perhaps 98 percent of would-be hunters with stars in their eyes dropped out. The trainee's backyard university was fixing cars, meeting and greeting clients, tracking animals, scouting on reccies, skinning game, or standing in line at some bureaucratic counter getting interminable permits. There was always a rush to get the next safari on the road and get a shady, scenic campsite located, cleared, tents pitched, kerosene refrigerator and lamps working before the white hunter bwanas and clients arrived half a day later expecting hot showers, hors d'oeuvres, and a five-course dinner on the table. Bored to distraction sorting and packing supplies, or being jumped on for some petty fault, being eternally broke, tired, sore, bug-bitten, and belittled was not everybody's cup of tea. In those days only men who really meant to make a full-time career out of hunting would put up with the hardships. The years that were required to qualify for an unrestricted professional hunter's license constituted a most serious business, and Ommanney winces at the recollection of it.

Extract ID: 3828

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 211b
Extract Date: 1960~

Jackie Hamman

Hamman had always used his .577 rifle with deadly effect, despite his small physique, for he weighed only 110 pounds and stood a mere five foot two on tiptoes. At thirty years of age Jacky was the least imposing-looking of the white hunters. He had thinning fair hair and water-blue eyes, and his pale countenance was kept that way because, like Stan Lawrence-Brown, he always wore a wide-brimmed Borsalino hat.

Hamman was a Boer who had only learned to speak English during the Second World War, when he served in Abyssinia with a South African Armored Car Brigade. But his English was good despite his heavily clipped Afrikaans accent. Supremely confident in his own abilities, Hamman's favorite saying was that no animal was any match for an armed man.

Extract ID: 3831

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 212a
Extract Date: 1960~

south of Lake Manyara

Jacky gauged his clients carefully, and those he figured liked close encounters or who could stand up to the moment of truth without blinking he would take along when he went after wounded dangerous game. One client who witnessed Jacky's delight in close shaves was Peter Hirsch. Their hunting camp was south of Lake Manyara on a farm owned by a Greek named Marianakis. The Marianakis family hoped Hamman would help them get rid of elephant and buffalo that were tearing up their plantation. Late on the first evening, Hamman had seen hundreds of buffalo, but the next day they could not find any. There had been rain, and the grass was head-high. Hamman and his client hunted in the long grass, and as the men climbed a small knoll, Hirsch saw a buffalo bull standing on a little mound eyeing them.

Etc

Extract ID: 3832

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 212b
Extract Date: 1960~

Black Mamba

Hamman conducted a safari to his favorite place in central Tanganyika, known as the Yaida Valley. One morning Hamman and his client made a stalk on a big salt and pepper-maned lion. As the hunters crept forward a black mamba raised itself from the grass and struck Jacky in the thigh. Within seconds his leg ballooned to twice its normal size, turned beef red, and Jacky knew he was in bad trouble. He sat down, sending his gunbearer rushing back to the hunting car for his Fitzsirnmons snakebite serum. Meantime the trophy lion, which had been feeding on a kill, looked up. Seeing the hunters it bounded away. Jacky rigged a makeshift tourniquet with a belt in hopes of slowing the venom. When the gunbearer returned with the special mamba serum, Jacky injected himself twice, once into the snakebite, and once in the upper arm, hoping to get the serum into his heart before the venom got there. Miraculously Jacky survived the snakebite. He was very sick for a long time, and in town he relied on the advice of his friend Dr. George Six, whose wide-ranging interests included herpetology.

Extract ID: 3833

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 215a
Extract Date: 1950's

Dr. George Six

Dr. George Six, a London physician, was an unlikely member of Tanganyika's hunting community. He had come to Africa not with the intention of practicing medicine, but to purchase a farm. Six and his English wife, Mary (nee Bell), the daughter of a judge, rented a house outside Arusha. George soon made the acquaintance of Jacky Hamman at Arusha's government administration building, known as the boma, where Hamman was purchasing game licenses for one of his safaris.

The suave and sophisticated George Six was Hamman's diametric opposite in every way - in physique, temperament, education, intellect, and background - yet the two became firm friends.

Once settled in Arusha Dr. Six opened a gun shop next door to the Safari Hotel where Lawrence-Brown Safaris, Jacky Hamman's outfit, was located. He then purchased two thousand acres in Tanganyika's densely wooded Kiru Valley, south of Lake Manyara. The farm was virgin bushland and lay close beside the wall of the Great Rift Valley, only a few miles from Magara, where Bror and Cockie von Blixen had once lived at Singu Estates. George's acreage was in Tsetse Fly country and useless for domestic animals because of the deadly tsetse-borne disease, trypanosomiasis. In such regions in Tanzania there is an almost total absence of human settlements due to tsetse flies, but nearly always there is an unusual abundance of wildlife, and the Kiru Valley was no exception. In the 1950s it was chock-full of game, particularly elephant, rhino, and buffalo, and provided plenty of sport for the hunting enthusiast.

Extract ID: 3834

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 215b
Extract Date: 1956

Six becomes a director

When George Six decided to take up hunting as a full-time occupation, Jacky Hamman helped him get the experience he needed to qualify for a professional hunter's license. It was Jacky who told Stan about George and what a great asset he would be to Stan's outfit. When Lawrence-Brown met George he agreed with Jacky's assessment. The relationship proved beneficial - Six invested in Stan's firm, and in 1956 he became a director and one-third shareholder of Lawrence-Brown Safaris.

George eagerly took up big game hunting and Hamman was his mentor. Between professional safaris the pair hunted elephant together in every corner of Tanganyika. Jacky's influence was apparent with George's choice of a heavy rifle. Unlike Jacky, George was big, powerfully built, and strong, but like Jacky he exclusively used a .577 Manton box-lock double rifle.

Hamman, the experienced hunter, returned George's admiration. "That George is something else," Jacky liked to say. "He can tell you about removing an appendix, fixing a diesel injector, give the Latin name for some kind of mud fish, or you can ask him about the muzzle velocity of anything, and he can damn well tell you right now."

Extract ID: 3835

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 216
Extract Date: 1956

Leni Riefenstahl

Although George Six had long ago given up his urban existence in favor of a wanderer's life of adventure, he maintained excellent contacts in Europe, especially in the French and German movie communities. Although George was of mixed English-French parentage, he spoke the King's English, as well as fluent French, Spanish, Swahili, and German.

One of George Six's numerous international acquaintances was the controversial German flimmaker Leni Riefenstahl. Leni had been one of the women admired by Adolf Hitler, and she was also Germany's most famous movie actress, having won acclaim for performances in The Blue Light and The Holy Mountain. Riefenstahl made the admired Olympia about the 1936 Berlin Olympics for Hitler, and that is where she first met George Six. In his varied career, George had participated in the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a member of the British swimming team. During subsequent travels Six had taken up photography, first as a hobby, later as a profession. While on assignment as a Life magazine photographer in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, he worked with pioneer underwater photographer Hans Haas.

In 1956 George became reacquainted with Leni Riefenstahl when she asked him to help her make a full-length documentary film about the slave trade in East Africa. George invited me to join him on the Riefenstahl safari, which lasted over seven months and traveled through Kenya, Uganda, and the Belgian Congo. Leni's movie was called Schwarz Fracht, or Black Cargo.

For some reason during a preliminary survey of Kenya before filming was to begin, Riefenstahl was driving George's specially built, woodenbodied, shooting-brake Willys Jeep. The heavy car went into a fast skid on a rough stretch of graveled road leading to the Tana River near Garissa Bridge, rolled down an embankment, and came to rest upside down. Luckily for Leni, George was aboard, because in the accident she suffered a concussion and a deep gash to the head. She was also badly bruised and had sprained her neck. George suffered a broken kneecap and a broken wrist. From his medicine chest in the car, George washed and stitched Leni's head wound. In those days safaris did not have radio telephones. Instead, a Nairobi radio station would broadcast messages to white hunters listening out in the bush after the regular BBC world news broadcast each evening. In an emergency it was necessary to find an administrative outpost and hope that it had radio contact with Nairobi.

On the remote Tana River road traffic was scarce, but fortunately for Leni a police Land Rover happened to be passing George's crashed Jeep, and the police inspector drove Six and Riefenstahl into the Somali township of Garissa. At that time there was no flying doctor service, but the police radioed headquarters in Nairobi. My uncle, Norris Kirkham, of the Kenya Police Air Wing, was sent to rescue Leni and George. After a stay at Nairobi Hospital Leni returned to Germany before resuming her safari with us. She came back wearing a neck brace, accompanied by a number of German cameramen and technicians, along with her assistant, the gracious Hanni (Isle) Lanske.

* Leni Riefenstahl's film Black Cargo contained excellent wildlife footage, but it was generally regarded as a flop at the box office.

Extract ID: 3836

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 217a
Extract Date: 1958 January

Death of Jackie Hamman

It was not to be a lion, leopard, buffalo, or black mamba that killed zestful Jacky Hamman in the prime of his life. In January 1958, David Ommanney , the gifted star at Lawrence-Brown Safaris, was sharing a hunting camp with Hamman and Geoff Lawrence-Brown, Stan's younger brother.

Jacky, like many South African hunters, had a tremendous love of antique guns, exposed-hammer firearms in particular. Before his safari with Ommanney , Jacky had purchased a new Land Rover pickup truck from which he had removed both doors in order to give himself and his clients quick and silent exit when hunting.

Jacky and his client went out guinea fowl hunting in the Mto-wa-Mbu (Mosquito River) area in northern Tanganyika. Hamman, the quick-shot artist, known to be a stickler for gun safety, was driving his doorless car with his hammer shotgun loaded, its butt resting on the car's floorboard beside his feet, its barrel cradled in the crook of his arm. Driving cross-country the vehicle hit a bump and the shotgun's butt slid across the floorboard and out of the car, but as it did so one of the shotgun's hammers hit the edge of the floor. Hamman took the full shotgun blast at almost point-blank range, and the charge struck just beneath his ear. It was David Ommanney who transported Jacky's body back to Arusha where Jacky's widow, Betty, and his two young children lived.

Extract ID: 3837

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 217b
Extract Date: 1960's

Live venomous snakes

George Six remained in Arusha for some years after the death of his good friend. Besides his chosen career as white hunter, Six kept up his other remarkably varied interests. The former physician obtained a contract to supply live venomous snakes to American research groups. As dense bush was cleared on his Kiru Valley coffee plantation, enormous anthills were uncovered. George had a tractor driver knock down the anthills with a bulldozer. This usually revealed an amazing number of snakes living in these abandoned cementhard anthills. Once the 'dozer blade leveled the anthill, George would dash into the rubble and catch snakes. He often held the snakes with a forked "catching" stick, then grabbed them in his bare hands, holding them behind the neck, then by the tail. He would hold the snake at arm's length with the reptile's head facing the ground. Some days the catch would total as many as thirty venomous snakes, everything from boomslangs to black mambas and puff adders. George carefully catalogued the snakes, then placed them in fine wire-mesh cages for shipment.

While Six assisted with safaris for Stan Lawrence-Brown, his farm was managed by a salty old Australian named Bill Aherne. The plantation was regarded as a model, especially as George had ingeniously built gravity-fed irrigation canals that stretched for miles. Six was to suffer a terrible accident on the farm when his leg was crushed while he worked beneath a crawler tractor. The accident forced him to quit professional hunting. When Tanganyika became Tanzania, the newly independent government nationalized all the farms and most private businesses. George, who had put every cent he had into his Kiru Valley coffee farm, lost everything, and shortly afterward Mary, his wife, died of a heart attack.

Extract ID: 3838

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 218
Extract Date: 1960's

Seronera Wildlife Lodge

Later, the new Tanzania government persuaded George [Six] to design game-viewing lodges on the western Serengeti Plains. One was built at Seronera, the other at Lobo, both major tourist destinations.

George moved into a seafront home at Oyster Bay, near Tanzania's capital of Dar es Salaam, where he opened a design office. Tanzania has always been short of European women, much less those who were members of the intelligentsia. George was fortunate to meet his second wife, an Ohio-born Irish-American named Marty Lanning, through a magazine for members of the Mensa Society. In 1980 the excesses of Tanzania's radical socialist government became too much, even for tolerant George Six. With one suitcase, George left to settle in America, where he became a designer of aquatic gardens for the city of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Extract ID: 3839

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 314
Extract Date: 1960 Nov 1

Hatari Tragedy

After Lionel's [Hartley] death, Diana took her two young children and stayed for a while with Carr Hartley's family at Rumuruti. There she met one of Carr's employees, an Austrian named Heini Demmer. Diana promptly went into an animal-trapping partnership with Demmer - to supply zoos - in direct competition with Carr Hartley, Diana's brother-in-law. Later still, Diana Hartley married Eddie Knodi, a chef at Nairobi's Norfolk Hotel.

Violence continued to stalk the family. Diana's own mother, Mary, was hacked to death with machetes by Mau Mau thugs who attacked the family's Nyeri farmhouse during the Mau Mau Emergency. Diana's seventy-year-old stepfather, G. A. Leakey, who was a blood brother of the Kikuyu tribe, was dragged off by the same gang and buried alive in October 1954. Gray and Mary Leakey are now in the same grave at Nyeri cemetery.

Diana (Hartley) Knodi also died tragically. She was killed by a "tame" lion while working on the Hollywood epic about professional animal catchers, Hatari. On November 1, 1960, Diana Knodi entered the lion's cage and it sprang on her. It bit her three times, on the chin, throat, and chest, then mauled her to death. White hunter Bill Ryan, who was on the film set nearby with stars John Wayne, Hardy Kruger, Red Buttons, and the actress Capucine, commented, "Diana should never have got into the cage with that lion. She didn't have a chance."

Diana's only son, also named Lionel, began his professional hunting apprenticeship in 1970 with myself [Brian Herne] and Nick Swan. He was in the hunting business for seven years, until March 1977.

Note 1: (from MEABOOKS Inc. African book Catalogue)

BEYOND VIOLENCE (Hofmeyr, Agnes Leakey.)

91pp, PB, 1990,

"Gray Leakey was buried alive on Mount Kenya as a human sacrifice to the gods of Mau Mau. This story is written by his daughter, now living in South Africa… The Mau Mau revolution led to a double tragedy in her family. The book describes the author's inner battle battle to come to terms with disaster and the extraodrinary events that brought her and the very man who had planned her father's death together in the search for a new kind of world…",

Note 2: (from Internet Movie Database)

Capucine did not appear in Hatari. But she did feature in a 1962 film set in Kenya call The Lion. (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0056186/)

Extract ID: 3840

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 339
Extract Date: 1963

Dian Fossey's first Safari

Alexander set up his safari operation at his home near Nanyuki. John was flexible enough to tailor safaris exactly to the needs and pockets of his clients. One of his clients was near stone broke Dian Fossey, who much later attained recognition as a gorilla expert. In 1963 Dian Fossey was staying at the Mount Kenya Safari Club at Nanyuki, and she introduced herself to one of the owners of the club, William Holden. Fossey told Holden she was looking for a white hunter to take her on a private safari through East Africa. Was there someone he might recommend? Holden knew a man on the mountain he thought might be suitable named John Alexander. Fossey talked John into a you-bring-the-coffee, I'll-bring-the-sandwiches low-budget outing. When starry-eyed Fossey first met Alexander, then fortyish, she was the ultimate naive greenhorn in the wilds of Africa.

John, his complexion now ruddy from years in the sun, and his fair hair by now receding, had always had an eye for the ladies. Recently divorced, he was not inclined to turn down any safari work. Even with Fossey's limited budget Alexander nevertheless consented to take her on a tour, and guided her on what is generally regarded as the East African "milk run," an easy route taken by package tourists on their first trip to Africa. John took Dian to see Tsavo park, Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti Plains, and Olduvai Gorge, where he introduced her to anthropologists Mary and Louis Leakey.

Alexander later recalled Fossey with considerable distaste, not just because she was a heavy smoker and drinker, which he considered none of his business, but because he thought Fossey "moody" and a "bit neurotic." Alexander claimed that at the time of their meeting Fossey had never before even heard of mountain gorillas'

Still, Alexander agreed to take Fossey on another safari, this time through Uganda and into the Congo to the Albert national park (now the Muhuavura national park). In neighboring Rwanda over this period, two tribes, the WaTutsi and the BaHutu, were killing each other in the thousands; the first years of genocide were barely reported to the international press. Zaire was also far from safe, with murderous soldiers roaming the countryside.

Despite the tribal unrest and general chaos then prevalent in Zaire, Alexander and Fossey continued with their safari into the eastern part of the country. At the village of Rumangabo they had hoped to pick up park rangers to act as guides. The only accommodation available was an old shed and it was here Fossey propositioned Alexander. "Here we've been three weeks on safari," she said. "We could have shacked up together and had a hell of a good time. "

Alexander apologetically turned her down explaining that he was already engaged. After being rebuffed Fossey despised Alexander, according to Harold T. P. Hayes, her biographer. Behind his back she began referring to John as "The Great White.""

Extract ID: 3841

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 340
Extract Date: 1963

A turning point

At Albert national park, Alexander introduced Dian to a Belgian biologist named Jacques Verschuren, and he told Fossey about the gorillas' on the Virunga volcanoes straddling Rwanda, Uganda, and Zaire. While camped high on the Kabara Meadow, Alexander and Fossey encountered friends of John's, well-known wildlife photographers Alan and Joan Root, who were filming gorillas. The Roots took Dian out in search of her first gorillas. Although no contact was made, it was a thrilling experience and Fossey said she had "smelled them." It was certainly a turning point in her life. Fossey, by profession an occupational therapist, ultimately became famous as a dedicated gorilla preservationist.

Extract ID: 3842

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 352
Extract Date: 1960

White Hunters (Africa) Ltd

Glen [Cottar] was sent to the Prince of Wales boarding school (in schoolboy slang the "Prince-O," but also known as the "Cabbage Patch" on account of a steady diet of that vegetable) back in Nairobi. His classmates included boys who would become white hunters - John Sutton, Dave Williams, John Dugmore, as well as future game wardens Brian Nicholson of the Tanganyika Game Department, Myles Turner of the Serengeti national park, and Peter Jenkins and Bill Woodley of Kenya national parks, along with Frank Poppleton of Uganda national parks.

Soon afterward Glen joined the new firm of White Hunters (Africa) Ltd., headed by David Lunan. At the time White Hunters was managed by Colonel Brett, formerly manager of Safariland Ltd. Brett left White Hunters (Africa) Ltd. under a cloud and was replaced by Colonel Robert Caulfield. In 1960, after Glen Cottar was fully licensed, he married vivacious Pat Schofleld, the daughter of English settlers from the Great Rift Valley town of Nakuru. Cottar, always an optimist, also made the big step of going it alone as an independent safari outfitter.

. . . . . .

Now Cottar had the freedom to take his safaris wherever he pleased, into distant and little-known country. He was the first hunter to penetrate the vast Moyowosi-Njingwe swamps in Tanzania on foot, long before the era of amphibious vehicles. He and his client came out of the swamps with a sitatunga antelope bearing record-class horns. The more remote and unknown a region happened to be, the greater its attraction for Glen Cottar. The time and expense of such explorations mattered little to Glen. He surveyed Tanzania's almost unknown Lukwati and Katavi areas, and cut many hundreds of miles of primitive tracks through featureless miombo woodlands. His rewards were the unspoiled landscape, unmarred by car tracks and, in many cases, even a human footprint. His clients reaped the benefits of these "reccies" by collecting outstanding trophies.

Extract ID: 3843

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 354b
Extract Date: 1965

Getting to Nairobi

After jolting across country Cottar's car passed the freshwater spring and wooded oasis known as Kline's Camp, and from the road his client saw the white glow of pressure lanterns in the awful blackness. Somebody was camped in this wilderness among the fig trees. It turned out to be American aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife, on a photographic safari. Lindbergh told Cottar he had an aircraft parked at a nearby airstrip, and he generously offered to fly Glen to Nairobi at first light.

Cottar, now tranquilized with morphia, decided to push on to Nairobi immediately. Pissey hunched over the wheel of the Land Cruiser as its lights followed the graveled road back to Kenya and the Masai Mara game reserve. At Keekorok lodge Cottar's client hoped to find a visiting doctor, but they were out of luck. The safari car turned north again, jolting across washboard as it roared through the cold night. The exhausted party arrived at Nairobi Hospital thirteen hours affer the attack."

Glen's own father had died after a buffalo attack much less severe than his. While Glen was recuperating, and in an unusual moment of earnestness, he told me, "I know my client [Arturo "Art" Acevedo] saved my life with his quick thinking, and getting antibiotic and morphia into me. He's got guts. God bless him! "

Extract ID: 3845

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 375
Extract Date: 1965

Safari hunting in East Africa was forever changed

Safari Hunting in East Africa was forever changed by the masterly blueprint of Brian Nicholson, a former white hunter turned game warden. The disciple and successor of C.I. P. Ionides, the "Father of the Selous game reserve," Nicholson conceived a plan for administering Tanzania's expansive wildlife regions. In 1965 he changed most of the vast former controlled Hunting areas, or CHAs, into Hunting concessions that could be leased by outfitters from the government for two or more years at a time. Nicholson also demarcated the Selous game reserve's 20,000 square miles of uninhabited country into 47 separate concessions. Concessions were given a limited quota of each game species, and outfitters were expected to utilize quotas as fully as possible, but not exceed them.

Nicholson's plan gave outfitters exclusive rights over Hunting lands, providing powerful incentives for concession holders to police their areas, develop tracks, airfields, and camps, and, most importantly, preserve the wild game. When the system was put into effect, it was the larger outfitting organizations - safari outfitters who could muster the resources to bid and who had a clientele sufficient to fulfill the trophy quotas Nicholson had set (done in order to provide government revenue by way of fees for anti-poaching operations, development, and research) - that moved quickly to buy up the leases on the most desirable blocks of land. Smaller safari companies who could not compete on their own banded together and formed alliances so that they, too, could obtain Hunting territories.

Extract ID: 3846

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 380
Extract Date: 1970

Afriventures

To meet the challenge, Kenya hunters Glen Cottar, Alfredo Pelizzoli, and Reggie Destro founded an alliance known as Afriventures in 1970. The group, all of whom headed their own established safari firms, eventually managed the largest number of concessions in Tanzania's unsurpassed big game country. Reggie Destro's calm and decisive personality combined well with Glen Cottar's exuberant enthusiasm and Alfredo Pelizzoli's shrewd business acumen. The Afriventures trio grew to include a diverse set of characters. Prince Alfi von Auersperg of Austria was invited to join the group, as was the Danish hunter Jens Hessel and the Frenchman Rene Babault. Completing the partnership were Englishman Derrick Dunn, Kenya-born brothers, David and Anton Allen, and Brian Herne.

Extract ID: 3847

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 381a
Extract Date: 1970

Afriventures people

A Dane named Jens Hessel settled with his wife at Mweiga, on the foothills of the Aberdare Mountains, not far from the Allens' safari headquarters at Nanyuki. He had been a freelance white hunter for several years as well as a bush pilot before he joined Afriventures. Specializing in flying safaris Hessel has appeared in movie productions, including Out of Africa, in which he was the pilot flying as Finch Hatton in the yellow biplane.

The only Tanzania-based hunter invited to join the group was Derrick Dunn from Arusha. Red-haired and powerfully built. Derrick was affectionately known to the Africans as Bwana Siagizi (Mr. Sleepy) because of the shape of his drooping eyelids. Dunn had taken up elephant hunting as a youth in Nyasaland (now Malawi), then moved to Tanganyika in 1956, and turned professional with Lawrence-Brown Safaris, before going into the safari business for himself. Derrick was awarded the Shaw and Hunter Trophy twice, in 1971 and 1972, the only man apart from Syd Downey to be so honored. On the first occasion Derrick's client, R. M. Zimmerman, obtained a 47 1/2 -inch East African sable antelope at Rungwa, Tanganyika. On the second Paul Deutz obtained the outright world record Cape buffalo (a bull), which measured 59 5/16 inches, taken at Maswa, south of the Serengeti. The record still stands.

Extract ID: 3848

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 381b
Extract Date: 1973

Afriventures Manager

In 1973 Brian Nicholson resigned as principal game warden of Tanzania to manage the Afriventures group based in Nairobi. By then Afriventures was ranging far beyond East Africa and the demand grew for first-class pilots willing to fly into regions where only the most basic airfields had been carved out of the bush, and navigational beacons were unknown. The hunters found soul mates in a Nairobi firm called Kenya Air Charters, whose pilots were household names in the safari world: John Falconer-Taylor, Heather and Jim Stewart, Giles Remnant, and Pat Dale. All were outstanding in emergency situations and willing to fly anywhere at short notice. Pilots had become an integral part of safaris, and in the dangerous business of bush flying, each hunter had his favored pilot.

Extract ID: 3849

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 382
Extract Date: 1973

Heather Stewart

A first choice for many was the glamorous blonde, hazel-eyed Heather Stewart. Heather carried on the proud East African tradition of daring female pilots begun back in the 1930s by Maia Carberry and the romanticized Beryl Markham. The daughter of British expatriates, she was born in Nigeria and arrived in Kenya at the age of eighteen to be married. Later, on the occasion of Heather's second marriage, she had been given flying lessons. From that time on, piloting became her life.

Heather knew East Africa's hunting areas as few pilots did, and her flying skills rivaled the best of her male colleagues. In a sea of endless bush, forest, or sand dunes, Heather could locate and memorize exact locations where hunters had chopped out rough airstrips. After making an initial low pass to scare off animals grazing on the strip, she would zoom in, followed by a huge cloud of dust as she "painted" her aircraft onto the most basic postage-stamp field. From her pressed khaki pilot's uniform to her manicured fingernails, the fashion-cover blonde with a fine sense of humor was all business where flying was concerned. Beating off mosquitoes, amorous clients, and hunters alike. Heather has put her heavily loaded aircraft down in places many old pilots would refuse to consider, yet her safety record is impeccable.

Extract ID: 3850

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 383
Extract Date: 1970's

Robin Hurt

By the 1970s most East African hunters were as comfortable in the cockpit of a small airplane as they were behind the wheel of a Land Rover or Toyota. Those who did not fly often traveled beside the pilot as spotters for vague landmarks. In countries where flying was done by dead reckoning, most hunters were as skilled as any navigator at locating bush landing strips, which they had carved out of the uncharted terrain. More than ever before, safaris ranging outside East Africa required the use of light aircraft. In some of these unknown places it was accepted that great opportunity often went hand in hand with great risk.

Perhaps no professional hunter of recent years has more personified the "Have Gun Will Travel" aspect of the modern-day sportsman than Robin Hurt. Robin emerged in the 1970s to become one of the most successful of his generation. Born in London in April 1945 he began his career as a stooge (learner-hunter) with Ker and Downey, then in the mid-1960s joined Uganda Wildlife during the heyday of safaris in that country. A son of Kenya game warden Roger Hurt, who raised his children on a farm at Lake Naivasha, Robin had never wanted to be anything but a hunter. Tall, well-built, and quick-witted. Hurt has an engaging personality and considerable charisma. He is also that rare being in the safari world, a white hunter who understands business. His success has been remarkable.

Extract ID: 3851

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 384a
Extract Date: 1973

Robin only once suffered a physical setback

. . . . . Despite his constant hunting Robin only once suffered a physical setback. The incident occurred near Tanzania's Monduli Mountain. Hurt's client had hit a leopard low with a .375, breaking its shoulder. Reasoning that the brush was so thick he would only have a chance to shoot at close range. Hurt grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun, and gave his usual weapon of choice, a .500 Evans double rifle, to his tracker. Robin knew the leopard would be hard to see in the low light of dense brush, and he figured the spread of Double-0 buckshot pellets would give him a better chance of stopping the cat. Moments later the leopard went for him and Robin fired the shotgun as the cat reached him. The range was so close his buckshot entered the leopard's neck in a tight pattern with no time to spread.

The leopard knocked Hurt down, and he lost his grip on the gun. Robin struggled with the leopard as it mauled his arms and legs, then it abruptly drew away from Hurt, as if exhausted by the attack. Robin realized the shots had taken a toll as his gunbearer quickly finished the leopard with a shot from the .500.

Extract ID: 3852

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 384b
Extract Date: 1980's

Robin Hurt has dominated the African hunting scene

Robin Hurt has dominated the African hunting scene through the 1980s and 1990s, and he operates Robin Hurt Safaris based in Arusha.

Extract ID: 3853

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 389
Extract Date: 1973 Sep 7

The Kenya Tanzania Border closes

By the end of 1973 Kenya was the sole remaining tourist destination in East Africa. While the neighboring country of Uganda was still in the throes of military anarchy, Tanzania surprised the world on September 7 by issuing an overnight ban on all Hunting and photographic safaris within its territory. Government authorities moved quickly to seize and impound foreign-registered Land Cruisers, supply trucks, minibuses, aircraft, and equipment.

The stunned collection of safari clients as well as sundry mountain climbers, bird-watchers, and beachcombers who had been visiting the country at the time of the inexplicable edict were summarily escorted to Kilimanjaro airport outside of Arusha to await deportation. The residue of tourists stranded without flights were trucked to the northern town of Namanga where they were left on the dusty roadside to cross into Kenya on foot. All tourist businesses, including the government-owned Tanzania Wildlife Safaris, were closed down. No government refunds were ever made to tourists or to foreign or local safari outfitters

Extract ID: 3854

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 443
Extract Date: 1999

Source

Grateful thanks to Alyson and Bill Kneib for accounts of life in pre-independence Tanganyika and the development of Missouri Coffee Plantations at Arusha, along with photos, diaries, and papers of Kenyon and Maud Painter;

Extract ID: 3855

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris, 1999
Page Number: 467
Extract Date: 1999

Brian Herne

The youngest professional hunter ever licensed in East Africa, Brian Herne has had a career spanning thirty years. He is one of only seventeen individuals awarded the Shaw and Hunter Trophy - known as the "Oscar" of the African hunting world. Mr. Herne has also received awards for his photography, including Japan's prestigious Asahi Pentax Award. The founder of the international professional hunter's magazine Tiack, he has written for numerous outdoor and hunting magazines. A second-generation Kenyan, Mr. Herne now lives in southern California.

Extract ID: 3856
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