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on 13 July 2011
Wonderful description by the hunter himself of what it was like hunting in the late 1800's in Southern Africa . To anyone who has lived in big game country in Africa in the 50's (as I did) or so it is so interesting. His prowess at shooting elephant made him famous of course and the number he killed unbelievable ( but true). However if one has never been to Africa, let alone lived in the bush, it will come as a shock to read what life was like on safari in those days (as opposed to the luxury travel now) and the number of elephants and buffalo and other game killed for their ivory,skins etc.and to get rich is appalling info.The perpetual slaughter makes gruesome reading. However, as an autobiography of a young man of 24 years straight from Europe in 1864 with no experience , it's absorbing.
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on 8 April 2018
Interesting to read about Africa in the 1870's. Even then great swathes of the continent were devoid of animals. Hard to take the constant shooting of the biggest buck, lion, cheetah, elephant, crocs etc. but tgat's the way it was then.
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on 23 January 2013
The story of one of Africa's greatest hunter's first few trips to the Dark Continent. Firstly, a warning with this book: at around 500 pages it is no weekend read, however, those that feel they have the time to devote to the book will be justly rewarded.

Very few other people had ventured into the interior when Selous first arrived in Africa. This book details Selous' safaris elephant hunting for ivory, mainly in what he refers to as the "fly" country. The conditions and physical hardships that were endured are unthinkable now, and the distances traveled are astonishing.

Also as extraordinary is the level and amount of game both available and shot. Many animals (especially elephants) are killed - one would find it difficult to imagine that his great man turned out to be such conservationist. Nevertheless, we cannot respectively judge past time with our current views, and this surely had an influence on his later life.

From the deserts of what is now Namibia to Victoria Falls, Selous comes gets into all sorts of scrapes in his quest for ivory, battling hunger and fever and hostile tribes. It is also interesting top hear his progressive views on slavery, especially compared to other settlers such as the Portuguese. This book is however just an account of his travels, and would not satisfy those looking for a greatest understanding of his later life and subsequent work.
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on 14 July 2014
Fantastic story of years gone by !
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on 23 February 2017
extremely poorly printed
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on 17 February 2013
This great hunter's adventures in a far gone Africa are fascinating, but his style of writing is flat and sometimes nears the borders of boring. In spite of this, it's a book which should be in the library of every africana lover.
2 people found this helpful
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on 1 July 2014
Excellent account of those times although it is sad to read the wanton hunting of wildlife.
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on 1 May 2012
Great reading for anyone interested in big game and African wildlife, and the history of the explorers of the dark continent.
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on 18 April 2018
Not yet read
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on 5 August 2013
This is a heartless indiscriminate destruction of African wildlife with no consideration for females of the species or there babies survival, like attempting to wipe out whole pride of lions, including its three tiny cubs. This was the point where l could not take any more of this man's cruelty even to his own mounts as it was turning my stomach. This person was only concerned with the killing of any and all wildlife he encountered.

I have been a shooting and fishing man all of my life. I am now 74 and can honestly say it was a good day when he and his like died out. It is just a great shame they did so much harm and caused such suffering to so much beautiful a nd innocent wildlife.

Now we are trying to repair the damage and save the pitiful remnants of what remains of Africa's creatures, where once there was abundance now there is nothing.

Had I known the content of this book I would never have purchased it. I thought it as being a hunting adventure with principles and consideration for the creatures hunted not animals being left to die of their wounds because it was not convenient to follow up at the time, plus I don't think he fancied the job as he would shoot them anywhere even in the rear end where an instant kill is not going to happen especially with the firearms and ammunition of those days.
He comes across to me as a selfish unfeeling person who should never have been allowed a firearm of any kind, the same goes for all of those like him.

M. Crouch
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